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shapeshifters

Review: Omega Mine by Ailene Hunter

12509806Yes, Virginia, there IS such a thing as too much sex in PNR.

Last night (if you know me, you know that I have vampire tendencies – I mostly sleep during the day and work at night) I decided to put down my tablet and attack spring cleaning. Also having two different pairs of Bluetooth headphones to test, I decided to find a PNR author I hadn’t read before on Audible.com. I found Omega Mine by Aline Hunter, narrated by Maxine Mitchell, a narrator I hadn’t listened to before. Nearly 10 hours of audio? Bonus.

First, Maxine did a great job. I will be looking for other books narrated by her. And Ms. Hunter’s actual story concept was quite good. Ava Brisbane is a bartender in a shifter bar, well loved by those she works with. Shifters aren’t “out” in this world, and they work hard to hide their existence. Ava has to hide hers as well – she is a telepath, who can read humans, but not shifters – hence her understanding that the bar she works in is ‘different’. The world building is good, and different enough that it held my interest, and I wanted a lot more of the storyline, characters and world building. The thing is, a good ¾ of the book is just sex between the main characters. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am perfectly fine with sex in my PNR – I like it, in fact. But the amount of nookie in this book overwhelmed everything. It became more about the sex than the story, and I found myself hitting the “scoot forward 30 seconds” button over and over to see if we could get back to the story by 1/3 through the book. And as the nookie got more and more violent? I just skipped through the moment the main characters got anywhere near a flat surface . . . or a wall . . . or a stool . . .

Overall, I would have really liked this book for the story. But the sex was, literally, too much. Which is a shame, as it took away from everything for me. Now, if you are one of those who would prefer to read sex scene after sex scene with basically no story other than the nookie, grab this one fast, you will love it. If you don’t like sex at all in your books? Run. For me, give me sex that contributes to a good story and I am way happy, but this one was just over-the-top for this reviewer.

 

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Review: Omega War of the Alphas by SM Reine

24371707We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination. – Nelson Mandela

I stood up as best I could to their disgusting stupidity and brutality, but I did not, of course, manage to beat them at their own game. It was a fight to the bitter end, one in which I was not defending ideals or beliefs but simply my own self. – George Grosz

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. – Winston Churchill

Twenty years ago, everyone died. Everyone. Man, woman and child, none were spared. And yet, once the Genesis Void passed, people returned – though not all. And those who did rise from their deaths returned to a world where myth and legend live, and you could very well awaken to find that you are a fairytale character. Sidhe and vampire, demon and were, all walk an Earth where humans are no longer the dominant species.

But massive change leads to mass confusion, and housing, feeding and providing care for the newly mythical brings about a razor sharp divide between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have Nots’ – and as Winston Churchill pointed out, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” And Deirdre Tombs is miserable since she returned. For though she is purportedly a were – she heals swiftly and moves quickly – she cannot change. And since she cannot change, she isn’t trusted to live in ‘Sanctuary’ – the safe, exclusive world created for and by ‘true’ shapeshifters. Shuffled from decrepit foster home to skid row group house, she is beaten and abused, hated and feared. Now, she lives in a condemned building with her friend, an Asanbosam Vampire, and works for a Nightmare. Literally. But when ‘moon-sickness’ begins to flow through the were population, Dierdre is recruited by the very people who turned her away, who left her to the cruelties of the socialized foster system – a very broken, very vicious foster system. Of course, the system wasn’t only cruel to Dierdre – and Everton Stark is determined to make Rylie Gresham, werewolf Alpha, pay for the pain and deprivation of the many when Rylie made sure that ‘her’ wolves lived in peace and plenty.

When Rylie offers Dierdre a chance to learn what she is, which she has longed for all of her life, in return for infiltrating Stark’s group, she accepts the challenge. With Gage Cicerone, one of Rylie’s ‘children’ at her side, she takes the assignment. But now is when things get fuzzy. For the lines between good and bad, truth and lies, begin to blur . . .

Set in the world of Preternatural Affairs, the OPA holds minimal place within the story, yet looms over the scene, sure to be felt in later books in the series. PA is still my favorite of all Sara’s work, and this new series, War of the Alphas, expands the idea in a wildly creative manner. One warning – when you open this book, be sure that you do so early in the day, and have nothing else to do. The ‘smart’ side of my brain kept saying, “Go to bed, nutcase!” The obsessive part? Well, she won – I finished it at four this morning!

I received this book from Sara in exchange for a realistic review. Goooo ME!!! Sara is one of my favorite authors (and a wonderful person, btw) and she has reached another level of WOW in this new series!

Review: Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

gunmetalHumankind seems to have an enormous capacity for savagery, for brutality, for lack of empathy, for lack of compassion. – Annie Lennox

From her birth, Andrea Nash has had a brutal, horrific life. A Beastkin, the child of a hyena who turned into a human and a hyena were, Andrea was tortured, beaten, and brutalized beyond comprehension. Once she escaped from the horrors of her beginnings, Andrea focused – on building a life, creating the person she wished to be. In order to reach her goals, she became the best Order Agent she could possibly be. And the Order of Merciful Aid would never, ever allow a Beastkin amongst their ranks. So, Andrea hid in plain sight, wearing a medallion under her skin to hide her genetics.

When the world fell apart during the war Kate’s millennia old “lovely” auntie Erra started, Andrea made a decision which destroyed her life. She decided to stand with the Order, a group that would just as soon see her dead as a member. Thrown from the Order, and having turned her back on the Pack, and her Bouda prince lover, her life soon falls apart in every way possible.

I examined myself sitting there. I’d held back for so long. I’d been good for so long. I’d always did as expected. I followed the rules and regulations. Look where it got me. Being good hurt.

Now, Kate and Andrea have opened Cutting Edge Investigations, their own little “Order.” And when the murders of several shifters lands on Andrea’s desk, it isn’t only the job that is the problem. Oh, it couldn’t be that easy, now could it? Oh, no. Aunt B is determined to bring Andrea into the fold of the Bouda clan, whether she wants to be folded or not, and the murder victims are all employees of Rafael – yes, that Rafael. Sigh. And of course, when Rafael brings his new flame with him to Andrea’s office, all ‘seven feet of dumb’ girlfriend, well, Andrea blows a gasket. And what comes next will throw Andrea’s life into yet another turmoil which will change her life once again.

Andrea being Andrea, there is a lot of pain – but there is also a lot of humour woven through the story. As with all of the Andrew’s work the story is tightly woven, perfectly plotted and continues the storyline beautifully. I am thrilled with Andrea’s story! I waited a long time for Andrea’s story, and I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.

Highly recommended!

 

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