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Posts Tagged ‘Fantasy’

Description From Goodreads:
When shy and retiring Llandry Sanfaer discovers a mesmerising new gemstone, she suddenly becomes the most famous jeweller across the Seven Realms. Demand for the coveted stone escalates fast; when people begin dying for it, Llandry finds that she herself has become a target.

Lady Evastany Glostrum has her life in pristine order. Prestigious, powerful and wealthy, she is on the verge of crowning her successes with the perfect marriage. But when her closest friend is murdered for the jewellery she wears, Eva is drawn into the mystery surrounding the curious “istore” gem.

The emergence of the stone is causing chaos across the Seven. Gates between the worlds are opening at will, pulling hordes of creatures through from the shadowy Lower Realm and the glittering Uppers. As Eva works to discover the culprit behind the spreading disorder, Llandry must learn the truth about her precious istore stone — before she herself becomes a victim.

DRAYKON, by Charlotte E. English
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Review: *** 3 Stars
At first, DRAYKON seemed a bit juvenile, with winged fairies living in trees and an insecure young protagonist, but after a few chapters, the book really grew on me. The world-building was unique, with three different planes of existence and multiple realms within the “middle” plane that aligned themselves with one or the other of the “upper” and “lower” planes. As the characters traveled through the world and the plot unfolded, the complexity and true depth of the story was revealed. However, while I enjoyed the story, and it was fun to read, nothing hooked me to the point of never letting go. It was like taking a stroll through a lovely park, rather than riding a fast and furious rollercoaster; enjoyable, but not thrilling.

Characters: *** 3 Stars
Llandry is an immature twenty-something, afraid of crowds and insecure in her own skin. A young jeweler, fame overwhelms her when she discovers a rare gemstone and uses it in her designs. As the story progresses, Llandry starts to take some risks and attempts to assert herself, to mixed results, but I enjoyed seeing her grow and develop.

Eva is almost an opposite to Llandry. She’s older, wiser, and confident in her abilities. She is also friends with Llandry’s mother and as their worlds collide, she provides a good foil for the younger woman.

Devary comes in to the story as a mystery, and stays that way. I’m not sure if he is a love interest, a babysitter, or just a friend of Llandry’s mother, but he does help bring Llandry out of hiding and into the world, literally and figuratively. I imagine more will come to light about him in later books, and I definitely wanted to know more about him and his role in Llandry’s world.

Plot: **** 4 Stars
DRAYKON moved along at a nice easy “goldilocks” pace; neither too fast nor too slow. The author does a great job of twisting together different plot lines until they finally meet toward the end of the novel, revealing a big “AHA!” moment.

My one complaint was the choice of the name of the jewel: an istore gem made me think of an Apple product, as in an ipod or an iphone, and I couldn’t get that out of my head for the whole story.

Setting: **** 4 Stars
DRAYKON seemed like a wonderful world, very well-drawn and easy to imagine, though fantastical. I loved the concept of the realms being aligned with the “upper” and “lower” planes, the upper being light, bright, and airy, and the lower being dark, shadowed, and chaotic.

Eva’s realm, Glour, is aligned with the lower realm, and exists in the dark. As a result, all of the people of Glour are extremely sensitive to the light and the environment has evolved to thrive in nighttime conditions.

Meanwhile, the Glinnish people are winged and live in perpetual daytime. The author did a great job incorporating the flying into the story, where danger can come from above and Llandry’s escapes had to be faster or higher than her pursuers.

Romance: * 1 Star
Llandry and Devary seemed to have a bit of a “thing” going on, but they never did anything about it. There was a nice scene at the end, when Llandry saves Devary’s life, but at that point it was too late to have a great romance. Perhaps in later books their relationship will deepen, but for this first book I wanted more from them both.

Genre – Adventure Fantasy: *** 3 Stars
DRAYKON is a fun, easy story to read, but lacks the extreme highs and lows of a great adventure. It’s a book that would be a great beach read, when you want to have something undemanding that you can put aside for a little while but quickly remember when you return.

Note: This review was requested by the author. The only compensation received was a free copy of the book.

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Description From Goodreads:
Hidden within Human society is an entrancing race of beings who look just like us. They are the Akataromai. Originating on Earth, they conceal themselves, blending within the Human population. Though they appear to be Human, mature Akataromai live for centuries and feed upon negative Human emotions. Angelina Quorra is an Akataromai, a Human-looking girl who might never die. But Angelina is unique among her people, absorbing pain as well as emotion and giving anyone who feeds her overwhelming pleasure. This is her story, told by the men who adore her. Her talent is called The Lustre, bringing her great fame, and great trouble.

THE LUSTRE, by Kate Policani
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Review: ** 2 Stars
Kate Policani delivers an interesting twist on the “vampire”, but fails to deliver an interesting story. Told entirely from an external point of view, in passive voice, the characters and plot never resonated with me. I wanted to hear from Angelina, the actual protagonist, not just the secondary characters. The method of delivery detracted from the story itself, to the point that there almost wasn’t a story. It was like being in a conversation where the subject is sitting right next to you, and everyone is talking about her, around her, and over her, but no one is talking to her. Awkward.

Characters: ** 2 Stars
Angelina has the Lustre, an ability to not only take away negative human emotions, but to take away physical pain and replace it with orgasmic pleasure. Interesting to say the least. Yet somehow Angelina is vacant, almost empty of emotion herself. She just sails along, not really taking an active part in her own life. Instead, the men in her life are the active participants, likely due to the fact that they’re the ones telling her story, and they make her out to be a perfect angel, innocent and pure…boring.

Her husband, Luciano, seems nice enough, adopting her as his ward when she’s a preteen, and making sure that she doesn’t feel obligated to marry him when she comes of age (though that was the intention all along). However he’s as naive as a teenager despite being more than a hundred years old.

The villain, Jacque Trace, is greedy and selfish, but hardly evil. His actions are despicable, but he also tries to make Angelina happy, in his selfish way. I didn’t like the man, but neither did I hate him, and he wasn’t scary, malicious, or dangerous enough to engage me emotionally. Overall, he was…meh.

Plot: ** 2 Stars
The plot is unfortunately as vacant as Angelina herself. It was just one event after another, without a story arc that slowly builds to an exciting climax and then resolves to satisfying conclusion. There were a few exciting events, such as a killing and a kidnapping, but they fell flat because they were told in a passive voice.

Setting: ** 2 Stars
Like everything else, I wanted more from the setting. I needed a year or an era, a full five-sense description, just something more.

Romance: * 1 Stars
A twelve year old girl is taken from her parents to be a ward of a much older man, with the expectation that when she’s of age, she will marry him. While the author tried to make the match seem like love, it never felt right to me. There were verbal declarations of love, and Luciano was good to Angelina, but I never felt the fire, and with the initial set-up of their relationship, it always felt too easy, and a little bit wrong.

Genre – Contemporary Fantasy or Paranormal Romance: * 1 Stars
I’m actually not really sure how to classify The Lustre. It’s not traditional paranormal romance by any means, but there is romance, and it’s in a contemporary setting. The concept of the Akataromai was interesting and unique, but the story was bland, like saltine crackers. I want more action, more romance, more passion, and more pain in my fantasy.

Note: This review was requested by the author. The only compensation received was a free copy of the book.

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Description From Goodreads:

Months after moving to the mysterious city of Cognito, Silver is developing her gifts as a Mage, and learning how to live under new laws. Forced to give up her old life, she must now live in secret among the humans. She finally has hope of leading an ordinary life . . . until Logan Cross walks into it.

Their chance meeting leads her close to discovering the identity of the nameless Mage who once stole her light and discovered the unique power she possesses. That knowledge poses an unimaginable threat to Silver, fueling her search to find out who he is, before he finds her first.

Lives are at stake. Truths are revealed. And an unexpected passion ignites.

TWIST, by Dannika Dark

Available on Amazon

Review: **** 4 Stars

Dannika Dark does it again! TWIST was just as good as STERLING (Mageri Series: Book 1), with a new hero and love interest, ramped up action, and great plot advancement for the series arc.

WARNING: SOME MINOR SPOILERS. THEY WON’T RUIN THE STORY, BUT YOU’LL GET SOME INSIDE INFORMATION ALL THE SAME…

Characters: ***** 5 Stars

Once again, I fell in love with Silver and her entourage of protectors, but the new addition of Logan Cross was brilliant. First of all, he’s a Breed called a Chitah, and as you can imagine, he has some Cheetah-like qualities, including faint spots on his skin, a highly developed sense of smell, and a hunting instinct. His introduction as Silver’s kidnapper and a killer of Mage made for an interesting dynamic in their relationship, but Silver’s reliance on him felt more organic than her introductions to the men in STERLING. Logan is a bit of a wild-man, clearly not as civilized as the Mage, having never been human. He lives by his own set of rules, but his word, once given, will not be broken.

I was also glad to be reintroduced to Sunny, Silver’s best friend from her human life, and Knox, Adam’s friend and former mercenary. Together they add a nice side-plot to the story, and help round out Silver’s network of friends and supporters.

Plot: **** 4 Stars

As with STERLING, I felt the plot was complex and interesting, keeping me on my toes. However, there were a couple of plot points that felt forced, as if the author had to get from A to C, but didn’t quite know how to do it. For example, Silver was left alone at Justus’ house without any kind of protection while he and Simon traipse off on secret business. Given that there’s still a bad guy out there after Silver, I wouldn’t have expected him to just leave her all alone, and sure enough, something bad happens, and we’re introduced to Logan.

Setting: *** 3 Stars

Cognito doesn’t feel real to me, perhaps because Silver doesn’t get to spend a whole lot of time outside of Justus’ home, but I wanted more from the city. If it’s a Breed city, it should somehow be different and unique to the human cities. I needed more description and more integration of the city into the action when Silver was out and about.

Romance: **** 4 Stars

I really loved the introduction of Logan Cross into Silver’s life. He was a fantastic counterpoint to the other men; he’s more dangerous, yet he is also more considerate (in his way). I love the tension and heat between them, particularly since Logan comes into the story as an adversary, not a friend, and Silver fights with herself as she’s drawn to him. That being said, I was sad that Adam gave up so easily, and Simon simply didn’t do anything but flirt and give way. I wanted more tension between the men as they vied for Silver’s affection.

Genre – Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance: ***** 5 Stars

This story has a bit of everything, and it was nicely done. There’s club-hopping, detective work, chase scenes, kidnapping, violence, and even some mild S&M. There’s not a lot of sex, but in my opinion, that really worked as the tension built and relationships changed. I enjoyed every minute!


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*** BOOK GIVEAWAY ***   

Description From Goodreads:
Ezra Hawkins is going to change the world.

Although, honestly, there isn’t that much world left to change. After the Great War that nearly destroyed the Earth, mankind has been reduced to a single city: Sanctuary. Hidden from the ravages of the world, the last scions of humanity have eked out their existence through hard work and ingenuity, managing survival, maybe even a little happiness.

But Ezra Hawkins, last heir to the legacy of wormhole technology, will show them something that no human in over a thousand years has known: Hope.

This is a story of science against magic, of people who can bend the elements to their will and the shadowy forces that police them. And most of all, Wind-Scarred tells the tale of a young man desperate to learn the true nature of the past, and of a planet that has its own ideas about the future.

WIND-SCARRED, by Sky Corbelli
Available on Amazon

Review: **** 4 Stars
What a great start to a trilogy! I enjoyed Wind-Scarred immensely, though it did have a few hiccups, including a meandering plot and a romance that lacked finesse. But the overall story was good, the concept unique, and the characters incredibly well-developed. I’m looking forward to reading book 2, Water-Seer, now available on Amazon.

Characters: ***** 5 Stars
Ezra is brainy yet courageous, a scientist born into a family that controls the knowledge of wormhole technology. Swept into a secret society, Ezra handles himself with aplomb, but he’s still young, and a bit naive, especially in the ways of women. Galois “Gal” Doe arrives on scene as a party girl, but ultimately recruits Ezra to become an agent. She’s spunky and fun, and I wish we’d seen more of her throughout the story. The other characters, including Ezra’s “research team” each had their own personalities, which came through beautifully in the novel and added to the warmth and camaraderie in Ezra’s world.

Plot: *** 3 Stars
The author did a great job tying together science fiction and fantasy themes, creating a complex world with multiple moving parts, including layers of foreshadowing that carry through the entire novel and into book 2 (I hope, anyway!). Unfortunately, that’s also the story’s downfall, as the plot lacks focus. Some parts seemed to drag, while in others I wanted more detail. There were several sections that didn’t seem to be necessary to advance the story, leaving me feeling like I just had to get through them. However, the action, when it occurred, was well-drawn and kept me engaged, and the overall story was interesting and fun.

Setting: **** 4 Stars
I really liked the juxtaposition of the futuristic city with the rural anti-technology countryside. It made for a very unique story and helped pull through the dead periods of the plot.

Romance: ** 2 Stars
I loved the characters of Gal and Ezra, and they could have been a fun couple. Unfortunately, the romance was significantly under-developed. Gal and Ezra are thrown together, and for a very long time I thought that Gal was just toying with Ezra for some political, or even nefarious reason. She’s flirty and coy, but it felt, at best, like a surface infatuation, and the romance fell flat.

Genre – Futuristic Fantasy: ***** 5 Stars
WIND-SCARRED is a unique cross-genre novel that does a great job bringing together both science-fiction and fantasy themes. I loved the “elementals” and the conflict between the futuristic technology and the rural, almost medieval, outside world.

In honor of my return to the blog, I’ll be giving away one Kindle copy of Wind-Scarred.  To enter, leave a comment with your name and do one of the following by May 4, 2012:

  1. Sign up to follow Enter The Portal via email or your own WordPress blog (box at right).
  2. Follow Enter The Portal via Twitter (@entertheportal).

Make sure to indicate in the comment which way you’re following! One random winner will be selected from all entries and announced on the blog shortly after the comment deadline.

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Description From Goodreads:

Shadow figures are stalking the population of an English University town. A Physics student can sense the emotions of others. His two best friends notice he is coming home injured and distracted. He is looking for something. What he has already found is magic that connects this world to a sister-planet, and people who can help him.

SAPPHIRE HUNTING, by J SenGupta
Available on Amazon

Review: * 1 Star
Ordinarily, I would not have finished this book, but the author requested a review, and I wanted to give it a chance. Unfortunately, I was never engaged by the story. The writing style was disjointed and choppy, skipping from one idea to the next without a clear connection or flow. If you happen to be a rider, it was like trotting bareback on a bony horse with a limp. I never felt connected to the world, or the characters, or the danger in the plot. It was all laid out as basic facts. Even the dialogue made little sense and there were several scenes that didn’t seem to have a place in the story…like when James would suddenly be in his friends room and would ask for tea and biscuits.

From page 1:

“Alex’s foot struck the stack of folders by the desk. They began to slide from the middle of the pile. He dove down to stop them, grabbed at the nearest one to him and turned it over, scattering its contents.

‘Oh hell.’

He straightened up and stepped back. James knelt down to begin to help him pick them up.

‘No, no. Just leave it. Just go over there and sit down.’ This was Michael rapidly running out of patience. Alex sat down. He grinned at the carpet.”

Characters: * 1 Star
James is a an eighteen year-old college student who finds himself drawn into a conflict bigger than anything he has ever experienced before, yet immediately he feels like he’s the only person that can stop what’s going on, and he never questions that he needs to fix it. His friends and companions are mostly peripheral, and their interactions seemed forced. I never got a real sense of any of their personalities and never connected with any of the characters.

Plot: * 1 Star
It was largely due to the disjointed writing style, but the story never grabbed me. It didn’t feel immediate, and I never felt present in the story. It was as if someone was simply relating facts as they happened rather than telling a story.

Setting: * 1 Stars
The descriptions and world building in SAPPHIRE HUNTING were severely lacking. The author attempted to imbue a sense of lyricism, but it failed miserably. For example: “The sun had broken through the clouds and the rain, now gentler, was falling in fiery drops through the afternoon sunlight.” Despite the strong adjectives, the description as a whole failed to help me visualize the setting. I couldn’t help thinking he was just getting wet.

Relationships: * 1 Star
While I never felt connected to the story, neither did I feel the connections between the characters on the page. I couldn’t read their emotions or understand their motives. Once again, the reader was expected to take as fact that the characters had emotional involvement, without ever actually seeing it.

Genre – YA Fantasy: *** 3 Stars
The age group was older teen, and it fit within that model. The elements of fantasy were present in the story, and had the other parts of the story worked, the genre would have probably appealed to the desired audience. However, with everything else that didn’t work, it’s hard to rate the genre as better than a 3.

Note: This review was made at the request of the author.  The only compensation received was a free copy of the book.

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Description From Goodreads:

Zoë Merrick wakes up after she is murdered, and is surprised to find she is not only alive – but transformed. Even more unexplainable are the new abilities she has no control over.

It’s not until a handsome and arrogant man named Justus walks into her life that Zoë discovers she is no longer human, but like him – a Mage. Forced to trust him, she must come to terms with accepting her new life and identity.

When her immortal freedom is threatened by the one man who has a right to claim her, Zoë learns the price of freedom…and the value of loyalty.

STERLING, by Dannika Dark
Available on Amazon

Review: **** 4 Stars
The Goodreads description does not do this book justice!

Zoe Merrick is an average Jane. She lives with her cat, just got out of a bad relationship, and her best friend is gorgeous, leaving her feeling slightly less than perky. But on her way home from a girls night out, Zoe’s average life ends with a brutal attack and she’s thrust into a new and confusing existence.

It begins when she wakes up in a body bag covered in blood. Then she goes through physical changes: she grows taller, her eyes turn green, and her copper hair turns black and glossy. Luckily her rescuer, Adam, has a protective instinct and a strong stomach as he takes it all in stride and helps her without question…until Justus arrives and reveals the truth: Zoe has been transformed into a Mage, a Breed that can control energy and manipulate it based on individual gifts. Usually, a Mage is made by special selection and it is an honor to be chosen, but Zoe is unique in that she did not choose to be Mage. Her Creator attacked and left her for dead. Without a Creator, Zoe is left vulnerable to other Mage until she has enough power and control to protect herself. Justus takes her under his wing, becoming her Ghaurdian until her Creator comes to claim her, a Creator’s right by Mage law, and he can do whatever he wants with her.

I didn’t have high expectations for STERLING based on the original description, but I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed every minute of it. I can’t wait for the sequel!

Characters: **** 4 Stars
The beginning of the novel was a little rough in the character development arena. After being attacked, Zoe is rescued by Adam, a handsome former soldier who watches over her while she sleeps and her body physically transforms. The problem I had was how quickly Adam takes it all in stride and Zoe feels comfortable around him. I’m sure, had it been me, I would have been terrified, not knowing how who this strange man was, whether he might be connected to the attack, or how I got to his apartment. Yet as soon as she’s fed they’re best friends. Similarly, when Justus arrives on scene, he’s antagonistic and angry, yet Zoe manages to trust him really quickly.

That being said, as the novel progressed, the characters really grew on me and I ended up loving them all. Zoe is strong and resilient, indomitable yet also vulnerable. Adam is protective and has a truly generous heart. Justus is also protective, but more chivalrous and old-fashioned. Simon, introduced later in the story, is sexy and funny, using his rockstar appearance to hide a kind soul. I did think it was a little much to have three protective men guarding over her (and no other women), but they all had distinct personalities and served different roles in Zoe’s new life.

Plot: **** 4 Stars
The pacing of STERLING was perfect, the plot complex enough to be interesting, and the world-building nicely done. I’ve knocked off a star because the beginning of the novel suffered from some abrupt time shifts that skipped too much potential character development. However, I could not have asked for a better ending! It was climactic and action packed, building the danger to a perfect pitch before resolving with a happy conclusion. The story was complete in itself, but the real “Big Bad” was left for Zoe to deal with in later installments. I only wish the second book in the series was already available!

Setting: ***** 5 Stars
I was able to visualize Zoe’s surroundings in almost every scene, but the description wasn’t overly heavy or obnoxious. I lost myself in her world, never skipping a paragraph to move onto the next bit of dialogue or action.

Romance: *** 3 Stars
With three male protectors, all of whom seem interested in her, it was hard to know who to root for, and apparently Zoe didn’t know either. Adam is fantastic in the beginning, and I was drawn to him, hoping that he would somehow manage to overcome the obstacle of her new abilities (unable to safely interact with him when she’s in a…ahem…high emotional state). But then Justus turns out to be a really great guy, just awkward and unsure of how to behave around Zoe, particularly since she’s his student. And Simon was a lot of fun, but I felt like he managed to wiggle his way into her life too quickly. There’s a lot of potential for a love…pyramid? square?…anyway, there’s a lot of potential with any of the three men, but nothing was accomplished and I felt like I was left hanging in the wind, waiting for one of them to make a move (one that wouldn’t involve anyone getting physically hurt, anyway).

Genre – Contemporary Fantasy: ***** 5 Stars
STERLING is a unique take on a current trend, and I loved it. The fact that Mage aren’t sorcerers and don’t perform magic, but manipulate energy was interesting and a fun twist (I haven’t seen too many elementals recently). Plus the modern day setting with some centuries-old protectors, with dark action and high stakes, made this a fantastically fun story. It was worth every penny, and then some!

(In fact, with a few revisions to the first few chapters, and a better description on Amazon, I would have gladly forked over a few extra dollars!)

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Description From Goodreads:

Valerie Dearborn wants a cotton candy life, but it’s more like a puffer fish: pointy, unusual, and—if not prepared exactly right—deadly.

In London for graduate school, Val knows she’s finally free. Her father and ex-almost-boyfriend are back in California and she’s out of the Vampire hunting biz for good. Or is she?

She draws the attention of Lucas, a 1600 year old Vampire, and King to his kind. He’s also wicked hot. As golden as Lucifer, and just as tempting, he makes Valerie an offer she can’t refuse— help him find out if the Others (Empaths, Fey and Werewolves) still exist or he’ll stop protecting those she loves.

Lucas tells her that Empaths were a Vampire’s biggest weakness before going extinct hundreds of years ago. While the Fey or a Werewolf might kill a Vampire, an Empath could enslave them, seducing or harming with emotions at will. The one detail he leaves out? Valerie is an Empath.

And after 1600 years of an emotionless existence, Lucas wants Valerie like a recovering alcoholic wants a wine cooler.

Can she keep those she loves alive, stop Lucas from munching on her, survive a fanged revolution and still find a way to have that boring, normal life she’s always wanted? Probably not, but boy is she gonna try!

LOVE IS DARKNESS, by Caroline Hanson
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Review: *** 3 Stars
The Goodreads description pretty well sums up the book. Valerie Dearborn wants a simple human life, but she keeps getting sucked into the dark underworld of the Others…well, the vampires anyway.

Overall, this was a good book, but not a great one. The characters were reasonably believable, the plot was fast enough to keep me entertained, but there were also quite a few problems that were distracting during the read, including grammar and spelling errors, and problematic point of view switches (one paragraph from one character followed immediately by another paragraph from a different character, and back again). At $.99, it’s a fun distraction and a quick romp in urban fantasy, but don’t expect anything extraordinary.

Characters: *** 3 Stars
Nearly every character in this novel was a contradiction of themselves. Valerie wants to have a “normal” life, but she loves men who can’t give her that normalcy. In fact, the only man that could, Ian, is a non-character that was present for a couple of chapters and unnecessary for the plot. I actually would have preferred her just focusing on her grad school studies rather than getting involved with a stand-in. Meanwhile, Jack is the bad boy from her past that simultaneously wants to protect her by keeping her away from the action, but gets jealous when she actually tries to have a life outside of his world. Lucas is the vampire king that has been emotionless for centuries, but on finding out that Valerie is an empath, wants to take her as his own while using her as a tool to find more of the Others (empaths, werewolves, and fae). None of the characters really grew through the story or resolved their issues, although at least Valerie realized she was probably never going to have her white picket dream.

Plot: *** 3 Stars
Beyond the basic spelling and grammar issues (which automatically subtract a star), the story concept was strong but the execution of the plot was forgettable. The intro flashback chapters could have been incorporated into the rest of the story better, providing integrated background and adding some suspense instead of being front-loaded on the novel. Once we finally get into the meat of the story, Valerie does a lot of complaining while being whooshed around by Lucas or ordered around by Jack. Some of the action sequences toward the end were good, and the verbal repartee was fun, but there were huge plot holes that needed to be filled. For example, a whole section of the story is devoted to Valerie doing research on the Others. Lucas whisks her off to the British Library, sneaking her into the stacks using his ability to dematerialize. However, in subsequent chapters, Valerie is going to the library on her own. How does she get to the books she needs without Lucas? Similarly, she finally discovers some information, but never has a chance to report it to Lucas, yet somehow he magically knows about it. It left me with a lot of unanswered questions.

The ending also left me hanging. It was too open-ended and too abrupt, like a cliff-hanger at the end of your favorite TV series before they go on break for the holidays. LOVE IS DARKNESS clearly wasn’t intended to be a stand-alone novel, but I shouldn’t have turned the last virtual page thinking there were still several chapters to go.

Setting: **** 4 Stars
I love London, so the setting worked for me, but probably because I’ve been there. The description was somewhat limited, and I never fully felt sucked into the world, but I was still able to enjoy it.

Romance: *** 3 Stars
The love triangle was set up nicely, but failed due to an overabundance of jealousy, lack of willpower, and inability to make a decision. I loved the tension between Valerie and her two interests, but I never felt emotionally involved in either relationship. I wanted to her to have some kind of epiphany, even a small one, that would start her down the path toward one of the men.

Genre – Urban Fantasy: **** 4 Stars
LOVE IS DARKNESS fit right in to the urban fantasy genre. It’s dark enough to please, with a couple of kinky twists and lots of vampire action. That being said, I didn’t feel the story offered anything new to the genre, so I can’t give it a full 5 stars.

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