The Colony by A.J. Colucci Review

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Title:  The Colony

Author: A.J. Colucci

Series Name: N/A

Synopsis:

 A series of gruesome attacks have been sweeping New York City. A teacher in Harlem and two sanitation workers on Wall Street are found dead, their swollen bodies nearly dissolved from the inside out. The predator is a deadly supercolony of ants–an army of one trillion soldiers with razor-sharp claws that pierce skin like paper and stinging venom that liquefies its prey.

The desperate mayor turns to the greatest ant expert in the world, Paul O’Keefe, a Pulitzer Prize–winning scientist in an Armani suit. But Paul is baffled by the ants. They are twice the size of any normal ant and have no recognizable DNA. They’re vicious in the field yet docile in the hand. Paul calls on the one person he knows can help destroy the colony, his ex-wife Kendra Hart, a spirited entomologist studying fire ants in the New Mexico desert. Kendra is taken to a secret underground bunker in New York City, where she finds herself working side by side with her brilliant but arrogant ex-husband and a high-ranking military officer hell-bent on stopping the insects with a nuclear bomb.

When the ants launch an all-out attack, Paul and Kendra hit the dangerous, panic-stricken streets of New York, searching for a coveted queen. It’s a race to unlock the secrets of an indestructible new species, before the president nukes Manhattan.“

My Thoughts:

Meh. I’ve been spoiled by reading Michael Crichton and while this book aspires to be like him, it falls short.

Obsidian and Blood Omnibus by Aliette de Bodard Review

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Title: Obsidian and Blood Omnibus

Author: Aliette de Bodard

Series Name: Obsidian and Blood

Synopsis:

 “SERVANT OF THE UNDERWORLD

Year One-Knife, Tenochtitlan – the capital of the Aztecs. The end of the world is kept at bay only by the magic of human sacrifice. A priestess disappears from an empty room drenched in blood. Acatl, high priest, must find her, or break the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead.

HARBINGER OF THE STORM
The year is Two House and the Mexica Empire teeters on the brink of destruction, lying vulnerable to the flesh-eating star-demons – and to the return of their creator, a malevolent goddess only held in check by the Protector God’s power. The council is convening to choose a new emperor, but when a councilman is found dead, only Acatl, High Priest of the Dead, can solve the mystery.

MASTER OF THE HOUSE OF DARTS
The year is Three Rabbit, and the storm is coming…
The coronation war for the new Emperor has just ended in a failure, the armies retreating with a mere forty prisoners of war – not near enough sacrifices to ensure the favor of the gods. When one of those prisoners of war dies of a magical illness, Acatl, High Priest for the Dead, is summoned to investigate.“

My Thoughts:

This is historical fiction with a fantasy twist. The world-building here is spectacular, showing a depth of research and imagination combined in a way that makes you say, ‘Yeah, I could imagine that being true’. On top of that, the multiple storylines weave through the 3 books skillfully.

 

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson Review

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Title: The Rithmatist

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Series Name: Rithmatist

Synopsis:

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing—kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery—one that will change Rithmatics—and their world—forever.“

My Thoughts:

I actually enjoyed a book that blends math and magic. The magic system was unique. The villain came from left-field. There’s a hint of steampunk. What can I say other than I will be reading the second book in the series.

Crux by Moira Rogers Review

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Title: Crux

Author: Mora Rogers

Series Name: Southern Arcana

Synopsis:

Jackson Holt makes a decent living as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn’t crack…until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire.

New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn’t explain why he always finds her no matter how far she runs.

When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating.

With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as he struggles to uncover the truth of her past-and her destiny. “

My Thoughts:

Meh. I couldn’t connect with the main characters and ended up skimming through most of the end. In the last 1/3 of the book two of the “bad guys” suddenly have a change of heart and help the heroine escape, which felt more like a way to an ending than a plot twist.

 

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu Review

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Title: The Truth About Alice

Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Series Name: N/A

Synopsis:

“Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.”

My Thoughts:

It really makes the rumor-monging that goes in high school hit home. All it takes is a few lies and someone’s life can be irreparably damaged.  I think anyone who has children should read this, just to get a better understanding of some of the social dynamics at play in high school.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen Review

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Title: Stolen Songbird

Author: Danielle L. Jensen

Series Name: The Malediction Trilogy #1

 

Synopsis:

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.”

My Thoughts:

Not bad but not great. Falls back on commonly used scenarios in fantasy: prophecy, kidnapping, secret rebellion, forced marriage turned true love, hidden magic ability. The trolls were interesting enough, as was their magic.

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason Review

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Title: The Clockwork Scarab

Author: Colleen Gleason

Series Name: Stoker and Holmes #1

Synopsis:

“Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.

Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.”

My Thoughts:

I really wanted to like this book. Sherlock’s niece and Bram Stoker’s sister? That should have been a winning combination. Yet somehow, it was not. There was way too much crammed into this book: vampire hunting, time-travel and a murder mystery. And I don’t even know why time-travel was needed. Maybe it was a set-up for the next book. In summary, this book disappointed me.

Devouring books in the city

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