Demon Soul by T.G. Ayer

Demon Soul: A SoulTracker Novel #4: A DarkWorld Series (DarkWorld: SoulTracker)Demon Soul: A SoulTracker Novel #4: A DarkWorld Series by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

Mel’s poltergeist is getting the better of her and she can’t wait for Saleem or Drake to get back from dealing with their family issues to get rid of it. Working with her hacker, Steph, and Natasha, her witch friend, she heads out to New Orleans to find the witch-doctor who burdened her with the curse and find a way to end it.

Because Mel can travel through the planes of reality the story jumps around a lot in terms of location – and different planes have their own rules of reality, so there were a few places where I found myself having to go back and re-read a bit because it got a touch confusing. That said, the story held my interest and I’m eager to find out what happens next.

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Book Review: The Kingdom by J.R. Mabry

The Kingdom (Berkeley Blackfriars #1)The Kingdom by J.R. Mabry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

J.R. Mabry has done a great job creating one of the most interesting collection of characters I’ve come across. The main characters are a group of Friars, who are part of the Old Catholic church – an independent group of churches that have separated from the hierarchy of the Roman Catholics – but they’re not what you’d expect for Catholic clergy.

For starters they’re decidedly not celibate, and there are a couple of rather explicit scenes involving gay sex. They swear, drink, smoke weed and will do pretty much whatever they need to in order to fight the very real demons that creep into our world – including learning practices from non-Christian faiths including Wicca, Enochian and Goetic magick and shamanism.

No, they’re not traditional Friars, but the story makes it clear that there’s no doubting the sincerity of their faith.

There’s a lot of humour in the book and a lot of tension. Between the disappearance of all the avocados in the world, demonic possessions to dispel and their very human vulnerabilities, the Friars keep busy. I enjoyed just how real the characters come across. I found myself laughing, crying, celebrating and mourning with them – cheering them on and getting mad at them.

This is the first book of a trilogy and the next two parts are due to come out in the first half of 2018. I’m looking forward to seeing what they get to handle with next.

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Book Review: Time and Fate by TG Ayer

Time & Fate (Hand of Kali, #3)Time & Fate by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.

Maya’s abilities continue to grow – as does her budding relationship with Nick – in the third installment of the series.

The goddess Kali has granted Maya the ability to bend time, but when she makes use of her new ability after a mission goes wrong, she discovers that it confers with a price.

Quite a bit happens in the book, moving the overall story along at a nice pace. There are several surprises in store and it was nice to see her parents and Claudia being more involved in the action.

I liked that they was more than one mission in the book and that we learn more about some of the key players. It was also interesting to see Maya having to deal with the repercussions of using her expanded powers, and I really enjoy her gentle romance with Nick.

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Book Review : Demon Kin by TG Ayer

Demon Kin (DarkWorld: Soul Tracker, #)Demon Kin by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this second outing with Mel Morgan we’re treated to a nice mystery as a wealthy man who recently lost his wife hires Mel to find his missing daughter. There are a number of nice twists and turns without the mystery ever becoming too overwrought or confusing and in the end the pieces fit together well.

But that mystery is hardly the only thing going on in this book. We check in on Saleem’s search for his mother, get more info on Mel’s hope of one day finding her sister, a new conundrum for Mel to figure out and some solid character development. Oh, and we also get a substantial visit from Kai Odell the panther shifter from Ayer’s other series set in her Dark World universe. Don’t worry, though, she provides enough information about what’s happening in Kai’s story to make sense of what’s going on even if you aren’t reading that series as well – without overloading those who are with info they already know.

If, however, you are reading both the Soul Tracker and Skinwalker series, be sure to read the first three books in Skinwalkers (Skin Deep, Lost Soul, and Last Chance) *before* reading this book as it contains several spoilers for Last Chance.

As I’ve come to expect, Ayer keeps the story moving along at a steady pace and I really appreciate her ability to fill her stories with multiple subplots and interesting characters while still making it easy to follow the action and not just remember who’s who but also be able to find points of connection with them.

On to the next one!

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Book Review: The Dark Interest by JP Sloan

The Dark Interest (The Dark Choir #4)The Dark Interest by J.P. Sloan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


I’ve loved this series since I started reading it, and have eagerly awaited each new installment. I have yet to be let down, and the series just keeps getting better.

Dorian Lake has been having a rough time lately. As if losing his soul wasn’t bad enough, his troubles from the magical world are affecting his friends – some in truly awful ways – messing with his lovelife and getting him caught in the middle of an internal war within one of the most powerful magical groups in the country. And while he has never wanted to participate in Netherwork (dark magic) his enemies aren’t leaving him a lot of options.

In this story, Dorian’s slow-but-steady fail continues as he realizes that demonic forces are trying to create mass chaos in his city and he finds someone who claims to know where is soul is – but will only tell him if he can get concessions from a new group in town. Of course, this new group has conditions of its own if he wants their assistance. Not helping matters any is an upstart practitioner who is competing with Dorian for customers, and winning a bit too often for Dorian’s taste.

Author JP Sloan managers to juggle all of these elements with a deft hand and throws in several twists just to keep things interesting. One thing I particularly liked was that none of the twists were so obvious that I was able to predict what was going to happen, yet when I reflected back on the events leading up to them, I could see how Sloan had carefully set each element up so that when the dominos began to fall it all made sense.

This story was by turns exciting, humorous, touching and devastating. Sloan has created a believable alternate reality and stocked it with interesting – and generally likeable inhabitants. I like that his characters are not clearly divided into good guys and bad ones. Instead, they’re multi-dimensional with both positive and negative attributes. It’s hard to watch a character like Dorian – who I’ve grown quite fond of – falling so far and harder still to know he’s probably not reached bottom yet, but I’m really eager to find out what happens next and to see how – or if – Dorian can be redeemed.

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Book Review: Shadows of the Archworld by Monica Leonelle

Shadow of the Archworld (Hallows & Nephilim: Waters Dark and Deep #3)Shadow of the Archworld by Monica Leonelle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book free in exchange for an honest review.

This is the third book in a series (“Waters Deep and Dark”) that keeps getting better as it progresses, and this time, I found myself reading the entire book in a single sitting. Ms. Leonelle fills in some of the blanks about her world, and the different plotlines are coalescing into solid threads as it becomes clearer who are allies, who are adversaries, and who’s willing to play both sides against each other – barring any unforeseen plot twists, of course.

The twists and character changes in this installment have been nicely set up by the previous books, though a couple of times I found myself having to go back to one of the earlier novels to refresh my memory of what had happened there.

I have to admit that after reading the first book, I was a bit dubious about the series, but there was enough that I enjoyed and a strong glimmer of promise that made me want to continue. I’m really glad I did.

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Book Review: Hunters of the Mortals by Monica Leonelle

Hunters of the Mortals (Hallows & Nephilim: Waters Dark and Deep #2)Hunters of the Mortals by Monica Leonelle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Monica Leonelle continues to build Archworld in this second installment of her “Waters Deep and Dark” series.This book marks a distinct improvement over the first volume as it avoids the somewhat confusing chronology and overly-quick acceptance of revelations that most people would need a while to assimilate.

The story itself continues to be quite interesting and I’m definitely curious to find out what happens next. I enjoyed getting to know the characters better, and the heroes are people I enjoy spending time with. My only serious complaint is that we were introduced to another faction – the Trinities – but there was no real explanation of who they are or what their purpose is, something I look forward to finding out in the next book.

Book Review: “Instruments of the Angels” by Monica Leonelle

Instruments of the Angels (Hallows & Nephilim: Waters Dark and Deep #1)Instruments of the Angels by Monica Leonelle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of “Instruments of the Angels” free in exchange for an honest review.

“Instruments of the Angels” is an interesting story with a lot of promise that gets dragged down by some confused pacing and odd characterizations. The plot of the story is good. Monica Leonelle does a good job of creating he world and introducing the reader to it, and her protagonists are – for the most part – distinct and likable, and her villains are suitably dark and ominous.

Two of the biggest issues I had with the book were trying to understand the timeframe during which the story takes place and the believability of the way some characters reacted to changes that come about because of the events of the story. When I talk about the timeframe of the story, I don’t mean this in regards to the era in which the story is set – is quite clearly in the present time – but rather in how much time passes between events and in the story overall. There are some places where it sounds like multiple days have passed during which the story takes place – especially since one character talks about dreams he has which then prompts him to take certain actions the next day – but there are other points where it seems like a considerable amount of the action is supposedly happening over the course of a single day. I found myself having to go back and recheck things I’d already read just to try to keep the timeline somewhat clear. As for the believability of the characters, one of the main characters learns information that’s would typically turn someone’s world upside down, yet she accepts it is true very quickly and without asking a lot of the expected questions one would normally have.

All that said, however, I truly enjoyed the story. It’s a fresh take on the concept of net for them and their involvement in our world and offers a few different threads of ministry – all of which feel vital and provide the characters with an appropriate motivation for their actions. Even though I had issues with this book that led me to have to give it a three-*rating, I’m interested enough in what I read that I’ll wanted to read the next installment, and hopefully some of these issues will have been cleared up by then.

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