Vanishing Edge (by Claire Kells)

Mystery

Special Agent Harland works for the Investigative Services Branch of the National Parks Service. When criminal activity occurs within a national park it is her job to investigate.

After a rookie ranger finds an abandoned campsite in a remote part of Sequoia National Park, SA Harland is sent in to find out what happened.

She quickly realises it is anything but innocent and together with the ranger they set out to solve the mystery.


Vanishing Edge is a classic police procedural. The investigation is what drives this story forward and honestly it’s what makes this story great. The characters and the backdrop of Sequoia National Park don’t hurt it either. Everything about this book is kind of perfect. I wish every book I picked up was this good.

Many thanks to Crooked Line Books and Netgalley for providing me with a review copy of this book.

Reckoning in an Undead Age (by A.M. Geever)

Horror / Speculative Fiction

Every genre / sub-genre has rules and tropes. Coded language that readers of the genre intuitively understand. One example would be the covers of the books in this series, they speak to readers of dystopian fiction right down to the colours chosen. There are things you expect, shortcuts in telling the story that rely on the readers understanding of the genre.

Any good author will know the rules, but a great author will know how to get away with breaking them.

And that brings us to the Undead Age series. I’ve read a lot of books in this genre, but I haven’t read any books that have broken this many rules.

And somehow A.M. Geever gets away with it. I’m the first to admit that it took me a while to figure out what the hell was going on in book one, but once I figured it out, it blew my mind.

Reckoning in an Undead Age is the last book in the series. The events of book two destroyed lives and ruined those who were left behind. Miranda and Mario are grieving, trudging through depression and both are coping in different ways. Miranda has pushed those she loves away while Mario has stepped onto the path of revenge.

And that is what this book is about. Grief, depression and ultimately redemption. But more lives will be lost a long the way.

Many thanks to the author who provided me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Seven Perfect Things (by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Women’s Fiction

Abby and her mother, Mary have a difficult home-life. Her father is controlling and abusive. They are constantly walking on eggshells to avoid setting him off. 

When Abby sees someone toss a sack into the river she dives in without thinking. What she discovers is seven puppies. And when she takes them to the animal shelter she learns they will be euthanised. Unable to bear it she leaves with the puppies. But she can’t take them home. 

Recently widowed, Elliot has returned to his hunting cabin for the first time in many years. But when he opens the shed, seven puppies spill out. 


I loved Seven Perfect Things. Honestly, there is something a little magical about it. It’s such a positive, uplifting story. It really is good for the heart. It’s the story of three people facing different life challenges, brought together by seven puppies. In each other they find their second chances.

Shades of Hate (by K.N. Banet)

Urban Fantasy

Her secret is out. Jacky has somehow managed to get caught on camera in her werecat form and now government agencies are sniffing around trying to interview her and find out what she is. Even worse, her werewolf boyfriend is in the frame which could reignite animosities that have been simmering for centuries. 

Adding to her woes, someone is taking silver tainted pot-shots at her. Even if she survives the assassins and special agents, she faces an uncertain future with her own kind. 

I loved this book. In Shades of Hate Jacky Leon moves further away from the peaceful life she envisioned for herself. She always does the right thing and unfortunately for her, that character flaw (?) well and truly puts her in the spotlight. 

In some ways it’s a smaller story than the previous books and it’s better for it. Honestly that’s what I loved the most about Shades of Hate

A review copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Queen of Diamonds (by Mark Henwick)

Urban Fantasy

The first six books in the Bite Back series are books of becoming. Inside Straight (book 6) felt very much like an end to that part of the story. Amber Farrell has grown into her three parts, her athenate (vampire), were and adept (witch). 

Queen of Diamonds is a new chapter. Her house, her pack and her coven are all united and now she must move forward with uniting the werewolves and the athenate of North America while fighting a secret war against their enemies. 

Amber travels from Denver to New Mexico and then on to Louisiana battling House Matlal. But there are rumours of a powerful witch in New Orleans, a witch who is the goddess of her own world. 

It really is difficult to talk about this book. The entire series has been 4 or 5 Stars for me, and this is probably my favorite book in the series. It has everything you expect from an Amber Farrell book but the ending is a complete mind f––k. I finished a week ago and I still don’t really know what just hit me. I suspect I will need the next book before I start to understand what just happened. 

The Conjurer (by Luanne G. Smith)

Fantasy / Magical realism

Sidra was accused of murdering her husband and even though she is not guilty, his family are demanding her punishment. Hunted by Jamra, her husband’s brother, she must reunite with Elena and Yvette to defeat him and prove her innocence. 

But Jamra isn’t the only one pursuing her. A mysterious dog and the sorceror who mixed the poison that killed her husband all have their own agendas and it’s not clear whether they are friend or foe. 

This series started with a definite feel of magical realism but as it has progressed it has become more fantastical. And The Conjurer is the most fantastic of the three with flying carpets and magical jinni doing battle. Book one The Vine Witch had me hooked and honestly it’s probably still my favorite of the series but all three books are great.

I’m a little sad that the journey ends here but I look forward to seeing where this author takes us in the future.

Many thanks to 47North and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

Monsters (by K.N. Banet)

Urban Fantasy

After the prison break (Snared, book 2) Kaliya and Raphael find their investigation blocked at every turn. Those who created Raphael and orchestrated the prison break have powerful friends on the tribunal and every lead is a dead end. The only path left for them is to risk everything and go rogue.

Wow. This book is amazing. It’s a part of an ongoing series and it’s worth reading book one and two before jumping into Monsters but if you’re not that way inclined I honestly believe this book will work as a stand-alone which is quite unusual in urban fantasy.

It’s a slow burn for the first half of the book but buckle your seatbelts because the second half is a runaway train. 5 Stars.

Many thanks to K.N. Banet for providing me with this review copy.

Dark & Otherworldly (by Kristen Brand)

Poison & Honey

Kristen Brand contacted me out of the blue and asked me if I’d be willing to read and review the first two novellas in the Dark & Otherworldly series. I accepted and jumped in even though I had no idea what I was jumping into. 

And honestly that’s one of the best things about these novellas. Things are not explained, you don’t really know what’s going on in Poison & Honey you just find yourself in a strange world and you need to work it out as you go along. 

I love that. 

And because I love that I’m not going to offer any insights into the story. Just that it’s original, well written and entertaining. And 5 Stars just because.

Sting of Thorns

The battle is over and Leigh has won, or is it? The second novella brings with it a new challenge. And enemies find themselves forming uneasy alliances.

These novellas are great, but I read a lot of great books. The thing that really set the first one apart was the lack of information. I was just dropped into the story and had to figure things out for my self. It never overwhelms you but it certainly keeps you on your toes.

And I hope Kristen Brand is able to keep surprising me as the series progresses because I’m in for the long haul. Great books.

Echoed Defiance (by K.N. Banet)

Urban Fantasy

Rumours have been whispered for years about the brutality of the Alpha of the Russian werewolf pack and his inner circle. But they remained rumours until one submissive female werewolf plunged a knife into his chest.

Now the Russian pack are cleaning house and doing everything in their power to silence dissent and hold onto their power.

Standing against the Russian werewolves is suicide and nobody is willing to put their life on the line. But Jacky Leon is a Werecat and the number one predator in the United States and she won’t abandon those in need even at the cost of her life.


Echoed Defiance is so much fun. Jacky Leon is Wonder Woman. Honestly, all the women in this book are incredible. They don’t need to be saved, they’ll save themselves dammit!  And one of the great things is I didn’t even realise it until the slap (you’ll have to read the book if you want to know what that means).  5 runaway train stars.

Many thanks to the author who provided me with a review copy of this book.  

Cash Blackbear mysteries (by Marcie Rendon)

Murder on the Red River (book 1)

Like thousands of Native Americans, Cash was taken from her mother and entered the system as a young child. Now an adult she is a chain-smoking farm worker who hustles a pool table for drinks every night.
She lives the small life, the life of getting by, that is lived by everyone who has no money. When the body of a Native American man is found in a field she investigates his murder.

 

 

Girl Gone Missing (book 2)

Cash has enrolled in college and is struggling to balance life on campus with driving a farm truck and hustling a pool table.  When girls start to go missing, all blonde haired and blue eyed she finds herself pulled into the investigation.

 

 

 

 

There isn’t much I can say that will do justice to the Cash Blackbear series.  It’s gritty and real, like a punch in the gut. Marcie R. Rendon uses her craft to not only tell a story that drags you through the pages, she also manages to weave in lessons that every single person needs to hear.

5 Stars.