Sunday, January 10, 2016

Melanie's Week in Review - January 10, 2016

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you are enjoying the first week of the new year. Well, I am back for another year of my Week in Review. Some of you kind souls completed my very short survey and the overwhelming majority was for me to continue. So here we go!
What have I been reading?

I had just started to read the penultimate instalment of SM Reine's War of the Alphas series  - Alpha when I posted last. Deidre is back from the dead and in the process has discovered that she is none other than a phoenix. The only problem is that she remains an Omega as she can't shift on demand. What makes it worse is that her only alternatives for bringing out her feathered alternative self is a hunky but evil dragon or getting killed; neither option appeals to Deidre. In this instalment Stark is very reluctantly running for election after the Alpha Rylie declares an election to democratically elect the next one. Stark however, is more driven by vengeance when he discovers his wife is the pretender to the Unseelie throne. All the responsibility is back on Deidre to save the day.

Alpha has a lot happening in it. There is the Deidre being re-born, learning what shifter she really is, the election, Stark's wife and children, and lots and lots of killing. I think if Deirdre looked up psychopath in dictionary Stark's picture would be beside it. I kept waiting for him to show his good side....and I can assure you it never happened. I think having Stark's wife appear on the scene just muddled the plot and turned the focus away from what it started to be with Deidre wanting a better life for all shifters.

At the start of the final book Pas, Stark is missing and Deidre is left alone to help him win the election. She also tries to maintain the balance between the vampires and the other factions that joined to support Stark. Without him there they are starting to rebel against her which puts the electoral race at stake. When the election results come in and its clear they have been rigged, Deidre is on the case to find Stark and put things right. She is determined that the right alpha wins...whoever that turns out to be.

This final instalment can only be described as 'messy'. There were too many things happening at once for it to come together as a cohesive plot. There is Stark going missing, the election being rigged, the vampires killing innocents and rebelling against Deidre, Stark's wife being as much of a psycho as he is, Stark's bizarre children, the Seelie and Unseelie kings, Deidre finding Stark and consummating their relationship, Rylie, Deidre summoning her phoenix self ...and the list goes on.  I couldn't really figure out Stark's master plan. If he was going to be supreme ruler and all preternaturals/supernaturals got to do whatever they wanted then what happens to the mundane population? By book 4 Stark and the vampires seem to kill most of them. Deidre also seems to lose all sense of herself and doesn't have a moral code of her own. She just seems to let others get abused or die because its easier than the alternatives. As for Stark he was the most unsympathetic character I ever came across and how Deidre spent more than 5 minutes in his presence let alone has sex with him is beyond me. It made her much more the victim than heroine of the tale. While I appreciate that Reine didn't drag the series out I think she tried to tell too much in only 4 books. Less is definitely more!

I decided to switch it up a bit with a bit of 'olde worldy London' with The Last Necromancer by C.J. Archer. Set in Victorian London the story starts with the young Charlotte Halloway who has been living as a boy on the mean streets for 5 years. When she ends up picking the wrong pocket and ends up in jail her life changes forever. After a rather dubious escape Charlie ends up being kidnapped by the mysterious Lincoln Fitzroy. Fitzroy is part of a secret organisation called the Ministry of Curiosities and has been searching for Charlotte before the evil Frankenstein finds her and uses her necromancing skills to raise an army of the undead. What he doesn't realise is that he is holding the very person he is looking for all the while. Take away the dirt and the boys clothes and the lovely Charlotte is revealed. Charlie isn't sure being Fitzroy's prisoner is any better than what Frankenstein has in store. It's all things that go bump in the night in this Victorian paranormal fantasy.

I enjoyed this story although I didn't find it that challenging of a read. Some of it was quite cliched especially the evil Frankenstein. Charlie also has an almost immediate attraction to the devilishly handsome Fitzroy and considering he kidnapped her and held her prisoner that is a tad unbelievable. There were also too many attempted rapes of the not so innocent Charlie. Had I been her I wouldn't have left home without some sort of weapon rather than walking around Victorian Whitechapel on my own. However, all being said, it was a quick and easy read and I can hardly wait to find out what Fitzroy's deep, dark secret is.

That is it for me this week. I hope you have started 2016 on a good reading note and ensure you make a resolution to read my Week in Review every week! Until next time happy reading.

War of the Alphas 3
Red Iris Books, June 4, 2015
eBook, 250 pages

No longer an Omega, Deirdre Tombs has found her animal. She only had to die and rise from her own ashes to discover it.

And she’s returned with a purpose.

For the first time in history, the role of Alpha is up for election. If Everton Stark takes charge, he could disband the ruthless government organization that has made life miserable for shifters like Deirdre.

One problem: Stark doesn’t want to run. He only wants vengeance against his wife, Rhiannon, who killed many of his followers and stole the Ethereal Blade.

While Stark is focused on revenge, Rhiannon is focused on winning the election for Alpha. Victory means tearing the Winter Court apart with civil war. It means riots. It means unleashing a deadly unseelie assassin that devours souls. Anything to get her dragon shifter mate in power…with Rhiannon at his side.

War of the Alphas 4
Red Iris Books, July 27, 2015
eBook, 244 pages

Deirdre Tombs is a Beta without her Alpha. Everton Stark is missing, just days in advance of the election to replace Rylie Gresham as leader of all North American shifters.

She can’t control his allies anymore. She can’t win the election without him.

Everything will be lost unless Deirdre can become a better monster than Stark.

The Last Necromancer
The Ministry Of Curiosities 1
Trade Paperback, July 17, 2015
eBook, August 11, 2015

Victorian London: For five years, Charlotte (Charlie) Holloway has lived as a boy in the slums. But when one theft too many gets her arrested, her only means of escape lies with a dead man. Charlie hasn't raised a spirit since she first discovered she could do so five years ago. That time, her father banished her. This time, she brings even more trouble upon herself.

People are now hunting Charlie all over London, but only one man succeeds in capturing her.

Lincoln Fitzroy is the mysterious head of a secret organization on the trail of a madman who needs a necromancer to control his newly "made" creatures. There was only one known necromancer in the world - Charlotte - but now there appears to be two. Lincoln captures the willful Charlie in the hopes the boy will lead him to Charlotte. But what happens when he discovers the boy is in fact the young woman he's been searching for all along? And will she agree to work for the man who held her against her will, and for an organization she doesn't trust?

Because Lincoln and his ministry might be just as dangerous as the madman they're hunting.


  1. I love that cover for C J Archer and it makes me want to grab it. Hope you enjoy all your books and happy to have you sharing.
    sherry @ fundinmental My Sunday Memes

    1. Me too. Some of the other covers in that series are even better. Thank you Sherry. Very kind of you to say.