close

The Qwillery | category: Patricia Briggs

home

The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

qwillery.blogspot.com

Melanie's Month in Review - May 2019


Melanie's Month in Review - May 2019


Bye bye May! I can't believe that May has come and gone. I hope that May brought you some blooming great books (get it...May flowers....blooming???...tee hee).  Well excuse my poor sense of humour. I have jetlag after a rather long journey back from the east coast of Canada. The holiday did provide me with the opportunity to read some good books though. So what did I read?


Melanie's Month in Review - May 2019
One of my sisters is an ardent fan of Patricia Briggs (she introduced me to the author) and had the most recent Mercy Thompson book - Storm Cursed. I had forgotten that this book had been released so I grabbed her Kindle and piled in. This book is set a mere few months after the events of book 10 when Mercy was kidnapped and held in Europe. Rather than referencing the events of the last book Storm Cursed carries on the plot arc from books 8 and 9. Just when Mercy has a little bit of stability in her life a deadly coven of witches threaten the peace talks between the humans, fae and werewolves. Mercy and the pack promised to protect the Tri Cities and they are determined regardless how many zombie goats they have to kill in the process.

I enjoyed Mercy's 11th adventure more than I thought I would. This instalment links more closely to the overall plot arc (or what I believe is the plot arc) then the previous instalment Silence Fallen (book 10). A number of my favourite characters are back including Zee, Uncle Mike and Larry the Goblin King. The book also emphasizes how Mercy is a bit of an outsider and if it wasn't for being Adam's mate she wouldn't have the support from all of the pack. I felt the book was a bit more like the early books with the dynamic between Mercy, Zee, Tad and the vampire Stefan. Zombie goats aside there are some rather violent sections in this book although much of the violence is recounted rather than experienced by one of the characters. Mercy does get beaten up but not as badly as in previous books. I know this isn't popular with some readers of my posts but I really wish Briggs would wrap up this series. I like Mercy but I think she needs to have her HEA.


Melanie's Month in Review - May 2019
I decided to switch it up and read some science fiction after a glut of fantasy and urban fantasy. I turned to the short story Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky. The story is told by astronaut Gary Rendell. Gary has gone on a mission across the stars to investigate an alien structure. Disaster strikes not long after landing and Gary is alone and lost inside the structure with something or somethings lurking around every corner.

I enjoyed this short story mainly for the witty way in which Tchaikovsky tells the story through Gary's POV. The story switches between the present and the past as Gary recounts how he has ended up in his unique predicament while he wanders through the endless dark tunnels trying to survive. The story is rather light hearted because of Gary's witty story telling until the very end when it gets rather much darker. If you are a science fiction fan and want something that doesn't take ages to read then give Walking to Aldebaran a go.


Melanie's Month in Review - May 2019
In case you missed it one of my other reads in May was the final instalment of Lindsay J. Pryor's Blackthorn series - Blood Broken. In honour of this being the final book of the series I wrote a full review which you can read here.


For all you Ilona Andrews fans you are going to be totally jealous that I got an advance copy of Sapphire Flames which is the soon to be released latest book in the Hidden Legacy series. I have to wait a bit before I am able to review it. It is out in August so look for my review sometime in July.


That's all I have for you for this month. I am going to be a bit more dedicated to the blog and get some full reviews posted so wish me luck. Until June happy reading!





Storm Cursed
Mercy Thompson 11
Ace, May 7, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 368 pages

Melanie's Month in Review - May 2019
In this powerful entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves…

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.
And a coyote shapeshifter.
And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe.  As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word.

We will die to keep it.





Walking to Aldebaran
Solaris, May 28, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 140 pages

Melanie's Month in Review - May 2019
Chilling story of a lost astronaut on an alien artefact from Arthur C. Clarke award-winning Adrian Tchaikovsky

My name is Gary Rendell. I’m an astronaut. When they asked me as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said, “astronaut, please!” I dreamed astronaut, I worked astronaut, I studied astronaut.

I got lucky; when a probe sent out to explore the Oort Cloud found a strange alien rock and an international team of scientists was put together to go and look at it, I made the draw.

I got even luckier. When disaster hit and our team was split up, scattered through the endless cold tunnels, I somehow survived.

Now I’m lost, and alone, and scared, and there’s something horrible in here.

Lucky me.

Lucky, lucky, lucky.

Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit - Giveaway!


Would you like to win a Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit from Penguin Random House?

Go here to enter: https://sweeps.penguinrandomhouse.com/enter/fantasy-romance-starter-kit-giveaway

The winner will win the following six first-in-series books!

Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit - Giveaway!

20 runners-up will receive an advance reading copy of Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven!

Open to US residents, 18 and older. Hurry and enter! The giveaway ends on September 19, 2018!




Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit - Giveaway!
PHOENIX UNBOUND by Grace Draven
A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.


Phoenix Unbound
The Fallen Empire 1
Ace, September 25, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire’s capital–her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village’s tithe has been the same woman. Gilene’s sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different.

Azarion, the Empire’s most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion–and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. Unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will abandon everything to return to the Empire–and burn once more.


Look for Melanie's review of Phoenix Unbound later this month!




Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit - Giveaway!
MAGIC BITES by Ilona Andrews
Ilona Andrews invites you to experience the first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series featuring the intriguing fantasy world of mercenary Kate Daniels…


Magic Bites
A Kate Daniels Novel 1
Ace, December 31, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews invites you to experience the first novel in the “intriguing world” (Locus) of Kate Daniels with this special edition of Magic Bites

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t want it any other way…

This special edition includes in-depth information about the world of Kate Daniels, with descriptions of its characters and factions. Explore Kate’s Atlanta like never before with answers to FAQ and a quiz to find your place there. And don’t miss the prequel story “A Questionable Client,” as well as scenes of events in Magic Bites from Curran’s point of view.




Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit - Giveaway!
WRITTEN IN RED by Anne Bishop
Enter the world of the Others in the first novel in New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s thrilling fantasy series: a place where unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—rule the Earth and prey on the human race.


Written in Red
A Novel of the Others 1
Roc, March 04, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 512 pages

Enter the world of the Others in the first novel in New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s thrilling fantasy series: a place where unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—rule the Earth and prey on the human race.
As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.




Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit - Giveaway!
CRY WOLF by Patricia Briggs
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs presents the first Alpha and Omega novel—the start of an extraordinary series set in Mercy Thompson’s world, but with rules of its own…


Cry Wolf
Alpha and Omega 1
Ace, July 29, 2008
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs presents the first Alpha and Omega novel—the start of an extraordinary series set in Mercy Thompson’s world, but with rules of its own…

Anna never knew werewolves existed until the night she survived a violent attack…and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But Anna is that rarest kind of werewolf: an Omega. And one of the most powerful werewolves in the country is about to recognize her value as a pack member—and as his mate.




Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit - Giveaway!
WILD HUNGER by Chloe Neill
In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill’s spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.


Wild Hunger
An Heirs of Chicagoland Novel 1
Berkley, August 14, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill’s spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.




Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit - Giveaway!
SLAVE TO SENSATION by Nalini Singh
THE FIRST PSY/CHANGELING NOVEL from the New York Times bestselling author of Shards of Hope, Shield of Winter, and Heart of Obsidian

The book that Christine Feehan called “a must-read for all of my fans.”


Slave to Sensation
Psy-Changling 1
Berkley, September 5, 2006
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

THE FIRST PSY/CHANGELING NOVEL from the New York Times bestselling author of Shards of Hope, Shield of Winter, and Heart of Obsidian…

The book that Christine Feehan called “a must-read for all of my fans.”

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of “rehabilitation”—the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was…Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion—and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities—or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation…

Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018


Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018

I think the title of this post needs to be changed to 'Melanie's Fortnight in Review'. I haven't been reading that much recently has I have the worlds worst sinus cold and just can't concentrate on reading so I started downloading NetFlix and Amazon Prime shows and watching them on my way into work. I have been binge watching the re-boots of Dynasty (excellent!), Queer Eye (hmmmm...some episodes are better than others) and Riverdale (getting stupidier) and finally Lucifer. In my defense Neil Gaiman created the characters on Lucifer so I rationalise that it is as good as reading. :-)


Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018
What I have read is Patricia Briggs' fifth novel in her Alpha and Omega series, Burn Bright. My fellow reviewer Doreen has already reviewed this book and I agree with her comments. I also enjoyed this instalment and in recent years have started to prefer the pack assassin Charles and his werewolf calming Omega, Anna over the Mercy Thompson series. I think this is the first time that events in both series have come so close together. I did feel there were a couple of 'holes' or parts missing. So what did I do? I re-read the first 4 books of the Alpha and Omega series.

I actually started with the prequel short story to this series and then plowed my way through Cry Wolf, Hunting Ground, Fair Game, and Dead Heat. I did really enjoy the re-read especially the earlier books. I like how Anna doesn't let her tragic past define who she is now. I also appreciate how in these novels Briggs doesn't feel the need to put Anna through the ringer like she does with Mercy Thompson. Anna is perfectly capable of getting into trouble without getting beaten up, attacked, burned, or kidnapped (or at least not as much).

Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018
Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018 Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018

The thing I thought that was missing in Burn Bright was Anna's desire to have children. In book 3 Charles was willing to adopt but by book 5 there was no mention of children. I wasn't sure if this was intentional or not. It felt like it was a plot point that was forgotten rather than left behind. I thought that Burn Bright had some really interesting insights into characters that have been around since book 1. The dynamic between Leah and almost everyone else was quite interesting but I really wondered why Briggs thought it necessary to reveal that Bran sent Mercy away as a teenager for fear of her becoming his mate. That was a bit 'eeewwww' in my view.

I am sure I have told you all about my views of each of these books so I won't put you through that again. What I can say is that I found it really useful to read these books all again and back to back. There aren't that many series where you want to do this but this is one of them.

This is a a short one for me this week. Fingers crossed my cold goes away so I have something new and exciting to tell you about next week. Until then Happy Reading!





Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega Novella
Berkley, October 20, 2008
eBook, 86 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018
A companion novella to Cry Wolf—from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson novels.

Reluctant werewolf Anna Latham finds a new sense of self when the son of the werewolf king comes to town to quell unrest in the Chicago pack—and inspires a power in Anna she’s never felt before…



Cry Wolf
Alpha and Omega 1
Ace, July 29, 2008
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs presents the first Alpha and Omega novel—the start of an extraordinary series set in Mercy Thompson’s world, but with rules of its own…

Anna never knew werewolves existed until the night she survived a violent attack…and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But Anna is that rarest kind of werewolf: an Omega. And one of the most powerful werewolves in the country is about to recognize her value as a pack member—and as his mate.



Hunting Ground
Alpha and Omega 2
Ace, August 25, 2009
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs invites readers to follow her into the seductive realm of the Alpha and Omega series…

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf and was mated to Charles Cornick, the son—and enforcer—of the leader of the North American werewolves. She didn’t know how dangerous it could be either…

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan—and it seems like someone else might be, too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all—or risk losing everything…



Fair Game
Alpha and Omega 3
Ace, January 29, 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Hardcover and eBook, March 6, 2012

Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs’ third Alpha and Omega novel brings werewolves out of the darkness and into a society where fear and prejudice could turn the hunters into the prey…

It is said that opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son—and enforcer—of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant Alpha. While Anna, an Omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

When the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial-killer case, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston to join the investigation. It soon becomes clear that someone is targeting the preternatural. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…



Dead Heat
Alpha and Omega 4
Ace, February 2, 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Hardcover and eBook, March 3, 2015

Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018
Praised for having “the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense, and paranormal”*, #1 New York Times bestselling author Patrica Briggs’s Alpha and Omega series now takes readers into the middle of some bad supernatural business…

For once, mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Lantham are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal. Or at least their visit starts out that way…

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The fae have started a cold war with humanity that’s about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the crossfire.

*Rex Robot Reviews



Burn Bright
Alpha and Omega 5
Ace, March 6, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018
In her bestselling Alpha and Omega series, Patricia Briggs “spins tales of werewolves, coyote shifters, and magic and, my, does she do it well” (USATODAY.com). Now mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other–one that lurks too close to home…

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

Review: Burn Bright (Alpha and Omega 5) by Patricia Briggs


Burn Bright
Author:  Patricia Briggs
Series:  Alpha and Omega 5
Publisher:  Ace, March 6, 2018
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  US$27.00 (print); US$
ISBN:  9780425281314 (print); US$

Review: Burn Bright (Alpha and Omega 5) by Patricia Briggs
In her bestselling Alpha and Omega series, Patricia Briggs “spins tales of werewolves, coyote shifters, and magic and, my, does she do it well” (USATODAY.com). Now mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other–one that lurks too close to home…

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…



Doreen’s Thoughts

While Bran, the Marrok and packleader of the Aspen Creek werewolves, is absent, son Charles and his mate Anna are in charge, including responsibility for those werewolves who are too broken to live safely among others, even of their own kind. When one of the wildings is killed, it becomes apparent that there is a conspiracy to track down some type of information from one or more of the wildings, and that there must be a traitor among the pack.

As Charles, Anna, and a few other select pack members begin tracking down and contacting the wildlings, they continue to run into evidence of witch magic, one of the few forms of magic that can possibly affect werewolves negatively. It also become more obvious that the reason Bran has excluded himself at this time is because the traitor is someone at the very highest level of the pack – and someone the Marrok cannot bring himself to kill.

This is Briggs’ fifth novel starring Charles and Anna, the pack’s enforcer and its Omega. While Briggs has brought up witch magic tangentially in her other novels, this is the first one where it stands front and center. Although the traitor is found and handled, the primary group that attacked the pack has not yet been addressed, and so I expect to see that in her next novel or I will be greatly disappointed.

Otherwise, Briggs writes a tight novel, with small conversations and actions occurring in the beginning of the book becoming critically important later in the story. Her characters, Charles and Anna, are more fully formed now, after five novels, and the readers understand why Anna is so sensitive to being touched or grabbed unexpectedly and how Charles and his Brother Wolf become distracted by Anna’s comments or a slight touch. Other characters such as Asil and especially Leah are more fully fleshed out, with the reader becoming more understanding of the odd relationship between Bran and his mate, Leah.

Overall, this was a quick read, well-written and fast-paced. Again, I look forward to seeing how the protagonists deal with the entity behind the attacks that occurred in this story.

Melanie's Week in Review - January 21, 2018


Melanie's Week in Review - January 21, 2018


Well hello, I hope you have a good week. I am suffering a bit from 'readers block'.  This is my very own malady similar to writers block where an author loses the ability to write. Well I have lost the ability to read. This is in part from reading books for SPFBO 2017. Not only do we have to read a bunch of books fairly quickly  - usually not a problem as I read quickly - but I have to read those and try to have some other books to review for you here on my Week in Review. I wasn't always able to do both. The other attribute to my reading malaise is birthday related. It is the Hubinator's milestone birthday and we (his sons and I) thought that we would surprised him with tickets to see his favourite football team play (that's soccer for those North American readers). Wow, organising a surprise is exhausting! Never again!

So, I couldn't get into reading but still needed to write my WIR so what did I do? I checked out Audible to see if I could find a book that I wanted to listen to instead. I don't always get along with audio books as I normally get put off by the narrators voice  - or should I say that their voice isn't what I imagined the voice of the main character to sound like. However, I found not 1 but 2 books that I really enjoyed. What did I listen to?


Melanie's Week in Review - January 21, 2018
I first read Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs back in 2011 after a recommendation from one of my sisters. Dragon Bones is book 1 of the Hurog duology, one of Briggs' earliest books, the only one that isn't a romance and only one she had written primarily from a male POV.

The story starts by introducing the reader to Ward who has just become the ruler of Hurog following the unexpected death of his father. Hurog is a fairly poor kingdom that is rich in folklore and history. Hurog means dragon and Ward has just become the Hurogmeten - protector of dragons. When Ward discovers dragon bones underneath the castle that, if they fall into the wrong hands, could prove the death of everyone and everything he loves. The dragon bones aren't Ward's only worry as there have been skirmishes on the borders of the kingdom and Ward decides to prove that he can live up to the role of Hurogmeten. It's up to Ward and a few of his family to stop the war and stop the dragon bones falling into enemy hands.

Melanie's Week in Review - January 21, 2018
Book 2 - Dragon Blood - is set a few years after book 1 and this time Ward finds himself on the evil King Jakoven's hit list. He ends up imprisoned in the King's asylum suffering at the hands of his mage. The King needs Hurog blood to fuel an ancient weapon of mass destruction and guess who has that blood - Ward. While Ward tries to survive his friends try to release him and find a way to avoid the destruction of the five kingdoms. That is all I can say without giving too much away.

I loved these books. Ward is a great hero who starts out the victim and turns out the protector. Ward is complimented by an engaging cast of secondary characters across both books. Ward's family and his 'sort of' relative Oreg help to deliver the plot in both books and support Ward in all his escapades. Brigg's deals with  issues such as abuse, rape and torture in a sensitive way and they add context to the characters rather than being a focal point of the plot. Yet again, Brigg has written two books that are well balanced, have great characters and a well paced plot.

I really enjoyed the audio versions and even though I knew the stories they were still fresh. Joe Manganiello (the narrator) made a convincing Ward. He sounded very similar to the Ward voice in my head. Manganiello even managed to keep the pace and tension of the story and I found it difficult to stop listening. If you haven't read either of these books and enjoy audio books then add these to your TBR.


That is it for me this week. Off to make another birthday dinner! Wish me luck and until next week Happy Reading.





Dragon Bones
The Hurog Duology 1
Ace, February 26, 2002
     Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages
Buzzy Multimedia Publishing, November 15, 2010
     Audible Audio Edition, 8 hours and 56 minutes

Melanie's Week in Review - January 21, 2018
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs comes the first thrilling* novel in the Hurog duology.

Most everyone thinks Ward of Hurog is a simple-minded fool—and that’s just fine by him. But few people know that his foolishness is (very convincingly) feigned. And that it’s the only thing that’s saved him from death.

When his abusive father dies, Ward becomes the new lord of Hurog…until a nobleman declares that he is too dim-witted to rule. Ward knows he cannot play the fool any longer. To regain his kingdom, he must prove himself worthy—and quickly.

Riding into a war that’s heating up on the border, Ward is sure he’s on the fast track to glory. But soon his mission takes a deadly serious turn. For he has seen a pile of magical dragon bones hidden deep beneath Hurog Keep. The bones can be dangerous in the wrong hands, and Ward is certain his enemies will stop at nothing to possess them…





Dragon Blood
The Hurog Duology 2
Ace, December 31, 2002
     Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 288 pages
Buzzy Multimedia Publishing, April 11, 2011
     Audible Audio Edition, 9 hours and 36 minutes

Melanie's Week in Review - January 21, 2018
The Hurog duology concludes with this fantastical adventure from #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs.

Ward, ruler of Hurog, is striving to restore his lands and people to prosperity, wanting nothing more than a quiet life. But when an old friend, escaping from High King Jakoven’s torturers, seeks refuge in his keep, Ward can no longer ignore the growing rebellion against the tyrannical High King. He realizes that he cannot stand aside—he must join with the rebels.

However, Jakoven has a secret weapon with which he intends to crush the rebellion: Farsonsbane, a magical artifact that has destroyed entire cities. But first, Jakoven needs blood to awaken it. Dragon’s blood. The very blood that courses through Ward’s veins…

Melanie's Week in Review - April 23, 2017


Melanie's Week in Review - April 23, 2017


I am going to start this post with a confession. I'm not really a size zero....just kidding! My confession is that I made some poor reading choices this week. Not that the books I read weren't good...rather that I read them too early. I received a few books from NetGalley and in my excitement to read them I didn't check the publication dates and I can't tell them you about them quite yet. I do have a couple of books to tell you about though so don't despair.


Melanie's Week in Review - April 23, 2017
I received Patricia Brigg's 10th instalment of the Mercy Thompson series Silence Fallen via NetGalley a few months ago. This was another book I read too early, couldn't review immediately after I read it and then forgot I had. Sorry! I did a quick re-read in order to review it for you as soon as I remembered I had it!

This instalment starts quite dramatically with Mercy being abducted not far from her and Adam's home. She wakes up in Europe in the home of a ruthless and evil vampire. Mercy's link to Adam is cut off and she is on her own and it is going to take all her skill and luck of the coyote to survive this. While Mercy looks to escape Adam is forming an unlikely alliance with the vampire queen Marsilia and Stefan in order to rescue Mercy. Told from both Mercy and Adam's POV we travel across Europe as both the hunted and the hunter in search of answers and in search of mercy.

I thought it was interesting that Briggs decided to tell this story from multiple POVs and you can't beat Prague for an atmospheric setting. I really think that Brigg's needs to wrap up this series as the story lines are starting to feel forced. There are only so many times that Mercy can just miss dying. It feels like her 9 lives should have been used up already. It is difficult to see where else Briggs can go with these characters. Good book if you need a time filler but I wouldn't say it was essential reading in the series.


Melanie's Week in Review - April 23, 2017
UK Cover
A number of people have recommended Benedict Jacka's Alex Versus series to me and it has taken me a while to decide to buy one of the books. That time arrived and I got my chance to see what everyone has been talking about by starting with Fated. Qwill reviewed this book back in 2012 so you can read what she thought about it here.

As not to repeat the synopsis of the book again I am just going to tell you what I thought. I liked Alex Versus and thought he was an engaging and conflicted character. I usually always enjoy books set in London and this was no exception. My friends who have recommended this series said it was really funny and while I didn't necessarily think it was a laugh a minute I did find Alex mildly amusing. I have also heard comparisons to Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden but again, I couldn't really see the connection - both wizard/mages? That is about it other than they were both loners. I enjoyed Fated but I can't say I would stop reading other books to move onto book 2. Having said that the next time I am looking for a nice enjoyable read then I will check out the next instalment of this series.


That is it for me this week. Wishing you a productive week ahead in reading and remember - check the publication date! Until next week Happy Reading.





Silence Fallen
A Mercy Thompson Novel 10
Ace, March 7, 2017
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - April 23, 2017
In the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack—and her mate—is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone…

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes—only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…




Fated
An Alex Verus Novel 1
Ace, February 28, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - April 23, 2017
Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. And while Alex’s own powers aren’t as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future–allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success.

But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever’s inside must be beyond powerful. And thanks to his abilities, Alex can predict that by taking the job, his odds of survival are about to go from slim to none…

Melanie's Week in Review - February 7, 2016


Melanie's Week in Review - February 7, 2016


Welcome to February. While some people find January the toughest month of the year I definitely get the February blues. As I write this it is grey, overcast, windy, and cold outside (although this is England so that could be any day in any month). Lucky for you (and for me) I read a couple of great books that I get to tell you all about.


Melanie's Week in Review - February 7, 2016
US Cover - Ace
First up is Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs which is the 9th in the Mercy Thompson series. In this instalment tensions are running high between the werewolves, the humans and the fae. After saving her city from a rampaging troll Mercy discovers a way a key to help slow down the escalating tensions with the fae - a human child who was kidnapped by the fae centuries ago. Mercy and her mate Adam decide to protect the child regardless what the cost, and the cost turns out to be pretty high. This isn't your average human child as the young boy is fire-touched and could turn their very lives into a pile of ash. Is this boy worth being excised from The Pack? You need to read it to find out.

Melanie's Week in Review - February 7, 2016
UK Cover - Orbit
I have been thinking since about book 6 that Briggs needed to start to wrap this series up as I was getting a tad bored with Mercy getting beaten up every instalment (or worse). The last book she nearly dies after being almost barbecued by a volcano god. But guess what readers?  She barely gets a scratch in Fire Touched! What a relief. This book still had action but more importantly character development. There were actually repercussions from Mercy's actions but this time they weren't physical. All in all a great read. I have also included both covers.  Which one do you prefer?  One is a bit more graphic novel than the other and I don't think Mercy ever wears a denim crop top!


Melanie's Week in Review - February 7, 2016
Book 2 for me was Tanya Huff's Sing the Four Quarters. This book was first published 22 years ago and re-released in digital format last year. I love Tanya Huff and I really enjoyed this first instalment of the Quarters series.

Annice is a bard, not just any bard as she can sing all four quarters. What does this mean?  She can sing to the all four of the kigh (aka elementals)  -wind, water, earth, and fire. When Annice comes back from a Walk no one is more surprised than she that she is pregnant. Normally, this wouldn't be considered treason, but Annice was forbidden to have children by her brother, the new king, when she left the royal family to be trained as a bard. What makes it worse is that the father of her child is found to have committed treason and Annice is determined to clear his name.

If you like high fantasy, amusing characters and a nice mystery then I urge you to try this book. I am not sure however, I will continue with the series as subsequent books are about completely different characters. I liked Annice and the other bards so not sure I want to read about completely other characters, especially when I have a few books on my TBR to get through. Who knows, I may just grab book 2, Fifth Quarter, and try it out.


That is it for me this week. Nice and short, just like February! Enjoy whatever you have on the go and I look forward to sharing with you what I hope are some more great reads.




Fire Touched
Mercy Thompson 9
Ace, March 8, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - February 7, 2016
Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

*Library Journal




Sing the Four Quarters
Quarters 1
JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.
eBook, August 4, 2015
Trade Paperback (Amazon), January 21, 2016

Melanie's Week in Review - February 7, 2016
The Bards of Shkoder hold the country together. They bring the news of the sea to the mountains, news of the mountains to the plains. They give their people, from peasant to king, a song in common.

Annice is a rare talent, able to Sing all four quarters, but her brother, the newly enthroned King Theron, sees her request to study at the Bardic Hall as a betrayal. But Annice renounces her royal blood and swears to remain childless so as not to jeopardize the line of succession.

Ten years later, she’s on the run from the Royal Guards with the Duc of Ohrid, the father of her unborn child, both of them guilty of treason – one of them unjustly accused. To save the Duc’s life, they’ll have to cross the country, manage to keep from strangling each other, and defeat an enemy too damaged for even a Bard’s song to reach.

Melanie's Week in Review - March 8, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review  - March 8, 2015


For those of you who read my Week in Review will remember that I had a slightly disappointing week in my selection of books. I tried to be good and not buy or request any more books from NetGalley. I can't say I was entirely successful.....in fact...epic fail! So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 8, 2015
I was perusing my Amazon recommends....again...and shouldn't have been I came across Trace of Magic (Diamond City Magic 1) by Diana Pharaoh Francis (Bell Bridge Books, August 29, 2014). I tried to be sensible and downloaded the sample first but ended up buying the book. Trace of Magic is set in a world of magic where criminal factions call Tyets rule the city. Riley is a very powerful tracer who can trace people even when they are dead. She is living below the radar so that she doesn't become a pawn in the battle between the Tyets. Riley uses her very specific and very special powers to save kidnapped children. She is very good at her job and very good at staying in hidden until she meets Tyet cop Detective Clay Price. Price blackmails Riley into helping him solve a missing person's case and it all becomes a bit too personal for the couple as the longer they work together the more they are drawn to one another. Price is everything Riley has avoided her whole life but her freedom may be too high price to pay.

On the whole this book was 'ok'. I say that because I liked Riley and even liked Price as characters. I thought the Tyets made for an interesting backdrop to the plot. Frances explains the society, the evolution of the Tyets' rule and mining of drugs that the Tyets' used to fund their existence in the first few chapters of the book. Unfortunately, the mining and the drugs didn't really factor in the plot so as plot points they didn't really stick in my head. In fact I completely forgot about them. I also thought that Francis introduced the romance a bit too early in the story which, for me, made it lose credibility. Imagine this if you will....you have just be shot and almost die. You have been saved by the hunky cop who represents everything you hate and have been running from your whole life but who you are attracted to. You have been unconscious for 3 days and when you wake up you the hunky cop is by your bedside. Do you:

a) roll over and go back to sleep because getting shot and almost dying is tiring stuff;
b) despite the fact you have been shot and almost die you have sex with the hunky cop who you barely know and belongs to a Tyet;
c) you manage your growing attraction to the hunky cop despite wanting a more physical relationship because you have just been shot and almost died.

I am sure that you can guess what I would have chosen but what option the author decided to go for. Despite this I still thought the action was well balanced and interesting. I am looking forward to finding out what happens next.

Melanie's Week in Review  - March 8, 2015
It was a good week for pre-orders for me as Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs (Ace, March 3, 2015) appeared on my Kindle. This is the fourth novel in the Alpha and Omega series and is set 3 years after Charles and Anna first get together. In this instalment Charles and Anna travel to Arizona to visit Charles' childhood friend Joseph. Joseph is now an old man and dying from cancer which leads Charles to reminisce about his past and feel the burden of his near immortality while watching his friend slowly die. During their visit a Fae tries to harm Joseph's grandchildren which leads the couple to find and stop the kidnapper. Their investigation opens up a whole can of magical worms as they discover this is not an isolated case and just another step in the escalation of a war that the Fae want to start against humans.

I really enjoyed Dead Heat and I have decided that I prefer this series to Brigg's Mercy Thompson series. Brigg's starts the story with Anna trying to convince Charles that they should have children, something she has been researching with Samuel (Charles' doctor brother). Charles is worried that having a child will harm Anna who he loves and make him and the child vulnerable to his many enemies. This parenthood thread is woven throughout the story not just with the missing children case but also in the dynamic between Joseph, Joseph's werewolf father Hosten and Charles. Hosten is still a healthy man watching his elderly son die from a human disease when he could have been Changed. I found the scenes between Charles and Joseph rather touching and made me wonder whether Briggs had written these from personal experience. This book has everything from a perfect balance of action vs romance, good character development and the subtle development of the series plot arch. In short another great book in this series.

I am in the middle of reading The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman so I hope to tell you all about this next week. Until then Happy Reading.


Melanie's Week in Review - February 8, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review - February 8, 2015


Sorry folks, my book reading this week was a bit poor as I have had the WORST cold and even off work for a day. So now that I have your sympathy you might notice I only read 2 books (is it working?). So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - February 8, 2015You might remember last week that I had a little trip down memory lane by re-reading the short story Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs. I decided to continue that trip by re-reading book 1 in the series Cry Wolf which is based in the world of Mercy Thompson. The story starts immediately after the events of the short story with Anna joining Charles in the Marrock's pack based in rural Montana. While in the very early stages of their mating and their romance Charles is sent to the wilds to track down a rogue wolf. Little does he know that its not just any rogue but a witch that could harm more than a few lost hikers. Charles is one of my favourite characters from the Mercy Thompson's world and I always enjoy reading what him and Anna are up to and I am looking forward to Dead Heat  which will be released in March.

Melanie's Week in Review - February 8, 2015
Next on my reading list was Bound by Flames by Jeaniene Frost. This is the third book in the Night Prince series. Vlad and his vampire bride Leila are searching for Vlad's arch enemy Szilagyi to exact revenge. Unfortunately, Leila falls into the enemy's hands and Vlad is determined to get her back. Their love is red hot and anyone and everyone is going to burn if they try to keep them apart.

I can't say that I really liked this book and thought it was weakest of the series. The torture scenes were incredibly brutal and rather unnecessary. I even felt a bit sick at one point but then a chapter or two later the torture was almost all forgotten and chapters of hot and steamy between Leila and Vlad ensued. I think if I had been brutalised and almost raped I wouldn't be jumping into my marital bed that quickly no matter how much I loved my vampire husband. I think what got me reading this series was the cover (the model, of course). The final book in the series will be out in 2016.

That's it for me for this week. Fingers crossed I read more and blow my nose less. Until next week. Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - February 1, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review - February 1, 2015


I am going to start this Week in Review by thanking my cat Tilly for walking across my keyboard and deleting everything I had written (not very much but still!) Hopefully, this will result in a more fabulous post since I have been able to write it twice Fingers crossed! Anyway what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - February 1, 2015
I finished Year of the Demon which is the second in the Fated Blades series by Steve Bein. I read book 1, Daughter of the Sword, a couple of years ago and loved the Japanese folklore and tradition, the history of the fated sword - Glorious Victory Unsought - told by the retired academic, Yamada, and the story of Mariko. Mairko is one of the few women in the Japanese police force and she ends up owning the sword. Book 2 follows a few months after the events of book 1 where Mariko struggles with the loss of her sensei Yamada and of her trigger finger. Danger is never far away from Mariko when her beloved Inazuma blade is stolen from her locked apartment the same evening after a demon mask is stolen from a drug lord. Coincidence? Of course not. Bein takes us back to the 16th century and tells the story of Okuma Diagora who has been bequeathed the blade from his father and Shichio who has the demon mask which draws him to Glorious Victory Unsought. Bein also takes us even further back in time to approximately the 15th century, to a poor fishing village. We meet Kaida, who lost her arm in storm that killed her mother. Kaida is an ama - a pearl diver and cruelly tormented by her step-sisters. Following a ship wreck a group land in the village in search of the Inazuma blade which how rests in a watery tomb. The vicious group of thugs terrorize the village in an attempt to find the sword and create a demon mask in order to find it. As a talented diver Kaida is fated to retrieve the blade by using the demon mask which sets off a violent chain of events. Back to Mariko where the mask and sword come together again and in the hands of a terrorist group who want to use both to bring about  - the year of the demon.

I enjoyed Year of the Demon but I wasn't quite as gripped as I had been with book 1. It felt unbalanced in the telling of the three main characters - Mariko, Diagora and Kaida. Much of the book focused on Diagora and the evil Shichio whereas Kaida's story seemed to be mostly left untold. Despite the violence the story had a gentleness to it which I think came mainly from Diagora and his samurai code. The book reads a bit more like historical fiction but a worthy read nonetheless.

Melanie's Week in Review - February 1, 2015Year of the Demon was one of those books you could dip in and out of and my 'dip out' consisted of two short stories - The Light Within by Grace Draven and Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs (technically this was a re-read). The Light Within is from the Master of Crows series and tells the story of Silhara and Martise's visit to his father's family to celebrate the winter festival. I think this story could have been easily named - Silhara Lights a Bonfire. Draven took the term short story too literally and very little happens in the few words dedicated to these two characters. I was rather disappointed. I had already read Alpha and Omega as part of anthology On The Prowl but found it on Amazon as a single short story. I have pre-ordered the soon to be released Dead Heat and felt the need to re-acquaint myself with these two characters. I do like these two characters and looking forward to the release of book 4.

Melanie's Week in Review - February 1, 2015
For those of you who follow my WIR will remember that I have been part of the beta review group for Michael Sullivan's new book Rhune. I have been taking my time reading this book (very hard for me to do) but I finished my first read through and will be starting a re-read next week. The final book I read this week was Flex by the author with the coolest name EVER  - Ferrett Steinmetz. This book is part of the Debut Author Challenge and I will be writing a full review so don't want to give anything away. Keep your eyes out for it.

That is it for me this week. I hope you all have a fantastic February and I look forward to sharing my weekly reads with you next Sunday. Happy Reading!

Melanie's Month in Review - May 2019Romantic Fantasy Starter Kit - Giveaway!Melanie's Week in Review - April 8, 2018Review: Burn Bright (Alpha and Omega 5) by Patricia BriggsMelanie's Week in Review - January 21, 2018Melanie's Week in Review - April 23, 2017Melanie's Week in Review - February 7, 2016Melanie's Week in Review  - March 8, 2015Melanie's Week in Review - February 8, 2015Melanie's Week in Review - February 1, 2015

Report "The Qwillery"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×