ice_of_dreams: (nabiki)
In an alternate universe where magic is part of daily lives, Nigel Oldhall is tasked to Africa by Queen Victoria to find a jewel that could seal all the magic in the world to the British Empire.

The first book was very frustrating for me, imagine four people continuously misunderstanding each other about what the other feels, about what they think and what they were doing. I thought Emily was too quick to judge that she had too little faith in stock with a person who had tried to do everything for her. But other than that I liked the plot, and I liked the ending (if they had taken Emily completely out of the script, I would have been fine with it too. I thought she was too shallow and too dependent.) As for Nigel, he was a character that built on himself, he found himself in the first book and proceeded to do what he must. It was a good story amidst the myestery of a missing brother and a secret organization out to rule the world.

Peter, which was more of a star of the second book than the first was obviously a dragon even from the start of the series, it was a wonder that Emily didn't guess it right off the bat. In the second book, Peter, who was not doing anything much to find the jewel stumbles upon its unwitting owner. And unlike Emily, I liked Sofie. Emily was completely hopeless on her own while Sofie tried to fight circumstances, think for herself and take her own destiny. Sofie and Peter's adventure in India amidst a were-revolution and political intrigue.

The final book was a treasure because of the were-dragons and because of the Chinese cultures, in the other books, though they were set in Africa and India respectively, they were still more-or-less British because we were following these very British people trudging across respective English occupied countries, with some annotation that ahhh, we are abroad. In the third book, there was more Chinese folklore. We see a rich new culture, about the Chinese belief system, their afterlife, and what it might have been had there been magic amidst China at that time, when their emperor was deposed. More than that, we were also following not just Nigel Oldhall, but Lady Jade and The Third Wife of the Emperor.

The only disappointment had been the ending, probably because I thought the avatar was too ... wishy washy and too "You have found your soul mate" (and who takes broad generalizations like that in stride?) All in all a good series, but not something I'd re-read.
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
Dragon shifters, another one of those things that I really hunt down until I find them (I've been gifted with some as of late). The book starts out with a meeting of dragons about prophesies and and foretelling (what's a dragon shifter story without foretelling?). There are two sides fighting and the Pyr (dragonshapeshifters) have their dark counterpart, the Slayers.

I like the concepts in this book, that a firestorm (definitely not what it sounds like... clever that) would be what leads a mate to a dragon (what else but fire would dragons use), that a coin could mark a dragon's territory (what else but treasure to signal property in a dragon's way... a western dragon myth anyway). And I like their genesis story... in the beginning there was Fire...

Although, I guess, something as simple as paranormal romance in shifters, is not so good as an urban fantasy for me nowadays. I was tempted to skip a good deal of this book even if it was fairly well written. (Due to my changing tastes again, I gather...) ... I must get new urban fantasy... I can't settle for less. Or maybe it was because the series had no secrets, it was entirely straightforward, I know what's going to happen before I read it plot that had me bothered.

Initially world building wasn't forced. It became a bit forced when leader of the Pyr, Erik, came into play trying to get Sara to read more about dragon culture. And then they all dropped the story of their lives in one conversation at the third meeting.

Plus, I could deal with heroines being idiotic (okay, I complain about them) but I deal wiht idiotic girls better than idiotic males. Probably because all the stereotype has dulled me, but honestly, a mule headed male is definitely something that I want to read and re-read. Males need to be passably intelligent else they're not worth reading.

As prophesies go... hmmm... the Seer and the Smith. OK, the Seer and the Smith as titles are extremely obvious, and the rhyme for the prophesy was bad. Then again, there are only a handful of people who can do a passably good prophesy written out. Most of them males. Females have a tendency to overindulge rhyming and their prophesies are too easy to interpret by half.

It has potential, but it's thoroughly in the corner of romance that I'm not really willing to read it again.
ice_of_dreams: (Default)
OK... hmmm... juxtaposing this to the fever series, You Slay Me is less dark. And less well-written. It also shows a female lead (set in the first character perspective) transported to a different country, this time France instead of Ireland, where she has to investigate a murder. (It's mostly murders + romance + paranormals these days. They're reminding me of Philippine cinema) anyway... where she finds out she's actually a Guardian and a wyvern's mate. Unfortunately, You Slay Me's only plus factor for me are the shifters, (which barely come into play anyway) and the comedy. It was just too idiotically funny for words.

There was too much info dumping on the heroine as she wandered around lost in Paris. Like the Fever series, Aisling (I can't get over this, isn't this a guy's name? An Irish mother would name her son Aisling, not her daughter), is also new to the paranormal. But unlike Mac, she has a backround on demonology becuase it's her past time, and she reads it. Other than that, she's largely clue-less.

Thus the info dumping. I can't imagine a girl, a supposed guardian, wandering around Paris, looking for information and stumbling upon people who have extremely lose tongues about it. Magic practicioners seem to be a closed mouthed group to me, even with people who are of their 'kind' hence the entire mystifying process of finding Aisling walking around and finding two people openly telling her abour things they think she should already know.

(You could guage how irritated I am with a book the faster I write a blog about it. I started opening my laptop a few pages into the first chapter, unlike the Fever series, which I had finished in its entirety before writing.)

I also don't like the heroine Aisling, she's petty, childish, she lacks brains and has the vocabulary of a thirteen year old. And she vacillates between statements that make her sound like a believer of the paranormal and a non-believer. EARLY on in the book where she's supposedly firmly on the non-believer side. She also changed her views in all of four chapters. Without me understanding how she went through the thought process of: that's impossible, that may not be impossible, oh my god my reality wasn't really whole. argh

I have to admit though that her annoyance with Jim the demon dog sidekick is actually entertaining. (I am happy that an annoyhance is fully annoyed with someone. Ha.) And his "woof" and "bow wow" had me laughing.

Once you get around to finally thinking instead of being annoyed, the murderer in this tale seems pretty predictable (I say seem since I haven't reached the part that confirms my suspicions yet). OK, it's been confirmed. The murderer was easy to spot and the way the person misguided Aisling is just so obvious. There is a slight twist in that that I didn't actually forsee, but that was because of Aisling's lack of information about the world she infiltrated. I find h

I think I'm reading the second book, just to prove how annoying Aisling is. She gets into situations which are hilarious, extremely unlucky and ten shades of idiotic. Aisling is so dumb that there was a point in the story which I REALLY didn't want to see Drake's, green wyvern, reaction to her actions. I don't even understand how of all people in the world, Drake would end up with HER as a mate. It's absolutely disgusting. I want to strangle her in his behalf sometimes... make that most of the time.

Even though it's a series, you can pretty much finish with one book. I might be happier if I finish with one book, but I have to admit, the character situations are funny, and if I ignore the girl, I can settle for Jim and Drake watching. Pity Drake appears rarely and far between. Sort of like Japh in the Devil's right hand of the Dante Valentine series. But that's a completely different thing.

In book 2 I had hopes that she seemed to be less childish and less idiotic (although ... gah... she had the most annoying ability to prove me wrong when I think she's changed and another annoying ability to be hurt when there's no issue). She kind of reminds me of a less irritating Dante in Lilith Saintcrowe's Dante Valentine series. She's also less idiotic in the second book, although where she suddenly picked up wits, I don't know.

November 2010

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