Friday, November 30, 2012

Feature & Follow: Literary Crush

Disclaimer: I am currently blogging "on the go." Whenever I get home this afternoon, the plan is to spruce this entry up. Right now, it will be fairly basic.

Special thanks goes to Parajunkie and Alison Can Read for hosting such a wonderful weekly hop!

Q: Activity! Who is your to-die-for book crush? What do you think they look like? Add an image to make us all happy.

A: I would have to say, Matthew Clairmont from the Discovery of Witches. He has a sexy accent and loves Diana even though they are different species. Not to mention he has looks to die for, he's hundreds of years old, and loves children. Vamp and Witch love, gotta love it!

I will post pictures as soon as I get home! So who is your literary boyfriend??

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Witchy Reviews: Athena’s Promise (Book One of the Aegean Trilogy) by Annetta Ribken

Title: Athena's Promise (Book One of the Aegean Trilogy)
Author: Annetta Ribkin
Publisher: Word Webber Press
Length: 306 Pages
Release Date: October 26, 2011
Format: Given by Author


As the front desk manager of a hotel on the edge of Zombietown, Pallas is used to dealing with angry centaurs, surly trolls, and zombie housekeepers.  The trouble really starts when one of her guests ends up dead and that's not the only problem.


            I love Greek mythology.  I have this amazing infatuation with the Gods and Goddesses in these fables that show the imperfections of mere mortals.  The stories are life lessons that show us how to not piss off the Gods and the chronicles of these characters fascinate me.  So whenever I was asked to review this book “Athena’s Promise” as part of the Aegean Trilogy, I couldn’t wait to read it.  This book shows what would happen if mythical creatures, fictional characters, and Gods and Goddesses walked amongst everyone else in this world and how the world changes because of it.  Overall, this novel delivers everything it wants to, but that doesn’t meant there aren’t any bumps along the way.

            From the beginning of the novel we are introduced to the novels protagonist, Pallas, a human mortal (possibly in her twenties, although I don’t remember if the novel ever reveals her age) who manages a hotel that is on the brink of shutting its doors for good.  Pallas has a lot on her plate from managing the staff made up of zombies, vampires, and pixies to dealing with unsatisfied guests to reporting back to the woman behind the hotel-Medusa herself.  I LOVED this part of the book.  Apparently there was this event in life called “The Crossing” that caused all of these worlds to collide.  I really would have liked to know more about this event in the book, but I imagine the author goes into more details with the other two books in the trilogy.  Ribken introduces us to so many “critters” in this world and brings forth new mythologies for some of them, which I really thought was creative and something your average fantasy reader wouldn’t expect.  For instance, zombies aren’t zombies at first, they are given a certain amount of time before they “turn” and when they do-it is ugly.  We meet suave, sexy Centaurs, diva singing mermaids, and money loving gnomes.

            My favorite character that Pallas must deal with is her boss, Medusa.  In Greek mythology, Medusa is one of the most hideous monsters with slithering snakes as her hair, and could turn anyone to stone if you looked at her.  Her character is a lot of fun in the book as the hotel owner.  She only stays in her office and watches the cameras throughout her hotel acting as a sort of game master.  Only a handful of people are allowed to enter her office to talk to her, so she is very secretive.  Medusa is very stylized and very descriptive with her snakes hissing whenever she is in a mood and her cool demure by smoking black cigarettes (which she stubs out regularly).   I loved her relationship with Pallas and hope this builds more throughout the trilogy.

            The novels protagonist, Pallas, is a very interesting character because I’m not sure if I really cared for her.  We see her struggle throughout the whole novel wonderfully, but that’s all I feel I knew about her.  Of course she’s smart, responsible, strong, powerful, and we can relate to her whenever she’s dealing with really incompetent people.  However, I felt she just kept rolling her eyes throughout the whole novel and that was a big problem for me.  It would have been nice to see her loosen up a bit and be a little happy about more things.  Granted that with her back ground story (which we learn later in the novel and it is excellent!) and everything the character goes through, we can certainly understand where she comes from, but a lot of the times she just seemed unpleasant.  I wanted to like her more because she is such a strong person, but I never felt that connection.  I cared for her some, I certainly didn’t want her to meet her maker in one of the books great climactic scenes featuring creepy spiders, but I wanted more from her.  Maybe this was because I felt she seemed a little immature mostly in part to her language.  I’m not a prude about curse words or foul language, but I often feel it dumbs down strong characters.  Plus, I was really put off by her use of the word “fucktard” and “fucktardery”.  Kids might use these words these days, but I really don’t feel as though this woman would use them.  Are they even words?

            Overall, it was a great, inventive, imaginative tale that had a lot of wonderful elements.  These elements include nice action scenes, a great sense of mystery, and a story arch that really explains the world these people live.  I was a little thrown off by the attitude of our lead because I felt she deserved more.  Hopefully when I read the other two books in the trilogy, Pallas will become the woman I see her and she will get her happy ending.  


Witchy Rating: 3 Black Cats

This review has been brought to you by The White Witch, Jadis at Witchy Reviews

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Witchy Review: Fraterfamilias by Judith Doloughan and Paula R. Stiles

Title: Fraterfamilias
Author: Judith Doloughan and Paula R. Stiles
Publisher: Innsmouth Free Press
Length: 330 Pages
Release Date: December 2010
Misc: ARC
Kindle edition given by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

French artist Paul Farrell kills four people in Paris and walks into a hail of police fire at JFK Airport. A Russian history professor and shaman with a dark secret steals the body. Police on both sides of the Atlantic are on the case, but they each have secrets of their own. And a powerful enemy watches from the shadows, one who could destroy them all.

"It takes longer for the mind to heal itself than the body." Time, space, and vague but honest ignorance intertwine in this crime story set in the shadowy area of NYC. Opening with an intriguing and semi-violent scene that takes place in a crowded airport, we meet a large cast of characters, each an individual in their own right, who not only has their own particular demons to face but takes on the stress of an international, mass murder investigation, a missing "dead" body, and more and more unanswered questions.

The heart of the story are two supposed cousins; worn down and made weak by life. One smartly eludes the investigators while the other lay in a cheap motel in hopes to regain conscienceless after a fight with a police sniper's bullet. The story, and all it's supporting characters, run around NYC and the world in hopes to answer their questions, and satisfy their foreboding suspicions.

Fraterfamilias is not a quick or easy read. The narrative is more thick than the plot which required careful and sometimes lengthy reading sessions. Each character is developed with their own stylized choice of point of view so the reader has to pay attention and have the ability to switch between voices and tone. If you like a semi-heavy plot reminiscent of Victorian Era story telling (but not nearly as long) and international sensibilities glittered with supernatural notions, then Fraterfamilias is a must read.


Witchy Rating: 4 Black Cats

This review has been brought to you by Maleficent at Witchy Reviews

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Witchy Review: The Mighty Quinn by Paula R. Stiles

Title: The Mighty Quinn
Author: Paula R. Stiles
Publisher: Dark Continents Publishing, Inc
Length: 242 Pages
Release Date: September 2012
Misc: ARC
Kindle edition given by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

There's a milk truck on the US/Canadian border with a detonated nuclear bomb that didn't explode and a pile of mummy dust for a driver. Vermont Homeland Security Agent Nan Carreira is having quite the morning and she hasn't even met her witness yet. Quinn Bolcan just got out of Vancouver, in a hurry and under a dark cloud. The last thing he was looking for in Vermont was trouble and that's the first thing he found. Soon, he and Carreira will be neck-deep in black helicopters, low-rent necromancers, zombie suicide bombers, and vengeful were-bikers. And that's just the beginning because Quinn is a wild card in a league all his own.


I was thrilled by the first paragraph of "The Mighty Quinn." Hell, by the first sentence, I pegged the novel as a page turner, one I couldn't see myself putting down. I could not have been more wrong. The reader is dropped into the middle of Quinn fleeing town after getting caught in a grow-op situation armed with a warning of "wares" as he travels and with a package that needs to be delivered across country. What began so strongly is quickly weakened by too many twists and turns, completely unnecessary subplots, and the confusing and exhausting constant first-person to third-person to first-person storytelling. Over and over and over again without a stitch to thread it all together.

Stiles fails the reader by getting too excited to bring in every aspect of the occult and every potential horror trope she can imagine. We have werewolves, ghouls, humans casting spells, demons, vampires…does the list end? Every trope has it's own subplot and the worst part? They don't resolve. It seems like this book could have been split into three different novels, all which I probably would have loved. Stiles is an incredible writer--her descriptive imagery puts pictures and scenes into the reader's mind that Hollywood would have sincere problems recreating visually and I often lost myself, thinking I might be feeling that breeze, or smelling that scent she so adequately describes.

Overall, would I recommend this novel? Yes, but with caution. The writing is both incredibly strong and incredibly weak. If you love the kind of authors who can get your mind turning with imagery, Stiles is the author for you. If you are easily annoyed by back and forth storytelling, pass. 


Witchy Rating: 2 Black Cats

Opinion has been brought to you by Galinda at Witchy Reviews


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