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Urban Fantasy Review: Chest of Stone by Vicki Stiefel

Chest of Stone by Vicki Stiefel (Afterworld Chronicles #2)

ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
A Daring Mage. A Damaged Monster. A Deathly Mission.

Mage Clea Reese hunts a deadly Creature that ritually slaughtered three shifter children. In order to unearth the beast, she needs the aid of her broken lover, James Larrimer.

Together, they aim to smoke out the killer while pursuing Clea’s quest for the magical Chest of Stone and preventing the Magical and the Mundane worlds from splintering. 

Their hunt for the beast drags them from the Mundane realm to the Magic one, where a lethal sorceress seeks to destroy Clea and procure the chest for herself.

The race for the killer and the Chest is on, but time's against Clea and Larrimer when the Creature kidnaps another child and seeks Clea for its own dark purposes.

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The BookDepository

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I really like the way Mrs Stiefel expresses herself. Her writing is very original, it just flows, always in the moment, always unconstrained by having to choose one or the other train of thought. Her heroine's mind flits from one thing to another and finds snarky humour in the most absurd of situations. It's fluid, it wanders just like our minds. And I don't see it expressed like that very often.

Friday Mini Audiobook Reviews #109: Sarah J. Maas, C.D. Reiss & Paul Cornell

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

  Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository
I've been enjoying this series more than Celaena, peeps. It feels more together and a bit more mature (pun intended). I also love that they are such long books that it's worth buying them on audio for countless hours of entertainment. I think I did 6 days of olive harvest to this book. *grins* I totally dig Rhys and Feyre. Theirs is an awesome union of two souls who really took time to understand each other. The overall story arch is on epic scale, and it's a vivid, fast-paced fantasy. Absolutely recommended.
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Честно, слушаю я эту серию с большим удовольствием, чем Селину Сардотьен. Все-таки, она эмоционально повзрослее, и, к тому же, каждая книга - это увесистый том, который выгодно покупать на аудио и слушать очень долго. Под эту книгу я по моему собирала урожай оливок чуть ли ни неделю. *смеясь* Мне очень нравятся Рис и Фейра как пара, так как их союз достался им нелегко, и они долго друг к другу присматривались и приценивались. Да и главная сюжетная линия здесь совершенно эпичного масштаба, яркая и динамичная. Скучать не придется, рекомендую. 

Marriage Games by C.D. Reiss (The Games Duet #1)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
That’s all Adam Steinbeck demands of his wife.
Thirty days in a remote cottage, doing everything he demands. After that, he’ll sign her divorce papers and give her complete ownership of their company.

That’s how long he has to rediscover the man he once was. The Dominant Master he hid when he fell in love with her five years ago.

She wants the business they built badly enough to go to the cottage for a month. Cut off ties to the world and do his bidding. She can submit to him with her body, but her heart will never yield.

She thinks this is his pathetic attempt to repair their marriage.

She’s wrong.

  Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The BookDepository
Not my favourite read by this author, ladies and gents. Mostly, because it feels like a lost cause with a note of underlying bitterness. The relationship broke down, and no matter what, it can not be put back together the same way. It was an interesting experiment to follow, and I did enjoy the characters on their way to self-discovery, but they confused the heck out of me together. I'll listen to book two to see what happens, because right now I have no clue how it'll all ends.
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Не очень мне понравилась эта книга от С.Д. Райсс, несмотря на свою оригинальность. Ну, не вижу я как отношения, которые закончились могут вернуться к прежнему статусу кво. Ведь сама пара и их восприятие друг друга сильно поменялись. Эта книга оставила у меня привкус горечи, но читать вторую часть все-равно буду, так как понятия не имею как этот дуэт закончится. 

London Falling by Paul Cornell (Shadow Police #1)

bought on audio

Synopsis from Goodreads
The dark is rising ...Detective Inspector James Quill is about to complete the drugs bust of his career. Then his prize suspect Rob Toshack is murdered in custody. Furious, Quill pursues the investigation, co-opting intelligence analyst Lisa Ross and undercover cops Costain and Sefton. But nothing about Toshack's murder is normal. Toshack had struck a bargain with a vindictive entity, whose occult powers kept Toshack one step ahead of the law -- until his luck ran out. Now, the team must find a 'suspect' who can bend space and time and alter memory itself. And they will kill again.

As the group starts to see London's sinister magic for themselves, they have two choices: panic or use their new abilities. Then they must hunt a terrifying supernatural force the only way they know how: using police methods, equipment and tactics. But they must all learn the rules of this new game - and quickly. More than their lives will depend on it.

  Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The BookDepository
It's like a toss between Joe Hill and Ben Aaronovitch. I liked the narrator a lot, and how tense and suspenseful the chase after the villain had been, but there were so many main characters with their own storylines, I kind of lost focus. The setting and the atmosphere were fascinating, and I'll be definitely picking up more by this author. I can easily imagine this series on TV.
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Это какое-то смешение Джо Хилла и Бена Аароновича. Рассказчик мне очень понравился, все было напряженно и динамично, с большой дозой хоррора. Не понравилось то, что здесь слишком много главых героев с разными сюжетными линиями, и читатель теряет фокус. Атмосфера шикарная и сам мир очень интересный, так что буду продолжать серию. Мне ее легко представить на ТВ. 

Romantic Comedy Review: Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid (Knitting in The City #7)

ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.
Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity—and heart—all in one piece.
Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent—or as trustworthy—as she thought?

  Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The BookDepository

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Guys, guys, I don't know what to say here! Penny's books usually get nothing but highest rating from me, but this read felt out of sync. It was more similar to books she writes with L.H. Cosway, of which I'm not a big fan.

Paranormal Fantasy Novel Review: Ironbound by Mel Sterling

Ironbound by Mel Sterling (Portland After Dark #2)

ecopy thanks to the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
The Master of the Wild Hunt

In a single cataclysm of magic shattering a centuries-old bond of servitude, the Unseelie Queen of Forest Park loses her fiercest huntsman. Now Hunter is free to abscond with half her court and the Wild Hunt is his to command. Yet between the Queen's deadly incursions and a mysterious sickness spreading through his followers, Hunter's rebellion is doomed unless he turns to an even deadlier poison—mortal iron, and hands capable of shaping it.

The Mistress of Cold Iron

Dove Paisley ekes out a living as a modern-day blacksmith and office cleaner. Accidentally swept up in the Wild Hunt, Dove finds herself prisoner in a plague-stricken fae mound and forced to confront Hunter, the harsh, forbidding King in the East. Dove must drive the hardest bargain of her life: her freedom in exchange for forging the weapons that can turn the tide in a supernatural war.

But fae bargains twist on those who make them. The Master of the Hunt may have met his match, and if he isn't careful he'll be bound to a human woman by more than her iron sorcery. Together, the fae hunter and the mortal blacksmith must break the Queen's malevolent enchantments before she binds them all forever in Death's cold hands.

Welcome back to Portland, After Dark.

Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK

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Despite picking it up during my reading slump, I still managed to enjoy Ironbound which is a testament to Mel Sterling's skill.

Ironbound is a moody, twisted winter fairytale for lovers of dark chocolate and Guillermo del Toro. Don't wait for "and they lived happily ever after" either. It's rich, bitter and beautiful just like dark chocolate, and you either have a taste for it or you don't.

Fantasy Novel Audiobook Review: The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera (Their Bright Ascendency #1)

audio copy courtesy of Audible Studios

Synopsis from Goodreads
Even gods can be slain….

The Hokkaran empire has conquered every land within their bold reach―but failed to notice a lurking darkness festering within the people. Now, their border walls begin to crumble, and villages fall to demons swarming out of the forests.

Away on the silver steppes, the remaining tribes of nomadic Qorin retreat and protect their own, having bartered a treaty with the empire, exchanging inheritance through the dynasties. It is up to two young warriors, raised together across borders since their prophesied birth, to save the world from the encroaching demons.

This is the story of an infamous Qorin warrior, Barsalayaa Shefali, a spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, and a power that can reach through time and space to save a land from a truly insidious evil.

Audible US/UK | Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | Book Depository


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The best thing about this book is its narrator, Caroline McLaughlin. I found her voice very easy to listen to in an otherwise pretty boring book.

It always surprises me how someone can take a sound, exciting idea and flush it down the drain with the execution. The promise of this plot sounded amazing. Two lesbian warrior queens destined to fall in love and fight demons with their special magical powers in a vaguely Asian fantasy background.

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In case of zombie apocalypse

Hey, guys! I feel like I should say this just in case :)
If you'd like to sponsor a fellow book addict who sometimes can't sleep at night worrying that she won't have enough books to read if internet goes down in the event of zombie apocalypse (I'm convinced it's one of the top five ways to go for human race) you can donate through Paypal to olivesandacorns at gmail dot com or buy a book through any of the links provided with my reviews which will send me a small percentage from the sale. All proceeds will go towards my enormous TBR. I will also shelter you on the remote farm in Portugal when zombie apocalypse starts provided you survive getting there. There will be books, yay?
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