Audio Book Review: Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink, Narrated by Jasika Nicole

Book: Alice Isn’t Dead by Joseph Fink, Narrated by Jasika Nicole

Published October 2018 by HarperAudio|Length: 8 hours, 44 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: None

Genre: Adult

From the New York Times best-selling coauthor of It Devours! and Welcome to Night Vale comes a fast-paced thriller about a truck driver searching across America for the wife she had long assumed to be dead.

“This is not a story. It’s a road trip.”

Keisha Lewis lived a quiet life with her wife, Alice, until the day that Alice disappeared. After months of searching, presuming she was dead, Keisha held a funeral, mourned, and gradually tried to get on with her life. But that was before Keisha started to see her wife, again and again, in the background of news reports from all over America. Alice isn’t dead, and she is showing up at every major tragedy and accident in the country.

Following a line of clues, Keisha takes a job with a trucking company, Bay and Creek Transportation, and begins searching for Alice. She eventually stumbles on an otherworldly conflict being waged in the quiet corners of our nation’s highway system – uncovering a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.

Why did Alice disappear? What does she have to do with this secret war between inhuman killers? Why did the chicken cross the road? These questions, and many more, will be answered in Alice Isn’t Dead.

I loved Alice Isn’t Dead! Ever since I heard there was going to be an Alice Isn’t Dead book, I knew I had to read it. It’s rare I pre-order books, but this was one I pre-ordered on Audible the second it was available to pre-order.

It’s a great book, whether you’ve listened to the podcast or not. It has some of the same elements and events from the podcast and while it’s the same premise as the podcast, it’s also a completely different story. So if you’ve listened to the podcast, it’s also worth checking out the book, because it’s a different take on a story I’ve come to know and love.

I liked hearing this version of Keisha’s story, and how she went in search of Alice. I loved seeing them find each other again and what happened once everything was over. It makes me want to listen to the podcast all over again, to see how they’re different but also the same. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to the podcast, particularly the earlier episodes, and it might be fun to revisit the podcast.

Back to the book…I honestly don’t have much else to say about the book. I loved the story, the search for Alice, and how things weren’t what they seemed. It’s a very different feel than the Night Vale books, and it’s more of a thriller than whatever category you want to place Night Vale into. I know there’s no way any mention of Night Vale would happen, but now that I think about it, it would have been cool to have seen a mention of it. Still, Alice Isn’t Dead is great, regardless of connections or mentions to the same weird desert town that got me into listening to Alice Isn’t Dead.

Since I did listen to the audio book, I think I’ll talk about that! I knew I had to go with the audio book for the Alice Isn’t Dead book. I’ve loved the podcast, and I can’t imagine physically reading the book. It would be interesting to read Alice Isn’t Dead in print, but I remember the print version of the Welcome To Night Vale book not working in print, and I have the feeling it would be the same with this book.

I’m glad Jasika Nicole narrated the book- she did great as the voice of Keisha on the podcast, and I knew she would be great at narrating the book too. It’s definitely worth listening to, especially if you’re a fan of audio books. Something about the story works so well on audio- it’s like it was written for the audio book listener in mind.

One last thing I’d like to talk about: Keisha’s anxiety. It’s definitely present throughout the book, and the thing I loved the most was that it wasn’t cured or magically gone by the end of the book. You see how she copes and deals with it, and I loved Keisha more knowing that she was still the same Keisha we saw at the beginning of the book.

5 stars. I loved Alice Isn’t Dead, particularly as an audio book. If you like a little bit of horror and road trips and thrillers, this is the book for you!

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Book Review: Binti: Home And Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Book: Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

Published January 2017 by Tor.com|164 pages

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

Series: Binti #2

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi

It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she abandoned her family in the dawn of a new day.

And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.

But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.

After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?

I liked this one!  Not as much as Binti, and I didn’t love it.  I wanted to love it, but it didn’t capture my attention the way Binti did.

I liked seeing what was going on with Binti, and the journey she took with her grandmother.  I did like seeing how much things had changed for her, and how differently people saw her because of everything that happened in the previous book.

Still, I felt like what actually happened in the book does not match up with how the book is described in the blurb.  I thought we’d be seeing more of Okwu on earth and working with humans for peace.  Instead, we get a completely different story involving Binti realizing that’s more special and different than we could ever imagine.  She’s great at math, and has alien DNA, and this novella added another element to how special Binti was.  I don’t mind when characters are super-special, but in Binti: Home, it really bothered me for some reason.

So, I felt like this one was more of an afterthought.  Binti (the first novella) felt like a pretty complete story and was pretty contained.  This one, not so much.  It somehow seemed more rushed and much more of a rough outline than the previous novella.  Even though it’s longer than Binti, I wanted more development with the characters and the world.  Particularly with this book.  It kind of makes me wonder what Okorafor would do with the idea if it had been a novel from the very beginning.

My Rating: 3 stars.  I like the character and the world she lives in.  It has a lot of potential, but I think the novella format is working against the story, because it could definitely be expanded into something a lot longer.

Book: Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Published January 2018 by Tor.com|208 pages

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

Series: Binti #3

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi

The concluding part of the highly-acclaimed science fiction trilogy that began with Nnedi Okorafor’s Hugo- and Nebula Award-winning BINTI.

Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.

Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her.

Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene–though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives–and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.

Don’t miss this essential concluding volume in the Binti trilogy.

I thought The Night Masquerade was okay.  I’ve liked this series to varying degrees, and even though I liked seeing how Binti tried to make peace between the Meduse and the Khoush, I still didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.

One of my issues with this trilogy is how short each volume is.  I know they’re meant to be novellas, but I just wanted something longer.  There’s a lot that could be expanded on and developed, and Night Masquerade is no exception.

There was something towards the end that seemed randomly introduced, and I don’t know that it worked.  The series has been fine with no romance- I really liked that there was no romance and I liked seeing how much the events of the first novella changed Binti’s life.  I liked seeing her go back home and try to get things resolved between the Meduse and the Khoush.  I liked seeing how people saw her differently because she not only went away to school but because she was Meduse as well.

I didn’t care for the romance at all.  It felt sudden, and though it sort of makes sense, I also was fine without it.

I know people love this series, and Okorafor is pretty amazing.  She creates these amazing worlds, but with this book in particular, I kind of feel like novellas are too short of a format for her.  It’s nice to see her do something slightly different, but part of me wishes I had just read Binti and not continued on with the series.  I don’t regret seeing it through to the end, but I had a hard time with the length.

It’s not the book at all- I really do think it’s just me.  Maybe I’m just too used to reading her novels and that’s why I had a hard with the novella.  It would be interesting to read a full-length version of these stories, because there’s a lot she could explore in Binti’s world.

My Rating: 2 stars.  I wanted to like this one more but the length didn’t work for me.  I don’t know that I’m necessarily the right audience for this book, and even though there were things I didn’t like, I do really like the world she created.

Book Review: Allegiance Of Honor by Nalini Singh

Book: Allegiance Of Honor by Nalini Singh

Published June 2016 by Berkley|478 pages

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

Series: Psy-Changeling #15

Genre: Adult Romance/Adult Paranormal Romance

The “unparalleled romantic adventure”* of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as a new dawn begins for the Psy-Changeling world… 

The Psy-Changeling world has undergone a staggering transformation and now stands at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: Old enemies. New allies. Wary loners.

But a century of distrust and suspicion can’t be so easily forgotten and threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman’s cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: A child who is both Psy…and changeling.

To find the lost, protect the vulnerable—and save Trinity—no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?

I don’t even know where to start for this review!  I mean, I liked Allegiance Of Honor, but not as much as I thought I would or as much as I wanted to.  I really did want to like it more, but I think, after Heart Of Obsidian, I started to lose interest a little bit.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed this series, and I really love the world.  I liked catching up with all of my favorite characters, and seeing how everything was resolved.  I liked seeing everyone come together for the Trinity Accord, and how important it was for Trinity to stay standing.  Everyone wanted a better world for all Psy, Changelings and humans, though some groups seemed more interested in saving the Psy.

It’s just…the world as we know it got so big, and I felt like we only saw glimpses of the characters we’ve come to know and love.  There’s a lot to wrap up, and with a world like this one, everything moved pretty fast.  Some things weren’t resolved (like the Architect and the Consortium), and for a group that seems like a pretty big threat to Trinity, I expected more resolution to it.

But there’s also a sequel series, so some of the things that aren’t resolved in this book/series will probably be the focus of that series.  That’s what I’m hoping, anyway, because otherwise, I’m not really sure what the point of introducing them was.

If I thought the character lists were getting longer…well, let’s just the character list featured at the beginning of this book was the longest we’ve seen so far.  Understandable considering we’ve met a lot of characters along the way.  But one of the things I gave up on books ago was trying to keep a lot of characters straight, especially the side characters.  But also some of the main couples as well.  I had a hard time remembering a lot of the newer characters, and as much as I liked catching up with some of the characters, it also felt a little bit unfocused to me.  Maybe it’s because of all of the characters we followed in this one.

I think part of why I only liked this one is that it felt like a really long epilogue.  Everyone’s happy, things are mostly okay, but things are also setting things up for the next series.  I’ve enjoyed the series, and I liked that it was for the fans…but…it also seems like it’s more for the hardcore fans of the series.  I like Singh and this massively amazing world she built, but it was a little too happy and sunshine and rainbows for me.  Or maybe I just wasn’t in that mood when I was reading the book.

I think I just missed the overall story that we got in the previous books, and I kind of missed that in this book.  It just wasn’t there enough in this one but in a series this long, you’re not going to love every single book.  I just wanted something with a little more action to it, I think.

3 stars.  It’s not one of my favorite books in this series, but I liked it enough.  It’ll be interesting to see how some of the things in this book come up in the following books.

Book Review: Shards Of Hope by Nalini Singh

Book: Shards Of Hope by Nalini Singh

Published June 2015  by Berkley Hardcover|483 pages

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

Series: Psy-Changeling #14

Genre: Adult Romance/Adult Paranormal Romance

The “smoldering heat, epic romance, and awesome action” of Nalini Singh’s New York Times bestselling series continues as two Arrows find themselves caught in a chilling conspiracy that spans all three races…

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

I really liked Shards Of Hope! We find out more about Aden and we actually see some different changeling packs, which was nice.

Don’t get me wrong, I love SnowDancer and DarkRiver, don’t get me wrong, but other changeling packs are mentioned throughout the series, and it was nice to see the Psy-Changeling word beyond San Fransisco. Particularly the Changeling world, because I feel like like we do get glimpses of the Psy world outside of San Fransisco, but not the changeling world.

Aden was ap retty mysterious figure, but I’m not surprised, considering he’s an Arrow. Obviously, Silence is really important for him, especially as the leader of the Arrows. It’s interesting that he was so underestimated in terms of his power, and with the updates from the PsyNet and the livestream comments, it’s obvious people seem to either love him or hate him. Well, I don’t know that love and hate is the best way to put, but people have some really different thoughts about Aden as the leader of the Arrows. There’s more to him than people thought, and I’m glad they finally saw that Aden is the one who should be leading the Arrows. Even though he’s Psy, he’s obviously their Alpha, and I really liked seeing how much he wanted to change things, particularly for the kids.

I was really hesitant about the romance between him and Zaira, especially since I wasn’t a fan of the romance in the previous book. Zaira wasn’t cold like I expected her to be, and it was obvious she’d follow Aden to the ends of the earth. I liked them together slightly better than the one in the previous book, but I still wasn’t completely into it. This part of the series is clearly wrapping up, and I’ve found that as the series went on, I wasn’t also interested in the romance. Maybe the Psy-Psy romance focused books aren’t my thing as far as the romance goes, but I do really like the series, so even though I might not love the romance, I still really like the world.

Shards Of Hope does build on Shield Of Winter, and I know I already mentioned how much I liked seeing more of the Arrows and how much he wanted to incorporate the really cool things the changelings are doing with their young. I thought it really showed how willing he was to make things better for the Arrow kids and how there are different (and maybe better) ways of doing things.

With one book left in this series, I don’t know that we’ll see more of the changeling world we were introduced to in this book. I’m hoping we get more of it, but there’s a lot to wrap up- and with a lot of characters too. The character list felt like it went on for pages, and I gave up books ago on trying to keep all of the characters straight because there are so many. This world that Singh built is massive but also awe-inspiring. I’m curious to see where things will go, and how everything (and everyone) will come together. There’s definitely a lot more story to tell, and Singh really could go on for books to come where this series is concerned.

I don’t know, I feel like I’m talking more about the series as a whole than the actual book. I don’t really have anything else to say about the book, but I’ll be glad to read the next book.

3 stars. I liked it but I didn’t love it. Part of it is not being completely invested in the romance (I tend to like the Psy-Changeling romances more than any other pairing), but at this point, I’m pretty curious to see how it will all come together.

Book Review: Shield Of Winter by Nalini Singh

Book: Shield Of Winter by Nalini Singh

Published June 2014 by Berkley Hardcover|431 pages

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

Series: Psy-Changeling #13

Genre: Adult Romance/Adult Paranormal Romance

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life. 

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…

I really liked this one!  We finally get Vasic’s book, which was nice.  I was wondering if we’d ever get his book, and I’m glad we did!

I’m curious to see what is next for the Arrows, particularly with Silence falling.  I mean, protecting Silence is their main goal, so I’m wondering if we’ll at least get a glimpse of what their goals are now that things are changing.  It kind of seems like their future is linked with the Empaths, and I wasn’t expecting them to have such a big role in this book.

It makes sense that Empaths are really important to the future of the Psy, so I’m hoping we’ll get more of them as well.  I think Slave To Sensation is the last book that had such an emphasis on Empaths, and I really felt like a lot of this series was building up to both Heart Of Obsidian and Shields Of Winter.  We start to see what a post-Silence world looks like, and with a couple of books left in the series, I’m curious to see how things get wrapped up.  I now things are far from being resolved, and I really do want to know what else is going to go wrong before it gets better.

I like Vasic and Ivy, and I do like them together, but…something about their relationship seemed a little cold to me.  I know Silence is really important for Vasic as an Arrow, and he’s seemed pretty cold whenever he’s popped up in the series before this point.  Maybe it’s just me, but I expected more angst and tortured hero from Vasic.  Considering all of the things he’s had to do, I figured there would be more angst as far as his relationship with Ivy goes.  He’s an Arrow, and she’s an Empath, and I figured there would be more conflict with that, but there wasn’t really enough of it, at least for me.

Maybe I was expecting something like the romance we saw in Slave To Sensation or Caressed By Ice, and that’s why I wasn’t into the romance.  I wish I liked them more together, because I do like them together, and I think they’re a great couple.  I just didn’t love them.

4 stars. I really liked Shield Of Winter, and I’m really curious to see who will be paired together in the next book.  And how the series is going to end.

Book Review: Tangle Of Need by Nalini Singh

Book: Tangle Of Need by Nalini Singh

Published May 2012 by Berkley|422 pages

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

Series: Psy-Changeling #11

Genre: Adult Romance/Paranormal Romance

Adria, wolf changeling and resilient soldier, has made a break with the past—one as unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a new territory, and a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer lieutenant already sworn to a desperate woman who belongs to another. 

For Riaz, the primal attraction he feels for Adria is a staggering betrayal. For Adria, his dangerous lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It consumes her. It terrifies her. It threatens to undermine everything she has built of her new life. But fighting their wild compulsion toward one another proves a losing battle. 

Their coming together is an inferno…and a melding of two wounded souls who promise each other no commitment, no ties, no bonds. Only pleasure. Too late, they realize that they have more to lose than they ever imagined. Drawn into a cataclysmic Psy war that may alter the fate of the world itself, they must make a decision that might just break them both.

This one was okay for me.  I mean, I liked seeing everything that happened with the Psy and everything going on with Alice but I wasn’t particularly interested in the romance.  I definitely found myself more interested in the other couples we see in the book, particularly Sienna and Hawke.

I found myself bored with both Adria and Riaz, and I think they’re one of my least favorite couples, if not my least favorite.  I think the fact that he had a mate didn’t help, though it seemed like he really did choose Adria, and that part I did like.  But otherwise, I just had a hard time rooting for them as a couple and I didn’t particularly care about their story.

I just think that all of the other couples and everything going on with the Psy and Arrows took away from their story, and it felt like everything going on with Adria and Riaz took a backseat to everything else going on.  It felt like everything else going on was more important than their relationship.  Who knows, maybe I would have liked them as a couple more if we spent more time with them.

As far as Kaleb goes…I’m wondering what he’s up to.  Clearly, finding someone, and I want to know who it is.  I’m sure all will be revealed soon, and I’m hoping it’s not a disappointment or letdown when we get there.  As for the Ghost, I’m hoping it’s the same as well.  I really hope it’s soon.  It will probably will be, since we only have a few books to go.

I’m not sure what else to say about Tangle Of Need, but I think I will finish with the thought that it’s very much about the aftermath of Kiss Of Snow.  It wrapped up a lot of things we saw in that book, and I’m curious to see where things will go.

2 stars.  As much as it pains me to give this book 2 stars, it really was okay for me.  Still, I think it wraps up a lot of things from the previous book, and it hints at some things I’m sure will come up in the rest of the series.

Audio Book Review: Dawn Study by Maria V Snyder, Narrated by Gabra Zackman

Book: Dawn Study by Maria V Snyder, Narrated by Gabra Zackman

Published January 2017 by Harlequin Enterprises, LTD

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: Soulfinders #3, Study #6

Genre: Adult Fantasy

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder brings her Poison Study series to its exhilarating conclusion.

Despite the odds, Yelena and Valek have forged an irrevocable bond and a family that transcends borders. Now, when their two homelands stand on the brink of war, they must fight with magic and cunning to thwart an Ixian plot to invade Sitia.

Yelena seeks to break the hold of the insidious Theobroma that destroys a person’s resistance to magical persuasion. But the Cartel is determined to keep influential citizens and Sitian diplomats in thrall and Yelena at bay. With every bounty hunter after her, Yelena is forced to make a dangerous deal.

With might and magic, Valek peels back the layers of betrayal surrounding the Commander. At its rotten core lies a powerful magician and his latest discovery. The fate of all rests upon two unlikely weapons. One may turn the tide. The other could spell the end of everything.

I still can’t believe it took me so long to actually get to this book!  I’m glad I did, but it’s bittersweet.  I mean, I’ve enjoyed this series since the very beginning, and I was excited to see it end, but at the same time, I’m sad it’s over.  I really like all of the characters, and I really like the world, but I’m also excited to see what Snyder will write next.

So, at this point in the series, I never felt like they were in any danger.  Things were really bad, of course, with the cartel taking over Sitia and controlling everything.  And the whole possibly being invaded by Ixia thing.  But I didn’t get the sense they were in horrible danger, like I did in the first 3 books.

I’ve really liked Valek in books 4-6.  He’s very protective of Yelena (but not controlling), and he’s different than the Valek we saw in the first half of the series.  Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve read those books, but he is different than I remember.  Clearly, he wants a more calm life with Yelena.  Well, as calm as things can be when these two are involved in pretty much anything.

I loved following all of the characters, and it was great to see characters like Leif, Ari and Janco, but it was also great to spend time with characters like Reema, Fisk and Teegan.  It was good to have some chapters from Valek’s POV, but I think that’s part of why I didn’t feel a sense of danger, you knew what was going in Sitia and Ixia, and it took away from it a little bit.  At the same time, though, it was nice to get more backstory on one of my favorite characters.

I missed seeing Yelena use her magic, and I missed her conversations with Kiki most of all, but I also liked seeing her learn how to live/survive without it.  Also…I know this is the last book in the series, but part of me wants a spin-off or sequel focusing on her child.  I really do wonder what her abilities are, and it would be cool to see how the child of Yelena and Valek turned out.  One can only hope it’ll happen someday, but even if it doesn’t, at least we know how things turn out.  Things did end up on a good note, and I’m pretty happy with how things were resolved.

I also love Gabra Zackman as the narrator.  She’s been an amazing narrator this entire series, and I can’t imagine the series being narrated by anyone else.  I specifically got Snyder’s Touch Of Power series on audio because it’s narrated by Zackman, even though I already have the e-books.  Zackman really brought Yelena and Valek to life, and I’m glad she was the sole narrator, because I can’t imagine anyone else narrating Valek’s chapters.

4 stars.  I didn’t love it, but I still really enjoyed it, and it’s a great ending to the series.

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.