I'd do nothing but reading if I could (ok, maybe eat some great food, buy some fancy shoes between two books...oh, and spend some quality time with the gorgeous guy I married while I am on reading-break anyway...)
I had high hopes and they were quickly thrashed.
Insta-attraction to the hot and mighty fire shaper.
And a pretty stupid heroine who is afraid of "Shapers" because of prior bad experiences, but still decides to live in a shaper town instead of in a country where there are no shapers...and then decides to piss off a shaper in the beginning of the story, just "to stick it to him" - which doesn't make anything better for the people for whom she takes "revenge".
Stupid and unnecessary.
This was not an enjoyable read.
Sometimes "good" books aren't, but at least they make you think or inspire you or something along those lines.
That wasn't the case here either.
It was the really depressing story of a young boy growing up in a unloving, violent and dysfunctional family.
To become? Well, we don't know. The story ends before there is any conclusion, any step away from all the depressing factors of his life.
As it is auto-biographic - at least in part - we know that he will make quite a success out of himself with his stories.
This book doesn't even hint at that.
It only describes a very sad growing-up - with a lot of bullying, violence, pain, humiliation and so on. And a lot of sexual awakening, dirty thoughts and so on. But they don't bring anything positive to the story either, so there you have it.
Overall, very depressing.
It had nice moments and an original world building.
But it wasn't really funny and the story was not fascinating. It was not quite clear why the police chief protag Delaney felt that solving the murder was more urgent than finding someone to house the god power - which has a strict time limit of seven days and catastrophic consequences if missed. Definitely a WTF moment.
Overall I didn't like the obviousness of the story turns and how slow Delaney was to pick them up.
The romance was meh.
But it feels a bit repetitive.
Heroine has strong magic, gods help, she nearly dies while trying to save everybody, doesn't want to be like her mother.
Also it feels like a lot of standard fantasy elements found their way into the world, it also felt a bit "westeros"...
It has an interesting world building and some great main characters and awesome side characters. It has atmosphere, humor, action.
I really enjoyed it.
This is a slightly unusual UF series, insofar as the protag is a man and there is no romance.
It has fae, demons, shifters and a bunch of other standard fantasy entities.
The storyline is solid, the main character's voice is good and the read overall enjoyable.
Some of the side characters remain pale despite the author trying to make them interesting, e.g. Sadie. I have not clear picture who she is supposed to be as a person. She has a function in the story, but she didn't feel like a person to me.
I liked that Gideon's backstory did not remain a secret too long, a lot was revealed quite early on, it gave a good overview on him and the world-building.
It was a good and enjoyable read, but I probably wouldn't have picked up the whole series if it wasn't on kindle unlimited and therefore free for me.
It just didn't grip me...
PS: I have one minor niggle with the concept of the villain here - they are supposed to be a religious hate group. But there is nothing even remotely religious about them.
Some nerdy rant about Latin names: their cult's name, milus dei. It is explained to mean "soldiers of god" in Latin. But soldier in Latin is "miles" and the plural "milites"...it is only one google search away...yes, I might only have noticed this because I had Latin in school and graduated on that subject. But still. I mean if you create a hate group to be the villains over a 6+ book series, you could at least take ten minutes of searching before naming them...I spent a way too long time trying to find out if milus is even a word. I couldn't find it. Funnily enough "dei" is absolutely correct, that is the genitiv of deus, meaning god...
And the title and cover are misleading.
I didn't especially dig the story and the MCs.
Not sure, what it was exactly, I simply didn't enjoy it very much.
I normally like Linda Howard's writing.
But with this one?
Let's say, I see now why it's on 0.99 Euro on Amazon...
I really liked Harmony when she was first introduced.
I think the strange suit and tie thing didn't really work well, but was willing to overlook it.
Now I feel like she completely lost her voice. She morphed into a strange protag between Daniel Faust, some unknown law enforcement and someone totaly non-descript.
She was a by-the-book kind of character. After one and a half stories, she starts to cut corners.
Hence the Daniel Faust deja vue.
The story like could have been done without including the Nazis, but ok.
The overall "new" story arc with the "kings" - I am just not interested in it.
And the overall theme of the good guys always being outgunned and outsmarted, got old real fast.
All around good UF/crime fiction.
I like Harmony as a protag better than Daniel - maybe her backstory? Her being law enforcement instead of criminal?
This was a great read in any way. Only a tiny bit more steam or romance would be nice...
But had to suspend disbelief over the male/female disguise - this really does not work in real life.
Also the butch protag who is apparently too stupid to live.
Also didn't like the sub/dom vibe with the humiliation.
The Jimmy English case unravels finally.
It was an interesting plot - with a nice sideline - but I liked the crime part better than Nick's personal life.
I don't know why, but I just didn't really warm up to Joseph. Maybe it is the open relationship he wants to have? It still feels like cheating from Nick's point of view - because it obviously wasn't what he wanted and only accepted it because he loved Joseph.
I guess it is realistic, but it doesn't endear Joseph to me especially. I am all for having fun and testing out things - but in this constellation with a relationship with someon who wants to be exclusive it just feels like a foul compromise.
The story ended at ca. 36% on my kindle. I got it for free via unlimited and would have been furious had I paid for it.
The rest was promo for the author's other work.
The story was a bit confusing, as for me there was no real story. A glimpse into a couple's long-term relationship. I am probably missing something, but to me it read quite pointless - as a short story. As part of a bigger story it might become an interesting scene, but like this I wasn't interested in the characters.
It did have some humorous moments, but it wasn't a comedy. At least not to me.
There were too many issues that each character had to battle.
It was very well written, with interesting, un-perfect characters and a solid plot.
And the part that was hinted at in the blurb with nephew and uncle trying to set each other up, was the most uninteresting part of the whole book.
It was less gritty than the boystown series (no murders, huh), but it had some of the themes (relationship and committment issues - fidelity, aids etc.) and also the teenager who was mistreated by the conversion therapy people that his parents delivered him to.
So, not exactly light comedy material. Still fun to read and also some substance.