Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Review - Fate and Fury (Grey Wolves Book 6) by Quinn Loftis

The last few days have been the darkest of Sally’s life. After experiencing the joy of finding her mate, she now suffers the pain of losing everything she holds dear. Both the Romanian and Serbian packs have been captured, ripping Sally’s soul mate away from her almost as soon as she had found him. 

Her best friend and the emotional glue that usually holds Sally together, Jacque Pierce, lies writhing in a restless coma, having been put down by Desdemona’s dark magic. Jennifer Adams, the unshakable one, has revealed to her friends and her mate that she is pregnant, but the Fates have marked her unborn baby for death. 

Though she rails against the darkness, deep inside Jen knows that Decebel’s baby must die as payment for her own life, and the knowledge is tearing her soul to pieces. Cypher, King of the Warlocks, has claimed Jacque’s mother as his mate and agreed to help Desdemona open a door that would release a horde of demons from beyond the Veil.
So I have FINALLY gotten round to reading Fate and Fury, which is the 6th book in the Grey Wolves series by Quinn Loftis. Before I start the actual review I need to get something off my chest that bugged the hell out of me whilst I was reading this book...

I must have somehow bought an ARC or something because this was disappointingly one of the most poorly edited books I've ever come across. Seriously. There was comma's eeeeverywhere and in the complete wrong places, I found a number of spelling mistakes and other grammatical errors, as well as some points where words were missing completely (the occasional 'and' or 'a'). So just an FYI Quinn... Fire your editor.

ANYWAY, other than that I liked Fate and Fury, as I knew I would. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Grey Wolves is hands down my favourite werewolf-esq series. I love the idea of the mates and the passion behind that and I think Loftis does a really great job of bringing in A LOT of characters and scenarios that I think many other authors would struggle with.

Fate and Fury was no exception to this. There's wolves, there's elves, pixies, witches, dragons, trolls, you name it, Fate and Fury has it, and most importantly, they're all presented at appropriate moments and they're all relevant to the story. Loftis hasn't just thrown them in there as an aside, going "hey look! I can do magic", she makes you totally understand the characters and the part they each play in the narrative. Because of that, the story line flows really well, the introduction of new characters is exciting, and the book generally reads really nicely.

The only niggle I'm going to add in terms of story is that there were times when I felt like I was kind of reading a list, which is always a potential issue when you have a bigger number of protagonists. There were a couple of moments when it was kinda like "then Jacque and Fane did this, then Jen and Decebel did this, then Sally and Costin did this". I've never noticed that at all with the rest of the series so I'll let Loftis off as she does such a great job of everything else.

The characters, as always, are great to read. Each has their own personality and unique dialogue and while some are maybe slightly more boring than the rest (cough *Sally and Costin* cough), they are easily balanced out by strong characters like Jen and Peri who constantly bring the entertainment as far as dialogue is concerned (Though I don't remember Peri being so sarcastic... her character deviated a lot from what I remember).

I was a little confused as to why the (super long) blub was all about Sally when I felt the narrative was split up quite nicely between everyone. That threw me a little bit as I went into Fate and Fury thinking this was going to be Sally's story but if anything, her character was somewhat drowned out but other things going on and more entertaining characters. But hey, maybe that's just me.

Hands down my favourite moment is the final chapter that Decebel is in. I won't give it away but OH. MY. GOD. I was literally devastated. It crossed my mind one or two times but I didn't actually think Loftis would do it! I didn't even need the last chapter after that to be honest, she could have finished it there and I'd probably been doubly as psyched for the next book!

As you can probably tell by how disjointed this review it, I have mixed opinions on Fate and Fury. I liked it, of course I did, but I don't think I can say I loved it, not when you compare it to the first 5 books in the series. I wouldn't go as far as to say I was disappointed by the book, but I definitely felt the lack of the males at the beginning and as I said before, some of the characters we're teetering a liiitle too close to the edge of being dull.

Dialogue gets a 5/5 for sure but all in all I'm going to have to give it a 3.5/5 (Sorry Quinn, I love you but this is the lowest I've given in the whole series). I'll give it a 4/5 on GoodReads but as I can do halves on here, I think a 3.5 is pretty fair. I'll definitely be reading the rest of the series but I hope future books are edited better and maybe structured slightly better.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Review - VULTURE (The Ferryman and the Flame, Book 3), Rhiannon Paille

So, I was given an ARC of VULTURE from Rhiannon Paille because I'm a huge fan girl of Paille's writing. She didn't ask for a review, she didn't ask for promotion, and she didn't really ask for any feedback, so you can rest assured that whatever you find in this post is solely based on how effing awesome VULTURE is and for no other reason.

Given all of that, I'm not entirely sure how much I can really discuss the book - as you can tell from the image, there's no artwork for it yet and as far as I'm aware there's not even a release date (I think 2014?). So apologies if you're hoping this is coming your way any time soon!

Firstly, if you haven't read SURRENDER and JUSTICE, books 1 and 2 in The Ferryman and the Flame series, then I suggest you do so right now. You will need to read those to have any scooby doo what's going on, but believe me, they're both worth your time.

The most exciting part of VULTURE for me was the relationship between Krishani and Kaleil; it has never been so intense and heartbreaking, and is just exhausting to read. The lengths they both go to to save the other is painful and you see such an evolution of their characters in VULTURE; it's not only refreshing to see the main characters convincingly struggle in their relationship but you begin to understand why they make certain decisions and finally see both of them get a grasp of just how dangerous their situation is.

As always, Paille's writing is wonderful and within the first few pages I found myself back in The Lands of Men and once again immersed in the beautiful surroundings and characters that Paille has done such a wonderful job of creating in the first 2 books. She isn't your typical YA writer so if you're looking for sarcastic best friends and witty one liners, you're probably in the wrong place. However, if you're looking for Tolkien-esque fantasy, unconventional narratives, and an impeccable writing style, Paille's your girl.

The story line is exactly what I wanted it to be and, more importantly, I think it's exactly what it needed to be. SURRENDER and JUSTICE had a certain urgency to them that Krishani and Kaleil seemed to be misunderstanding but in VULTURE the weight of everything finally hits them and I'm going to be terribly cliched and say that the whole story is just one huge roller coaster of despair and devastation. It's event after event of obstacles and war; like the the first 2 books were the gradual build up and VULTURE is the crescendo. And the best part about it is that it's not even the final book in the series.

Everything about this book, particularly K&K's relationship takes a darker and more desperate tone compared to SURRENDER and JUSTICE and it's just fantastic to read. The ending is just devastating, completely unexpected, and for me, hands down the best part of the book in terms of how well it was written (not that the rest was bad). VULTURE is one of those books that you can read, thinking you've got it sussed, then BAM! the ending hits you and you're right back to square one with a giant WTF! expression plastered across your face.

VULTURE is nothing like the rest of The Ferryman and the Flame series in some ways, but couldn't be a better and more relevant installment in others. Expect more passion, more deceit, more war, and more nightmares, and don't be fooled into thinking this is a love story with a happy ending.

Adored it, my favourite in the series so far. 5 out of 5 for Paille and the flawless world she has created.