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May
19

Review: Cursed by Fire by Danielle Annett

Review: Cursed by Fire by Danielle Annett Cursed by Fire Author: Danielle Annett Reviewer: Una Rating: C- What I’m Talking About: I am not sure what to say.  After reading Cursed By Fire, I wonder how a first novel in a series can feel like a transitional novel.  The story had promise but just did not deliver for me. My first trouble with Cursed by Fire is that the mythology is very vague.  Some first novels suffer from an overabundance of world-building – spending a lot of time teaching us what the world is like at the sacrifice of the story.  However we have the opposite problem here.  There is almost no world-building.  What little there...
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May
14

Joint Review: Into the Aether by PJ Schnyder

Joint Review: Into the Aether by PJ Schnyder Into the Aether Author: PJ Schnyder Reviewer: Una + Jen Twimom Rating: A and B+ What We’re Talking About: Today Una and Jen are here to talk about a new steampunk anthology from one of our favorite authors, PJ Schnyder. Which was your favorite story in the anthology and why? Una: Tough question since I enjoyed all three stories. I think I would have to pick Keeping Cadence (though it is a close race between it and Swan in Siam) since it was the most complete story, and I loved the happy romantic ending. Plus, I really enjoyed Cadence and was surprised by the twists in the story. Though...
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Apr
9

Listen Up! Audiobook Review: No Matter What by Erin Nicholas

Listen Up! Audiobook Review: No Matter What by Erin Nicholas Welcome to our weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: No Matter What Author: Erin Nicholas Narrator: Rebecca Estrella Listening Speed: 1.0x Reviewer: Una No Matter What is the short and sweet story of Jaden and Adam.  Though it was somewhat of a whirlwind romance and a slightly clichéd love story, it was an enjoyable listen. First, let me say that overall, I did like Jaden and Adam’s journey.  I really like them as characters.  Though I enjoyed Jaden’s mental struggle between her attraction to Adam and her strive to be professional, I did find it funny that the temptation of Adam usually won.  Every time she...
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Apr
7

Review: The Beholder by Ivan Amberlake

Review: The Beholder by Ivan Amberlake The Beholder Author: Ivan Amberlake Reviewer: Una Rating: B- What I’m Talking About: The first in a new self-titled series, The Beholder is an interesting mix of action and drama set in an alternate world.  I found the mythology fascinating, though a bit confusing, and the plight of the hero gripping, though I felt an emotional disconnect with him. This book really threw me for a loop.  It is not often I can feel so conflicted about how I want to rate a novel.  But The Beholder has me a bit knotted.  Overall, I really did like the novel.  The action and plight of keeping Jason and his friends...
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Mar
27

Review: The Mourning Bells by Christine Trent

Review: The Mourning Bells by Christine Trent The Mourning Bells Author: Christine Trent Reviewer: Una Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: The Mourning Bells, the fourth installment in the Lady of Ashes Mysteries, is haunting and gripping.  Though Violet seemed a bit slow on the uptake on some of the clues in this novel, she continues to be a gripping, unique, sensitive, and unconventional sleuth. First off, I continue to love Violet.  She is a fairly down-to-earth woman, for the Victorian era.  I love that she fusses over her appearance (and the extra pounds she seems to be fighting).  These qualities help to humanize her and allow me to truly connect to her.  Despite her insecurities,...
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Feb
27

Review: Rising Fire by Terri Brisbin

Review: Rising Fire by Terri Brisbin Rising Fire Author: Terri Brisbin Reviewer: Una Rating: B What I’m Talking About: Rising Fire is the debut novel in a new fantasy romance series, Stone Circles.  Although it was slow to start, it blossomed into a promising first installment, and I look forward to the next one. The beginning of this novel was like the start of a good chess match: slow to start as the players move their pieces into their battle positions, then once all the pieces are on the board, the excitement begins.  This is how Rising Fire started to me.  It needed some world-building, and pieces needed to evolve and be maneuvered into place. ...
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Feb
19

Listen Up! Audiobook Review: The Will by Kristen Ashley

Listen Up! Audiobook Review: The Will by Kristen Ashley Welcome to my new weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: The Will by Kristen Ashley Today Una shares with us her audiobook review of The Will by Kristen Ashley. This is Una’s first audiobook review for the blog. Please leave her a comment and let her know what you think! Author: Kristen Ashley Narrator: Hollis McCarthy Audio Speed: Series: Magdalene #1 Source: Audible Studios I admit it. I’m not a big contemporary romance fan. I have read a few in the past that I didn’t like and decided the whole genre wasn’t my thing. After listening to The Will, I have decided that I do like contemporary romances; I’m just...
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Feb
13

Review: Deadeye by William C. Dietz

Review: Deadeye by William C. Dietz Deadeye Author: William C. Dietz Reviewer: Una Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: I love finding new and interesting mythologies.  Deadeye is the start of what could be a really awesome series.  This futuristic post-apocalyptic detective drama was gripping and intriguing. First off, the world is really interesting.  It’s our world after a terrorist has unleashed a deadly bioweapon.  This infectious bacterium has decimated populations.  There are three groups of survivors: carriers, mutants, and “norms”.  There is some overlap between the first two groups as some of the mutants are also carriers.  In order to protect the norms, the infected were placed into camps.  There are now “norm-run” states...
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Jan
23

Review: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish

Review: Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish Owl and the Japanese Circus Author: Kristi Charish Reviewer: Una Rating: B+ What I’m Talking About: It is always exciting to start a new series and especially one by a new author.  I never know what to expect and that is part of the thrill and adventure of volunteering to read an ARC.  I had no idea what to expect, but what I found was a gripping and nail-biting adventure in Owl and the Japanese Circus. The story begins with Alix, though for most of the novel you know her as Owl.  She is on the run from vampires but won’t let it stop her from finding a spot...
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Jan
9

Review: Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski

Review: Billy and the Cloneasaurus by Stephen Kozeniewski Billy and the Cloneasaurus Author: Stephen Kozeniewski Reviewer: Una Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Billy and the Cloneasaurus is a fascinating satire set within a science fiction story.  The story is gripping, darkly humorous, and interesting, though there are parts that did not sit well with me. I enjoyed how the novel made me think and the journey of self-discovery that our hero embarked on.  I also enjoyed how the author balanced the rather gruesome details with humor. The story is set in a futuristic world.  I’m not sure if it is post-apocalyptic, but it is certainly dystopian.  It reminds me of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451, but it...
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