Thursday, November 21, 2013

Otherkin by Nina Berry - 4.5 stars

4 stars

I really enjoyed this book. The only reason I didn't give it five is because I have some issues with certain scenes. It took me a couple tries to get into this book but once I did I found myself enjoying it and finished it quickly. 

In this book we have Desdemona, aka Dez, who is an otherkin. She's a shifter and can shift into a tiger. This is quite obvious once you look at the cover. We get thrown into the world almost immediately. At the end of chapter 1 Dez transforms into her tiger. In chapter 2 she wakes up in a cage somewhere in the desert. In a cage next to her we meet Caleb. Caleb is otherkin also but he is not a shifter. He is a caller of shadow. Basically there is another world called the Othersphere and it "casts its shadow into our world. Not a shadow of darkness, but a power shadow, a vibration" (33). Callers can actually call forth the shadow of the shifters or send them away, forcing them into or out of their animal form. This makes the shifters hate the callers because they can control their transformations. 

The enemy of the otherkin is the Tribunal. They think all otherkin are demons and are extremely religious. They can use shadow too but they use it to get rid of shadow. The callers that are part of the Tribunal are titled objurers. Basically they're a bunch of hypocrites. The Tribunal has killed thousands of shifters and callers. Now there are only five shifter tribes left. Bears, cats, birds, wolves, and rats. Before there were shifters of all different animals but they were killed off by the Tribunal. Of course, all the shifters hate each other and are neophobic. They formed a council with a representative for each tribe but that only does so much. There is little they can do when all they want to fight.

After Dez returns home and is attacked again by the Tribunal, she shifts back to her tiger-self and that's when her adoptive mother and Richard, her mother's husband, find out about Dez being a shifter. Her parents go into hiding while Dez heads off with Caleb to a super secret school somewhere hidden. Once there, they have to go through a test to prove that they are worthy to be taught at the school.

The school is for shifters, not callers, so Caleb is a little on the outside. The teacher, Morfael, is also a caller and teaches the shifters the everything the shifters need to know. Dez is an outsider at first and Caleb is unwelcome. The prejudice between the callers and the other shifters is extremely obvious. It's sad really.

There is something special about Dez and even at the end of the book we don't really know what's going on with her or what she truly is. But because she was never raised around other shifters, she does not have the prejudice that they all have. She is able to bring everyone together and become friends. This is something that never happens.

What I liked about this book is the completely different take on shapeshifters and the idea of another world that casts its shadows into ours. The idea is clever and one that I haven't heard of before. I enjoyed Dez's character and her strength in trying to get everyone to work together and not hate each other. She doesn't give up and she has a fierce need to protect the people she loves.

What I didn't like was some of the writing and reactions. Dez finds out about this other world and she's not as freaked out as I think she should be. If I had changed into a tiger and then kidnapped and shoved into a cage, I think I'd be freaking out more than she actually was. Sometimes the writing seemed rushed. Despite these issues I really enjoyed this book.

I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys shapeshifter books and want a different take on a fantasy world. The topic of shapeshifters has been used many times and I like that this book used it and changed it into something completely different than anything I was expecting.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway - DNF

A Study in Silks by Emma Jane Holloway
Did not finish.

I received this book from NetGalley for review.

I tried to finish this book but I just found my mind wandering while I was trying to read it. It's a good idea but I couldn't get myself interested in it. I don't like how the chapters jump back and forth in time. By jumping through time with different characters, I found myself getting extremely confused. I had a hard time understanding what was going on half the time.

I can't rate this book because I did not finish. I don't like not finishing books but I had to stop. It's almost torture to read books that I'm no longer interested in.

I will be moving on to something else that I can hopefully enjoy better than this one.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Archangel's Legion by Nalini Singh - 5 stars

Archangel's Legion (#6) by Nalini Singh
5 stars

Previous Guild Hunter Series Reviews

I went through this book so quickly and now I'm sad it's over. This book was the best in the entire Guild Hunter series. There has been such character development for everyone that it's just great. Elena and Raphael's relationship is deeper and stronger than ever before. So many different problems begin to happen all at once. Birds and angels fall from the skies. Vampires die from disease. The sky rains blood and the Hudson turns red. All of this is being caused by the Cascade and Raphael knows war is coming but it all depends on who (spoiler)*. The cover is absolutely amazing and fits the plot of the book very well.

The falling of the angels left Raphael low on numbers. Five died from the fall, not something that can easily be done. Something is happening and the loss of his angels infuriates him. Then when his vampires begin to die, he is determined to get to the root of the problem. It turns out that someone is infecting humans and when the vampires drink their blood or drink the blood from a donor bank that is infected, they die. The humans don't last very long with the infection in their system. Vampires are supposed to be immune to disease but this disease is a death sentence until Keir, a healer, can figure out a cure.

Caliane is awake during this book and she is no longer the crazy angel she was when she went to Sleep. Her main focus is on her beloved city and getting it thriving again. Before the angels' fall from the sky, Caliane sends out invitations for a ball. Of course Elena is apprehensive about going to another ball after the catastrophe from the last one. Caliane also doesn't like Elena as Raphael's Consort and goes out of her way to make that point very obvious. Not long after Elena and Raphael arrive in Caliane's city do they find a human who had been infected by the disease. Thankfully she died before donating any blood to a vampire and she was the only casualty. Caliane is devestated. Raphael tells her that he will get to the bottom of the poisoning.

Eve, Elena's half sister who is also hunter-born, has a bigger role in this book. Jeffrey is majorly against anything that has to do with being a Guild Hunter and we find out his reasoning (spoiler).** However, Elena will make sure that Eve has everything she needs and will protect her from Jeffrey if she must.

I like that we have a new angel in this book. Aodhan is one of Raphael's Seven. We haven't seen much of him. We only got a glimpse in Archangel's Kiss. Something happened in Aodhan's past that has hurt him to the point of not being able to stand the touch of another. Illium was Aodhan's best friend but whatever happened scarred him, leaving him unable to be the friend that he used to be. Fortunately, after a game of catch over the Hudson to help the media not go into a panic, Aodhan becomes more alive and Illium is able to touch him, though no one else is. In fact, when Aodhan is injured to the point of being unable to fight anymore, Raphael is forced to heal him, despite Aodhan's immense fear of touch.

A major plot point in this book is each archangel's powers are growing. Raphael can heal much better than before and he has the fire that can be used to hurt Lijuan. However, Raphael's power isn't offensive like the others and that is bothersome. However, each time something strange happens in the city, Raphael gets a dark power that runs through him. Each time Elena helps him reject that power so he doesn't become the angel he is during the Quiet.

This book has so many twists and turns that I didn't know where it was going to lead next. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The title of the book is genius but I won't spoil that ending for anyone. We get more history about the last Cascade and delve deeper into the world. It was such a shocking ending and I loved it. This book deserves it's five stars.