Publisher: Ace

Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 11, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bayou Moon by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2) by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #2
Also in this series: On the Edge, Bayou Moon, On the Edge (The Edge, #1)
Published by Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: October 1st 2010
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 447
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

Bayou Moon is the second book in Ilona Andrews The Edge series and it was another fantastic read by the writing duo. This book follows William, the changeling from On the Edge as he makes his way to the Mire on a mission to find bad guys that are planning some really bad things. William meets Cerise Mar while trying to track down Spider (the bad guy) and when an opportunity presents itself to work together, William jumps on board real quick like.

Cerise is trying to find her parents. With her father missing, she is the leader of her family and there are a million of them. She’s in the middle of a family feud over her grandfather’s property and she’s got a million things to do and a million people counting on her to fix their family mess. When she comes across William, a stranger from the Weird, she joins forces with him because they seem to be after the same person and he has knowledge of the people that they’re fighting. It made sense and the longer she spent in his company, the more drawn they were to each other.

I enjoyed William’s character in On the Edge and at first introduction, low key wanted him to be the hero of that book but the more that I read that book, the more sense Rose made with Declan and not William. I wanted to read William’s book and was stoked that he was getting one and that I didn’t have to wait to read it. The guy just wanted a family to call his own and boy did he get one with the Mars. The way that he fit in with them and the way that they needed him made the relationship an equal one and I was glad for him.

Cerise was a great heroine. She was strong and she was caring and she really did have her family’s best interests at heart and seeing her try to protect everyone, think of everything and worry about everything in between trying to find her parents and fight the bad guys made me love her more and more with each passing page. She was smart and I really liked seeing her with William but also with her family. They were a tight-knit unit and she was at the top of the chain but she was the kind of leader that got her hands dirty right alongside the fighters and I thought she was awesome.

The romance between William and Cerise was fun but it was also believable. I loved seeing them get to know each other, fight alongside each other and then fall in love with each other. Seeing the effect Cerise had on William made me happy for him because he was fighting it for a little bit but who was he kidding? He loved the hell out of Cerise and I was so here for that. I really liked that Cerise was all in with William and was able to pull him into her family and be his support system. He was so used to being alone and seeing them figure their feelings and relationship out made an already great story, even greater.

This series is shaping up to be another fun one and while it’s not my favorite series of the Ilona Andrews bunch, it’s still enjoyable and I definitely recommend.

The Edge Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

Posted April 10, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: On the Edge by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Rowena
On the Edge (The Edge, #1) by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #1
Also in this series: On the Edge, Bayou Moon, Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2)
Published by Penguin, Ace
Publication Date: October 29th 2009
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 309
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it.

On the Edge is the first book in The Edge series by Ilona Andrews and it was just as great as the other books that I’ve read by this fantastic writing duo. It was a slow start for me because I was still hung up on the Hidden Legacy series but once I realized that Jack, George and Sophie from the Innkeeper Chronicles were in this series, I jumped right into this story and loved it all.

Rose Drayton is the sole provider for her two younger brothers, Jack and George after her mother dies and their father takes off. She’s doing the single mother routine and trying to make ends meet is getting harder and harder with the boys getting bigger and bigger every day. They’re not rich by any stretch and Rose is trying the best she can to provide but also to protect the boys. They live in the Edge, in between the Broken (the human world) and the Weird (super magical people) and in The Edge, the more magic you have, the better off you are. Unless you’re Rose Drayton, who has lots of magic but it’s more of a nuisance than anything. She wants to keep her head down and get through each day, making things easier on her brothers and all of that goes up in the air when Declan Camarine shows up.

Declan is from the Weird and he’s a Marshall over there so he’s pretty important. He’s in the Edge searching for an enemy from the Weird who is somewhere in the Edge. His search for this enemy brings him into contact with Rose Drayton and her family and before he knows what is what, he means to have Rose as his wife and they’re joining together to fight the bad guys.

Declan and Rose’s romance was fun and it was sweet and I enjoyed the heck out of it though I will be honest and say that for me, Jack and George were where it’s at. Their family dynamics made me happy and I was a bit bummed that William didn’t work out in the beginning. The more that I got to know Declan, the more he won me over that by the end, Declan and Rose just made sense.

The writing style flowed really well for me and it didn’t take me very long at all to jump right into the thick of things. Andrews is really good at drawing readers into the worlds that they create. I hope they write forever. The romance worked, the characters charmed me and by the time the book ended, I was anxious for more.

On the Edge is another fabulously written story that sets up a different series nicely. I definitely recommend if you like magic, powerful couples and family support that makes you happy. This was a good one.

The Edge Series

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews

Posted October 17, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Magic Strikes by Ilona AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3) by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #3
Also in this series: Magic Shifts, Magic Shifts, Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9), Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)
Published by Ace
Publication Date: March 31st 2009
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 310
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

When magic strikes and Atlanta goes to pieces, it’s a job for Kate Daniels…
Drafted to work for the Order of Knights of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems these days than she knows what to do with. And in Atlanta, where magic comes and goes like the tide, that’s saying a lot.
But when Kate’s werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games—an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament—she and Curran, the Lord of the Beasts, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta’s shapeshifting community…

Magic Strikes is book 3 in the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. This is a multi-layered story that progresses over many books. The series should definitely be read in order.

Reading these books back-to-back has really driven home the progression of the writing and story-arc. I really think this is the book where the series picks up steam and settles into itself. I really enjoyed it. The storyline is intense and I really loved the development of the main and secondary characters.

My heart broke for Derek and I really felt Kate’s rage and pain. Kate’s determination to take responsibility for every single thing that happens to her friends can be frustrating. She really skates that “becoming unbearable” line. She hasn’t quite crossed it, but her constant guilt and the quickness in which she claims responsibility for everything is frustrating at times.

The interesting world and character development has me hooked.

3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Joint Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 29, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Blood Bound by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #2
Also in this series: Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called
Published by Ace
Publication Date: January 30th 2007
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 292
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen...
Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.
But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

Rowena: This month’s buddy review book is Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. Blood Bound is the second book in the Mercy Thompson series and it delves into the vampire side of Mercy’s supernatural world.

When Mercy’s vampire friend drags her into the middle of a vampire problem, Mercy learns a whole lot about the supernatural predators and the danger that surrounds them.

What did you think about this one?

Holly: I thought this was a good follow up to the first book. Briggs introduces us further into her world and we get to know the characters better. We especially get to know Mercy, Adam and Samuel better in this book. I really enjoy being in Mercy’s head. Sometimes first person can get tiresome, but I’m never tired of Mercy.

Rowena: I’ve had that happen to me when the protagonist gets on my nerves and I’m not sure about finishing the book or not. Mercy is a great protagonist though. She’s interesting and she’s got a certain kind of charm that I like. I can see why everyone likes her and are drawn to her. She’s supernatural but she’s also normal. I’m digging her and will definitely keep reading this series because of her.

Adam and Samuel were a lot of fun in this one. I’m loving all of the tension they’ve got going because they both love them some Mercy. I also really like how protective of Mercy they are…whether she wants their protection or not, she’s got it.

So are you team vampire or team werewolf?

Holly: Definitely team werewolf. The only good vampire is Stefan, and even he has his questionable moments. I love Adam, Samuel and The Marrok. The way his relationship with Mercy develops over the series is great. Are you team Adam or team Samuel?

Rowena: Adam. As much as I love Samuel, I love Adam for Mercy. I also love Jessie for Mercy. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Samuel will find his true love and live happily ever after.

Holly: I’m team Adam, too. As much as I believe Samuel cares for Mercy, he wants her for his own reasons too. Adam wants her for her, not for what she can do for him.

What did you think of the vampire politics? This world is so well-drawn. I was easily able to imagine the scenes.

Rowena: I didn’t think I’d be that interested in the vampire side of this world but Briggs did a great job of drawing me in. I’m still Team Werewolf but I did enjoy reading about the way things are done on the vampire side of things. You can see that there could be potential for good within the vampire community but so far, only Stefan seems to want to be good. I thought that was interesting.

So what do I have to look forward to?

Holly: The next book, Iron Kissed, is my favorite. It’s the hardest to read, I think, because of things that happen to Mercy. We see more of Adam and Jesse, plus Adam’s pack. I’m anxious for you to read it so we can discuss.

Rowena: Oh yay then I’ll definitely make sure to get it read soon. I’m looking forward to it.

This book was good. It had fun moments sprinkled among the intense moments with chasing down the bad guy down and Mercy being on her own for a lot of the tracking stuff. I thought that this book showcased just how strong Mercy is, despite not being an alpha or even a wolf. She’s smart and she’s strong and she really made this book for me. I can’t say anything else other than this was a great addition to the Mercy Thompson world and I was happy with the writing, the story and the characters. All around win for me.

You?

Holly: I love the humor sprinkled throughout. This was a great installment in the series and really opens things up for future books. I definitely call this a win.

I’m giving it a 4.25.

Rowena: Me, too. 4.25.

Final Grade

Holly: 4.25 out of 5 
Rowena: 4.25 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 8, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joint Review: Moon Called by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #1
Also in this series: Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)

Publication Date: January 31st 2006
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 288
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy's next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy's connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water...

Rowena: Thank goodness for you because without you, I wouldn’t read nearly as many of these books as I do. I’m SO glad that I finally got around to reading this book because it was hella good. Not just good, but hella good. I need more Mercy and Adam in my life…and it was good to see Samuel, Bran and Charles (from the Alpha & Omega series) and to see why Samuel was the way that he was in those books.

How was your re-read of the books?

Holly: I didn’t think I’d like this series at first. It took me ages to finally read it. I’m sorry I waited so long. Mercy, Adam and his pack, Jesse…They’re all amazing. I love how the world combines Magic with the Fae, Werewolves, etc.

My re-read this time was just as good. I love how normal Mercy is. She isn’t a super badass, despite the fact that she can turn into a coyote. She’s practical and down to earth, which makes her easy to relate to.

Rowena: I agree. As much as I adored both Adam and Samuel (you know I’m all about the heroes), Mercy was my favorite character in this series. Ames told me that she had such a huge girl crush on Mercy and I can totally see why. She’s really easy to relate to and she knows herself as well as her strengths and weaknesses. She’s not too stupid to live but she is brave and I just loved the hell out of her. I can’t wait to read more of these books.

I now see what you meant when you said that both this series and the Alpha & Omega series are kind of weaved together. Some of the things happening in here reminded me of stuff going on in the other series with Charles. I like that. It kind of reminds me of the Chicago Fire, PD, Med and Justice shows on NBC. I love how there’s this one world of characters that cross over to each different show. If done right, having so many different aspects of a world in different books and series is great and I think that Briggs does a wonderful job of that here.

What was your favorite part of this book?

Holly: It’s hard to say what my favorite part is, because now that I’ve read the entire series (and the A&O series) things have different meaning for me. I think it might be Adam demanding Mercy help him find Jesse. She’s weak by comparison to him and the other wolves, but he still wanted her to find his daughter because he knew she wouldn’t give up. I also love her interactions with with Bran. They have such a complicated relationship.

What about you?

Rowena: You’re right. Since everything is so fresh for me and I don’t know what’s to come, I see things differently. One of my favorite parts were Adam demanding Mercy help him find Jesse but more so because he knew that Jesse meant something to Mercy and he knew that she cared far more than Samuel did and wouldn’t give up. He knows her strengths and her weaknesses and …he claimed her to his pack. sigh I’m really looking forward to seeing their relationship grow.

It was nice to see Samuel learning of Adam and Mercy’s complicated relationship and really, the characters were well written and well rounded. No two dimensional characters in this series. I love how Mercy cared so much about a wide variety of people. People who didn’t get along with other people and yet, Mercy did. I could go on and on about how much I like Mercy but I think you get it.

I was invested in this story from the jump. This world is colorful and vivid and I’m so here for it all. I’m late to the party but what’s new? This was good stuff.

Holly: You’re right, he did know Mercy cared about Jesse and wouldn’t stop until she was found. That’s one of the things I like about Adam, period. He’s willing to set aside his own personal feelings in any given situation. It’s kind of a nice change for an alpha-male.

I really love how Mercy is sort of the glue that brings all these different elements together. We see this more as the series goes on, of course, but she’s like a neutral third party. I love it.

The world is my favorite thing about this book. It’s very well-drawn and immediately pulls you in.

I’m giving this a 4 out of 5.

Rowena: Same. This one gets a 4 out of 5 from me. Thanks for making me read this book!

four-stars


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