Search

So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Tag

special forces

Review: Exchange of Fire (An SBG Novel) by P.A. DePaul

Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. – George Washington

1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war. – Art 47. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977

Many military officials reportedly (also) expressed concerns that the security contractors were trigger-happy and “out-of-control cowboys who alienated the same Iraqis the military is trying to cultivate.” Defense Secretary Gates said that the contractors were at “cross purposes” with the military goals, and he suggested they be put under his authority. Opening Statement of Chairman Henry A.Waxman, in US Congress, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Hearing on Private Security Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, hearings, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., October 2, 2007

 

exchangeI first found Exchange of Fire on Reading In Pajamas and was intrigued. I love a “Kick Butt and Take Names” heroine, and Wraith definitively qualifies. A sharpshooting badass with a steady hand and a sharp eye, Wraith is part of a four-man (well, two men and two women, but you get the idea) with a super-secret, blackest-of-the-black private . . . well, corporation doesn’t really describe it. More like “If you even think that you know anything about the possibility of this group even existing, they will never find your body” sort of thing. Anyway! Nasty, nasty with razorblades on top.

But don’t think that this is all a bad deal. When the US government needs the really nasty, vicious, “how can they call these creatures humans” taken care of, they call SBG. And SBG gets it done. So, when they needed a cartel taken out that specialized in sex trafficking of young girls, Wraith, Magician, Talon and Romeo, and their leader, Cappy, are sent to Mexico to take care of the problem. However, after six months of chasing the cartel members, and losing young girls to short, horrific experiences, something had to be done. And what happened damaged Magician almost beyond salvaging – but it destroyed Wraith.

Six months later, the story picks up with Wraith living in a ‘bolt hole’ in the Carolinas, working for Grady, an ex-Marine who now runs a games center, full to bursting with go-cart tracks, a monster arcade room, paintball arena, and all the other wonderful, safe, fun goodies that kids and teenagers swoon over. They both have their damaged pasts to overcome, but Wraith’s makes Grady’s look like child’s play. But they are going to have to work together, because the monsters are coming – and they are out for blood.

The story was excellent. Fast action, two strong, capable women with guns and knives and scars pushed all my “Yeah, Baby!!!” buttons. When Magician, Talon, Romeo and Cappy come back on the scene, it is with a level of heart that was real and touching, with a dose of kicking Wraith’s ass, which she certainly deserved. They all have to pull together to get the bad guys. And the bad guys aren’t all on the other side – there is plenty of political backstabbing (with real knives).

DePaul does an exceptional job of weaving the problems of the American tendency towards uncontrolled, private black-ops corporations into the story in a brilliantly realistic manner. Some people will do anything for power, and absolute power, with absolutely no oversight and lots and lots of guns and ammo is more dangerous than we care to admit. The other thing that was handled with a deft touch was PTSD and how it affects the strongest, steadiest soldiers. There is only so much that any human being can handle, no matter how intensive their training.

The only drawback for me, honestly, was Grady. For an ex-Marine, I found him to be, well, let’s just say he lacked sac. My Marine adoptive father would have kicked his backside from here to California. “Geeze, would you like a little cheese with that whine? You would think he went over to the sandbox and played with little pink unicorns and fairies in tutus . . . Just sayin’. Other than wimpy boy, everything else about the book was rock solid, but Mr. Crybaby Pants dropped it a half-star for me. Pfft. I liked Talon lots better! 😉

I received a copy directly from Ms. Depaul in return for a realistic review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About The Author:

P.depaulA. DePaul is a multi-genre romance author including paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense. As an avid lover of stories, you can pretty much bet her nose is either stuck in a book or in front of a computer madly typing as she listens to the voices in her head (In her world it’s perfectly natural for her characters to tell her their tale so she can put it down on paper to their satisfaction).

dat face!
Check my Website here!

facebook logo

addtogoodreads

twitter logo

Review: Exchange of Fire (An SBG Novel) by P.A. DePaul

Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. – George Washington

1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war. – Art 47. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977

Many military officials reportedly (also) expressed concerns that the security contractors were trigger-happy and “out-of-control cowboys who alienated the same Iraqis the military is trying to cultivate.” Defense Secretary Gates said that the contractors were at “cross purposes” with the military goals, and he suggested they be put under his authority. Opening Statement of Chairman Henry A.Waxman, in US Congress, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Hearing on Private Security Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, hearings, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., October 2, 2007

 

exchangeI first found Exchange of Fire on Reading In Pajamas and was intrigued. I love a “Kick Butt and Take Names” heroine, and Wraith definitively qualifies. A sharpshooting badass with a steady hand and a sharp eye, Wraith is part of a four-man (well, two men and two women, but you get the idea) with a super-secret, blackest-of-the-black private . . . well, corporation doesn’t really describe it. More like “If you even think that you know anything about the possibility of this group even existing, they will never find your body” sort of thing. Anyway! Nasty, nasty with razorblades on top.

But don’t think that this is all a bad deal. When the US government needs the really nasty, vicious, “how can they call these creatures humans” taken care of, they call SBG. And SBG gets it done. So, when they needed a cartel taken out that specialized in sex trafficking of young girls, Wraith, Magician, Talon and Romeo, and their leader, Cappy, are sent to Mexico to take care of the problem. However, after six months of chasing the cartel members, and losing young girls to short, horrific experiences, something had to be done. And what happened damaged Magician almost beyond salvaging – but it destroyed Wraith.

Six months later, the story picks up with Wraith living in a ‘bolt hole’ in the Carolinas, working for Grady, an ex-Marine who now runs a games center, full to bursting with go-cart tracks, a monster arcade room, paintball arena, and all the other wonderful, safe, fun goodies that kids and teenagers swoon over. They both have their damaged pasts to overcome, but Wraith’s makes Grady’s look like child’s play. But they are going to have to work together, because the monsters are coming – and they are out for blood.

The story was excellent. Fast action, two strong, capable women with guns and knives and scars pushed all my “Yeah, Baby!!!” buttons. When Magician, Talon, Romeo and Cappy come back on the scene, it is with a level of heart that was real and touching, with a dose of kicking Wraith’s ass, which she certainly deserved. They all have to pull together to get the bad guys. And the bad guys aren’t all on the other side – there is plenty of political backstabbing (with real knives).

DePaul does an exceptional job of weaving the problems of the American tendency towards uncontrolled, private black-ops corporations into the story in a brilliantly realistic manner. Some people will do anything for power, and absolute power, with absolutely no oversight and lots and lots of guns and ammo is more dangerous than we care to admit. The other thing that was handled with a deft touch was PTSD and how it affects the strongest, steadiest soldiers. There is only so much that any human being can handle, no matter how intensive their training.

The only drawback for me, honestly, was Grady. For an ex-Marine, I found him to be, well, let’s just say he lacked sac. My Marine adoptive father would have kicked his backside from here to California. “Geeze, would you like a little cheese with that whine? You would think he went over to the sandbox and played with little pink unicorns and fairies in tutus . . . Just sayin’. Other than wimpy boy, everything else about the book was rock solid, but Mr. Crybaby Pants dropped it a half-star for me. Pfft. I liked Talon lots better! 😉

About The Author:

P.depaulA. DePaul is a multi-genre romance author including paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense. As an avid lover of stories, you can pretty much bet her nose is either stuck in a book or in front of a computer madly typing as she listens to the voices in her head (In her world it’s perfectly natural for her characters to tell her their tale so she can put it down on paper to their satisfaction).

dat face!
Check my Website here!

facebook logo

addtogoodreads

twitter logo

New Reviews: The Bite Back Series by Mark Henwick – INCREDIBLE!!!!

There is always something special about a new book in a favorite series coming out. I get to read the previous editions before reading the newest. It draws me back into the story, reminding me of things I may have forgotten, and building the characters back up in my mind.

Wild_Card_Cover_04_WithTitles
Wild Card – Book Three – Bite Back Series

I just finished re-reading the first two books of The Amber Farrell Series, and then had the pure and distinct privilege of reading the newest Wild Card. Siiiiiggghhhhh…… OK, Mark, ready for the next!

Re-reading Slight of Hand and Hidden Trump was actually even more enjoyable this time than the first time(s) I read them. Maybe because I am always so unutterably thrilled every time one comes out that I literally inhale the books, cover to cover, without taking time to really slow down and enjoy. It feels much like being lost in the desert for days, and then being offered a cool, clean drink of water. The tendency is to gulp the water down, no matter how good it tastes.

This time, I did things differently. I drank slowly, in small sip, holding the cool inside my mouth, tasting and enjoying. And this time? The excellence of the vintage truly overwhelmed me. I’m not kidding. Not exaggerating. Mark really is that good. His stories are urban fantasy that is true. However, they are so much more than that. Mystery, suspense, thriller, horror, and a literary world of endless wonder. And that is just the stories. The technical excellence, the prose itself, is beautifully done, drawing you into a new and slightly different world than our own. A world where wonder and pain blend into a new and deeply touching reality.

Amber Farrell is unlike the ‘typical’ UF heroine. She was an Army grunt, specializing in the type of dirty ops that no one wants to do, but everyone needs done. And she is a patriot, doing her duty without complaint, following the rules, leading her team, morning the loss of any of her team who doesn’t make it. She is strong, vital, and in charge.

And then things go horribly, horribly wrong.

sleight of hand
Book One – Bite Back Series
Click to Order!

Betrayed by the government, by her team and her leaders, Amber is pushed out of the fold, spied upon and mistrusted for reasons beyond her control. For Amber is something different – a survivor of a hideous attack in the jungles of South America that left her team dead and her own throat torn out. Damage that healed within five days, and left Amber something more than human.

The Amber Farrell story is amazing. Broad in scope, fast paced, and as I said before, extremely well written. It doesn’t really matter what genre you prefer – as far as I am concerned, it doesn’t matter what you like, because you are really going to love these books. In Sleight of Hand we meet Amber as she is a private investigator in Denver, scraping along in her job and reporting occasionally to Colonel Laine, her old boss, to undergo blood tests – blood tests to decide if it is time for Amber to go back to be locked into a windowless cell, far below the earth, to be studied and dissected by secret government medical teams. The story starts out with a bang, and continues at a breathless pace, much like the works of James Rollins, where the actions pile up upon one another. However, unlike the uberfast pace of Rollins or Cussler, the story is the thing with Henwick. Ambers character starts out well and continues to develop through all three books. And she has a lot of development that she must handle. For she is even more than was once thought. She is becoming Athanate, the truth of the vampire tales, after her attack in South America. But there is more, a great deal more, for her to face. And to survive.

hidden trump
Book Two – Bite Back Series
Click to Order!

Book Two, Hidden Trump picks up the story with a bang, as Amber slips away from a horrendous battle, filled with death and destruction, sliding away before the FBI, and other, more unknown and even more deadly agencies, manage to capture her. For things are getting more and more dangerous for Amber, as well as for her friends. Her life is changing, sometimes violently, into something she no longer understands. And there are those out there who would capture her and turn her to their own needs – no matter what it does to Amber or her friends and family. War is coming – War beyond anything the world has ever seen.

Now, we are blessed with Book Three, Wild Card. Things were rough for Amber in Book Two, as her physical and mental changes, her lifestyle and the mysterious powers and peoples around her threaten her mind, body, and soul. Who can she trust? Or can she truly trust anyone at all? Again, the action is fast and furious, but the character development and story continue to grow and expand in an exceptional manner.  You are drawn breathlessly and with deep excitement into a story that is one of the most well written and creative available today. Layers and layers of story, character development and world building makes this a must not miss tale. Pamper yourself – read the books. You will not be disappointed!!!!!!

raw deal
Raw Deal – The Prequel to The Bite Back Series
Click to Order, and read first!

Oh, and don’t forget – Raw Deal. This prequel to the Bite Back series introduces you to Amber, and tells the story of her first contact with The Athanate in Denver. Just as exciting as the rest of the series, I would recommend that you start with the prequel, though it was printed later than the first two. It is simply amazing, just as the rest of the books are!

 

 

Get Excited —– Jazz is on her way BACK!

Just did my first beta read of Fallen Eyes by J. K. Walker. I can’t tell you how excited I am. It is always such a thrill when I can follow the career of new writers and watch them grow. Especially when they grow into wonderful storytellers!

glacial eyes
The first book in the Series.
Click to order your copy.

I first found J. K. Walker when he asked for a review of his first book in his Salt Lake After Dark series, Glacial Eyes (Salt Lake After Dark, #1). Anyone who knows me and my reading style knows that I love a strong, thoughtfully designed female character, and Jazz most certainly met that requirement. An orphan, Jazz is putting herself through school, sharing an apartment with her best friend and her gray tomcat Loki. An attempted rape at an outdoor party leads to Jazz discovering she is much more than what she thought – in more ways than one.

Unlike a lot of female ‘heroines’ Jazz was neither whiny nor an unbelievable super-heroine. Instead, her strength is tempered by a knowledge of how much she doesn’t know, and how much she still has to learn about who, and what, she is. Yep, I was absolutely HOOKED on the characters and storyline of what goes on in Salt Lake After Dark!

The second book, Hollow Eyes continued the series, as Jazz became more knowledgeable about her new condition and about the strange new world she now inhabits. Now a supernatural problem solver, Jazz has a new and difficult life, a new boyfriend who is far from being a “real boy” and a cannibal running the streets of Salt Lake City that she is expected to find and destroy. Wow. A bit of a change, from simple college student to supernatural enforcer!

hollow eyes
The second book in the series.
Click to order your copy.

I have to admit, as much as I loved the first two books, I held out a star, giving them four-stars in my reviews. Bad Leiah – I was holding out to see where the series went, and by this time I was talking with J. K. Walker about his series and characters and truly beginning to love the stories he was writing.

sanguine pic
The third book in the series.
Click to order your copy!

Then came the third book, Sanguine Eyes. Now, finally, that final star comes out, a five-star read. Up until now, Jazz has faced a serial killer, a berserker, a wendigo, and even a zombie invasion. Damn, girl! That is a LOT to ask from a college girl, wouldn’t you say? And yet, now things get even stranger, as a mystical drug called Sanguine drives human addicts to have the horrifying strength and speed of vampires – and even less control.

Now, J. K. Walker is well on his way to delivering Fallen Eyes, the fourth in the series – and this one is all set to blow even the excellence of the last three out of the water. Jazz has grown, mentally, emotionally, and physically through the last three books, and this installment is pulling her character development together, bringing her knowledge, her strength, and her pain, into sharp focus. Currently loosely scheduled for a January release, you have to put this on your “must purchase” list if you are at all interested in a brilliant urban fantasy world. You will not be disappointed. Walker is fast approaching the strength of some of my favorite authors, such as Charles deLint and the team of Ilona Andrews.

Check out the two short-stories by Walker set in the Salt Lake After Dark world. In My Time of Dying, an Amazon Freebie the heartbreaking and hopeful story of David and Angel, and Frat House of the Dead, which gives you more background on one of my favorite secondary characters, Rachel the Technowitch.

This series is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

J. K. Walker is a Utah native that has been telling stories since he was first able to talk. Author of the “Salt Lake After Dark” series that follows Jasmine Bedeau and her friends, both normal and supernatural, through their adventures in a paranormal world hidden within our own.

A Sunday Update of This and That

There are a lot of things going on for me in the book world in the next couple of weeks. I am doing a re-edit for Erich Penhoff’s Savage Roads, the first book in the Savage Series. I have finished the edit on the second book in the series, A Savage Death and it will be published mid-month. Watch here for the publication announcement! Aren’t the cover’s great? They are by LLPIX Photography. If you like high action, unusual characters, and wonderfully drawn international locations, you are going to love these two books. The third, unnamed volume will be hitting my desk soon, and I can hardly wait!

savageroads A SAVAGE DEATH

Today I am hoping to finish the edit for Kelly Graham’s Eyes of the Many. It seems like all of the books I am working on these days have killer covers!  This one is awesome too, isn’t it?  I will add the name of the artist later. Currently, my list is being developed of different cover artists who have been recommended to me, or who I have found myself that I really like and who do a great job. Watch for it to show up soon.

eyes of the many

coconut-lemongrass-chai
Coconut Lemongrass Chai Tea

A few things of a more personal and “just for fun” nature!  I just made a big pot of Cucumber Mojito tea, after guzzling about a gallon of English Tea this morning. I finally took a minute to order more tea from Tea Guys (woo hoo!) so will be receiving more Pu-Erh (an aged black that my housemate is addicted to), Darjeeling (my favorite straight black) and smaller bag of Coconut Lemongrass Chai . It is very refreshing, and besides, who can’t love something that is this pretty when it comes out of the bag?

I also threw in small bags of Watermelon Lime Green Tea (hey, my two favorite flavours, gotta try it, right?)

morning-americano
Morning Americano Black Tea
watermelon-lime
Watermelon Lime Green Tea
coconut coffee
Gotta have my Dunkin’!

Along with these, I am also trying the Morning Americano which I am hoping will sort of make up for the fact that I have always been addicted to coffee, but really need to cut back (but I am NOT giving up my Dunkin’ Donuts Coconut Coffee!)

In other news, I am working on a cover for my 7-cup tea pot (isn’t it a hoot? It has a matching cup that goes with it…)

teapot
Fun Teapot!
grecian lovely
Grecian Lovely from Really Wild Tea Cosies

So, I am using the Really Wild Tea Cosies book by Loani Prior again. The pattern is Grecian Lovely. Of course, I have to do things differently, right? So my Grecian Lovely is a bit brighter than this one – the side I am working on looks all neat and tidy, huh? Well, of course, it doesn’t really look like that on the other side – LOL!!  Of course, it will be good to get a cosy made for it, seeing as how this one’s ‘skirt’ is a bit short!

Well, 4-pot covers aren’t really made for 7-cup pots, huh?

teapot cover
Teapot showing it’s bottom . . .
IMGP1685
Starting on one side. Flat knitting on each side.
IMGP1686
What a mess, huh?
new directions in lace
New Directions In Lace
lace yarn
Eggplant lace yarn from See Jayne Knit.

Oh, and I signed up for a class at Craftsy.com called New Directions in Lace.  I can take the class any time I want, in stages, so any time I get a moment to play with it, I can do it. Cool, huh? It is a really beautiful pattern, and I have this lace-weight yarn from See Jayne Knit.  It will be interesting to see if she can make me more of this, as there are 825-yards and I need about 1200-1300 yards!

Well, enough piddling around. Time to get to work on Eyes especially as I am really looking forward to it!

Review: The Chimera Vector – Nathan M. Farrugia – Four Stars

chimera vector
Click to order the book.

The Chimera Vector is special. A heart-pounding blend of science fiction and thriller, the story line grabs your attention at the first and doesn’t let go. Not only does the story provide all the action and thrills that I love in a book of this sort, Farrugia knows his stuff when it comes to genetic manipulation, world governments, secret organizations, and the human need for power and wealth above all else.

Imagine the horror of waking up one day to discover that everything you thought was real was a lie – that instead of being the good guy, you find out that you are the monster under the bed. The horror destined to change the fate of the world. And truly, not in a good way. Hidden agendas, terrorism disguised as patriotism, genetic manipulation and deadly viruses (oh, my!) and plots within plots make this a lively and breathtaking read.

As some have said, there is a comparison to be drawn between Rollins and Farrugia. The action and adventure and edge of the seat thrills are definitely there. I would agree, however, that Rollins is in a class of his own when it comes to this genre. As this was Farrugia’s first book, before The Searphim Sequence: The Column 2, I will have to see how the next one goes to see how much closer he gets to that Rollins ideal.  As the reviewer on Amazon identified as “lifeguard48” stated, there is a very “Manchurian Candidate” vibe. I would add in a heavy dose of Huxley, a smidge of “Gattica” and a bow to   Methuselah’s Virus. Toss in a bit of Crichton and le Carre and you have a book with all the energy of a triple shot of espresso with a side of terror.

This is a great book. If you like action, check it out!  Recommended.

Nine Month Review

Mark’s input on his sales, rankings, ratings, etc. is fascinating reading. It is always a huge question for authors, especially self-published authors. How do you best get your work out there in an efficient, cost effective manner which helps get your work in front of the right people?
I had to laugh, under “Ratings and reviews” he posts that he didn’t get any good ratings from the people he sent review requests too. I, of course, e-mailed in high dudgeon (we had been conversing by e-mail for some time by now, very pleasantly, about his books, and I had written a rather fawning review . . . ) about how I most certainly HAD written a good review for him. He replied, with a laugh, that yes, I had, but I was one of those “unplanned” reviews he loved so much. Uh, Oh. Yea. LOL!! I read “Sleight of Hand” and was totally charmed by his writing, his characters and his world building. So, of course, being me, I wrote and told him so. That e-mail led to long e-mail conversations which I have very much enjoyed and continue to this day.
As i was going through my e-mails, I noticed this blog post and realized how smart it is and how helpful I thought it was. Therefore, here it is, and I hope you find it as interesting as I did..
Now. GO OUT AND BUY MARK’S BOOKS! You will be very glad you did!

Mark Henwick

Sales, rankings, ratings, reviews and marketing roundup

This has my numbers!

It has the worst marketing mistake I made!

It has a challenge to find a book that beats SoH’s rating!

It has a reading recommendation while you wait for Wild Card!

It has predictions 🙂

This is pretty much the last opportunity I’ll have to feed back on the success of my first phase marketing plan for the Bite Back series, so I’m taking some time out from Wild Card to report. It is also a suitable date for an analysis, as it’s 9 months (plus a few days) after I pressed the Amazon Save & Publish button for Sleight of Hand.

The reason for this being the last opportunity is that, soon Raw Deal will be published, and this prequel novella is being provided free as a marketing ploy. This is a significant change from the original marketing, which was based primarily on…

View original post 1,015 more words

Review: Patricia Briggs – Frost Burned

Audio is the way to go with Patricia Briggs!
Audio is the way to go with Patricia Briggs!

MONSTER FIVE STAR REVIEW!!!!

This is a review of the Audio Edition, which I highly recommended.

I have a confession. There are certain authors that, whenever they have a new book coming out, I go back and re-listen to all their books and short stories, in order, to prepare myself for the newest installment. It has always been my habit with series I love the most, allowing me to re-immerse myself into the series and all the characters. And, as always, Mercy (and Patricia, of course ((GRIN)) don’t disappoint in this newest installment to the series.
Mercy is tough. Tougher, smarter, and classier than nearly any other Urban Fantasy heroine out there today. She has been through hell in the last couple of years, and the quality of Patricia’s follow through and deep care for the development of her characters is still as amazing as always.

Mercy has been beaten, tortured, shot, burned and variously abused. And, she has been raped. Patricia’s handling of that rape was brilliant. She didn’t break Mercy completely, but she definitely is taking her time helping Mercy heal completely. Her handling of the situation across the last few books has been masterful, making me wonder if Patricia might possibly know someone who had this happen to her. The great thing about her responses is the way Mercy(Patricia) is so honest in her handling of the situation, and how her friends all gather around her, support her, and help her through it. She killed the person who did it to her – bully for her!!!! And it wasn’t someone she trusted and had a true relationship with. Unlike other writers, Patricia didn’t make it a close “friend” and she didn’t make her carry the blame for what happened. Sure, she fells at fault at first, but she isn’t made to wallow in guilt and shame. Her flashbacks and panic attacks are realistic, but she comes to realize that she is not truly at fault. Patricia gains my undying respect for that. But, that is another book, the story line carried into this book, but not overwhelming it. Mercy is getting better. Good for her!!

The story line continues soon after the events of “River Marked” where Mercy was once again drug into a situation outside of her control, and did her best to handle it as she always does – she sees what needs to be done, and does it, no matter the cost to herself.

As in her other stories, Mercy is strong, secure and focused. She knows, going in, that it is going to cost her for what she does. But she does it anyway, because it is right and good and true. She is the kind of person anyone could wish themselves to be. She doesn’t whine and complain, she just does the right thing. She is given what she needs to get the job done, and she does it. Often, at great cost – especially to her body, and sometimes to her very soul.

One of the other things I like about Mercy is her relationship with Adam. He is an alpha wolf and a strong one. But he doesn’t lord over Mercy. He doesn’t shove her around, force her to submit to his will. He loves her the way she is, tough as nails, scarred and beaten up and all. He knows that she does what she does because it is right and good. He doesn’t try to overwhelm, but he does give her the support she needs. In this edition, it is him and the rest of the Pack that Mercy is coming to the rescue of, and he knows without doubt that he can rely on her in all things. Very impressive in a writer.

Many of the other characters in the series make a stronger appearance in this edition than they have had the opportunity for in past books, and I love that. Patricia’s ‘extras on set’ are fascinating in their own right, with back stories that deserve all the attention they can get. She could go on writing this series for as many books as she wishes, and I would invest in every one. But I would also happily invest in books lead by some of the other characters as well – especially Zee. I was, however, heartbroken by the loss of a pivotal member of the story. I know, I know, losses are to be expected, and there has been little true loss through the story line, but the loss of this particular character had me in tears.

As for Stephen, Mercy’s vampire friend – well, I am prejudiced. It would be very, very hard for me to be friends with Stephen, no matter what. Hey, there has to be someone you can’t bring yourself to like, right? Well, besides Marcillia . . . Stephen has been around since that witch Marcillia first showed up in what was an undiscovered country back in their day – and had everything to do with the fact that Mercy is nearly alone as a Walker these days. Stupid vampires. Hate em, hate em . . .

Even though Stephen is a “friend” of Mercy’s, he is still just as guilty as Marcillia and the others of slaughtering Mercy’s people. No forgiveness here, Stephen! Of course, as a “Native” myself I am allowed to be bitter about the slaughter of our peoples, right? That is my excuse, and I am sticking with it!

Overall, Patricia’s series is quality all the way. As I always listen to her books, I can also assure you that Lorelei King again delivers an incredible narration. We have been blessed to have her brilliant voice as Mercy for each of the books in the series and she never disappoints. Much as Renée Raudman IS Kate Daniels, Lorelei IS Mercy. Talk about matches made in Heaven!

You can read “Frost Burned” as a stand alone. However, I don’t recommend it. You would be depriving yourself of a brilliant writer’s work, magnificent characters (even those you love to hate), tremendous world building and many hours of pure pleasure.

Highly, highly recommended – as in, however many stars you want to add on to the FIVE I give all of the Mercy Thompson books, you may still want to toss in a few, they are THAT good.

Here is a list of Mercy Thompson books, in order. I HIGHLY recommend that you start at the first and go all the way through. It is well worth it!

moon called

Moon Called: Mercy Thompson, Book 1

blood bound

Blood Bound: Mercy Thompson, Book 2

iron kissed

Iron Kissed: Mercy Thompson, Book 3

Bone Crossed: Mercy Thompson, Book 4 bone crossed

silver borne

Silver Borne: Mercy Thompson, Book 5

River Marked: Mercy Thompson, Book 6river marked

Audio IS the way to go with Patricia Briggs!!!
Audio IS the way to go with Patricia Briggs!!!

And I just saw on Patty’s website the name of her next installment:NIGHT BROKEN!!!!

Doesn’t say when, but it is going on my MUST BUY IMMEDIATELY FROMaudible  list!!!

Hidden Trump (Bite Back #2) Mark Henwick

hidden trumpWhen I first read Sleight of Hand: Bite Back Book 1 (Volume 1), the first book by Mark Henwick, I was, in a word, thrilled. Yes, there are a lot of unknown authors out there, many self published, and many very good. Mark, however, knocked the ball out of the park in his freshman entry into the crowded field of urban fantasy.

Mark’s exceptional grasp of character development is the first thing that gripped my attention. His main character, Amber, is a fully three-dimensional character, with a strong back story. She felt, in SoH, like someone I could see myself knowing and liking. She wasn’t an overblown character by any means, but she was tough, centered, and above all she feels ‘real’ in an unreal situation. I was very, very excited, and could hardly wait to read the next in Mark’s series. Thank goodness I read it ‘late’ i.e., not long before the next book was due to be released. It would have been a killer to have to wait a whole year for the next! (OF course, now I have to wait for the next, siiiiiggggghhhhh)

The very first day Hidden Trump became available, I sat down and started to read – and didn’t put it down until 5:47 the next morning . . .(*yawn*) I kept meaning to put it down, really I did – I did manage to feed the pups, but not to feed myself! Go to bed? Nah, just one more page. . . one more . . . one more. . .

“Hidden Trump” picks up the same day as the ending of SoH, and the excitement doesn’t stop. There is plenty of action to Mark’s books, both SoH and HT, and it keeps you riveted to the page. However, unlike other books of the genre the action is, even though it includes werewolves, Athanate and Adepts (oh, my!) amazingly believable. While she is ‘becoming’ (and that, in itself, is absolutely fascinating – one of the most creative bits of character development/mythos building I have run across in a very, very long time) and she is both strong and fast, she still takes her share of hits both emotional and physical.

There are a couple of what some would call ‘oddball’ things about Mark’s work that left me more than a little impressed. You may laugh at what it is – military and political knowledge. I have quite a bit of it myself, and Mark’s knowledge is almost scarily correct, for a ‘Brit’ – LOL. Secret military groups, political machinations, the fleecing of the American public by the rich, drugs and guns and bad guys (oh, my!) Oh, yea, Mark knows his stuff! Sound boring? Believe me, it is anything but. Amber’s interactions with the military that turned their backs on her after ten years of totally dedicated service touched me on a deep level. Her dedication, repaid by betrayal, is the story of the American military/political system. I know, I know, lay off it, this is an urban fantasy, right? Yes, but what I just spoke of is paramount to who Amber is, her motivations, and her deep commitment to helping others.

Mark’s character development is still spot-on, his world is continuously building throughout both books (and I am sure it will be in the next installments also) and is all the more outstanding for it. Mark doesn’t fall into the ‘pure style’ trap that so many other writers seem to fall into. There are background characters in Amber’s life, most especially Top (whose story was learned in SoH) whose history is integral to Amber’s and requires full development as character, even if they sometimes lead away from what is going on at the moment. It all fits together. Mark doesn’t disappoint.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑