“Terminal Static” is the second book in the Echo Trail series, so if you haven’t read “Resurrection Road” yet, do that before reading this review. I’ll do my best to avoid all spoilers, but you never know what may slip through the veil. In this second book, Laz, Zeke, and Eden are looking to relax after surviving their encounter with the blood mage, each has changed to varying degrees, but none more so than Zeke. This second book focuses more on his emotional journey and I loved seeing him struggle with wanting to remain who he was in the face of all the new changes he’s undergoing, and what that may mean for his family—considering his father got out of the hunting life a long time ago. But of course, the consequences of their showdown with the blood mage continue to follow them in surprising, and really creepy ways!
“Where Acorns Landed” is literary fantasy with an absurdist fiction flare. Meshing Celtic Mythology with Arthurian Legend, and sprinkled with supernatural elements, the reader follows Lowell and Brighid as they navigate loss, and new beginnings, all while clinging almost too tightly to a sense of normalcy. Under the guise of making a documentary, Lowell and Brighid are thrust together just in time to see their corner of the world succumb to a plethora of supernatural sightings. Neither Lowell nor Brighid know who is orchestrating their mystery project, one that seems impossibly linked to their lives, which gives this novel a dark, and sinister vibe to it that I rather enjoyed. Readers will be kept guessing and in the dark about what is happening and why all the way to the end—just like the main characters.
I was able to read “A Bad Breed” in just two days’ time; it’s a super easy read that’s brimming with a delightful gothic atmosphere. This book takes an interesting twist to the Beauty and the Beast stories, and while the author says this can be read as a standalone, I’d almost recommend against that. I’ve read one of Ross’ books so I had a brief idea of what Anne was and how her powers functioned, but without that… I think you’d be pretty lost, or feel like the book was lacking in some way. But, ultimately, the book is more than just a Beauty and Beast story, but also part mystery over what happened to Anne, and who is behind the attacks in a remote village. In fact, you don’t even really meet Anne until almost 40% of the book, which I have mixed feelings about…
I devoured this book on the beach. Which may seem a bit odd considering that the story takes place in the gloomy, often wet, underbelly of Victorian London, but go with me on this one. I loved Ingrid and Byrnes as a leading couple. You get the cool, collected blue-blood (not a vampire), who is desperate to get “revenge” on the hot-blooded, strong willed, and flirtatious verwulfen (think werewolf but without the actual shift) because she’s the only one to truly best him. Then throw in a really well-crafted paranormal murder mystery plot on top of that. I thought the romance itself was steamy when needed, and sweet and tender as the couple grew, making it both a slow burn romance, and just the right level of animalistic passion at the same time. Personally, I like my romance books with a heavy dose of plot that isn’t centered on the couple hooking up, and “Mission: Improper” delivered on all fronts!
Edi Nari just wants to be left to her own devices and continue her studies at the mage’s academy. But when her friends are brutally slain in front of her, she’s thrust into a mission to save her nation from the mad lich’s intent on unleashing the undead and destroying everyone, all at the behest of something far more powerful than the lich she works for, and those she has to face. “The Lich’s Thrall” is a dark fantasy adventure story that focuses on Edi’s journey from ostracized student, to a strong-willed sorceress that is capable of standing up for herself against all odds, and finally is given the answers to secrets her family has held on to for decades. Watching Edi go up against countless gruesome undead was exciting, namely for the uniqueness of the creatures she faced. I also appreciated that, come the end of the book, I didn’t feel like there were any questions left unanswered, even if I would have liked more of a character arc for Edi and some of the people she goes on her quest with.
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