Tag Archives: Action

Cover Reveal and Pre-Order: Ghost Is the New Normal


Book 4 is a real thing with a real release date: March 21, 2017. It has a pre-order at only 99 cents (this price will only last until March 22!), and it’s all ready to go so I can have copies in hand for Norwescon (Seatac, April 13-16). The audiobook is scheduled for release one week later, on March 28. I’m excited about this one because it has giant mutant cockroaches. And also ghosts and dragons, of course.

Claire has a big problem, Drew has a smaller problem, and Justin gets to have some fun. Iulia causes trouble. Avery is sensible. Enion remains adorable and Tariel is still the only real grownup in the room. If you’re new to this series, check out where it begins with Girls Can’t Be Knights, available in ebook, paperback, and audio!

With this book’s release on the horizon, I can now also officially state for the record that the Spirit Knights series will have a total of 5 books. That’s right, Number Five will be Number Last for the series. But that’s not the last you’ll see of Claire, Drew, Justin, and the rest of the crew. Claire and Justin kind of already aren’t Spirit Knights anymore, you see. I freely admit that this series began with a book I wasn’t expecting to make into a series. It’s gone places I didn’t really foresee. As such, the series title doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense anymore.

Which is why, following book 5 of Spirit Knights, I’m shifting to a different line of attack with this stuff. There will be more stories, some about Claire and some not. They’ll all take place in the same world where Portland is extra-weird. But they won’t all take place in Portland, or even in the PNW. I’m looking forward to spending time with the kind of people affected by [spoiler] [spoiler], and [spoiler].

Book Review: Flower’s Fang by @maddiekellerr

Flower’s Fang by Madison Keller – 4 stars

In the Kin-Jegera Empire the strength of your magic or your claws determines your destiny – too bad our heroes are short on both!

Prince Se’ls, one of the magical flower Kin and only child of Queen Se’uan, has a terrible secret – he has no magic. Forced by his mother, the Queen, to tour the empire to search for his magical companion, Se’ls is terrified of returning home empty handed.

Arara, long-furred runt and joke of her pack, is dreading the upcoming hunt, where the young Jegera show off their strength by taking down one of the fearsome armored hukra by claw alone. Arara is terrified that her superstitious pack will tear her apart if they learn her secret, that she was born telepathic and telekinetic.

With assassins and dark plots threatening the empire, Prince Se’ls and Arara must band together to save it, or perhaps to destroy it.

A coming-of-age action story, this book takes a good look at bullying and oppression and the parallels between the two. This is very much a tale of the underdogs (no pun intended) meeting challenges that ought to be handled by those stronger and wiser. At the same time, the action centers around a political intrigue plot which blooms (pun totally intended) over the course of the book.

The two main characters are well rounded and the explorations of their relationship is interesting. As for the rest of the named characters, most are somewhat thin in terms of characterization. A few surprised me by either being or not being the bad guy. The resolution of the relationships with some of the secondary characters left me a little unsatisfied as too simple.

Also of note, Arara always seems to be exhausted by everything she does, which I found a bit repetitive as the story went on.

Even with my quibbles, I still enjoyed the story quite a bit, as it’s told well and never lost my attention. I recommend this for ages 12+ who like fantasy told through nonhuman eyes.

Book Review: Foul Is Fair by @JeffreyCook74

Foul is Fair by Jeffrey Cook & Katherine Perkins – 4 stars

Lots of girls play Fairy Princess when they’re little. Megan O’Reilly had no idea the real thing was like playing chess, guitar, and hockey all at once. Megan had known for a long time that she wasn’t an entirely typical girl. But living with ADHD—and her mother’s obsessions—was a very different thing from finding out she wasn’t entirely human. Somewhere out there, in a completely different world, her father needs help. There’s a conflict, revolving around Faerie seasonal rituals, that could have consequences for humanity—and if Megan’s getting the terminology straight, it sounds like her family aren’t even supposed to be the good guys. As she’s further and further swept up in trying to save her father, Megan may be getting too good at not being human.

Very different in style from Mr. Cook’s Dawn of Steam series, this story takes teenagers on a quest to save the world from the machinations of sidhe faeries. It conjures up both Irish/Celtic legend and Hawaiian mythology, twisting them together seamlessly to produce a coherent setting.

The main characters, Megan and Lani, are charming and clever, and the depiction of someone with ADHD and her medications strikes close to home. Ashling the pixie is adorable. As usual, this author delivers highly believable characters even when they’re outlandish and extraordinary.

Though the main characters are all female, this isn’t a “girly” book. The genders of the characters are barely worth noting as they aren’t dealing with “girl” problems. They don’t spend lots of time talking about boys or makeup, or any of the hundreds of things that might turn off young male readers. Instead, these are carefully complex young women thrown into exciting action and adventure.

I liked this story very much and look forward to the next installment. Recommended for anyone who likes a good Young Adult adventure, especially if you’re into faeries.

Book Review: Guardians of Stone by @anitaclenney

Guardians of Stone (The Relic Seekers) by Anita Clenney – 4 stars

In the tradition of Indiana Jones, a feisty heroine with a sixth sense, and two sexy heroes, a dark, reclusive billionaire and a mercenary bodyguard are on a hunt for four powerful relics that could change their lives…and the course of history. But relics aren’t Kendall’s only quest. Eventually, she’ll have to choose between her sexy boss and her badass bodyguard.

Kendall Morgan is a human bloodhound. Spending her childhood hunting relics with her ambitious archeologist father, she knew the two of them shared a sixth sense for the history and location of objects—sometimes even people. What she didn’t know was that their paranormal gift could ultimately be their undoing.

After the tragic plane crash that killed her father as well as her childhood best friend, Kendall dedicated her life to finding and protecting relics. When mysterious, sexy billionaire Nathan Larraby hires her for his latest expedition—the search for four powerful relics—she’s thrown into a world of high-octane danger. He sends brooding mercenary Jake Stone to watch Kendall’s back, but he may have created danger of a different kind.

As the team chases down clues, a man called the Reaper makes a play for the artifacts and will stop at nothing to put them to his own sinister use. What’s worse is that Nathan hasn’t told the whole story, and the dark secrets he’s keeping could cost them the mission…and their lives.

I enjoyed this book. Every time I picked it up, I had trouble putting it down. It’s solid, fun, and action-filled. The story didn’t dawdle over anything, pulling the characters from place to place without wasting time on irrelevant information. It’s a fast-paced read, and I flew through it.

The romance aspect felt a little silly to me. It was made very clear that Kendall, Jake, and Nathan are ‘sexy’, each in their own way. The possessiveness and attraction didn’t really seem wholly believable to me, but it didn’t turn me off to the story on the whole. In its way, the love triangle is charming.

It bothered me that Kendall’s ability is so unexplained. The characters make a point to mention this, multiple times. If any sort of ‘rules’ for the ability were hinted at, it was too subtle for me to pick up on, and I was left with the feeling that it works whenever the author couldn’t figure out how else to give them another clue. Which is fine, but injects a bit of artifice that could have been avoided.

Overall, I liked it. I would recommend this to people who like spy action thriller type stories.

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Book Review: The Bones of Odin by David Leadbeater

The Bones of Odin by David Leadbeater – 4 stars

Part 1 – The Bones of Odin.

Did ancient Gods like Odin and Zeus and Thor once really exist?

The time has come for a grand adventure filled with high excitement and explosive action.

Matt Drake, a retired SAS officer, must unravel a mystery older than time in his search for the Nine Pieces of Odin. Though scattered aeons ago, it is believed that once the Pieces are reunited they will show the way to the Tomb of the Gods- the greatest archaeological find of all time.

From a rocket attack on the Louvre to a battle in a Swedish cavern, from a daring helicopter raid on New York’s National History Museum to an assault on a gangsters mansion in Hawaii, Matt Drake must find the world’s oldest treasure in one of the wildest places on earth, searching for the very bones of the Gods with the spoils of victory being the entire world.

Nearly nonstop action with entertaining characters. Drake is a particularly fun protagonist. I didn’t care for the shifting perspective, it seemed out of place sometimes, especially with the bad guy, and I would have preferred to stick with Drake. Otherwise, a solid read and a good romp.

I gave it four stars because the government-related parts strained suspension of disbelief a bit more than I could swallow. Also, I would have liked to see more puzzles or other Indiana Jones-style cleverness in the spelunking and tomb sequences.

I recommend this for anyone who likes action and adventure.