Gods Ascendant: Apsara Chronicles 2 by T.G. Ayer

Gods Ascendent (Apsara Chronicles #2)Gods Ascendent by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the second book in T.G. Ayer’s “Apsara Chronicles” series. The heroine, Vee, is tasked with helping to prevent demons from invading the earth from their own dimension. She works with a special unit on the FBI and is assisted by a hellhound who can take human form, an owl shifter, her mom, dad and former step-father, and – just maybe – by the ghost of her recently deceased grandmother, unless that’s something she’s imagining to cope with her grief. When an unusual murder and kidnapping indicate things might be changing in the demon world – and not for the better – Vee and company need to work with the local authorities to resolve the case without giving away the supernatural nature of the situation – or getting killed in the process.

The characters are fun and well-written. The side characters give the main ones a nice range of personalities and attitudes to play off of and help keep the story moving at a good pace. I’ve really enjoyed both books in this series. I like that they’re based in Hindu mythology, something I haven’t run across as much as Greek, Roman or Norse, and find it adds a really fresh element to the urban fantasy setup.

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Fury and Virtue by T.G. Ayer

Fury & Virtue: The Hand of Kali #4 (The Hand of Kali Series Book 4)Fury & Virtue: The Hand of Kali #4 by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

Maya’s back in action as her dreams begin to invade her reality and the KALIMA organization seems to be turning against her family.

The story was good and moved quickly. Maya and Nik’s romance is as sweet as ever and getting more serious – Nik took Maya to meet his mom! There were some really nice scenes of Maya and her father working together and Joss was fun as always.

All in all a good installment that keeps the series fresh and me wanting more.

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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: Blood and Gold by TG Ayer

Blood & Gold (Hand of Kali, #2)Blood & Gold by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book.

For most of her life Maya had been skeptical about her parents religious beliefs and the work they do for the goddess Kali. Discovering that she is the Hand of Kali, however, and meeting some members of the Hindu pantheon has understandably given her a new perspective on things. And so it is that we find her now accompanying her parents on the job as the second installment in this series opens. I liked getting a chance to see what her parents do and through that to learn a bit more about Indian folklore.

Of course, working with her parents is just a small appetizer before getting into the meat of the story. Maya receives a summons from Lord Shiva, the most powerful god in the Hindu pantheon, who has a mission for her. With Nik and Joss along to help, she sets out to fulfill the request Lord Shiva has made.

A lot happens in this book. In addition to her main mission, Maya also finds that her friend Ria needs her help, as does an acquaintance of hers and a grieving mother she meets along the way. Sometimes when so much happens in a story it can become a bit tiring to read. Ayer does a good job of pacing the plot so that doesn’t happen here.

There are some interesting twists to the story. As usual, Ayer nicely sets them up so that they don’t feel completely out of the blue without telegraphing them. It’ll be fun to see what surprises are in store in the next volume.

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Book Review: Fire and Shadow by TG Ayer

Fire & Shadow (Hand of Kali, #1)Fire & Shadow by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book in TG Ayer’s “Hand of Kali” series, this one centered around the gods and legends of Hinduism.

Even though she’s been raised by a family devoted to the Hindu gods, Maya Rao doesn’t believe they’re real. That makes it all the more shocking when she discovers that she was born to be the Hand of Kali – her warrior on Earth to battle the Rakshasa demons who can possess people in order to do their master’s bidding and sometimes kill people just for the fun of it, so some serious evil here. Maya remains skeptical about her status even after she experiences her new-found abilities, but she soon comes to accept that what’s happening is real. She also learns that while she may have a special connection to Kali, other gods and goddesses may need her help at times and will also assist and help protect her when possible.

I’ve only read the first book in this series, so this might change, but if I was the mother of a mid-teen to young adult daughter, I could see myself giving this to her and hoping she might find some inspiration in Maya. Even though she’s still young, as Maya grows in her acceptance of her new reality, she shows a certain maturity in understanding the responsibilities that come with it. Sure, she has moments of doubt or chafes at times about some of what she’s asked to do – she wouldn’t be believable otherwise – but she doesn’t allow herself to wallow in them. She also cares about others enough that she can put their needs first and is willing to take significant risks to help her friends if necessary.

The story itself is good, as are the other main characters. The plot and subplots mesh together well and each is interesting in its own right. There are a couple of times where something that happens in one part of the book seems to be contradicted later by something else but I enjoyed the rest of what was going on enough that it was easy to give it a pass. As I’ve come to expect from Ms Ayer, the side characters are well-developed and multi-dimensional. I really liked how loving and supportive Maya’s parents are, and her friends are fun and interesting in their own right.

All-in-all, this is another good tale from TG Ayer

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Book Review: Immortal Bound by TG Ayer

Immortal Bound (Apsara Chronicles #1)Immortal Bound by T.G. Ayer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love urban fantasy, and T.G. Ayer is quickly becoming one of my favorite UF authors. Her Valkyrie series (which begins with Dead Radiance is a great take on Norse lore, and Dark Sight is a promising beginning to her Daughter of Pythia series, which is grounded in Greek mythology. Likewise, Immortal Bound, the first book in her Apsara Chronicles, gets this series off to a solid start.

I was already familiar with both Norse and Greek pantheons and legends before reading the aforementioned books, but this was my first experience with anything involving the Hindu gods and their stories. I have to admit that I was a bit concerned at first about how well I’d be able to keep up with both a whole new cast of characters and a new-to-me cosmic order to boot, but Ms Ayer did a nice job of having her characters provide enough information to foster a basic understanding without resorting to the kind of expository infodumps that can kill the momentum of a story.

As I’ve come to expect from Ms Ayer’s books, the central characters are well developed, relatable, and grow nicely over the course of the story. I especially liked how the relationship between the mother and daughter evolved over the course of events. As for the story itself, there were a couple of plot points that were a rather predictable, but it contained enough twists and turns to keep things interesting, and wraps things up nicely while still leaving plenty of room for more adventures.

The only real complaint I have with the book is a technical one – it has a truly astounding number of typos and editing errors – the *vast * majority of which were minor things (like writing “fist” instead of “first” or “ember” instead of member) that didn’t impede the flow of the story or interfere with understanding what was happening. There were a couple, though, that threw me for a momentary loop – such as a character being referred to by the wrong name or a reference to an object that wasn’t actually introduced until a few chapters later. That technical issue aside, however, I really enjoyed the story and am eager to read the next installment.

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