Release Day Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

, by Kt Clapsadl

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Hidden Legacy #3

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Oh. My. Goodness. WILDFIRE was simply amazing. The Hidden Legacy series has been stellar, but this one? This one knocked it right out of the ballpark. This is one of those books where you finish, and you just want to start reading it all over again. It's simply that good. I'm a huge Ilona Andrews fan, particularly the Kate Daniels series, but The Hidden Legacy series takes things to a whole new level. 

Readers will be very pleased that nearly all of the running threads and unknowns in this series have been well wrapped up. From the secrets surrounding Nevada's sister's abilities, to all the political issues, and dangers to the family, and OF COURSE the romance between Nevada/Rogan, and so much more. It really is incredible just how satisfying this book was, and not one single wrap up felt forced or "too neat." It was perfect. That being said, the door is left open for more books and I could not possibly be happier.

All in all, WILDFIRE was everything I had hoped for and then some. Bravo, Ilona Andrews, Bravo!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Early Review: Spellbinder by Thea Harrison

, by Kt Clapsadl

Spellbinder by Thea Harrison
Moonshadow #2

Kidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.

When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.

One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.

Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.

But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is revenge…

Oh my goodness did I love this book! You just can't go wrong with two of my favorite things meshed together, Thea Harrison's writing in the Elder Races world and Camelot. This take on the King Arthur lore has to be by far the most unique I've ever read and I enjoyed every moment of it. In fairness, it's not really set in Camelot, and really has little to do with it in these modern times, and yet there was plenty of that lore to keep me more than thrilled. It just was very well done, and I loved every minute of this book!

The characters, just like the world and premise were utterly fantastic. Morgan is truly a tortured soul held by unseen chains that to the outside world make him seem like the worst evil, and yet there's so much more than meets the eye to him. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the truth unfurl in this book. Moving onto the heroine, Sidonie, I loved her just as much. She was full of fire and spunk and yet all so vulnerable at the same time. She's not your typical kick butt heroine, and yet her inner core was astounding. I loved her just as much as Morgan! That being said I did have one small confusion about how her OCD was handled. Early on in the book it was all consuming, but towards latter parts of the book it barely played a role, sometimes only as an afterthought. Perhaps her having to find strength to overcome the obstacles led her to be able to suppress the OCD somewhat, but it was a bit jarring for me. It just seemed a bit off, and inconsistent. That being said it didn't really detract from the story, just struck me as odd, but worth mentioning even though this book is still earning a resound five star rating from me.

All in all, fans of the Elder Races will be absolutely delighted at this latest installment from Thea Harrison. If only she could write fast enough for my voracious appetite for this world and these characters. Bravo, Ms Harrison, Bravo!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Release Day Review: Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

, by Kt Clapsadl

Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine
The Great Library #3

Hoarding all the knowledge of the world, the Great Library jealously guards its secrets. But now a group of rebels poses a dangerous threat to its tyranny...

Jess Brightwell and his band of exiles have fled London, only to find themselves imprisoned in Philadelphia, a city led by those who would rather burn books than submit. But Jess and his friends have a bargaining chip: the knowledge to build a machine that will break the Library’s rule.

Their time is running out. To survive, they’ll have to choose to live or die as one, to take the fight to their enemies—and to save the very soul of the Great Library...




ASH AND QUILL starts off with a bang of action, right where things left off in the last installment. Jess and crew are prisoners of the burners and it's not an easy place to be. The concept of book burning is so horrific and the danger they are in as being part of the library even though they are trying to rebel... is intense. I was on the edge of my seat, reading the pages as fast as I could to see what happened next.

That being said, after the initial bang of the opening things did seem to slow down a bit. Don't get me wrong, their situation never lightens, and the challenges are astounding. And yet...it just felt like a middle book or sophomoric slump at times. Perhaps it's due to a lack of a feeling of forward momentum in the war against the library until the very end. As I said, there's an incredible amount of danger and intensity at all times, but the lack of the forward momentum in the overall series plot weighed things down a bit. Hopefully after the insane ending of this book, things will take back off with a fury in the next installment.

Surprisingly despite all that is going around them, and all the intense danger/action moments there's also plenty of character development, which I really enjoyed. For such a large cast of characters, each and every one is completely and fully three dimensional. You really care for each and every one of them.

All in all ASH AND QUILL was an enjoyable installment in The Great Library series, and after that ending, I'm desperate to get my hands on the next one!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Early Review: Lost Boy by Christina Henry

, by Kt Clapsadl

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a familiar story with a dark hook—a tale about Peter Pan and the friend who became his nemesis, a nemesis who may not be the blackhearted villain Peter says he is…

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter's idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite.

Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.


LOST BOY by Christina Henry was a though provoking read that was incredibly dark and twisted. that kept me horrifyingly hooked from page on. Did I mention dark and twisted? If it's not obvious, despite being a riveting story that kept me engaged from page one, I'm incredibly conflicted about LOST BOY. It was almost too dark. The violence just seemed so much more real and harsh since it involved children. The constant death and injury were brutal enough, but the way they are just ignored by certain characters as status quo, just left a sick feeling in my stomach. Which of course I'm sure was the point, and yet it just felt a little too much for this mother's heart to bear witness to.

Onto the characters. Oh my goodness did the author do a fantastic job with them. Jamie of course was the star of the show in my eyes, with Peter being delegated to a spoiled rotten brat. But even that was just the surface, with much more to Peter than met the initial eye. I won't spoil things, but suffice it to say with each new chapter it was almost as if layers of a veil were lifted from Jamie's eyes, and more of Peter's true colors were revealed. The rest of the cast, be they cannon fodder or well developed side characters, all lent well to this horrifying tale.

All in all, the story is amazingly well written and felt like a real prequel retelling in the truest sense. There's always two sides to a story and this one? THIS is the one I believe. So bravo to Ms. Henry for masterfully changing my perceptions of this well known lore!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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     a GREAT read
     Carol's Random Life in Books


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