Woof, I made it. I wasn’t sure that I would, as this novel started out normally and devolved into a stream-of-consciousness mess. I was seriously motivated to keep going, though, because I read the rest of the series and this is the last book in it.
So I pushed on through, got to a bit of light in the tunnel, and then there was more muck. Really, Mr. Battis — this is a popular work! Or did you just feel like, “Hey, this is the end of my contract, I can do whatever I want…” That’s the feeling I got, honestly. It doesn’t motivate me to pick up whatever Battis publishes in the future.
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Endgame is the final book in the Sirantha Jax series, according to Aguirre, and it definitely shows. Everything gets wrapped up very satisfactorily. Nothing new is introduced. Jax’s relationships with March and Vel are both expanded in a delightful manner, and I love the way that works out. She also gets to develop a not-quite-motherly relationship with Sasha, March’s adopted son.
The entire volume takes place on Laheng, home of the Lahengrin. We’ve only met the race through Loras so far in the series, but their story is touching. This is Loras’ story as much as anything, the story of the fight to free the Lahengrin from the Nicuans and from the need to be owned (or “protected” as it is called). The action is brutal — Aguirre doesn’t hide the realities of war. She doesn’t dwell on it in an obscene manner, though, so the book is readable.
Reading the ending of a wonderful series is also bittersweet, but at least Aguirre has stated that she’ll revisit this universe.
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I’m fairly sure that I missed a Kate Daniels book, because I don’t recall some of the events referred to in this book. That annoys me, and I’ll have to go back and read whatever the last one was out of order now. It’ll be worth it, though, because Ilona Andrews’ writing is always fun. Gunmetal Magic is no exception.
This is the first novel to focus on Andrea Nash, Kate Daniels’ best friend. Exposed as a shapeshifter, she’s been kicked out of the Order. She had just chosen to obey orders from a superior officer instead of fighting with the Pack, which led to a breakup with her lover Raphael. Now she has to rebuild her life from a shattered ruin.
Andrea is a fascinating character, abused repeatedly in her terrible childhood and raised to be ashamed of and hide her shapeshifting nature. Her relationship with Raphael is informed by their bouda nature, but her human side isn’t left out by any means.
I particularly enjoy the part that Atlanta plays in Andrews’ books, but as a near-native Atlanta I’m bound to be biased in that respect.
This volume and the bonus novella “Magic Gifts” are definitely worthwhile reading for any fan of the Kate Daniels series.
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I’ve never read anything by any of these authors before, so my perspective on this piece is probably going to be skewed compared to that of most readers/listeners. However, it was free on Audible briefly and looked interesting, so I added it to my library. I happened to be in the car a long time today and this is what I had downloaded on my iPad, so this is one of the things that I listened to.
I found all three stories to be very engaging, and found myself interested in reading more about each character involved in the stories. What fascinated me the most, though, was Rose’s account of how the stories were written — the different ways the authors chose to work with her, how she prepared to write from the point of view of other authors’ very well-known heroes, and so on. I would recommend this to anyone interested in writing as a creative endeavor for that portion in particular.
The fact that the narrators who normally perform the voices of each character in their own series appeared in this performance adds an additional touch of professionalism to the recording, as well.
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Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to review. I’m glad I didn’t buy it. I imagine I might have been harsher.
In Forever Werewolf, Tryst is just delivering a package to Wulfsiege on behalf of his father’s security company when he gets trapped there by an avalanche. He doesn’t mind, though, because the recipient of that package has a luscious daughter, Lexi.
Female werewolves are rare, and those few are protected like the precious treasures they are. Even though Tryst wasn’t brought up in a pack, he knows that much. He also knows there’s something very strange about the fact that Lexi isn’t claimed by any of the males in the pack — in fact, they seem to give her a wide berth. She’s obviously highly intelligent and competent, and she’s beautiful. She’s far more alluring to him than her spoiled, pampered princess sister could ever be.
Lexi is fascinated by Tryst, despite being warned away from the half-blooded wolf by her ailing father. He seems interested in her, as well, but she fears that’s only because he doesn’t know her crippling secret: she hasn’t ever shifted. A werewolf who can’t shift can’t mate, so she’s useless in the eyes of the pack.
Tryst is warned away from Lexi by her father, head of the pack, as well, but he can’t seem to stay away from her. She’s like no other woman, werewolf or mortal, he’s ever encountered. What is it that draws them to each other? Is it worth risking their lives for?
It was obvious to me from the first pages of the book that Tryst and Lexi would get together, and that it would cost Tryst many bruises and much grief. The bad guy was all too obvious, as well — if the average reader can’t identify him in the first mention, I’ll be shocked. (Perhaps I should be more specific and say “experienced romance reader” instead.)
As for Moon Kissed, it was so forgettable that I’d have to look up the main male’s name. The female was Bella, something I only recall due to bad memories of Twilight. Oh, wait, the male was Severo! Right then. Severo saves Bella from vampires who chase her, while frightening the hell out of her himself, groping her, and offering absolutely no explanations of the strange new realities her world is suddenly encompassing.
After that event, Bella learns that her best friend Seth’s new girlfriend is a vampire, something Seth just hadn’t quite gotten around to mentioning. Seth explains that Severo (whose name she doesn’t yet know) is probably a werewolf, from her description of him and his actions. Severo has, in the meantime, started stalking Bella to protect her from the vampires he’s sure will continue to hunt her (for reasons unknown to him when he starts on this plan of action). After seeing Seth with vampire Evie, with whom Severo has history, Severo realizes that Evie probably sicced the vampires on Bella due to jealousy.
One of the many, many things that bothered me about this book is that Bella is supposedly a web designer, but she never seems to work. She certainly doesn’t have a laptop, which would be de rigeur, and she lives in a ridiculously upscale place (an apartment with its very own heated pool?) for someone in that profession. She can afford a lot of dance lessons, too — but her real source of income or capital is never explained. Apparently Hauf was just looking for a profession that could be “done anywhere” and someone suggested “web designer” so she grabbed that and ran with it.
Of course, Severo is also supposed to “do something with real estate” — how believable is that as a character detail? I guess we’re supposed to just accept that he’s rich, can spend his time as he pleases, and let everything else go without question. How is it that he has a Brownie for a housekeeper? What’s the relationship between Faery and werewolves and vampires? Who knows?
The story does not get more believable as it goes on. Of course Bella falls in love with her stalker and trusts him completely. There are evil vampires. There’s one good vampire, just to show that they aren’t uniformly bad. But you can tell where Severo and Bella’s relationship is going in the earliest scenes, and that’s the most important part of the book, because it’s a romance. There are complications but they’ll be overcome, or it wouldn’t be a romance.
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