Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Really Short Reviews: Magic Stars and Viking Warrior Rising

Magic Stars
(Kate Daniels #8.5)
Ilona Andrews
Release: December 2015
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Novella set in Kate Daniels world...

Derek Gaunt has no family and few friends. Scarred, solitary, he is the lone wolf who separated from his pack. When those close to him are murdered, he’ll stop at nothing to hunt their killer through magic-drenched Atlanta.

Soon Julie Olsen joins him and what begins as revenge turns into the race to save the city. Their search puts them against powers they never imagined and magic so old, it predates history. It may cost Derek his life, but there are things for which even he would risk everything.

Review by Rose Red:

Oh my goodness! This novella, guys! This novella! It was everything I wanted it to be and more! Derek has been one of my favorite characters since the first book of this series and it was so intriguing to get a novella from his point of view! Inside Derek's head is a bit dark which shouldn't surprise you because he has been to hell and back several times in his twenty years.

I'm not going to go into the details of the plot of this because it is a novella and I don't want to spoil it for you. Just know that it is awesome! How awesome? Well, Julie teams up with Derek to solve the mystery and it is amazing! I love these two together! Julie gets Derek and Derek is protective of Julie, but not so protective that he tries to leave her behind. You just need to read this story!

I know a lot of people skip novellas which is totally okay! To each their own. For most series, novellas are fluff pieces that help you wait for the next book of the series. Not so with the novellas by Ilona Andrews. All of theirs are integral to the series and events from the novellas show up or are mentioned in the novels. This novella is no different. Actually, I would argue that you need to read this before the next book comes out! There's several things that can be taken as foreshadowing for the next book but there's a major reveal in here. Like, a really big and it's going to affect the next book reveal. And it's not about Derek. YOU ALL NEED TO READ THIS! Seriously. I am dying to see how what we learned here plays out in the rest of the series! I can't wait for Magic Binds!

ARC provided by the author.

  4.5 / 5 Stars!

My reviews of other books in this series:
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews 
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews
Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews 
Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

Viking Warrior Rising
(Viking Warriors #1)
Asa Maria Bradley
Release: November 3, 2015
Immortal Vikings are among us.

Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki.

Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.

But Naya doesn’t want to be found...and he’ll do anything to find her. Because they’re both running out of time.

Review by Rose Red:

Vikings and Norse mythology have become really popular lately. Thank you, Marvel's Thor! I had heard some really intriguing things about this book so when I saw that it was still available on Netgalley, I had to request it! Why wouldn't I want to read it? Evil Loki, elite band of immortal Viking warriors, a genetically modified heroine who eludes the hero's search... everything about this book sounded like it was written just for me! Unfortunately, Thor didn't make an appearance. I really enjoyed it and how different it was! It was a breath of fresh air as well as a great start to a new series! 

The characters (both main and secondary) in this story are so great! They were well-developed and I loved almost all of them! I especially loved the Vikings! Their personalities and attitudes lead to some pretty hilarious moments! I can't wait to see more of Astrid and Harald in future books! Actually, I want to see more of everybody. I loved the chemistry between Leif and Naya. It was kind of fun watching Leif try to protect Naya when Naya clearly doesn't need protecting. I loved that the author reversed the damsel in distress trope and had the heroine save the hero from the first! I can't behind more of that!

The Norse mythology was so seamlessly combined with the more modern setting that I was enthralled the whole time reading this book! There's lots of action and intrigue and it kept the story moving at a fast pace. I was also kept guessing up to the very end and I appreciate that a lot. I've read a lot of predictable plots as of late so it was refreshing to be kept constantly on my toes. Also, this book had just the right mix of action and romance. I'm really looking forward to reading more books in this series!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  4 / 5 Stars

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