Tag Archives: Fantasy

Demon Lovers series by Kate Douglas

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Unbalanced Book 1: published June 2011
Unbound Book 2: published July 2011
Unmasked Book 3: published October 2011
Unleashed Book 4: published April 2012
Undaunted Book 5: published May 2013
Box Set received from publisher Beyond the Page for review

Sometimes I find it easier to review a series as a whole. Especially when some of the books within a series are stronger than others. The Demon Lovers series starts out very strong and promising with books one and two (Unbalanced and Unbound). We get the world building and the beginnings of the relationship between two demons, Locan and Jett, who are at constant battle with evil plus each other and their new fulcrum, Addie. Jett and Locan were once bad demons and they were tamed eons ago by a fulcrum. She maintained balanced between their evil demon side and their good demon side. They took on human forms and battled the evil demons from then on. They also couldn’t get along so the fulcrum channeled their hatred for each other into sex and took care of that issue between them. The premise is simplistic and a bit lame but it was working at this point. Addie discovers that the tension between Locan and Jett is actually sexual frustration between the two demons. Once she sets those feeling free and shows them it is okay for them to love each other equally there is no more tension and just demon hunting/slaying to deal with.

At this point I am surprised because I was not expecting the strong mm relationship in this series. I expected it to be two demons both fighting for the love of the one girl. I was so wrong! Happily wrong! The chemistry between Jett and Locan was a red hot, blazing inferno! They are all over each other and so passionate it is super hot. So hot that Addie is kind of more on the outside looking in. I get the feeling that she is just a tool and though they ‘love’ her, it isn’t the same intense love that Jett and Locan share.

Once I finished Unmasked, book three, I was feeling the eye roll factor. You know when you get tired of the previous books recaps and the simplistic premise of the story. Book three brings in demons from a computer game. *eye roll* Really? I just felt it was too far fetched and a bit childish. I would have liked to see more development between Jett and Locan. Maybe some additional backstory on them. Also some more world building would have helped the story along. The information in the world doesn’t increase at all from book one to book five.

Now to recap Unleashed and Undaunted (books four and five). Book four was very promising and kept my interest just as much as the first two books. We have a goddess, Pele who wants Locan back, as in he was her lover a long time ago and she has yearned for his return. Okay now things are looking up! We have Jett and Addie not digging this new situation and then Locan who really has no desire to reconnect with Pele. What unfolds is a total lack of communication and Locan’s kidnapping by Pele’s evil sister, Namaka. Locan is then abused, beaten, raped and basically tortured. The whole time he is beside himself because he is in terrible pain and anguish but not wanting to be saved at the same time. Later it is revealed that his fears were being manipulated by Namaka. This whole scene with Locan and Namaka is intense. It is definitely a breach of boundaries. It is forceable BDSM and definitely rape. Of course after Locan is rescued the whole scene is brushed off as a manipulation and he is okay. I think that he would be more emotionally shredded but he is not given that luxury to heal. Total missed opportinity and would have made for an awesome book, the whole healing of Locan post Namaka’s abuse.

A fourth member is added to the team in the last two books, a Hellhound named Azreal. He pretty much takes the scene for the last two books. It is about him gaining his freedom that was unjustly taken from him and then integrating him into their team. So basically we now have three guys and one girl all in a family/lovers cell. It is unique to say the least!

Overall, the books were fast reads and aside from the few issues listed above, they were a decent way to spend an afternoon of reading. I consider them light reads that are supposed to leave you with warm and fuzzies since major issues are just brushed past. I think Locan and Jett made the books likable. Without them the series would fall flat. Their chemistry was worth enduring all the childish video game demons. :)

RATING: SNEAKERS (black as night like Jett with white soles for Locan)

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

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Released June 4, 2013
Published by Dutton Adult (Penguin)
Obtained for Review from NetGalley

For the record I don’t read a lot of science fiction/fantasy. AT ALL. I also hadn’t heard much about Gameboard of the Gods other than “it’s the first book of Richelle Mead’s new sci fi, adult series that sounds really interesting.” Having read and loved her other adult series, Georgina Kincaid and Dark Swan, I was sold on that alone. I decided to take a chance and make the best of the sci fi/fantasy part. I’m so glad I did.

If you’re hoping for a recap, this review isn’t what you’re looking for. (You can click the cover art to head to Goodreads for a summary.)  I would hate to spoil any part of this story because it’s one every reader needs to truly experience for his/herself. Seriously, it’s that good. It’s much more than a sci fi/fantasy thriller. It’s a different kind of story, almost a futuristic dystopian, filled with sex, lies, religion, mythology & politics. It will make you think and guess and guess again. I absolutely love a book that doesn’t merely entertain but requires you to pay attention. Nothing in it seems contrived or conventional which is really refreshing. My first reaction when I finished was to go back and read it again, if only to pick up on any subtle hints or pieces of information I probably missed along the way.

I’m always impressed with Mead’s ability to weave complex story lines while creating incredible depth in her characters. She strategically places hints at critical plot points which had me highlighting and constantly going back to connect the dots. Her characters’ intricacies are divulged slowly over time. Mae Koskinen at first seems like a fiercely loyal warrior willing to do whatever it takes for her country. I couldn’t even imagine the personal secrets and struggles she keeps beneath that cool praetorian exterior. Justin March appears to be your classic womanizing, conceited guy, but all the confidence in the world can’t save an exiled servitor from what troubles him. Even Tessa, who I expected to be merely a supporting character, plays an important role. It’s really satisfying to watch characters evolve throughout the story.

Gameboard will draw you in from the very beginning: first with tragedy, then mystery and scandal. Richelle Mead doesn’t spend a lot of time with boring set up; you’re thrust right into the aftermath of Mae’s personal tragedy. The world Mead builds in the RUNA (Republic of United North America) is intriguing with its advancements, controls and practices. The culture isn’t so far removed from our own that you can’t relate to the devices and implements. That seems to be part of sci fi/fantasy I typically struggle with – much of it seems convenient and unbelievable. The religious and mythological basis of this story lends itself to a little bit of magic and supernatural, but they’re presented in such a way that’s not farfetched.

The Age of X is definitely a series I’ll continue. There’s so much potential and characters I truly enjoyed –  can’t wait to see what’s to come. The next installment won’t be here nearly soon enough.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!