Freya Snow #13: Pandora Review

Pandora (Freya Snow Book 13)

Freya knew she was going to be the Queen of the Underworld because her father was the king, but she knew she had time until her father would die and she would have to take that position. When her father gets sick and reveals that he is dying, Freya is distraught. Not only does she have to deal with her father being gone, she has to deal with maintaining order in the Underworld as she transitions from Princess to Queen. On top of all that, Freya’s mother is back in her life and Pandora’s Box has to be closed, and Alex is back in her life after several years of being with the Enhanced.

This book truly shows how Freya has grown throughout the series. At first she was a teenaged foster child, unsure of herself but eventually sure that she had a crush on her friend Damon. Then, she was in her late teens and gaining her powers as an Angel, and falling for an Enhanced human named Alex. Now she is in her 20s, happily married to Damon, and preparing to name her fiancée Alex as her heartbond. She thought that everything was going well with her life, but now her father dies and her mother is back as a ghost. When she was a teenager, she hated her mother for leaving her on Earth as a baby and not helping bring her back to her father, the King. Now, she is a Queen, older than her mother who is frozen as a 19 y/o ghost, and she has lost both of her parents. I am unsure of how close we are to the end of the Freya Snow series, but this book seems like a perfect setup for the end. Freya is finally reaching the peak of her powers, and she even has all of her true loves by her side. It is truly a beautiful thing to read.

I also enjoyed how Alex was woven into the story. Damon and Freya are both autistic, but Alex is not. There are some things that Alex picks up on that Damon and Freya would not. There are some connections that Damon and Freya have that Alex is not a part of, whether it be magical or just emotional. But she still manages to fit into their dynamic. I’m unsure if Damon and Alex are ever going to have a romantic relationship or if they will always just be connected through Freya, but I am happy either way. The only thing I was confused about was how Jan would weave into this story. She is technically still with Alex, but Alex is living with Freya in the Demon World. I hope this is cleared up in the next few Freya Snow or Engineered Rebel books!

I finished this book quickly as I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next with some of my favorite characters. This book didn’t end off on the best note though, and I can’t wait to find out what happens to Freya and her friends/family/lovers in the next installment of this series. Everything is at the point where all the side series are crossing over with the main Freya Snow novels, and it is really unique to be able to see what the side characters are also doing while Freya is going through this time in her life. I would definitely suggest to check out the Engineered Rebel and Royal Cleaners series if you are enjoying this series!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an adult LGBT+ romance novel.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books

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The Angel Eyes #0: Jake’s Redemption Review

Jake's Redemption (The Angel Eyes #0)

In this universe, there was a war of men vs. women many years prior. The women won and can enslave the men, and most women show the men no mercy. Marriage is outlawed, and women are meant to just make use of the many male slaves that are around. Jake has been tortured for years under Darla and doesn’t think that he will ever be able to be happy again. When a woman named Monica offers him a job on her ranch, he is worried that he might be going to a fate worse than Darla. When Monica treats him like a human instead of a slave, Jake doesn’t know how to react. Soon, he finds himself falling for her, but he doesn’t know if he can love again.

Wow, I have never read a book quite like this one. So often have I seen a book with female slave/damsel in distress being saved by the male protagonist, but never the reverse. Monica doesn’t believe in slavery, but many women at the time did. Jake had resigned himself to his fate with Darla, but Monica shows him that life could be happy again. He cannot be fully free from Darla because she is constantly keeping tabs on him, but he will be somewhat free on Monica’s ranch until his contract is up.

I also loved how this book shows that both men and women can be traumatized. In many books, men go through trauma and automatically want to go back to having people all over them. Jake doesn’t even want to be hugged by a woman after the horrors he has gone through with Darla, and Monica respects that. When others on the ranch do not respect his wishes, Monica speaks out against it. He has to heal just like anyone else, he isn’t some sort of emotionless being who bounces back after years of torture after seeing a pretty woman or something. Jake needed a time and place to heal, and Monica’s ranch gave him this space.

The romance wasn’t the main focus of this book in my opinion. Jake’s healing was the main focus, which I truly appreciated. Even though the cover looked very sensual, nothing happened until Jake was truly ready to move to that stage of a relationship. When the romance did occur, it was very slow. The characters weren’t just having sex like in some adult romance novels, they truly loved one another and worshipped each other.

To think that this book is a prequel to the rest of the series that hasn’t even come out yet is astonishing. I can’t wait to read the rest of the Angel Eyes series. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a new NA dystopian romance novel.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 books.

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Those Who Knew Review

From the award-winning author of Ways to Disappear, a taut, timely novel about what a powerful politician thinks he can get away with and the group of misfits who finally bring him down.

On an unnamed island country ten years after the collapse of a U.S.-supported regime, Lena suspects the powerful senator she was involved with back in her student activist days is taking advantage of a young woman who’s been introducing him at rallies. When the young woman ends up dead, Lena revisits her own fraught history with the senator and the violent incident that ended their relationship.

Why didn’t Lena speak up then, and will her family’s support of the former regime still impact her credibility? What if her hunch about this young woman’s death is wrong?

What follows is a riveting exploration of the cost of staying silent and the mixed rewards of speaking up in a profoundly divided country. Those Who Knew confirms Novey’s place as an essential new voice in American fiction.

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I had such high hopes for this book. A political thriller that seemed to mirror some parts of the world around us? Sign me up! I was gifted this ARC, so I was so excited to even get the chance to read it before it came out. But unfortunately, sometimes things aren’t as great as they might seem.

This book is told in an extremely strange fashion. There are a bunch of different characters whose stories are all happening simultaneously, and each chapter focuses on a different one. It wasn’t even until I reached the end of the book that I realized that Freddy was Victor’s younger brother, and I am only half sure about that! Then, the book also included a few TV-show or play script chapters where the author would jump back into the past and talk about things that were happening. These were the most confusing, as they would often end on a really strange note and just “fade to black.” There were also chapters told in a chronological order, with timestamps by the hour. But without knowing which characters were which, these chapters also made no sense. Characters in the play and time-stamp chapters were just referred to as “Future Senator” or “Future Senator’s Brother” and so forth, to make the story more “cryptic.”

The main plot of the book was supposed to be about Maria P’s death and Lena trying to figure out who killed her. Then it turned into a story about Lena and her former boyfriend the politician Victor, who she thought could have killed Maria. Then it was about Olga and her dead boyfriend/true love S and her marijuana business. Then, it was about Victor and his wife. Then it was about Victor and his brother. Then it was about Lena and her new boyfriend. Then it was about Lena and Olga. I literally could not keep up with everything that was going on, and it got to the point where I just stopped trying.

The ending of the book felt like some sort of fever dream. Dead bodies, but were they dead bodies? A lot of sexual scenes, for what reason, I don’t know. And then the end of the book didn’t seem to tie anything up. I was more confused than I was when I started reading.

This book started off as some sort of political thriller, but it ended as a sort of abstract novel about humanity, love, and politics. Definitely not my kind of read, and I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I had known that it was going to be written in this fashion. At the beginning I wanted to learn about what happened to Maria P. I never figured out what happened to her, and I didn’t find out what happened to the other characters either.

I received a copy of this book and this my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

A Creation of Tomorrow Review

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\A Creation of Tomorrow (The Creation Series, #1)Alice’s daughter now missing, Cami was without a mother, and the one person that protected her from her father’s anger. Now Cami continuously wore new bruises.

Having no doubt Cami’s father Tom was responsible for the bruises Alice turned to the police again and again, but just like when Patsy went missing, they repeatedly turned their backs on her.

Alice was desperate to find help. With nowhere left to turn, she turned to the most dangerous men she’d ever laid eyes on.

Rumour had it that they were drug traffickers. The leader was thought to be the devil himself, and his men his demon disciples; but what choice did Alice have? She needed someone that could protect Cami.

***
They didn’t wear patches on their leather, and they weren’t called by any name, but they were brothers.

For Rick running a drug ring was challenge enough. Having each other’s back was all that mattered – until Alice approached him. Taken with Alice, and drawn in the moment he looked at Cami’s picture Rick ordered Jonathan and Swan to tail the little girl, and find out what they could about her situation.

What they found was that she abused and needed their help. What they discovered was an innocence they forgot existed in the world, and a strength no child should ever have.

Her sweetness drew them in. Her strength tore at their hearts. They would do anything to keep her was safe.

This is a creation of tomorrow..

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Cami was in trouble, and her grandmother knew. No one believed that Cami was being abused by her father Tom, and the police reports that Alice had been filing were fruitless. Tom was going to really hurt Cami if Alice didn’t do something, so she decided to turn to a local gang for protection. She was expecting to have to pay but little did she know, the gang’s leader Rick had a soft spot for her and little girls in need of his help. The gang decides to watch this girl in order to find out what her father is really doing to her. They don’t mean to become attached to young Cami and Alice, but they do. Now, they have to worry about protecting the two from Tom and from the gang’s enemies.

This was the longest book that I’ve read in a while. It actually took me 2-3 days of on and off reading to finish it! But I kept on reading because I just loved the characters so much. I was reading in a lot of different spare moments that I had, just to get a chapter or two in. And even through all of this, I still had that moment at the end of the novel where I thought “that’s it?” I didn’t want these characters to ever stop talking to me.

This book has a nice balance between shocking/sad and cute/relaxing scenes. You would have a scene with Rick’s gang fighting or killing members of another gang, and then you would have a scene with the same guys playing with Cami. The author makes sure that her readers know that just because the men are gangsters doesn’t mean that they are cruel to everyone that they meet. They can treat a young girl like a princess, and still kill anyone who dares to put her in danger. Some scenes might get a little gory for those faint of heart, but it still was an amazing novel.

This was also a semi-realistic portrayal of child abuse. Everyone knew that something wasn’t quite right with Cami’s relationship with her father, but they couldn’t get her to say anything. Bruises aren’t uncommon on children, and police reports might not go anywhere for quite a long time. The only way for the gang to find out what was wrong was to see it firsthand. Cami didn’t even show signs of being abused emotionally, she had gotten good at hiding things. The gang had to get really close to Cami to get her to say a word about her father.

After the father story arc is set to the side, you get to see Cami’s life with the gang around her. They became a sort of messed up family, with the gang using the money that they received from their other activities to give Cami elaborate gifts. I was so sad when they worried about Cami’s safety from themselves.

The romance in this book was also sweet. Rick definitely had a soft spot for Alice, and slowly Alice started to warm up to him as well. I had wished that it had gone further than it had, but it had to end for safety reasons. Such a tragic love story! Then, there is a romance that was introduced at the end of the novel. A bit of a triangle even. I don’t know how this will work out, but I will just have to wait until book 2 and see!

Overall, this was an amazing thriller. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an adult mystery/thriller novel with a side storyline about family.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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End of the Last Great Kingdom Review

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In Sulphurium the enlighten, whose with magic, are tested at the edge of adulthood to see if they have what it takes to become mages. For Leaf, an orphan who has not awaken his powers yet the trials are insurmountable. However, by the skin of his teeth Leaf manages to pass and is reborn as Mage Brimstone. Just as Brimstone becomes comfortable with his new life, the Order arrives and turns his world upside down. Their intent is to use him as a political and military pawn. Brimstone and friends will need to learn quickly if they ever hope to survive.

The Brimstone Chronicles is a dark fantasy series following the life of the Mage Brimstone. The story is fast paced and filled with unique characters and captivating creatures. Be warned this series is not for the faint of heart. Death and suffering lie around every corner, and not even the innocent are safe.

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I truly wanted to enjoy this dark adventure story with teenaged characters, but I felt as if I wasn’t truly connected to any of them. Each character had a unique trait, but their general personalities were sort of bland. By the end of the book, the only character that I truly knew was Brimstone. The rest had melded into one big pile of “Brimstone’s friends.”

Also, dark fantasy does not mean that all of the characters have to come off as being nearly soulless. Brimstone is cruel in this book by the end, and he is not even remorseful about it in the least. You would think that a 13-year-old would have some sort of physical reaction to such violence. I mean, he seems to be the slave boy at the beginning of the story, and those memories that he lost could have been of great suffering, but this was never explained. He didn’t even seem to be that strong at the start of the novel, constantly being bullied, so how is he this beast of a man who would never listen to anyone but himself by the end. Only a few months have passed!

Overall, I didn’t really like this novel, it could have definitely been more for me, but I did like the premise. I might still read the sequel to see if anything gets better and to find out what happens to Brimstone and his friends

I received a copy of this book and reviewed it through the Online Book Club. https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=98323

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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Three Months To Change Review

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Three Months to ChangeLenora was changing—not in any frightening way. At least, not at first. There was the intense ability to shield herself from abuse that was very empowering. But her other senses had become heightened as well, and that’s when she’d begun seeing scenes from the past and smoky dark mists in her home. Meeting Frankie had been a wonderful treat—there weren’t many men who could stir her emotions as he was prone to do. Still, there was something strange about him, something haunting, something she couldn’t put her finger on. Ah, well, desirable men with the air of mystery were compelling and fun. Weren’t they? And what about Rex? She wasn’t sure. He was part of a fearsome family, making her wonder if such tales of werewolves and monsters were true. Just how did she fit into this strange new world? And why would she even want to? All she kept hearing, however, was that there were only a precious three months before a full change. Time was awastin’.

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I am not sure exactly what this book was supposed to be. As I read the last page of the book and then flipped to the acknowledgments, I literally said: “That’s it?” I had finished the entire thing in around 45 minutes, and I felt like I was trying to read a bunch of different stories at once.

At first, I thought that this would be a werewolf story. Lenora was going to change into a wolf at some point in the story, and her change will be the main focus of the novel. But this isn’t the case. Soon, she has some sort of mental connection with a random person named Frankie? I thought he was a coworker, but I’m not sure. There is a very random almost tentacle sex scene as a part of that “connection,” which was weird. I thought at first that it was Lenora connecting with her wolf, but then she says “it’s Frankie!” This is only about a quarter of the way into the novel, and we already have two different large story events happening.

Then, the whole werewolf storyline seems to be thrown to the side yet again. Now, Lenora is in some sort of time-travel storyline. She seems to meet Frankie on the “other side,” but the romance part of the story never picks up again. Instead, it is Lenora trying to control her powers. Were these powers connected to her wolf? I suppose so, but the story never really makes this clear. Then the story ends rather abruptly. I don’t know if there is a going to be a sequel to this novel, but if there is no sequel, then the storyline feels rather unfinished.

I don’t know if Lenora successfully became a wolf or gained control of her powers or ended up going out with Frankie. I really don’t even know what happened at the end of the novel, I just lost track of all the characters. No one had a memorable personality, I don’t understand how the werewolf storyline changed into a time-travel storyline, it was almost as if two different stories were spliced together at the middle. This book was simply too short for everything that it tried to do.

Writing this review was difficult simply because of how confusing this book is, and I would definitely not recommend this to anyone looking for a werewolf fantasy-romance novel.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 books

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