Early Review: Flight from Death by Yasmine Galenorn

, by Kt Clapsadl

Flight from Death by Yasmine Galenorn
Fly by Night #1

From New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn comes an all-new series set in the realm of her Otherworld novels.

I’m Shimmer, a blue dragon shifter. Thanks to a mistake, I was exiled from the Dragon Reaches and sentenced to work for Alex Radcliffe, a vampire who owns the Fly by Night Magical Investigations Agency. Now, not only do I have to adapt to Earthside culture, but every time I turn around, somebody’s trying to kill us. And worse, Alex is as gorgeous as he is exasperating. But you know what they say: All’s fair in love and bounty hunting…

When an old friend of Alex contacts him about a haunting at the High Tide Bed & Breakfast in Port Townsend, Washington, we think we’re on a simple ghost hunt. But our investigation quickly transforms into a deadly fight as we uncover an eighty-year-old murder, a cursed house, and a dark force trapping the spirits within. To stop impending disaster we must break the curse and lay the angry spirits to rest.

I really love Shimmer's character. She's quite broken and is slowly trying to find her way in her new situations. On one hand, she's an all powerful dragon and has a lot of the feelings of superiority that comes with it. But on the other hand, due to her banishment her powers are severely limited, in fact she can't even shift unless fully submerged underwater. This combined with the fact that she never was an accepted member of dragon society, makes her very unlike the rest of the dragons we've seen in Otherworld, even Smoky. While I wouldn't say she's humble, she's a whole lot more down to earth and easy to love. She very easily could have been bitter and harsh over her situation, but she's choosing a better path and I'm really enjoying watching her find her way.

Not only did I enjoy Shimmer's character but the supporting cast as well. They really rounded out the story and were very well fleshed out. However, Shimmer aside, the real star of this book was the plot. It was intriguing and fast paced, full of danger and twists, making this a quick and engrossing read.

I always love a spinoff series. You get to take an established world and expand upon making things fresh without having to get bogged down from the world building found in starting a new series. It's really the best of both worlds, and I'm definitely enjoying this one. I would recommend this one to fans of the Otherworld series who are looking for something fresh to start.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     0.5. Flight from Hell

Kirsten Reviews: The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp
Adventures of Kit Bristol

The Accidental Highwayman is the first swashbuckling adventure for young adults by talented author and illustrator, Ben Tripp.

In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.

Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, gobling attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows….

Fans of classic fairy-tale fantasies will find much to love in this irresistible YA debut by Ben Tripp, the son of one of America’s most beloved illustrators, Wallace Tripp (Amelia Bedelia). Following in his father’s footsteps, Ben has woven illustrations throughout the story.

“Delightful and charming. A swashbuckling adventure in the vein of Robert Louis Stevenson.” —#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson

The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp, is as the dust jacket notes ‘the tale of Kit Bristol, his horse Midnight, a mysterious princess, and sundry magical persons besides’ That alone should give readers an idea of what kind of story they are about to read. It’s both written and illustrated by Ben Tripp, often to whimsical effect, and as the first in a trilogy, promises many more adventures to come.

It’s eighteenth-century England, and Christopher “Kit” Bristol is unaware that he is the servant of the infamous highwayman Whistling Jack. When he finds his master severely wounded, Kit garbs himself in the man’s riding cloak in order to seek help, and thus alters the course of his life. He is mistaken for Whistling Jack, is soon on the run from the redcoats, and shortly winds up squarely involved in matters both royal and magical.

Kit is bound by magical law to complete his master’s quest, that being to rescue a fairy princess who is opposed to an arranged marriage to King George lll. But, this is no easy task, as Kit must contend with fairies, attacks from goblings, and a magical map which tells his future, including him being a man waiting to be hung on the gallows.

While the books is very charming, and the illustrations likewise enjoyable, the romance which features largely in the book feels contrived at times, and Kit, although inexperienced and thus not wise to the ways of the world is often called upon to lead, when he should be learning from others instead.

As a YA novel, this will be a fun read for kids who are looking for a little bit of swashbuckling, but for more mature readers, the sexist tropes applied to the female characters, and the fact that the hero is rewarded on virtually no merit may become tiresome. With several more books left in the trilogy, there is plenty of opportunity for the author to rectify some of these issues, while still remaining true to the period and genre.
(Received a copy from the publisher)


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     Bibliophile Gathering
     A Lot Like Dreaming
     URL Phantomhive

Review: Pure Blooded by Amanda Carlson

, by Kt Clapsadl

Pure Blooded by Amanda Carlson
Jessica McClain #5

Jessica arrives back from the Underworld to find her father embroiled in a battle against the Made wolves. She and her crew drop everything to join them.

Once she arrives, the threat is after her. Jessica is lured into danger when her adversary takes something precious from her. With help from an unlikely source, Jessica goes up against her creator in a battle that will decide the path of everyone involved. She must war against a new set of foes, ones who could not only steal her power, but could take her soul as well.

I really love how every book in this series is a guaranteed roller coaster ride. I know when I pick a new one of these books up, I'm in store for nonstop action, and PURE BLOODED was no exception. Jessica, like always has landed herself in a new mess, and it's up to her and her "crew" to stop the current evil. As much as I love the action, honestly it's that crew that really draws me to this series each time. Every single character is so well fleshed out that I can't help falling right into the story with them and cheering on their triumphs as well as shedding tears when they do. I really love a book I can get attached to and this one, as well as the entire series fits the bill.

This was pitched to me by the publisher as the final Jessica McClain book, which I truly hope was a mistake. Things definitely were not settled at all, in fact I'd almost say it was a mild cliffhanger. Unfortunately it colored my reading experience just a bit as I was expecting things to be wrapped up as the final book, so imagine my surprise when the ending surely made it seem like it's not. I know I'll definitely be stalking the author's networks to hear news about a next book as I really do enjoy this series and hope it has a proper send off.

Series ending confusion aside, this was yet another a fun, and fast paced installment that kept me entertained from page one. Jessica never fails to meet (and defeat) a new "big bad" and it's always fun to watch her dig her way out of her latest mess. I recommend these books to anyone who loves Urban Fantasies that are full of great characters and non stop from start to finish.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     Gizmo's Reviews
     a GREAT read
     Vampire Book Club

Previous Books:
     1. Full Blooded
     2. Hot Blooded
     3. Cold Blooded
     4. Red Blooded

Kirsten Reviews: Sustenance by Chelsea Quinn Yarbo

, by Kt Clapsadl

Sustenance by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Saint-Germain #27

The vampire Count Saint-Germain protects Americans fleeing persecution—and becomes trapped in a web of betrayal, deceit, and murder in post-WWII Europe in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s SUSTENANCE

The powerful House Un-American Activities Committee hunted communists both at home and abroad. In the late 1940s, the vampire Count Saint-Germain is caught up in intrigue surrounding a group of Americans who have fled to postwar Paris. Some speak out against HUAC and battle the authorities.

Saint-Germain swears to do his best to protect his friends, but even his skills may not be able to stand against agents of the OSS and the brand-new CIA. And he has an unexpected weakness: his lover, Charis, who has returned to Paris under mysterious circumstances.

Sustenance by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is the twenty-seventh book in her St. Germain series, and at this point, new readers may be daunted by the sheer scale of the series. But, with the basic premise understood, one can jump into this series at almost any point without losing too much.

In this outing, vampire Count Saint-Germain is protecting Americans fleeing persecution, , and who have attracted the attention of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which hunts communists both in the United States and abroad. In doing so, Saint-Germain finds himself embroiled in a murderous plot in Europe after the Second World War.

Although Saint-Germain has abilities beyond those of his human friends, much of the plot of this series revolves around the fact that even a vampire cannot rely on the supernatural, and must approach a problem through a combination of cunning, and at times, by seemingly fleeing in the opposite direction.

Such is the case here, but Saint-Germain must look into the reasons behind his lover Charis’ mysterious return to Paris, as well as deal with the newly formed CIA, and agents of the OSS.

If one is familiar with Yarbro’s books, then the preface of historical information will be expected, and for anyone new to the series, this background is both interesting reading, and sets up the events of the book. This section can also provide details about the fates of characters from previous books, and learn more about what exactly constitutes vampirism in Yarbro’s novels.

Overall, the book is well-written, with many plot threads that may not come together as neatly as some readers might like, but there is plenty to absorb, both about the history of a postwar landscape, and the characters, which makes it hang together more or less in one piece.
(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Previous Books:
     1. Hotel Transylvania
     2. The Palace
     3. Blood Games
     4. Path of the Eclipse
     5. Tempting Fate
     6. The Saint-Germain Chronicles
     7. Darker Jewels
     8. Better in the Dark
     9. Mansions of  Darkness
     10. Writ in Blood
     11. Blood Roses
     12. Communion Blood
     13. Come Twilight
     14. A Feast in Exile
     15. Night Blooming
     16. Midnight Harvest
     17. Dark of the Sun
     18. States of Grace
     19. Roman Dusk
     20. Borne in Blood
     21. Memoirs
     22. A Dangerous Climate
     23. Burning Shadows
     24. An Embarrassment of Riches
     25. Commedia della Morte
     26. Night Pilgrims

Release Day Review: Crash by Eve Silver

, by Kt Clapsadl

Crash by Eve Silver
The Game #3

A thrilling action/suspense novel for fans of The Fifth Wave about contemporary teens pulled in and out of an alternate reality where battling aliens is more than a game—it's life and death.

Miki’s life is falling apart around her. Her dad and best friend are lying in the hospital. The Game is glitching, making missions more frequent and more deadly. And someone close to her is waiting for the right moment to betray her.

Miki feels like she’s hanging on by a thread and the only thing keeping her tethered is Jackson’s hand in hers. Yet telling him how much she needs him, how much she loves him, feels like the biggest challenge of all. And if Miki really wants the missions to end for everyone, she’ll have to let go and be ready to fight when the walls between the Game and reality come crashing down. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that she’s got a whole lot left to lose.

Crash is the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Game trilogy fans won’t want to miss.

This was an interesting end to the trilogy. The first two books were incredibly action packed, yet this one was much more on the emotional side which really surprised me. Don't get me wrong, it's not like there wasn't emotion in the first two books, but it definitely took a back seat to the nonstop action. This time around while I wouldn't exactly say things slowed down, the focus definitely switched. We got to see a lot deeper into Miki's head as well as watch the characters come to some really tough realizations and overcome some pretty staggering emotional hurdles and events. While it did throw me for a bit of a loop, I think it rounded out the trilogy very well, and I feel like I was able to get closer to the characters before saying goodbye as a result.

Even though I had guessed at some of the twists and turns in this series, it still was pretty intense when all those predictions finally came to light. What the game about and why they were forced to fight for their lives on a regular basis was a really hard pill to swallow. I really loved how the author made this reveal and others so realistic that I felt every bit right alongside the characters. If you've been reading the series, dying to know all the only hinted at secrets, I can safely say you won't be disappointed. 

This series was labeled as a trilogy, and things are wrapped up decently well at the end to the point that I'm content. However, I feel like the author left the door open for more in this series, and I hope one day she takes that path. I think there's many more stories that can be told, but as it stands now I'm very happy with how eveything turned out. I can't always say that about series ending books, so that right there is a big gold star in my book. If you are looking for a fast paced, action packed thriller type YA series on the paranormal side, then this series is perfect for you.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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Other Reviews:
     The Eater of Books!
     My Guilty Obsession
     Falling for YA

Previous Books:
     1. Rush
     2. Push
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