I review everything I read, on my blog and on Goodreads. Most reviews are of a decent length but sometimes you don't have much to say about the book because of its length or you DNFed it or various other reasons. In cases like that it makes sense to write a few mini reviews in one post and clear them out your way! So lets catch up with reviews from July this year.
1) Saul Tanpepper-Golgotha
Hoping to avert a human disaster with global implications, a molecular geneticist creates an experimental antidote against a synthetic military virus intended for reanimating the dead. Planning to test it on himself, he must first self-administer the zombie virus and allow the infection to run its full course. The process and the aftermath are captured in a series of voice recordings, leaving their intended audience little doubt about the experiment's spectacular outcome.
After watching the military start to use the virus as a weapon, gene decides to try a new experimental antidote aimed at stopping the disease. He needs to infect himself and then try to cure himself, all on video. What follows is the military and President viewing the disturbing footage while there is further information for the reader about what the military actually did to test their weapon. It was a decent enough story and different from what I imagined. I liked the ending of it. Don't expect zombie action though as this is about the video experiment.
2) MV Stott-Underground Magic (London Coven #0)
Stella is the Familiar to the London Coven, a trio of the most powerful witches in the Uncanny Kingdom. Today is her first day on the job, and, if she's not careful, it may be her last...
Stella has just been created and is trying to hunt down a demon creature that is murdering people in London. However she lacks experience and makes several mistakes that cause deaths, finally trapping it on an underground train. But which human is the demon hiding inside?
I liked Stella and her back story, being newly created as a familiar to the powerful London Coven and out on her first day to track down a nasty demon that can shapeshift into human form. This makes it harder to trace and Stella isn't experienced enough to know when she is talking to a human or the demon. She makes a lot of mistakes that cost lives and her plans all seem to fail. I like her as a character and the fast pace of the story kept me interested. Definitely want to read more of the series.
3) HD Lynn-Corner Store Witch
Leone owns Pulp Magic (Comics, Books, Games, & More). Angry customers are her biggest concern-until a man from another world literally drops into her shop. And oni have followed him. Leone defends herself with a magical staff, which marks her with powerful runes. Her supernatural tattoo sleeves make her desperately thirsty, yet practically allergic to water-and oh, they foretell the fate of the realms of demons, gods, and men. With her four friends and inter-dimensional guide, Leone travels to the realm of the gods, searching for magical cosmetic surgery. She doesn't want to carry the fate of the world literally on her arms. But the truth she finds-of a war raging between worlds-changes her, challenges her.
Leone, along with employees Courtney and Shandi, and sister Lakeisha and friend Maya are disturbed the the sudden appearance of Abinar with a stolen wizard staff. So they take this stranger to the sister's home despite knowing nothing about him and...play computer games with him. Right. Nobody seems greatly interested in questioning the guy about who he is, who he stole the staff off and why, and what they are going to do about it! Don't they consider that other things might come through looking for this guy and what he stole? Nope lets play D&D with him instead. Instead they play games and bitch and shout at each other, which drove me mad. There are all the closet racist jibes amongst the friends that got old really fast. Kudos to the author for having diverse characters but did they all have to be bitchy cows?
DNF 2 stars.
4) HJ Lawson-New Order
When Sadie heads out for the night, she hardly expects to witness a murder--much less a murder committed by a dangerous vampire with a thirst for vengeance and destruction. Within a few hours, Sadie and her boyfriend Aaron are pulled into a violent vampire world. Searching for a way to survive, they know they must fight, but this might be a battle they just can't win.
The MCs are the most obnoxious bunch of teen brats ever. Lakia is a bossy, opinionated girl who has to be in charge of everything and her boyfriend is a thuggish druggie. They spend Prom flirting with other people and fighting non stop. Sadie is self obsessed and annoying. Her boyfriend is a nonentity. After a night of acting like morons and fighting all the time, they check into a cheap and disgusting hotel. Really guys, that is the best you can do for the girls? Ugh. I was looking forward to all of them being eaten by the vampires but no such luck.
Each paragraph is about 1-3 lines long so it looks really weird on the page. It changes paragraph in the middle of sentences which is really annoying, poor spelling, all tell no show, no spacing between one character and another...frankly it's a mess. Add that to the writing style not being great as the characters lack depth, personality or emotion, and the plot not being that gripping...well, I didn't like anything about it.
DNF 1 star.
5) JA Cipriano-Wardbreaker (Lillim Callina #0.5)
Lillim has left her people and come to hide in a small town in Earth, trying not to use her magic to stay that way. But when Luc, a monster hunting human starts dispensing justice in her area, she finds herself dragged into a conflict she can ill afford.
I liked this book. Luc is a great character, a good guy who wants to clear the vampires from his town and save his people. He has a few magical tricks of his own which lets him fight along with Lillim. Lillim herself is a bit of a cold character and I didn't warm to her in the same way, not until near the end of the story. The vampires in this book are in no way sparkly or nice-these are the proper evil monster version, but most seem to be unaffected by sunlight, which made things interesting.
There is a lot of action in this book, starting with several fights between our duo and the vampires. Then they go and enter a genuine house of horrors protected by Ents and werewolves, which was fun for a change. I also like the writing of the author, the way magic is used and the pacing of the story. I just felt it was lacking a little something to make me really love it but I will probably look at book one in the series.