Book Review: Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

Book: Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

Published October 2017 by Viking Books For Young Readers|477 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Akata Witch #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book. 

Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

Much-honored Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, merges today’s Nigeria with a unique world she creates. Akata Warrior blends mythology, fantasy, history and magic into a compelling tale that will keep readers spellbound.

I really liked this one!  I feel like I’ve read a few of her books recently, and I have a couple more on my shelf that I got from the library, so I’m definitely in a mood for Okorafor’s books.

I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I’ve read the first book, so I didn’t remember anything from Akata Witch.  Which was actually fine because I didn’t need to remember too much about it.  It doesn’t rely a lot on the first book, though it is a good idea to read that one first.

It was so nice to revisit this world, and I loved seeing what Sunny and her friends were up to.  I loved how she wanted to protect her brother, and even though it caused a lot of trouble for Sunny, I feel like her heart was in the right place.  I’m glad we got more of her family, and if there are more books in the series, I hope we get more with her family and how she has to balance that with being a Leopard Person.

I love how the details come together, and I love the balance between the magical world and the real world.  They’re balanced really well, and I love how they exist together.  They’re very different, of course, and I can’t imagine having to hide part of that from family, but overall, I think Sunny manages to fit in pretty well.

I loved revisiting this world, and it’s just as interesting as the world we saw in Akata Witch.  This book really adds to Sunny’s world, but I wish some things were talked about a little more.  Still, there’s more to Sunny’s world in this book, and it was nice to grow with Suny as she comes into her abilities a little more.

4 stars.  It took me a little time to get into it, and I think a lot of it is not having re-read the first book.  Still, I really liked it, and it was nice going back to Sunny’s world.

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Book Review: Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

Book: Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

Published October 2014 by Algonquin Young Readers|304 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Struggling to sort out her growing feelings and Saskia’s confusing signals, Leila confides in her old friend, Lisa, and grows closer to her fellow drama tech-crew members, especially Tomas, whose comments about his own sexuality are frank, funny, wise, and sometimes painful. Gradually, Leila begins to see that almost all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and many are keeping fascinating secrets of their own.

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel was just okay.  I wanted to like it more, and there were some things I liked, but it wasn’t enough to actually get me to like it.

I did like seeing Leila get involved with the school play, and that her classmates aren’t who Leila thought they were.  I was glad she got to know some of them, and that she started to find her place at school.  I liked seeing her struggle with fitting in, and how different she felt from her other classmates.  It made it easy to relate to Leila, and I could picture it really well.  I also get why

I didn’t care for Saskia, who was cruel and manipulative.  I can’t say I’m surprised by how she acted, especially with everything that happened towards the end of the book.  And I don’t know if it’s just me, but it felt like something out of Mean Girls.  Why, I don’t know, but that was the vibe I got from that one scene in particular.

I didn’t get why she had so many issues with her sister- it seemed like it was the fact that her sister was doing everything she was supposed to and Leila wasn’t.  Her sister turned out to be pretty cool, and I wish there was more depth with why Leila didn’t care for her sister.  Also, I’m an only child, so I don’t completely get the sibling dynamic.

It was pretty short, and I feel like it could have been a little bit longer.  It was a little bit younger than I thought it would be.  At the very least, it read young, and I thought it would have worked pretty well as a middle grade novel.

2 stars.  This book wasn’t for me, but I can see why people love it.

Book Review: Kiss Of Snow by Nalini Singh

Book: Kiss Of Snow by Nalini Singh

Published May 2011 by Berkley|415 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: Psy-Changeling #10

Genre: Adult Romance/ Paranormal Romance

The hardcover debut of New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh and her highly acclaimed Psy/Changeling novels. 

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness. 

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf. 

Then Sienna changes the rules-and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight… 

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home-and the alpha who is its heartbeat.

This is one of my favorite couples in the series!  I’m glad we finally got to see Sienna and Hawke, and I feel like some of the last few books were leading up to this one.  It was only a matter of time before we got Sienna and Hawke’s story, and I’m glad we did!

One thing that intrigued me was the X-Psy.  It’s something that’s been mentioned in some of the other books, and I knew we’d be learning more about them soon.  I also knew we’d be getting more about Alice Eldridge, who was researching X-Psy, and this happened to be the book where we learn more about Alice and the X-Psy.  As much as we can learn about a rare ability, anyway.

That’s the thing, though.  I wanted to know more about Sienna’s ability.  So, we do get the basic idea of what she can do, and what she was trained to do as a child.  But…I don’t know.  I know what she can do is really rare, and to be as strong and powerful as Sienna is is even more rare.  I just wish it was explained a little bit better, because for me, it wasn’t completely clear what she could do.  I’m hoping we’ll learn more about it in the books to come.

Something I really liked was seeing that the Psy (at least, some of them) are more of a threat than I originally thought.  There’s been a lot going on, and I knew things would not go well, but for some reason, I didn’t think they’d be a huge threat.  I certainly wasn’t expecting what actually happened in this book, but it did make things more interesting.  The stakes keep getting higher and higher, and while I’ve always been curious to see how things are going to end, things are really starting to come together.  It’ll be interesting to see how she wraps things up.

4 stars.  I really liked this one, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.  Also, I loved Sienna and Hawke, and I’m glad they finally got their book!

Book Review: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Book: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Published September 2015 by Tor.com|90 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Binti #1

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.

I really liked Binti!  Okorafor also has really interesting sci-fi, and Binti was no exception.

So, Binti gets accepted into a university, which means she’s at odds with her family, since they believe in staying at home, and not going away for school.  Something about that seemed very familiar and it was easy to relate to Binti as she had to deal with what people thought she was like because of where she was from.  I really liked the message of accepting people’s differences, and that differences are something that we should celebrate and be more accepting of.

I really wish we saw more of Binti’s Harmonizer abilities.  It came up, of course, but not in a lot of detail.  That isn’t surprising, considering it’s a novella.  I would have liked more of how great at math she is.

As much as I liked Binti, I thought it could have been longer and expanded on.  It looks like there are two more books after this one, so there’s more to read (and I will be reading them) in this series.  Maybe those are a little bit longer, but it was too short for me to really get into it.  Looking back, it felt like a rough outline that needed to be filled in with more detail and world-building.

You get enough to have a general idea of what the world is like, but I think I just wanted more.  Okorafor creates these very vivid worlds, and while Binti is no exception, it wasn’t to the level I usually expect with her books.  The quality is there, but it’s the length that hurt it a little.

4 stars.  I really liked the world and the characters, but I wish it was a little bit longer.

Book Review: Play Of Passion by Nalini Singh

Book: Play Of Passion by Nalini Singh

Published November 2010 by Berkley Books|321 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Psy-Changeling #9

Genre: Adult Romance/Paranormal Romance

In his position as tracker for the SnowDancer pack, it’s up to Drew Kincaid to rein in rogue changelings who have lost control of their animal halves- even if it means killing those who have gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite… and who threatens to enslave his wolf.

Lieutenant Indigo Riviere doesn’t easily allow skin privileges, especially of the sensual kind- and the last person she expects to find herself craving is the most wickedly playful male in the den. Everything she knows tells her to pull back before the flames burn them both to ash… but she hasn’t counted on Drew’s will. 

Now, two of SnowDancer’s most stubborn wolves find themselves playing a hot, sexy game even as lethal danger stalks the very place they call home.

I really liked the romance in this one.  Play Of Passion was more about the romance, which was actually nice.  As much as I love the world, it was nice to take a break from all of the things going on with the Psy.  We do get that in this one, and there are some very interesting developments, but it was nice to have a book that focused more on the romance.

I really liked Indigo and Drew together.  They had an interesting dynamic, though I found myself irritated with Indigo when she wouldn’t give him a chance because of his age.  It took her until almost the end of the book to admit he was her mate, and I thought Drew was amazing since she did not make things easy.  That being said, I still like them together, and I was glad she figured out she wanted Drew.  Or at least, admitted he was the one she wanted.  I did like seeing the pack hierarchy, and it was nice to spend more time in the changeling world.

Honestly, this is going to be a short review!  I’m struggling to add more, and in a couple of paragraphs, I feel like I’ve said all I’ve needed to say.  I guess there isn’t a lot for me to talk about as far as Play Of Passion goes.  It’s not that it’s filler, since it does move things along, but it’s like…the calm before the storm, maybe?  At any rate, I think I’ve said all I need to say about this book.

4 stars.  I really liked it, and it was nice to have a book more centered on the romance and the changeling world.

Book Review: Blaze Of Memory and Bonds Of Justice by Nalini Singh

Book: Blaze Of Memory by Nalini Singh

Published November 2009 by Berkley|373 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Psy-Changeling #7

Genre: Adult Romance/Paranormal Romance

A woman without a past becomes the pawn of the man who controls her future…

Dev Santos discovers her unconscious and battered, with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that she’s dangerous. Charged with protecting his people’s most vulnerable secrets, Dev is duty-bound to eliminate all threats. It’s a task he’s never hesitated to complete…until he finds himself drawn to a woman who might prove to be the enemy’s most insidious weapon yet.

Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity. Her only hope is Dev. But how can she expect to gain the trust of a man who could very well be her next target? For in this game, one must die…

I’ve really enjoyed this series, and this book is no exception.  I’m actually kind of in the middle for this one- I liked it a lot but I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it.

I think the thing that surprised me the most was how much the romance took a backseat to everything else that was going on.  I didn’t care for Katya and Dev as a couple, and there was a lot we learned about Silence and the Forgotten in this book.  I thought it overshadowed the romance, which made me a little sad because partially why I like this series is the romance.

Okay, I haven’t loved every couple, and Katya and Dev are not one of my favorites.  But I really felt like the romance was secondary to the world-building.  That’s the other thing that keeps me going with the series, and that really stood out in this book.  We learned a lot about Dev’s family, and I liked seeing the letters written by one of his relatives to another relative.

I really liked seeing those letters, because you really see how implementing Silence changed things for all Psy.  You really see how it affected those who didn’t want to be part of it, and how they were cut off from those they loved because they didn’t believe in it.  We also learn a lot about the abilities that died out when the Forgotten defected.  I’m curious to see if we’ll learn more about those long-lost abilities, and if they’ll start popping up again.

I also liked seeing the Sunshine station or whatever you want to call it.  It makes me wonder where Singh is going with it, and if we’ll learn what’s going on there.  I’m sure we will, because I feel like Singh introduces characters and concepts long before we actually learn what’s going on.

Also…I’m starting to wonder if the Ghost is an Arrow.  I was pleasantly surprised by what we see in regards to the Arrows, and I’m curious to see who the Ghost is.  I know I mention in every single review I’ve done for this series, but this is the first time where I’ve really felt like I could even begin to come up with some possibilities.

My Rating: 4 stars.  I really liked what we learned about the Forgotten and Silence, but I wish I liked the romance more.

Book: Bonds Of Justice by Nalini Singh

Published July 2010 by Berkley|348 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Psy-Changeling #8

Genre: Adult Romance/Adult Paranormal Romance

Max Shannon is a good cop, one of the best in New York Enforcement. Born with a natural shield that protects him against Psy mental invasions, he knows he has little chance of advancement within the Psy-dominated power structure. The last case he expects to be assigned is that of a murderer targeting a Psy Councilor’s closest advisors. And the last woman he expects to compel him in the most sensual of ways is a Psy on the verge of a catastrophic mental fracture…

Sophia Russo is a Justice-Psy, cursed with the ability to retrieve memories from men and women so twisted even veteran cops keep their distance. Appointed as Max’s liaison with the Psy, she finds herself fascinated by this human, her frozen heart threatening to thaw with forbidden emotion. But, her mind filled with other people’s nightmares, other people’s evil, she’s standing on the border between sanity and a silken darkness that urges her to take justice into her own hands, to become judge, jury…and executioner…

I really liked this one!  I particularly liked the romance in this one, which was a nice change after reading Blaze Of Memory, and finding that the romance took a backseat to the world-building.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked the world-building in this book.  We learn about the J-Psy, and that was cool.  I mean, they can retrieve memories from people, and eventually, they’re rehabilitated so much that they go insane or die.  I am curious to see how her abilities are used in the future.  Even though she’s perfectly fine at the end of the book, I still want to know if her continued use of her ability will eventually damage her shields, and if everything going on with PsyNet will do some damage.

As for the romance, I really liked Max and Sophia together.  I think, with her abilities and his work in Enforcement, they really understand what the other has to deal with at work, and they really balance each other out.  I know Enforcement has come up in this series, but even after finishing Bonds Of Justice, I’m still not clear what they do.  Still, I’m hoping we’ll see more of Max and Sophia in some of the other books.

I really liked seeing the Council, and how they split.  I do like seeing them fight for control and power, and with the Council being so divided, it’s going to be very interesting to see how that will tie into everything going on with the PsyNet, and how it’ll affect not just the Psy, but the humans and changelings as well.

This book seemed more grounded in reality than a lot of the other books in the series.  I am particularly fond of the psy-changeling romances we’ve seen, and overall, I prefer those romances to all of the non-psy-changeling romances we’ve seen.  I think I expected more paranormal elements, and this book didn’t really have it.  Paranormal elements or not, I really did like this one.

My Rating: 4 stars.  I really liked Bonds Of Justice, and I liked Max and Sophia together.

Audio Book Review: The Book Of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor, Narrated by Robin Miles

Book: The Book Of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor, Narrated by Robin Miles

Published September 2015 by Audible Studios|Length: 8 hours, 50 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: Who Fears Death #0.1

Genre: Adult Fantasy/Dystopia

A fiery spirit dances from the pages of the Great Book. She brings the aroma of scorched sand and ozone. She has a story to tell….

The Book of Phoenix is a unique work of magical futurism. A prequel to the highly acclaimed, World Fantasy Award-winning novel Who Fears Death, it features the rise of another of Nnedi Okorafor’s powerful, memorable, superhuman women.

Phoenix was grown and raised among other genetic experiments in New York’s Tower 7. She is an “accelerated woman” – only two years old but with the body and mind of an adult, Phoenix’s abilities far exceed those of a normal human. Still innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, she is content living in her room speed reading ebooks, running on her treadmill, and basking in the love of Saeed, another biologically altered human of Tower 7. Then one evening Saeed witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life.

Devastated by his death and Tower 7’s refusal to answer her questions, Phoenix finally begins to realize that her home is really her prison, and she becomes desperate to escape. But Phoenix’s escape, and her destruction of Tower 7, is just the beginning of her story. Before her story ends, Phoenix will travel from the United States to Africa and back, changing the entire course of humanity’s future. 

I really liked The Book Of Phoenix!  Nnedi Okorafor always writes really interesting books, and this one was no exception.

This one is a prequel to Who Fears Death, and I kind of wish I had re-read that one first, just to get back into this world.  Also, I couldn’t begin to tell you how the two books are connected, but maybe I’ll re-read Who Fears Death just to see.

I did like Phoenix, and I thought it was horrible what people were doing to the biologically altered.  I do remember wondering how we got to the future we saw in Who Fears Death, and I am thinking that maybe everything we see in this book is what leads to that future.  I could be wrong, and I really am wishing I had re-read Who Fears Death.  But that is what I get for randomly deciding to read a book without re-reading any of the other books in that series.

That being said, I thought the book stood on its own really well, and I don’t think the order in which you read the books matters.  Also, you could probably read just this one, and be fine.  It is its own story, and I liked seeing Phoenix try to take down the towers and fight back against her controllers.

The Book Of Phoenix worked really well as an audio book.  It’s an oral history, told by Phoenix herself, and I felt like Phoenix was telling me her own story, which really worked.  Also, it’s narrated by Robin Miles, who is a fantastic narrator.  I’ve really liked the books I’ve listened to that have been narrated by her, and this one was no exception.  I’m really glad I went with the audio, and I wholeheartedly recommend the audio book.

4 stars.  I wish I had more to say about this book, but I don’t.  I really liked it, and I love how Okorafor blends fantasy and sci-fi.

Book Review: Flygirl by Sherri L Smith

Book: Flygirl by Sherri L Smith

Published January 2009 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers|288 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her.

When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women Airforce Service Pilots – and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one’s racial heritage, denying one’s family, denying one’s self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.

I liked Flygirl!  It’s definitely worth checking out, and I really liked reading Ida Mae’s story.

So one thing I didn’t particularly like was how old Ida Mae was.  It’s mentioned in the book that she’s 20, which I thought was really strange.  I mean, it reads as YA, and I thought Ida Mae was a lot younger than she really was.  That didn’t particularly work for me, but it is what it is.

I did like the friendships she formed with some of her fellow WASP’s, and being a WASP really brought them together.  You really saw how Ida just wanted to be a pilot, like her dad was.  You see her struggle with her fellow WASP’s finding out she’s black, and you see what it’s like for her to be a pilot in a man’s world.  One scene that was really heartbreaking was when her mom came to Ida’s flight school, pretending to be the family maid so people wouldn’t know that Ida was passing as white.

There is some conflict with her family and friends back home about passing for white, but it’s not something that really comes up in her time as WASP.  I think I thought (based on the summary) that it would play more of a part than it really did.  I’m white, though, so I could be completely wrong about that.

The book ended with a lot of things being pretty open-ended.  You’re not sure if Ida Mae goes back home to her family, or if she tries to make it as a pilot once the WASP program ended.  I don’t mind it when books have an open ending, but in this case, I wanted to know more about Ida Mae’s future.

3 stars.  I liked Flygirl, and how Ida Mae was caught between two different worlds.  It’s a great book if you want World War II historical fiction about a part of history that doesn’t come up in your average history class.  I didn’t love it, but it was an interesting read.

Audio Book Review: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma, Narrated by Priya Ayyar

Book: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma, Narrated by Priya Ayyar

Published May 2018 by Listening Library|Length: 7 hours, 7 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soulmate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her 18th birthday, and Raj meets all of the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked to return from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Worse, Raj is crowned chair of the student film festival, a spot Winnie was counting on for her film school applications. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.

Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek, and one of the few people Winnie can count on to help her reclaim control of her story. Dev is smart charming, and challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope to find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy, and her chance to live happily ever after? To get her Bollywood-like life on track, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star. 

Like an expertly choreographed Bollywood dance scene, Nisha Sharma’s off-beat love story dazzles in the lime light. 

I really liked My So-Called Bollywood Life!  It’s really cute, and I think it’s a good read-alike if you like When Dimple Met Rishi and Anna And The French Kiss.

There were times when I really liked Winnie, but there were times when I didn’t like her at all.  I liked that she did question the prophecy, especially with how things with Raj turned out.  It was clear that the prophecy was a big part of her life, and though I don’t put a lot of emphasis on prophecies, I did like seeing how important it was to her family, and how astrology did play a big part in their lives.

I also liked how she a blog where she reviewed Bollywood movies.  Film was really important to her, and it’s what she wants to do career-wise.  I think it was that part of that made me think of Anna And The French Kiss.  It’s really cool to see books where the main character is into movies and wants to be a film critic, instead of an actor or director.

It was cool to see how much she loved Bollywood movies, and how it’s something she shares with her dad.  It’s interesting, because I feel like it doesn’t happen a lot in YA.  Of course, that would require parents to be around in YA, and that’s something that doesn’t happen often.  It’s nice to see her relationship with her family, and it was clear that family is important to all of them.

Wanting love and a happy ending was important for Raj, Dev, and Winnie.  In the case of Raj and Dev, it didn’t feel fake, and it’s nice to see a book where guys believe in love.

One thing that I thought was interesting was how each chapter started off with a rating of a Bollywood movie.  It was different, but I thought it really worked.  At the end of book, we also get Winnie’s reviews of each of the movies mentioned in the book.  I don’t know if it’s different in the print version, since I went with the audio book, but it was fun to hear her actual reviews.  I thought it worked well at the end of the audio, especially because I don’t know that it would have worked at the beginning of each chapter.  It would be cool to see it worked into each chapter in the print version.

Speaking of the audio book, I really liked the narrator!  I felt like she really captured who Winnie is as a person.  I’m glad I went with audio for this one.  Looking back, I don’t know if I would have liked nearly as much if I read it, but it worked really well on audio.

4 stars.  I really liked My So-Called Bollywood Life.  It’s a really cute contemporary romance, and worth reading!

Book Review: Branded By Fire by Nalini Singh

Book: Branded By Fire by Nalini Singh

Published July 2009 by Berkley|345 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: Psy-Changeling #6

Genre: Adult Romance/Paranormal Romance

Though DarkRiver sentinel Mercy is feeling the pressure to mate, she savagely resists when Riley Kincaid, a lieutenant from the SnowDancer pack, tries to possess her. The problem is not simply that he pushes her buttons; the problem is that he’s a wolf, she’s a cat, and they’re both used to being on top.

But when a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped from DarkRiver territory, Mercy and Riley must work together to track the young man – before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it’ll leave them both branded by fire…

I really liked this one!  It probably falls somewhere in the middle for me- it’s not one of my favorites, but it’s not one of my least favorites either.

We get a lot of different perspectives in this book, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.  I mean, we do get other perspectives in the other books in this series, but with this one, it seems like we’re getting a lot more than we usually would.  For some reason, I had a hard time keeping up with everyone, and I had the worst time remembering if some of the characters already had their book or if maybe their book was yet to come.  I’m hoping this isn’t going to worse in the books to come, but we shall see.

On the one hand, it really adds to whats going on, and I liked seeing what was going in the human world, and how what was going on with the Psy and the Changelings were affecting things.  It does add to the overall story, but I found it took away from the romance, and I really liked Mercy and Riley together.  I like them as a couple, and I really liked the conflict of them being in two different packs.  I also liked how that was resolved, and hopefully it will mean the alliance between the packs will stay in place.  I think I just wanted a little bit more on how things would work pack-wise if they did mate, but maybe that will pop up in some of the other books.

One perspective we see is the Ghost!  We still don’t know who it is, and I couldn’t even begin to guess who it is, but they’re obviously really powerful, and they are known to a couple of characters.  I’m curious to see who it is, but at the same time, I’m worried I’m going to be let down by the reveal.  I’m hoping we’ll learn more about them as the series goes on.  I do have the feeling that it’ll be a while before that happens.  Still, the more we learn about the Ghost, the more I want to know who it is.

Also, what is going on with Kaleb?  And Tatianna.  I mean, I’ve been wondering about Kaleb for a while, and I’m curious to see what he’s really up to.  I was surprised by Tatianna in this one, so I’m hoping we’ll see more of her because I really want to know what’s going on with her.

4 stars.  I really liked Branded By Fire, and I really want to know what’s going to happen next.