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: Blood and Ink by Holly Evans

Blood & Ink (Ink Born #2)Blood & Ink by Holly Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.

This is the second book in Holly Evans “Ink Born” series and picks up right where “Stolen Ink” left off, with Dacian and friends moving to a new city in hopes of staying ahead of those who’d like to use his special skills for their own ends.

One result of the move is that he is no longer able to be his own boss, and getting used to working for someone else isn’t easy. Plus there are, of course, the emotional ramifications of such a sudden move and the stress it can put on any relationship, and new relationships to be forged. Worse, Kieran is faced with a family tragedy and needs the support of his friend. With all that already on his plate, when Dacian is drawn into a new mystery and the ink network tries to force an even tighter bond, he finds himself struggling to keep it all together.

The only complaint I had with the book is that the author had a few phases that, to me, were overused, and on a couple of occasions, it seemed like a brief passage of dialog was repeated almost word for word. Still, the story, characters and the world they exist in are compelling and quite enjoyable

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Book Review: Blood Curse by TG Ayer

Blood Curse (DarkWorld: Soul Tracker, #3)Blood Curse by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.

Mel certainly keeps herself busy! This time out she not only has a demanding new client, but the problems brought about by the poltergeist she’s been cursed with are becoming increasingly more dangerous making it even more critical that she find out who’s behind it, and she’s worried for both her gargoyle companion, Drake, and her boyfriend, Saleem, who are dealing with family matters that may take them from her side.

Clearly, there’s a lot of action here, but it’s well paced. As always with this series, there’s nice character growth and it’s interesting to try and figure out what all this is leading up to. While I missed seeing more of Drake and Saleem, there are some new characters introduced that I suspect will become more important as the story progresses, and sending them off on personal matters made room to get to know these new ones better. I just hope both will be back by the next installment.

If you’re reading both this series and the Skinwalker series, be sure to read the fourth Skinwalker book “Blood Promise” before this one as there are spoilers here for what happens in that story.

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Book Review: Gears of Fate by Wilbert Stanton

Gears of Fate (Forgotten Gods #1)Gears of Fate by Wilbert Stanton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

“Gears of Fate” is a fun read, but it gets off to a bit of a slow start. The world the story takes place in takes a bit of explaining, and the idea of the Norse and Greek Gods working together felt a bit odd to me – though that may be more a function of my great love for the Norse Gods and their lore than anything else. The biggest hurdle for me to overcome, though, was that the lead female character came off rather spoiled and self-centered, leaving me wondering how enjoyable taking a journey with her would be. Thankfully, once the preliminary “setting up” of the story is done and we’re off to the adventure, we see that there’s much more to her than that initial impression suggested and I quickly succumbed to her charms.

The slow-ish start aside, the only real issue I had with the book is that while the steampunk elements work beautifully in the sky-city setting, there are times when the characters are on Earth that it feels a bit tacked on. So much of the Fae world has a natural and organic sense to it that having a creature need its engine wound or seeing a fairy with metal wings jars a bit, though by no means did it stop me from enjoying the story and the world in which it is set.

I particularly liked the way that the author avoided many of the tropes found in the young-people-on-an-impossible-quest genre, and he does a nice job of providing just enough foreshadowing that when a late-in-the-book twist is revealed, it doesn’t feel like it came from out of nowhere.

While this book is subtitled “Forgotten Gods #1” I was quite pleased to find that the story didn’t leave me hanging, waiting months to find out how things turn out. In fact, I initially thought it was a stand alone book, though there is easily plenty of room left for more stories to be told, and I look forward to visiting this world and these characters again.

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of “Psycho”