Thursday, September 8, 2016

Early Review: Level Grind by Annie Bellet

Level Grind
(The Twenty-Sided Sorceress #1-4)
Annie Bellet
Release: October 4, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
An omnibus of the first four books in the USA TODAY bestselling fantasy series—collected together for the first time in one volume. Jade Crow is a sorceress hiding from the most powerful sorcerer in the world: her ex-boyfriend.

Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress.

Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho, hiding from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers—her ex-boyfriend Samir. Yet when dark powers threaten her friends’ lives, Jade must save them by using magic. But as soon as she does, her nemesis will find her and she won’t be able to stand up against him when he comes.

Collects — Justice Calling; Murder of Crows; Pack of Lies; Hunting Season.

This book is an omnibus collection of the first four novellas in The Twenty-Sided Sorceress series. Each installment is short so the whole volume clocks in around 480 pages all together. Despite their short length, each novella is freaking awesome! 

Everything about this series is so unique and great! The world! The characters! The pop culture and gaming references! It all worked together to tell an amazing story! The fact that it takes place in my home state of Idaho just made it even more awesome! It's a compulsively readable series. I couldn't stop once I started. With each installment the world expands and it just keeps getting better. It's diverse in terms of race and sexuality but also in the diverse mix of shifters and other magical entities. There's even a leprechaun! The types of magic seen are also diverse and intriguing. It makes the series so unique.

The characters are a fun mishmash of people who remind me of my board game buddies from college. They are really what makes this series so enjoyable. I almost love the side characters more than the heroine, Jade. Almost. Jade and her group of misfits will have you head over heels in love with them in a matter of pages. I honestly can't choose a favorite.

My only complaint is that each of these novellas could have been longer with more lead up to the action. Each installment kind of feels like a monster of the week episode. That in itself isn't a bad thing but it leaves out a lot of world building and details that could have elevated this series from fun and enjoyable to epic. Overall, this series is a great collection of urban fantasy stories and I'm all in to see what happens next.

Recommended for fans of: 
Geekomancy by Michael R. Underwood
Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
Night Owls by Lauren M. Roy

  4 / 5 Stars

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