Holiday catch-up reviews.

Got home from my two week holiday last weekend. Hence the somewhat unusual featured photo of this post. Although we stayed at a quite nice hotel their “free WiFi” was slower than an oldfashioned phone modem and literally useless. Not that I would have done much blogging on my tablet anyway but still…

Obviously I was still reading (when not in the water of course) so I have accumulated a bit of a backlog. I managed to catch a bloody cold the weekend I came home and spend a day and a half in bed, reading, which didn’t help reducing my backlog so here’s some backlog clean-up.

The Riss Accession (The Riss Series, #4).
By C.R. Daems.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars.

With invading aliens determined to confine humans to their planets, one thing is certain: the Aliens’ force is technologically superior to the SAS, and even with the new Riss technology the clans have developed under Nadya Reese’s supervision, the SAS cannot defeat them alone.

But forging an alliance between the SAS, UFN, and JPU will not be easy. It will require the empires to put aside their long history of border wars and mutual dislike. Worse, many in the SAS hate Riss-humans, especially Nadya. As a consequence, maintaining the Mutual Support Agreement between the Riss and the SAS is proving impossible. And then there is the issue of sharing technology with recent enemies, the question of leadership, and Nadya’s involvement. The JPU only recently had bounties on Riss-humans, and Riss hides are prized in the UFN and JPU.

Nadya’s not so sure the Alien’s idea of confining the war-like humans to their planets isn’t a good idea. But the fate of the Riss is tied to the humans, so whatever her doubts, she must act. 

This series has been jumping between three and four stars for me. This one is a three star but really only barely. This constant Riss hating and undermining of, not only Nadya, but the entire SAS war effort putting their own people at risk is becoming tiresome. I wish the author would move on.

I also wish the author would drop that naive, unrealistic, socialist bullshit that he claims the Riss adheres to. It doesn’t work, full stop. Finally, I which he could stop calling the Riss parasites. They are symbionts for Christ sake.

Final Heir (Jane Yellowrock, #15).
By Faith Hunter.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars.

The stakes couldn’t be higher in the newest novel in the New York Times bestselling, pulse-pounding Jane Yellowrock series.

Jane Yellowrock is the queen of the vampires, and that makes her a target as she fights to maintain control and keep peace in the city of New Orleans. She has enemies at every turn, because vampires live forever, and they keep their grudges alive with them. That includes the Heir, the vampire sire of the Pellissier bloodline, which gave rise to Leo Pellissier himself—Jane’s old boss and the former master of the city.

With the Heir and all the forces of darkness he can muster arrayed against her, Jane will need all the help she can get. She’ll find it in her city, her friends, her found family, and, of course, the Beast inside of her. 

This was the final instalment in this series and, as far as I am concerned, it was about time. To me this series had become boring and, when reading this book, I was really fed up with the beast baby talk. I think this series stopped being interesting when Leo Pellissier more or less went out of the picture. The three star rating is a barely one.

Later Gator (A Miss Fortune Mystery, #9).
By Jana Deleon.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars.

A poacher is at work in Sinful, Louisiana, and Deputy Carter LeBlanc is hot on the trail of the outlaw, trying to apprehend him before the state gets wind of the crime and sends a game warden to take over his investigation. Unfortunately, he’s hindered every step of the way by Sinful’s current mayor and all-around horrible person, Celia Arceneaux, who wants nothing more than to drive Carter to resign.

When a game warden turns up with evidence that implicates a relative of Gertie’s, Carter is left with no choice but to arrest the boy, even though no one thinks he did it. With Carter under the watchful eye of Celia and the state, Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie decide to catch a poacher…before he gets away.

More of the same which is a fairly entertaining mystery comedy. It is dragged down a bit with this continous crap with Celia Arceneaux. I really wish she would get what she deserves and be written out of the story soon. Also, it would be nice if Fortune would be more of the CIA assassin she is supposed to be. Her incessant whining about that cool car ride was just annoying for example.

You Don’t Know Jack (Jack Foster Space Opera, #5).
By John Hindmarsh.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars.

Jack Foster is missing.

A distant planet roasts in the sun.

Not all its properties are known to the Omega Corporation.

One of the slaves – human – is about to recover his memory. So will his companions.

Time could be his weapon of choice to use to escape from the slavers.
Meanwhile, Jenny Layton, Jack’s partner, is waging a defensive war against trespassers on Jack’s Planet. Jenny’s also assisting smaller systems and planets defend themselves against a corporate monolith that seemingly has more money than sense.

Corporate mercenaries continue to arrive.

In the meantime, Robert Van de Huis meets more opposition than perhaps he can handle.
Jenny prepares her presentation to the GalFed’s top legal assembly, a task which emphasizes Jack’s absence. All Jenny wants is his presence, or simply knowledge he is alive.

Jack finds timing is everything as he plans his escape from the slavers’ planet. Almost needless to say, he also is planning revenge on the slavers. His tasks successful, Jack turns his attention to rejoining Jenny.

Scars, deaths, and destruction follow both Jenny and Jack.

There’s a happy ending, though. 

I think this is the weakest book in the series. This Jack being abducted just didn’t sit very well with me and, quite frankly, the entire part of the story were he slowly worked himself out of his predicament was not only a bit boring but quite unplausable. It is still an entertaining book but certainly not more than three stars worth.

Witch With a Dragon (Witch Warrior, #5).
By T.R. Cameron.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars.

Cait Keane and her Dragon partner Aza face threats on every side.

You’d think a gang war being fought in the shadows of her town would be the magical US Marshal’s most pressing concern.

You’d be wrong.

The shifters are pressing hard to take over the territory they believe belongs to them. Too bad Cait’s coven lives there.

An assassin that’s gunning for her may have a new ally – a second Syndicate assassin. That can’t be good.

And the Dragons on Oriceran face a threat they can’t see, smell, or hear.

In the breach stand Cait and Aza, refusing to bend or break as they fight to protect those in their care.

Fortunately, they’ll have allies. Aisling the technomancer, Sabrina the infomancer, and a new piece of unexpected magic. Will it be enough to keep the scales balanced, at least for a while longer?

And there’s always the threat of the Rhazdon artifacts, which Cait seems fated to find. The Federal Agents of Magic will need to lend a hand with those pieces of pure evil.

The US Marshal with something extra wouldn’t have it any other way.

I quite like Cait and Aza and although I quite like these books they are, unfortunately, dragged down by various stupidities. Especially when it comes to the informatics parts. This virtual hacking bullshit like they are inside some silly video game is really annoying. Clueless statements like hardware being infected by virus is also annoying me quite a lot. I did like the direction of Cait’s development and her being more powerful than anyone thinks though.

Requiem for Heroes (Choser of the Slain, #3).
By Michael Anderle.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars.

The Viking job has to get easier in time, right?

That’s wishful thinking on Valerie’s part. The Jarls keep dropping her and Jacob into problems it would take Heimdall’s foresight to unravel.

Someone is messing with an inexplicable list of companies right here in America. Their connection is unclear, but Valerie sees Cleopatra behind every move.

When will it stop? Is her enemy renting space in her head for free?

It’s becoming obvious that Jacob is starting to worry about his partner. Is it in a good way, or a ‘time for the straitjacket’ way?

While Val appreciates his concern, how will she deal with him if it comes to that?

Val isn’t the only one with an enemy taking up every waking thought.

Cleopatra has decided that the best defense is a good offense, and she knows who to use as bait. Val will do whatever it takes to save this person, even piss off a God.

Can Valerie deal with Cleopatra’s latest attack?

When the Chooser of the Slain is on a rampage, everyone needs to keep their heads down.

Overall I liked this book. It was one of the better one in the series and was on track for a four out of five rating. Up until that lameass ending that is. Seriously, what a load of bullshit. Finally Valerie starts to kick ass and then the author wacks in some rubbish Hollywood style twist where she gets “downgraded”. Seriously disappointed by that.

Imperial Ghosts (Ashes of Empire, #5).
By Eric Thomson.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars.

Humanity’s first empire collapsed centuries ago, but two tiny shards kept the ability to travel across the stars at faster than light speeds: the Wyvern Hegemony and the Republic of Lyonesse.

Each considers itself the heir of the old empire and swore an oath of reunification. Yet only one can rule over humanity reunited. As they race to absorb ruined human worlds and rebuild them in their respective image, it is only a matter of time before they encounter the ghosts of what once was.

And those ghosts will demand their due. 

This was undoubtedly the best of the books that I read during my holiday. Not quite five star material but still really good military space opera. It is not the fastest paced military science fiction I have read. There is a lot of dialogue but it never really felt boring. There is a tiny bit of pseudo-religious fantasy parts thrown in but it never really intrudes on the “real” story so it is quite okay for me.

I liked how the book advanced the overall story arc and I really hope the author manages to keep the story going without it being dragged down by politics between Wyvern and Lyonesse or worse, politics within Wyvern itself.

Looking forward to read the next one.

Hook Line and Blinker (A Miss Fortune Mystery, #10).
By Jana Deleon.
My rating ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ out of 5 stars.

Nobody knows speed like Ida Belle.

Behind the wheel of her hopped-up Blazer, she’s the queen of the back roads. But when someone tries to kill Hot Rod and steals only black SUVs from his shop, Fortune worries that excessive horsepower is the least of the trouble that comes along with her friend’s new ride. When it becomes clear that the car thieves didn’t get what they were looking for the first time around and Ida Belle’s vehicle becomes their next target, Fortune and Gertie are determined to protect their friend.

Ida Belle is determined to protect the Blazer.

I quite liked this instalment in the series. It’s a new crime for Fortune to solve and essentially more of the same. However there are a few things that made me like this one more than the previous ones. It has less dumbass slapstick in it than some of the previous instalments and those that are there was rather funny. The most important thing though was that bitch Celia Arceneaux got what she deserved… twice. So it is the second four out of five star book I read during my holiday although it is not as strong one as Imperial Ghosts.

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