Blizzard – Glowing Review <3

A fellow author-whose work I personally love and everyone else should check her out, too-took the time to read and review Blizzard, and I could not be more flattered! Below is the review itself, or you can check it on here on Goodreads and Amazon! Thank you, C. E. Clayton!

“Blizzard”, much like the first book in The Black Ice Trilogy, takes a twist on the gothic vampires that have become so commonplace in YA fantasy. I loved Snow for the risks it took in tweaking those vampire tropes, and Elliot’s lyrical, and often poetic, writing when it came to setting the scene and Neva’s emotions from a first person perspective. This installation kept true to all those things I enjoyed from the first book, but it does not pick up exactly where book 1 leaves off, instead, the reader is introduced to Neva’s original incarnation and we get the backstory that book 1 was missing.

The first half of the book is a bit like a prologue, it’s no longer in first person, and instead follows Eliza and how Neva and the vampires originally came to be, and sets up their ongoing conflict with Reegan and his demons. While I really enjoyed this section and learning more about this world—and filling in those gaps I had from the first novel—I do have to give a trigger warning for rape. It’s not graphic, but it is not subtle. While it is central to the story arc, just be forewarned that it is present, but thankfully the author moves on and doesn’t linger longer than necessary. While I enjoyed this section and getting to meet Neva and Thedryck when they were just “kids”, this was the first half of a very long book, so I was starting to forget what the main plot was that had been carried over from the books predecessor: finding Lucy and saving her from an evil entity.

The back story IS necessary though, because without it, there is too much left unanswered from the first book, and there would be no sense of urgency leading into the last book of the trilogy. So while it does feel a bit like a separate book, especially with the shift in POV, it was thoroughly enjoyable and, once again, Elliot’s writing is absolutely lovely. She really does have a great talent for prose, so even though it’s not an easy read, it’s a great one.

I will say that Eliza and Neva tended to have a similar voice, so at times they didn’t feel as distinct as they otherwise could have been. There are also a lot of new creatures and characters that get introduced—some pretty late in the novel. It can be a bit challenging at times to keep track of who is who and what they are, or their abilities. Hopefully there won’t be so many unnecessary characters in the next book (think Star Trek redshirts, they are just there to die) so the reader can better focus on those who matter. Zachariah still confuses me as a character and just what his motivations were, but that could be because of the break I took between reading the first and second book and I simply don’t remember what happened on that front. There were times when Neva’s stubbornness and her impulsive nature really bugged me, but at the same time, that also made her a well-rounded character, so I’m letting that go. The romance in this book, much like the vampires, does not follow the well-used tropes of the genre, either. That may be frustrating to some people, but I kind of liked that Neva and Thedryck weren’t completely besotted with each other, they frustrate each other and have to work on things, you know, like real people do. And, one of my biggest quips from the first book was that Thedryck never answered any of Neva’s questions. That’s not the case in this book! Which makes me a very happy camper.

All in all, I thought this book was a huge improvement from the first book, and I liked that book a lot! This book answered so many lingering questions I had from the first book, while simultaneously creating new tensions and problems—both big and small between Felicity, Reegan, Helsing and Neva and Eliza. I like the “powers” that each vampire has and how they are not only unique to the individual, but make sense with their personality and greatest desires. I love the added complexity to the characters and their relationships with each other. Also, and it can’t be stated enough, Elliot is an extremely talented writer with a clear vision for her characters and where they are going in the trilogy. Despite my minor qualms with the characters and my small issues with the first half of the book feeling like a separate prequel, this book and series has come so far that I would be remiss to give it anything less than 5 stars, I can’t wait for Neva and Reegan’s rematch! And thanks to the author for providing me a copy for review.

A Clever Girl…

I swear, I have to believe, things will become easier. Plenty of points I cannot, and/or will not, speak on, but the last two months have been a roller coaster. I’m getting surgery on the 29th of this month, two weeks recovery time. Gallbladder has to come out! My doctor says he’s 80% certain it’s causing most, if not all, of my problems. Cool-I can live without that!

I am getting a certification next month for my day job (I moonlight as a priestess in my other life), studying for that has been important. For the other major items, they’re getting sorted! I will be Thankful when everything is worked out, a month ago it just about crushed me. That being said, I’m done counting on every year to “be my year”, I’m looking at short term goals! Weeks, Days! 🤣

I hope and pray everyone out there has been well❤️. I can’t wait to get back to my writing! Post surgery I plan to use wisely😉.

Review: A Court of Wings & Ruin

4 Stars. This book would have gotten 5, had it not been for one major point and two other points-if only those I would have said 4.5 and rounded to that 5. This one was the best, by far, in the series for me.

What I LOVE:
There are characters in the book that grew and took on more of life, and that includes Rhys and Feyre. My Favorite character is Nesta. Not gonna lie, she’s my homegirl, my Dawg! Hahaha And Amren! Something in their ferocity speaks to me, and I cannot look away at the beauty of that, of their flaws. Lucien has always been a character I appreciated. The FIGHTING! OH I loved it, so much more action! Far less “ingredients” in this book, thankfully, and more characters brought into the fold. Tamlin-I still didn’t really like Tamlin, but there were, as before, characteristics I can, and do, appreciate about this character. What can be appreciated most is the intricate story that Maas has created with these books, even though I still found many points where it was expected that things would work out, and it was easy to follow in that way. That there were so many “outs” that were too convenient…but I read and loved it regardless. By this book Feyre has truly grown, and I Really Liked her personality. It took, it was painful, as growth often is, and she took risks.

What I did NOT Love:
Alright, here’s the rant-y part of this review. I said it for all the previous, I will repeat it here: These Books are NOT for Young Adult! These books-especially the second book-contain Graphic Sexual Content, even this one, though majority of the small amount was in the first half of the book. The CONTENT is the problem. I don’t care what the MC’s age is, the content, for me is a Major determining factor. I only want this book to be properly classified/categorized.
Now, for the two other points that impacted my considerations for this book. First, the only thing that makes this book appear young adult is the behavior of the characters, which also lends into the second point: behavioral patterns that Every character fell into. The immature behavior is “rude gestures” and everyone sticking out their tongues. E-ver-y-one. EVERYONE. These characters, especially side characters that are marginally older and supposed to be more respectable all act like bratty teens with the behavior. I felt this was lazy and sloppy on the author’s part, as though nobody would have any other defining patterns. All the men “drawling” when they spoke, things of these nature were disappointing. For such an elaborate story, why hold back on make the characters truly individual? There were many instances it was unnecessary, almost feeling like it was more about word count than the quality.

Now I digress. I have one last book to read, the most recently released A Court of Frost and Starlight. I would suggest these books to other Adults to read. I do love the strength of the bond between Rhys and Feyre, and hope to see what happens between the remaining characters of Lucien, Elain, Cassian, Nesta, and all the gang of the Court of Dreams.

GoodReads Review HERE!

Review: A Court of Mist & Fury

I read it, swiftly enough. I loved and hated it, same as I did the first book in some ways.

I’ll begin with the positives. Maas is a most talented story-teller, and a gifted enough writer to be appreciated. This book contains a vast array of characters, ones far more intriguing to me than in ACOTAR. This book is quite large, but reads quickly. There is so much more of the story, of the characters, to be discovered that it is a wonder and delight to discover with the characters. There came a point, about 3/4 of the way in, where I was afraid the book was going to take a certain turn and I became lit thinking it was going to end a certain way. However, it did not disappoint, and instead left me quite pleased with the turns it took, even if it felt a jagged and last minute-ish. Feyre, as irksome as I found her through quite a bit of the book, comes around and I ended up truly appreciating the growth of her character in this book. I don’t want to ruin any surprises, but I will say that I truly, overall, ended up loving this book – flaws and all. By the end of this book I was eager to read the next book to see where the story leads.

Now, let’s call out the bad. This apparently will be a Constant pet peeve of mine with this series, and I will begin by saying that I am sorely disappointed how this book is classified as young adult. There was an overwhelming amount of sexual content – both as tension and straight up, vividly descriptive sex scenes – and that there is No Way in H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS I would let my teenager’s read these books. When they’re 18, Fine Have at it! The content in itself is Not Appropriate for 14-17. Next point: Feyre is irritating, irksome, and has some weaknesses that I Cannot stand – but this goes to me, personally, my own pet peeves of other people. Still, while this may be excusable due to her age, as it was used with the first book, I feel it is a weak crutch utilized by the author. There are some (several) elements that are deus ex machina, and that was somewhat disappointing to see in a story line I thought would flourish without really needing that crutch. There were turns of phrases used that made absolutely No Sense – same as in the first – but this time a plethora of them utilized throughout, not just one. The kind that leave saying, “What? What-why-how? HUH?”

Silly things that made me unhappy:
TURKEY
GOBBLE. GOBBLEGOBBLEGOBBLEGOBBLEGOBBLE! My GRACIOUS! If I did a search in a PDF document for this book, I think the word “Gobble” would show up about a thousand friggen times! Where is the editor, so I may string them up for this atrocity?! There was so much “Gobbling” of things I was certain that eventually a turkey would magically appear, or maybe the MC would turn into a turkey, OR it would turn out she had been a turkey the entire time dreaming of another life just before the Thanksgiving Roast! Maybe Maas had seen Thankskilling (yes, it’s a Real movie, and yes I have watched most of it-I got some Great lines to use as a result) and had been inspired by the most terrible-hilarious-purposefully-bad made movie in cinematic history, and couldn’t get the Gobbling of a turkey out of her head. I don’t know, I do know I wish she had pulled out a thesaurus and gotten more creative with her writing.

In the end…Maas still impressed me with the story and twists that occurred, no matter how trite some of them turned out to be. This was no small undertaking, and I appreciate the applied effort and time. As a reader in general, I really enjoyed the story. I’ll begin reading the last book in the set I bought, and hope that the most recent release does not disappoint. We shall see!

((**snickering to self-I have a real problem with profanity and am trying to break myself of said problem…because my 2 yo))

Kindle Publishing & XRay

I should have checked into this much sooner, but here I am, having discovered this very late last night and just getting on board. Xray is a really awesome feature I was not aware of that provides detailed input on the Kindle ebooks for characters, places, and terms! As such, I have begun filling it out on Snow for the Characters, specifically, and will be filling it in for Blizzard, too! But it’s quite a bit of work to manage, as they are different descriptions applicable to the first two books. Guess I best get busy, eh?

Delivery & Cash, Anyone need a liver?

Sweet mercy. Alright. Both Snow & Blizzard are on IngramSpark, available to be ordered for Paperback. I’ll say this: I rather prefer Createspace’s dashboard. However, IngramSpark will get me to vendors who could sell my book in a physical store…perhaps Createspace had that, but I did not find anything so directly expressed as with IngramSpark-so I’ve signed up, paid with a part of my liver (you only need a shaved off portion), and am waiting for the healing process (sales) to occur. If it does. Yes, I am feeling pessimistic here, and nervous, and would Love for my books to be on physical shelves. I’ve signed up for the distribution list to the over 7k vendors who could possibly set my books on their shelves. Advertising, marketing, heck just getting the ISBN all costs money. Maybe I’ll become a prostitute, and write stories about this other life I would lead, where my name is “Bubbles Galore”. I’ll tell you all how I came up with that name another day-it’s actually just cute and funny, 99% clean.

Onward I go, working hard to make this work.

coachmcguirkhahahaadvice