Book Reviews

Book Reviews: Falling for the Villain by Kim Elliot & Being Human by @pjlauthor & The Glass Gargoyle by @MarieAndreas1 & Satellite Blues by @readersroost #IWSGBookClub #IWSG #BookReviews

We’ve changed things up with the IWSG Book Club, featuring books from members.

Learn more here.

The books for December were books from members on our Facebook group who signed up to have their books read by the book club. More information about that process: If you are not currently on the IWSG blog hop list and don’t plan to join, the registry is the only way for your books to have a chance to be spotlighted by the book club. Please click this hyperlink to fill out the form to be added to the IWSG Book Club Spotlight Registry.

About the Book

Being a superhero is hard enough…Don’t fall for your arch nemesis.

College junior Aubree Klein stays busy with a full course load, work, and protecting River City from villains as flame-wielding superhero Blue Nova. The last thing she needs is more time with her arch enemy, the evil super genius Dr. Vile. Using his malicious inventions to inflict destruction on the city, Dr. Vile knows just how to get under Aubree’s skin. But when a new and even more powerful villain threatens the city, there’s only one person she can turn to for help.

As the temporary allies get closer, they find that identities aren’t the only secrets being kept, and their mutual hatred may have been masking something else all along. With the fate of the city hanging in the balance, will the tense partnership last? And will Aubree find a way to combat her conflicting feelings for the one person she swore to despise?

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

I love watching superhero stories (animation, TV series, movies, whatever) and thought reading a novel in this style would be excellent. And though some things work well in movies (like the build-up of the conflict between hero and villain in the opening of MegaMind), it doesn’t translate to novels which has its own rules.

“Witty Banter” turned into backstory with dialogue tags like “he sneered” and point of view issues “shrugged one shoulder, enjoying her frustration” – one, backstory is to be woven through the book as necessary, not thrown into dialogue as an info dump; two, “said” is invisible; three, she can’t know what he feels.

“Self-editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King is an excellent guide to all of this and more.

The cover: great art. But title and author name too small to be read on thumbnail images.

Good premise and fast-paced writing. Not for me, though, because of issues stated.

DNF 3%

1 unicorn star rating

About the Book

Tommy forgot his human life when he became a vampire…but it didn’t forget him.

Like all vampires, Tommy must do one thing: survive. With no memory of his life before death, his only connection to humanity is his twin brother. When Tommy rescues a young girl, he learns not all monsters are undead. After returning her to her family, Tommy struggles to understand why he felt so protective of her when she has no connection to him.

As the years pass, and with his twin’s help, Tommy moves on with his ‘life’ but never forgets the young girl or the monster who hurt her. When she re-enters his life as a teenager, Tommy struggles with his vampire need to survive and his desire to protect her. He will be forced to decide which part of him is stronger: The vampire? Or the human? The answer may destroy him.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

Great cover!

A couple of typos and word order issues – nothing a good proofreader can’t fix.

The experimental style, using parts without chapters, made it difficult to plan my reading time. Figured it out, though.

Good story, immediately pulled me in. But 44% in I was like “So what?”. Not enough horror, not enough thrill, to be either horror or thriller. Basically twin brothers, one human and one vampire, bound by the twin bond and both living their lives. Not sure where this is heading and not caring anymore.

Too bad; I’ve read work by the author before and absolutely enjoyed it. This book is clearly not a good fit for me.

DNF 44%

1 unicorn star rating

The books for January were books from members lower on the IWSG sign-up list.

About the Book

All but two of the crew of the Terran Ark Ship Star Rover have perished from infection by a variant strain of Marburg virus. Technician Cherry Payne spends her days working on the ship, tending to the gardens, remembering her lost daughter Sunny, and attempting to maintain the fragile peace between herself and the Star Rover’s only other survivor, technician Myron Gwozdz.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

This is a book club book for January for the IWSG Book Club.

I’ve decided not to read this one. After ignoring all the signs in a previous book club book (cover, blurb, title) that the book wasn’t for me, I’m not doing it again. Nothing in this one tells me exactly what the book is about, I assume it’s some sort of space story, but the package doesn’t intrigue so this is a hard pass.

About the Book

So, I started reading the book club selection and ended up reading the entire series!

The Lost Ancients series: A lot of fun to read. Highly recommended. Too bad about the issues a good proofreader could fix. I binge read the entire series in a week.

Archeologist Taryn St. Giles has spent her life mining the ruins of the elves who vanished from the Four Kingdoms a thousand years ago. But when her patrons begin disappearing too—and then turning up dead—she finds herself unemployed, restless, and desperate. So she goes looking for other missing things: as a bounty hunter.

Tracking her first fugitive—the distractingly handsome and strangely charming Alric—she unearths a dangerous underworld of warring crime lords, demonic squirrels, and a long-lost elven artifact capable of unleashing a hell on earth.

Chased, robbed, kidnapped, and distressingly low on rent money, Taryn just wants one quiet beer and to catch her fugitive. But there’s more to Alric than his wicked grin—is he a wanted man or the city’s only hope? With menacing mages in pursuit and her three alcoholic faery sidekicks always in her hair, Taryn’s curiosity might finally solve the mystery of the elves… or be the death of her and destroy her world.

Check it out on Goodreads.

After the destruction and loss caused by the glass gargoyle, the last thing Taryn St. Giles needs is another elven artifact ready to destroy the world. Or rather, the last thing she needs is a new eccentric patroness who is searching for that very thing. An unholy companion to the glass gargoyle, the obsidian chimera may be far more than just an artifact. And far more deadly.

Check it out on Goodreads.

After surviving two previous encounters with ancient relics of mayhem and destruction plus saving her friends and her whole damn city, archaeologist Taryn St. Giles thinks she deserves a beer and a break.

Then her world starts to tear itself apart, literally.

Earthquakes are unheard of in quiet, sleepy Beccia, but sadly, doomsdays are not, and Taryn is getting uncomfortably familiar with both when she discovers the existence of more pieces of the dangerous relics. With old friends and even older enemies — and friends who might be enemies after all — Taryn races against bloodthirsty relic hunters and nightmarish monsters to find a legendary creature carved from a single, giant gemstone.

The upheaval rattles her team, tears apart her city, and unleashes a creature that should have stayed dead and buried. And that wants Taryn’s blood. Now she’ll unearth her biggest adventure yet.

Assuming she survives… THE EMERALD DRAGON.

Check it out on Goodreads.

Murderous magic, vanished races, killer relics, and drunken faeries–who knew the end of the world would look like this? The story that began in The Glass Gargoyle, The Obsidian Chimera, and The Emerald Dragon continues…

Taryn St. Giles thought she knew all about elves. She dreamed of the long vanished elves as a child and has spent the past fifteen years digging through their abandoned ruins in Beccia. Six months ago, Taryn found out everything she thought she knew about the elves was wrong.

Two weeks ago she found out how very wrong she’d been.

Taryn and Alric have been captured to answer for crimes against a long lost people. Crimes that could bring down an entire kingdom and revolve around a small, glass gargoyle. Part of a weapon that destroyed an extremely powerful race, now only known as the Ancients, it, and its fellow pieces are deadly to any who have them. Knowledge of the relics found by Taryn and Alric have spread far. Dangerous bands of long dead creatures, ghosts, and nightmares out of myths are waking up and hunting for the relics. And Taryn. 

Check it out on Goodreads.

A long-lost elven kingdom, body-swapping ghosts, walking weapons of mass destruction… Archaeologist and part-time bounty hunter Taryn St. Giles has had a Very. Bad. Year. Ever since she and her trio of singing, drunken faeries started digging into the mysteries of a certain handsome elven lord, she’s been up to her nose in explosions, slavering monsters, and assorted other dangers. Now Taryn and Alric, their friends and more than a few enemies are racing across the desert to find the last pieces of a lethal relic so they can save their world and finally share a quiet pint of beer.

But some secrets are buried deeper than a millennia, and this time, Taryn might not escape unscathed. Actually, she might not even be Taryn anymore…

Check it out on Goodreads.

For the past year, Taryn St. Giles, her friends, and her three drunken faeries have been trying to solve the mystery of what happened to the Ancients who vanished over 2,500 years ago, as well as gather the nasty little relics that lead to the disappearance. They now just have to gather the final piece, the diamond sphinx, destroy it, and Taryn can get back to her old life.
But some mysteries shouldn’t be solved. And finding the last piece of a puzzle can prove fatal. 

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

The Glass Gargoyle

So much fun to read!

Excellent worldbuilding that kept me wanting to know more, relatable, intriguing characters that made me care what happens next, and a thrilling, archaeological ride in a fantasy world.

The three faeries and their wild brethren were my favourite – never know what they’ll do.

As for Alric… He’s a good match for Taryn.

I can’t wait to read the next book.

4 unicorn star rating

The Obsidian Chimera

Loads of fun to read!

Trouble seems to follow Taryn around. Oh, and her bad taste in men! Hilarious.

There seems to be a lot about her life she didn’t question until meeting Alric and it seems there’s a lot more going on with her than she thought.

So many twists, turns, magic and adventure. I really like the archaeological side and how those ancient mysteries have bearing on Taryn personally.

I can’t wait to read the next thrilling adventure – especially with her cat racing, sugar addicted, perpetually drunk, faery wards whizzing around.

4 unicorn star rating

The Emerald Dragon

So much fun to read!

Taryn can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Perhaps that’s why she has her own faeries. LOL.

The mystery of her powers, who is after the artefacts, who is trying to kill Alric (except everyone he meets), and the Elves and Ancients deepen even more.

And now even tea makes the faeries hyperactive…!

I can’t wait to read what happens next.

4 unicorn star rating

The Sapphire Manticore

Conspiracies, assassinations, explosions, secret passageways, and secrets revealed – awesome!

So much fun to read.

Taryn’s magic becomes stronger even as that of the faeries do. Prophecies and myths clash and some come to pass.

A thrilling adventure. And the faeries stay my favourite.

Can’t wait to read the next book.

4 unicorn star rating

The Golden Basilisk

Jumping through time, curses awoken anew, extinct creatures returning, a town no-one can escape, and loads of magic running wild makes this book a page-turner despite its length.

So much fun to read!

And the faeries…! The way they change and act make them even more endearing than before. They remain my favourite.

As for Taryn, I think this latest blast of magic revealed her to actually be as old and powerful as the faeries.

Can’t wait to read the next book!

4 unicorn star rating

The Diamond Sphinx

So Taryn can turn into a dragon. How cool is that? Her powers and memories return just in time to save the world – and almost die.

Alric is in a dour mood throughout the book, but seeing that he was cursed to kill whoever had destroyed the Ancients and that the curse will take over his body, who can blame him?

Amara’s dryad magic is awesome on every level.

With so many battles, I can’t decide which one was my favourite; it’s a toss-up between the faeries and their war cat steeds and the mountain squirrels armed with tiny swords against the possessed squirrels.

The faeries, as a whole, stay my favourite. Especially the hooligans who hang around Taryn.

Well plotted and so much fun to read. If there is a spin-off series with the faeries, I’ll read it.

4 unicorn star rating

What do you think of these books? Have you read them? Have you read anything by these authors? What are your thoughts on book clubs?

*FYI, my reviews are my honest opinion and if something bothers me, I tell it straight. How else will anything change? My opinions are based on being a voracious reader and book buyer, not an attack on the author.*

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1 thought on “Book Reviews: Falling for the Villain by Kim Elliot & Being Human by @pjlauthor & The Glass Gargoyle by @MarieAndreas1 & Satellite Blues by @readersroost #IWSGBookClub #IWSG #BookReviews”

  1. Shame you didn’t enjoy Falling For the Villain. It’s the kind of book I would pick up based on the premise. I imagine it’s very hard to write superhero stories, as there’s usually a lot of action and visual elements. I’m intrigued by Satellite Blues. The blurb sounds a little like the movie Passengers. I have The Glass Gargoyle on Kindle and have been meaning to read it for a while.

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