Year One (Chronicles of The One #1) by Nora Roberts

Book Description:

Published: December 5, 2017

Format: Audio/Audible

It began on New Year’s Eve.

The sickness came on suddenly, and spread quickly. The fear spread even faster. Within weeks, everything people counted on began to fail them. The electrical grid sputtered; law and government collapsed–and more than half of the world’s population was decimated.

Where there had been order, there was now chaos. And as the power of science and technology receded, magic rose up in its place. Some of it is good, like the witchcraft worked by Lana Bingham, practicing in the loft apartment she shares with her lover, Max. Some of it is unimaginably evil, and it can lurk anywhere, around a corner, in fetid tunnels beneath the river–or in the ones you know and love the most.

As word spreads that neither the immune nor the gifted are safe from the authorities who patrol the ravaged streets, and with nothing left to count on but each other, Lana and Max make their way out of a wrecked New York City. At the same time, other travelers are heading west too, into a new frontier. Chuck, a tech genius trying to hack his way through a world gone offline. Arlys, a journalist who has lost her audience but uses pen and paper to record the truth. Fred, her young colleague, possessed of burgeoning abilities and an optimism that seems out of place in this bleak landscape. And Rachel and Jonah, a resourceful doctor and a paramedic who fend off despair with their determination to keep a young mother and three infants in their care alive.

In a world of survivors where every stranger encountered could be either a savage or a savior, none of them knows exactly where they are heading, or why. But a purpose awaits them that will shape their lives and the lives of all those who remain.

The end has come. The beginning comes next.

Review –

When I started listening to this book, I knew immediately that I was going to love it, and therefore would have to not rush the experience. By that I mean, I don’t “binge-listen” hour after hour, but take it slow and make it last. I even set it aside for a week here and there to make it last longer.

This is unlike anything that Nora Roberts has ever written and she hit it out of the ball park!

“When the world as they know it ends, the survivors of a mysterious plague are faced with a new world in which both dark and light magic are rising.

“When Ross MacLeod pulled the trigger and brought down the pheasant, he had no way of knowing he’d killed himself. And billions of others.” So begins the latest novel from publishing juggernaut Roberts, and the rest of the book is just as gripping. When a virus takes out nearly 80 percent of the Earth’s human population, the survivors must figure out how to live in their new world, which includes the appearance of a varied set of magical abilities in a large part of the surviving population. Both the magick and un-magick people have violent factions which are trying to vanquish internal and external enemies, and good people from both groups have to band together in order to stay safe and establish a new order that honors life and decency. In one such community, witches Lana and Max are having a child, and from the moment of conception, it’s obvious that the child will be magical. As her pregnancy advances, Lana begins to suspect that even in the context of the new magical paradigm, her child has a special destiny, an impression that becomes clearer when she realizes she and her unborn child are being hunted. Finding sanctuary on a remote farm, Lana ushers the child into the world, and soon both foes and allies begin to arrive at her doorstep, deepening Lana’s belief that her daughter is meant for something great and dangerous. Roberts’ new direction is electric and ground-breaking. In some ways, it’s a synthesis of her past work: she’s often written about magical elements, family—both biological and emotional—and community. In this series launch, she’s created a believable apocalypse that is obviously leading to a grand showdown between good and evil, but the story and the characters—there are many, and she’s made some choices that are going to stun her die-hard romance fans—navigate timely issues of tolerance and bigotry; fear of the Other; violence on behalf of perceived “purity” and misdirected religious zeal; and how good people combat evil.

A fast-paced, mesmerizing, and thought-provoking novel that will no doubt add to Roberts’ legions of fans.”

KIRKUS Reviews

Five stars!!!

grab a warm cup of Theraflu, snuggle up with a copy of Year One and pray you’re one of the lucky survivors.

 

Ron Charles of the Washington Post

Spellbound by Sylvia Day

Book Description:

Published: December 3, 2013

Her desire becomes his pleasure…

Max Westin. Sex incarnate. She could smell it, feel it with his proximity. Everything about him was a little rough, a little gritty. A primitive creature. Just like she was.

He held her hand a little too long, his thickly-lashed gaze clearly stating his intentions to have her. To tame her…

“Victoria.”

Her name, just one word, but spoken with such possession she could almost feel the collar around her neck.

“It’s in your nature,” he murmured. “The desire to be taken.”

In this game of cat and mouse, everything is an illusion but the passion is as real as it gets…

Review –

I gave this book one star and that’s only because I hated to give it zero stars. I’ve never given a book zero stars but tis one came very close.

Why did I hate this book?  First of all, the blurb in no way gives a hint as to what the book is truly about. If you’ve ever read Sylvia Day then you know what a good story-teller  she is and how hot her sex scenes are, but this book fell flat.

Second, the characters were witches,warlocks, and a familiar and I’m not into paranormal erotic romances.

Third, it was boring.

Don’t waste your time with this one. Ms Day must have had a quota to fill for her publisher or maybe I’m just missing the boat.

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Vanquished (The Blood Trail Chronicles #2) by Tara Brown

Book Description

March 21, 2015
In the port city of a neighbouring kingdom, an assassin moves through the streets, killing people of importance.
He is said to wear a red cloak and fight with skills only ever seen in the Southern Isles.
But unbeknownst to the whispers in the alleys, he is a she, and she is on a path headed for home.
She used to dream of freedom.
She used to dream of a simple life.
Now all she dreams about is the blood trail she has carved, leading back to her burnt out castle.
Revenge is the business of hate, and where it is taking Amillia Morgentstein is a dark place where even love can’t save her.
Because love is a thing of the past for her and vengeance is all she can see.
How far would you let yourself go to save everyone but yourself?Mature Readers Recommended

Review –
 First of all, I really don’t understand the need for the “Mature Readers” warning.  I haven’t found anything that would warrant that. If any one else reads this series let me know what you think.
Millia is fated to be the queen of the seven kingdoms and unite all the peoples, but she really does want to do that.  Grayson is the one she loves and can not have. Neither can she have Maddox.  
If you thought she killed  a lot of people in Vengeance, it was nothing to the killing spree she goes on in this installment of The Blood Trail Chronicles.
I thought this was the end of the series but when I got to the end I discovered there is another book which hasn’t been published yet, so that means it will be a years or so before I read it.
While this book was good, i enjoyed the first one better.
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Vengeance (The Blood Trail Chronicles #1) by Tara Brown

Book Description

February 19, 2015
A man once told me there are infinite places love will take you, but revenge is the business of hate and there is only one place hate will take you, the end.
The end of you and the end of everything you once stood for.
His words still echo in my mind, next to the images of the millions of places I might have gone.Vengeance

Amillia Morgentstein wants nothing but freedom.
Freedom to choose the man she marries and the life she lives.
She wants nothing but the boy she can never have, Maddox.
Her world is turned upside down when her brother betrays their whole family, in a deal to trade Amillia to a Duke named Herrick and overthrow their father.
Broken hearted and fleeing her burning village, she rides away on the back of her closest friend, Artan.
In a neighbouring city, rumours of a red-cloaked assassin flood the streets.
An assassin who targets only the rich and the wicked.
The trail of blood left behind leads back to the burned out doors of a once flourishing kingdom, now ruled by a tyrant.
Broken hearted and bound by vengeance, Amillia finds herself falling for something she never thought she would have again.
Grayson’s blue eyes and sarcastic smile have her fighting the feelings she has, just as someone from her past reappears.
She fights for her heart and the hope no one discovers her biggest secret.
How far would you go for the ones you love, the ones you lost?

Review –
This is a fantastic book and I almost read it in one sitting. The characters are very well-developed and the plot, though fantasy, is very believable. It’s a story of forbidden love, jealousy, hatred, war, secrets and mature content.  I can’t wait to read the sequel.
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Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Book Description

October 13, 2009
Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.
Review –
Even though I had the audio book of this story I found it difficult to get through. I really don’t know what the problem was-maybe the fact that I don’t like stories involving Faeries had something to do with it, but I almost celebrated when I finished it.
If fairy tales are your thing then you will like it, but I only gave it a three stars out of five.  Don’t hate me.
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The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness

Book Description:

Published: July 15, 2014

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Review –

This is the final book in the All Souls Trilogy and I hated to see it come to an end because of the magical intertwining of reality with witches, vampires, time travel, romance,hatred, America, Europe, wars, marriage, births, deaths, and wonderful characters with such energy and chemistry. Truly a work of art.  I rate it 5 stars *****

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Pale Demon (Rachel Morgan-The Hollows #9) by Kim Harrison

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Book Description

February 22, 2011

“I wouldn’t miss a Kim Harrison book for anything.”—Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels

New York Times bestselling urban fantasy superstar Kim Harrison is back with Pale Demon—her ninth electrifying adventure featuring contemporary witch Rachel Morgan. This time Rachel’s leaving the Hollows, on a cross-country road trip with a pixy, an elf, and a vampire, as she races to clear her blackened name at a California witches’ convention in order to avoid an eternity of torment at the claws of a soul-devouring demon. Pale Demon is Kim Harrison at her gothic best—combining mystery, action, intrigue, paranormal romance, and breathtaking dark fantasy in a delicious witches’ brew that fans of Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Stephenie Meyer, and Jim Butcher simply will not be able to resist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review –

I was looking for book 12 in The Hollow Series when I ran across this one, which is number 9 and believe it or not I hadn’t read it.  I don’t know how it slipped by me but I checked it out at the local library and quickly devoured it.

I love the character of Rachel Morgan.  She can be tough when she needs to be but also she always seems a bit off-balance all the time.

I always hope that she a Trent will be paired up because Rachel deserves a love life if anyone does, but so far the author hasn’t come through for me.

In this installment Rachel and Trent, plus Ivy and Jenks travel across country by car which took two or three days and the tension between them became comical at times and at other times I held my breath thinking Trent might make a move on Rachel, but it didn’t happen,

I am now ready for book 12 and will still keep my fingers crossed by a love life for Rachel.

 

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What the Spell? (Life’s a Witch) by Brittany Geragotelis

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Book Description

Publication Date:January 29, 2013

A teenage witch juggles popularity and romance while keeping her powers a secret in this spellbinding debut.Almost-sixteen-year-old Brooklyn feels invisible, but she desperately wants to be pretty, to be popular, to be adored by a cute guy. Luckily for her, she’s a witch about to come of age—so she’s only a few spells away from making it all happen.
On her milestone birthday, Brooklyn’s conservative parents finally unbind her powers, which include the ability to magically match couples with a love spell. Brooklyn uses her special skills to get a makeover, new friends, and the attention of her crush, Asher. But the popular clique Brooklyn wants to infiltrate puts her in the same precarious position as her Salem ancestors: If she’s found out, she could be vilified—and lose Asher in the process. Can she make the most of her magic, or will she be luckless and loveless? Be careful what you witch for!Review –

This was another free book  and I wouldn’t have read it otherwise.  I found it a little junvenile to be called a Young Adult book.  I will not read the rest of the serries.

Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) by Deborah Harkness

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Book Description

Release date: July 10, 2012 | Series: All Souls Trilogy

“Together we lifted our feet and stepped into the unknown”—the thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of Witches

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole 782.

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.

Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

 

Review –

I was tempted to give this book a FIVE STAR rating but in good conscience I could only rate it 4 3/4 stars because I thought too much time was spent in the past and in places it bogged down and was boring.  All in all, though it was fabulous and it was interesting  to read the descriptions of the places and people of the times and made me realize how fortunate I am to live in the present.  I am looking forward to the third book and wish the author would write a bit faster.

A Discovery of Witches(All Souls Trilogy, Book 1)by Deborah Harkness

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Book Description

Release date: December 27, 2011 | Series: All Souls Trilogy (Book 1)

“A wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter and Twilight.” –People

In a sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches became the “it” book of early 2011, bringing Deborah Harkness into the spotlight and galvanizing fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and the descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont. Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar’s depth to this riveting story of magic and suspense. And the story continues in Book Two, Shadow of Night.

Review –

*****

This book portrays, Witches, Vampires and Daemons in a completely different light  which is refreshing and key to the plot.  The characters are wonderfully described and interaction between Matthew and Diana is a breath of fresh air. Also, I thought the sexiness of Matthew was written with just enough of an edge as not to overdo and I can see why Diana fell for him even though it was taboo.

I hadn’t realized it was the first of a trilogy but by the last few chapters I was hoping for a continuation and once I looked at the author’s website I was thrilled to find the second book was available and can’t wait to read it.  

This is my second book of the year to get a FIVE STAR rating.  *****