Series: Gods of War

Joint Review: Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter

Posted October 22, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joint Review: Shadow and Ice by Gena ShowalterReviewer: Casee, Holly, Rowena
Shadow and Ice (Gods of War, #1) by Gena Showalter
Series: Gods of War #1
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 496
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

Knox of Iviland, the most ruthless warrior in All War history, has spent his life fighting others to the death, winning new realms for his king. Now the stakes are higher than ever. If he prevails in the battle for Earth, his slave bands will be removed. Victory is his sole focus…until he meets her.

On an arctic getaway with her foster sister, street tough but vulnerable Vale London is shocked to stumble upon a cave filled with ancient gods waging epic combat. When she is inadvertently drawn into their war, she is forced to team up with an unlikely ally—the sexy god who makes her burn with desire.

Though Vale is his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can triumph, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.

An evil Council made up of leaders from several warring planets finds new lands and stages an All War, wherein one chosen warrior from their homeland competes to win the new land for his or her ruler. Knox of Iviland has won 4 All Wars to date. His ruler has promised if he wins 5 his slave bands will be removed and he’ll be free. Knox is skeptical that his ruler will truly go through with removing the bands – when he’s wearing them he can’t refuse a direct order from his King – but he has to try so he can exact revenge for the loss of his greatest love.

Vale and her sister are on an Arctic Adventure when they stumble up on a cave filled with life-like statues frozen in ice. Fascinated, they started exploring until the ice unexpectedly melted and the statues came to life.

Casee: I hate to say it because I love Gena Showalter, but I was not a huge fan of this book. I had an extraordinarily hard time getting into it. It only took me a day and a half to read it, but I had to force myself to continue it. It was just a disappointment because I love GS and because this is the start to a new series.

What did you two think?

Holly: Like you, I had a really hard time getting into it. It took me almost 3 days to read. The pacing during the first half of the book was really slow. I liked the premise a lot. The prologue really drew me in. But the next 15 or so chapters were bogged down with a lot of nothing.

Rowena: I was really bored with this one. For too long, I was waiting for something to happen and because I could not connect with any of the characters, even when things started to happen, I was kind of over it and just reading it to finish. I think because it took over half of the book to pick up, and it took me about three days to get to the part where things got interesting, I was a lost cause.

Casee: I really liked the premise too. I found it to be very interesting. Then I realized that it was very similar to Kresley Cole’s Immortal After Dark series where immortals are fighting to the death. After that, I skimmed until something interesting started happening.

What did you think of the characters?

Holly: Vale drove me crazy. Right from the beginning she made all the questionable decisions and acted in a way I didn’t understand. As the book went on I thought she got better, but in the beginning I really struggled with her. I liked Knox a lot more. He was ruthless and cold, but I understood why he had to be that way. I’m curious about some of the secondary characters, but the majority of the book was focused on Vale and Knox, so I’m not as interested as I could have been, if that makes sense.

Rowena: This is the first book that I read by Showalter and at first Knox’s cold attitude turned me off but as the book continued, my feelings toward him changed. I liked the growth we saw in his character and my heart for what his life had become. For all that he lost.

Like Holly, Vale was annoying to me too. Oy.

Casee: I really liked Vale at first. It was after that thing happened that she really became almost unbearable to me.

I agree with Rowena about Knox’s cold attitude. It was hard to deal with. In my mind I kept comparing it to her Lords of the Underworld series and it just fell short. One character that interested me was Erik the Viking.

I feel bad that it was your first time reading Gena Showalter. If it was mine, I doubt I would try another one of her books.

Holly: I think she was unbearable right from the start. Well, from the second she found the ice cave anyway.

I didn’t read the Lords of the Underworld series, so I can’t speak to how it compares, but his attitude was hard to take in the beginning. I warmed up to him, though.

I’m mildly curious about Erik, but he seems like a villain rather than a good guy. I wish we’d gotten more information about the other warriors. The bits and pieces weren’t enough to make me excited for the rest of the series.

Casee: Bottom line, the book was boring af. I really don’t intend to read the rest of the series as it comes out but you know me.

Holly: Thinking about the book the past couple days, I am kind of interested in seeing what happens in the next book. I want to know what’s going on between Vale’s sister and the two other guys, and I want to know what’s going to happen with the All War. But I might let one of you read it first.

I’m giving this a 3 out of 5.

Casee: I forgot about her sister. That is a book that I would read.

I am giving it a 3 out of 5.

Rowena: I’m curious about her sister and why she ended up with the one guy and not the original guy that took her. But aside from that story, I’m just not moved to read anything else. shrugs

For me, this was a 2.5 out of 5. I did enjoy the second half of the book more than the first half and I did sympathize with Knox and want him to find a way to be free but outside of that, I thought the romance was lacking, the world was too gloom and doom without being tough, I just felt that all of those warriors were silly. I do enjoy these kinds of books but this one just missed me with a lot of stuff.

Final Grades

Casee: 3 out of 5
Holly: 3 out of 5
Rowena: 2.5 out of 5

Gods of War

three-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Spotlight: Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter

Posted October 21, 2018 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Lords of the Underworld is one of my favorite paranormal series. You can imagine my excitement when I read that Gena was releasing a brand new series called Gods of War. Gods of War. How dangerous does that sound? I am just super, super excited to read this book. You should be too!

Sunday Spotlight: Shadow and Ice by Gena ShowalterShadow and Ice (Gods of War, #1) by Gena Showalter
Series: Gods of War #1
Also in this series: Shadow and Ice (Gods of War, #1)
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 496
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

Knox of Iviland, the most ruthless warrior in All War history, has spent his life fighting others to the death, winning new realms for his king. Now the stakes are higher than ever. If he prevails in the battle for Earth, his slave bands will be removed. Victory is his sole focus…until he meets her.

On an arctic getaway with her foster sister, street tough but vulnerable Vale London is shocked to stumble upon a cave filled with ancient gods waging epic combat. When she is inadvertently drawn into their war, she is forced to team up with an unlikely ally—the sexy god who makes her burn with desire.

Though Vale is his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can triumph, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

Wearier by the second, Shiloh scrubbed a hand down his face. “This is my first All War. I knew it would be tough, but I am my home’s strongest competitor, and I believed I could do…anything. I was wrong.”

“You sound as if you’re eager to die. Good news. I’m happy to help.”

“I’m sure you are, but I don’t want to die. I don’t want to kill, either.”

“Ah, I see. You’d rather make your people suffer.”

Shiloh glowered.

For the “privilege” of participating in an All War, a realm’s sovereign had to give the High Council thousands of children. The exact number depended on a combatant’s order of elimination. The faster you were eliminated, the more your realm had to pay. But in order to forfeit a war entirely, sovereigns had to hand over even more children.

From infancy to the age of eighteen, boy or girl, children were chattel, commodities raised to be Enforcers.

Only the winning realm was exempt.

“My people already suffer,” Shiloh said. “Our realm is overcrowded.”

Iviland was overcrowded as well, more and more immortals born or created every day. New realms were desperately needed.

In the beginning, whenever a new one was discovered, multiple armies invaded at once. Battles raged, the trespassers hoping to seize control. Violence spread far and wide, ultimately destroying everything, leaving the lands uninhabitable.

Under the guise of saving future domains, ruling factions created the High Council and All War—an ongoing battle between a single representative from each otherworld, the new realm acting as the arena.

In the past few months, the people of Terra had begun fighting back and setting traps. Not a first, but definitely a problem on days like today. The citizens weren’t bound by assembly rules. But then, they had no supernatural abilities and were no match for immortals.

Knox had seen no sign of a human army today. Maybe they’d fled in fear? To them, combatants were gods.

Knox, they’d nicknamed Loki, the “evil trickster.” A moniker he bore with pride.

“When I killed a woman I respected, a part of my soul died,” Shiloh said, pulling him from his thoughts. “Why can’t the realms reach terms without bloodshed?”
“Greed.” Why else?

Movement at the side of a mountain. Knox slid his gaze across the ice—at last. Zion. A man of six and a half feet, like Knox, with dark hair, wide shoulders and a body honed on the most savage battlefields with no hint of softness. Also like Knox.

But unlike Knox, he refused to use the weapons he won. Reasons unknown. The choice angered Knox, even though it aided his cause. Such a waste.

He tightened his grip on his most prized possessions—the daggers he’d taken from his first victim. The blades were serrated, hooked at the tip, and had brass knuckle hilts. With a single blow, he could slice, dice and pulverize.

Zion reached the check-in point and spread his arms, all Here I am, come and get me. Embedded in his arms were jewels, each one set in specific patterns, as bold as the man himself. On his hands, a pair of spiked metal gloves able to punch through anything.

I want. I take.

Locked on tonight’s target.

Anticipation resurged and redoubled, burning inside Knox, and growing hotter by the second. Zion was a warrior he would gladly slay.

“Come.” Knox jumped from his perch, falling down, down, landing a few yards away from the check-in point. Though the impact jarred him, he walked forward without a hitch in his step, boots crunching in the snow.

Shiloh jumped, as well, and hurried to catch up.

As they passed the invisible wall that sealed them inside the clearing, Knox experienced a familiar and abhorrent vibration from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. His ability to control shadows had just been neutralized.

“So nice of you to join us,” Bane said, his tone as smug and condescending as ever.

Like most Adwaewethians, he had pale hair, golden eyes—and a beast trapped within. When the creature took control of his body, his appearance changed. He became a monster, hideous beyond compare, strong beyond compare, and developed an appetite for blood. No one and nothing was safe.

Gods of War

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: October 2018

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

Gena Showalter

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld, Otherworld Assassins, and Angels of the Dark series, as well as two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine. She was interviewed on Nightline and has been mentioned in Orange is the New Black. Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees.


Tagged: , , ,