Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fragile Spirits by Mary Lindsey

3.5 stars
Such a unique cover!

(companion to Shattered Souls)

It felt so good to be back in Mary Lindsey's world of ghosts, Speaker's, and Protector's!

Such a unique little world that I, as well as other readers, got to be a part of. I admit that I longed to see more of the council but alas.

This was a really great companion, and it doesn't take long for things to get started. We begin in the book meeting Paul, a Protector. Fans of Alden and Lenzi from the previous book, will be pleased to hear that we get to see them quite frequently since Paul has been acting as their back up. 

It isn't too far into the book that we find out Smith is still at large, and that Paul will be finally be pairing up with a Speaker. To his shock he gets a rather prickly Vivienne. 

She is completely goth, from her black nails, bright pink hair, and torn stockings and yet everyone just cannot help but love her. I especially loved her simply for being goth! It was a lovely twist and made Vivienne appealing since she sounded dangerous and exotic. I also began to appreciate her Speaker method which was a mix between playing it cool, even though she was scared at times, and taking no shit even from Malevolent spirits. 

Here is where I felt a little like the book fell into the insta-romance department. Their relationship as Protector and Speaker is rocky since Paul tends to follow the rule book and Vivienne breaks said rules. But after one day of working together to take care of a border-line Malevolent, there's suddenly this connection they didn't have before. Trust I could understand, but it wasn't just that but this instant attraction and strong emotions for both of them towards each other.

More development! More character building! 

I need more than one day on the job and Paul covering her ass when shit goes down! In defense, I did find they meshed well together and the action scenes of the book were really good. 
The final showdown involving Smith was climatic, but it felt a bit too easy at the same time.

There were some serious topics at play in the book, like abuse and poverty. Learning to let go and open your heart to others despite your fears, and also that revenge isn't always as sweet as it seems. 

All this combined really made for a great book, and I cannot wait for more from Mary Lindsey!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dark Road to Darjeeling by Deanna Raybourn

4 stars

(quartet to Silent on the Moor)

Oh, what a tug on the heartstrings this one was...

We join Julia, Brisbane, Portia, and Plum as they head down to India to see Portia's lover Jane, who had left her in the last book in order to have children.
She is pregnant and suspects that her late husband was murdered. It is here that we get to meet some distant cousins of Julia and their unique tea plantation. 

More secrets are revealed about a lot of characters, including Brisbane, as we delve into the mystery and meet unique characters, get to read about the India traditions, hunt for a man killing tiger, and a murderer.

As usual there is plenty of drama regarding inheritance of the tea plantation, affairs, and more. Julia and Brisbane are both adorable and frustrating as they work somewhat together in their relationship. We also get to see Jane and Portia make amends and reunite with some of Julia's cousin's from the second installment, Silent in the Sanctuary.

Things get really dark in this one, lots of action, and as always, a few twists as well! With the way this one ended I cannot wait to see Julia and Brisbane work together in the field for the next mystery to come!

Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn

2.5 stars

To be honest, I pretty much skimmed this one. Once I saw that Julia and Brisbane were going to continue their cat and mouse game I was having none of it.

I should also mention that I was entirely turned off when I found out that there was a "keeping it in the family" theme going on with some of the secondary characters. You think I'm kidding but I'm quite serious when I say there was some unashamed brother and sister action going on.


On the plus side, we do get to see Julia and Brisbane's relationship finally blossom, the ending section was so gratifying, and we also learn more about Brisbane's history and origins. The mystery was fair despite the blatant incest and happy endings were to be had for most characters. 

Hurrah and on to the next!

(My review of Dark Road to Darjeeling)

Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn

4 stars

(sequel to Silent in the Grave)

I have to say such an improvement from the first.

It takes awhile for the mystery to get into gear, but honestly, you're too busy catching up with the social aspect of the story that waiting isn't all that bad. 
After touring Italy, Lady Julia Grey is returning home for Christmas with her two artistic brothers, Plum and Lysander. Along for the ride is Lysander's new wife Violante, and their friend Alessandro who carries a candle for our eccentric heroine.
Upon returning home she meets Brisbane who is among their Christmas party guests with a woman.  
Let the sparks fly.

When the murder happens things really get riled up in an interesting way! Brisbane and Julia get to work on hounding down the killer and suspicions begin to rise and secrets begin to surface. Secrets that people would kill to keep hidden. 
This book was definitely better because all the drama that ensues is seriously fascinating! Drama with Julia's brothers, Brisbane, Alessandro, and so much more!
  Not to mention Julia's father's house is really intriguing with all of it's secret passageway's and past history.

We really get to see a change in Julia and Brisbane's relationship (Thank God!) not to mention there were some serious twists I did not see coming that came around to give me a shock. I honestly can't wait for moor! *wink*

(My review for Silent on the Moor)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

5 stars

A truly heartwarming and heart wrenching story.

It is about love between a soldier of humble origins and a girl who is known from her connections to her father who is rich and successful.

They come from two completely different worlds but they learn to try and work together when their space ship crashes and they get stranded on a strange planet.

The point of view switches between Lilac and Tarver as they journey through the planet's grasses, mountains, and forests seeking fellow survivors, food, and salvation. Their relationship is not instantaneous but at least the interest was there. At first Lilac and Tarver struggle to get along. 
Lilac comes off as slightly snooty at first, but when we really get to know her, she is an admirable heroine and a clever woman. Tarver is likeable right from the start since he is a man of good character and strength. You cannot help but respect his humble living and love his good heart. 

What really makes this story interesting besides the survivor aspect is that things get interesting when Lilac starts seeing hallucinations, and Tarver gets a suspicious feeling that something is strange about this planet. His clues being that there does not seem to be any inhabitants, but there is signs that someone had attempted to make the planet habitable. 

As the story leads up to their remarkable discover I was turning the pages eager for whatever was next. It's an intense read, and the ending is sweet and happy. I recommend to sci fi and romance fans!