Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dark Skye (Immortals after Dark #15) by Kresley Cole

Note: The book reviewed contains themes only appropriate for those over the age of 18. Also, take heed that there are some SPOILERS below.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were childhood best friends. Despite belonging to enemy factions. Three (well, four, eventually) dead parents later, their friendship – let alone anything more – is over, seemingly irreparable, replaced by pain, fear, and resentment. Or is it?

I have to appreciate time and again in IAD series, how Kresley Cole’s concept of ‘fated’ mates means anything but a guaranteed happy ending (within the story; on a meta level, of course we all know it will happen) for the pairing of the moment, for there are so many things that could go wrong and keep them apart, destiny or no. I love that it takes much more than ‘fate’ for love to win.

That is also the case for Melanthe and Thronos: it only takes them five centuries of running and pursuit, before they even start resolving the hurt and misunderstandings from their past and working towards a future (trying to survive while having only each other to rely on helps a lot, though, even when they ‘hate’ each other.)

Granted, the said resolving starts off a bit slow and that made me feel a little underwhelmed and frustrated (If only they talked to each other!), but once they get past a critical point, the story picks up and, damn, it is worth every moment of the earlier frustration.

Hence, I ended up absolutely loving Melanthe and Thronos’s story: one of the most painful, tragic, but also heartfelt and beautiful ones in this series; they ended up being one of my favourite IAD couples, just as I had expected and hoped for.

Furthermore, in Dark Skye, Cole pulls together quite a few threads from other stories and the larger Ascension plotline, bringing us up to speed with some of my favourite couples from the previous books. Which made me want to reread some; I think I might have to check back to at least Cadeon and Holly’s and Rydstrom and Sabine’s stories, and maybe Lothaire. (But when will I have the time to both reread and continue the series, that is the question.)

I loved seeing Nix’s perspective and the revelation why she is playing the matchmaker for so many pairings: because, ultimately, all the mixed-factions couples will come in handy for joining Vertas and Pravus in the fight against a common enemy, the Bringers of Doom. Because this will be an Ascension on a whole new level, apparently, and I am so looking forward to it. (And Nix coming out of it as the goddess of Ascensions prediction is perfect for her.)

I could flail about so many more details, but I don’t want to spoil everything for those who haven’t read the book, yet.

In conclusion, therefore, let me just say that Dark Skye is a fascinating, intense, and clever story. It was one of the instalments I had been looking forward the most, and, even if it didn’t look like it in the beginning, it truly lived up to it.

Now, I must hurry and read Sweet Ruin, so I can next get to Shadow’s Seduction (which was released today) ASAP.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Beyond series by Kit Rocha

Note: The book series reviewed contains themes only appropriate for those over the age of 18.

Those of you who follow me on Goodreads may have noticed that I burned through the 13 books (well 3 of those are short stories and 3 novellas, but still) of this series in January, which is more reading (not counting fanfiction) that I had done in 2016 altogether.

Apart from the mini-reviews posted directly on GR as I finished each book, I didn’t review them, because, truthfully, I would have just repeated myself a lot. Also, I preferred to spend the time I would have put into struggling with how to write reviews into actual reading.

However, I loved this series so much that I still feel the need to flail about it. Beyond series is set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world, and the first book starts off as erotica with plot (about 50/50), but sets up the world-building just enough to tempt you to continue the series.

And then you are trapped.

Because with each book, the world gets more and more expanded and complex and keeps you hooked. The development of the over-arching conflict between the opposing sides is extremely compelling and the series tackles a number of real-life issues with an incredibly sensitive and insightful approach that surpasses that seen in many of so-called ‘high’ mainstream literature.  

And, of course, the authors are sneaky and keep introducing characters you fall in love with a few instalments before their actual stories. Hence, binge reading. Because you have to read on to see what happens to them. But you can always count on a happy ending in this series, which is just another major plus.

Have I mentioned I fell in love with all (well, except the evil ones, but those I loved to hate) these stupid asshole characters? Men and women. Yeah.

Anyway, there are many other things I could flail about, but since I don’t want to spoil anything for you (which was another reason for not reviewing each book on its own), let me just finish by saying that if you are a fan of dystopian lit combined with erotica, I highly recommend you check this series out.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

MacRieve (Immortals after Dark #14) by Kresley Cole

Note: The book reviewed contains themes only appropriate for those over the age of 18.

Uilleam MacRieve appeared on the fringes of previous stories quite a lot and I felt like it was high time to pick up his story.

I had a rather long break from reading this series, but you can always count on Kresley Cole to sum things up enough to make you remember the important parts from the past instalments without making the story tedious.

So, we meet Uilleam – okay, I will go with Will, because that spelling is finger-breaking – a few weeks after the escape from the prison in book #11 as a broken man, plagued both by the ordeal he went through on the island as by the past wounds the experience re-opened, dinking himself to a stupor every day and planning a trip to the immortals’ suicide cove.

Enter Chloe Todd, a professional football (sorry, an European here, seeing the word ‘soccer’ hurts my brain) player about to see her life dreams come true by competing at the Olympics, who is suddenly faced not only about the existence of the supernatural and becoming one of them, but also with the fact that her father is not who she thought he was, but none other than Preston Webb, the sinister leader of the Order that hunts supernatural beings.

While everyone in the Lore is hell-bent on seeking out their revenge against Webb through his daughter, Will hides his fated mate to keep her safe, unaware that she is about to come into her immortality as one of the species he detests from the bottom of his heart for all he has suffered because of one of them as just a boy.

And that is when the real problems start. Fortunately, between these two idiots who could have avoided much trouble had they only communicated – although I have to give props to Kresley Cole: Will’s inability to communicate about his past trauma is very realistic – Chloe is rational enough to put some things together on her own and thus finds in herself enough patience for Will to catch up and do his part of psychological and emotional heavy lifting as well, eventually.

My heart broke for Will in regard to certain aspects of his backstory, but I loved that she picked a male protagonist to deal with that, because it is all too often that males are dismissed as potential victims and I loved how Kresley Cole dealt with that particular topic.

And finally, Kresley Cole managed to surprise me with the Ubus people, of whom we have been told again and again in the series that they are evil, but of course there is more to that than that and I absolutely loved the twist regarding that species and I would love to see more of them now, with everything we learned in MacRieve.