This Chick’s Audio Review: Shifting Shadows (Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs

Shifting Shadows came out in 2014 and despite loving the Mercy Thompson series I didn’t have that sense of urgency about reading it. I had an Audible credit to use so I finally pulled the trigger and purchased Shifting Shadows. These short stories are narrated by Lorelei King who narrates the Mercy Thompson books and Alexander Cendese. I was expecting Holter Graham for the male voice and wasn’t familiar with Alexander Cendese but thought his narration excellent. As the narrator started reading the first short story, “Silver”, I was immersed in the origin story for Bram and Samuel, wondering why I had let this book lie in those shadows for so long.

For me, there were a couple of stand out novellas in this compilation. As a big fan of Patricia Briggs and both the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series I was really interested in the above mentioned “Silver”. Bram is the Moroch, or leader of all of the packs in the United States and he raised Mercy, and is Charles’s father (Alpha and Omega). I’m already invested in their story and so learning their origin and how they became werewolves was particularly interesting. Also, this was the origin story for Samuel and his mate Ariana, who were separated for centuries. Their story was interesting and heartbreaking and explained quite a bit about their motivations in later novels.

Possibly because I’ve been listening to the Alpha and Omega series recently I immediately knew who the characters were in “Seeing Eye”. Moira and Tom are side characters in one story featuring Anna and Charles. This novella is the origin of how the two of them met and how they were drawn to each other right from the start. Tom, a werewolf, comes to Moira, a witch, to ask for help in locating his brother who has disappeared. It’s a really quick, fast paced story and truly enjoyable.

“Alpha and Omega” is the first story in the Alpha and Omega series. Charles, is Brams son, but he’s also the enforcer for his father and is sent to clean up problem situations. He is sent to Chicago because some things have come to light that all is not as it should be with the Chicago pack. Anna, abused in her own pack, has seen something that her alpha has done that she knows is not right. So she calls the Moroch, Bram, and is put in charge of driving Charles around as he investigates. What they both don’t expect is that Charles’s wolf declares Anna his mate and he has to fight his instincts to protect while also deciding the outcome for her pack. This novella is so good!

The last story I’ll speak about in this review is also the last novella in the book, “In Red, With Pearls”. Warren, the openly gay werewolf gets his own story and it is a fun one! A woman in red, wearing pearls comes into the law firm where Warren’s boyfriend Kyle works. Something about her is suspicious and Warren suspects there is ill intent. Boy is there! This novel has the humor you expect from his character but we get a little more insight into he and Kyle’s relationship. Warren is a fan-favorite and this is a truly fun glimpse into their relationship.

If you like Patricia Briggs novels, short stories, have a commute, or like to listen while you work (gasp!), please check out this compilation. The Mercy Thompson universe has a lot of action and fantasy-filled drama and I promise there won’t be any regrets! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this audiobook!* Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick’s Audio Review: Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronicles #4) by Kevin Hearne and narrated by Luke Daniels

After Atticus O’Sullivan helps kill Thor, the Norse Gods are on his tail looking for revenge. Needing to start fresh somewhere he calls on Coyote to help him stage his own death and in return he helps Coyote bring gold into a mine for a local tribe. What he doesn’t realize is that Coyote has an ulterior motive and he’s tricked into fighting two skinwalkers who attack their campsite. With Oberon and Granuaile by his side Atticus is again fighting for his life.

I am hooked on this series! I have been a fan of the narrator Luke Daniels, but I really think he’s at his best in this series. I find myself having fun and laughing out loud, especially during the inner monologues between Atticus and his dog Oberon. We see more of Granuaile in this novel than any yet to date and the chemistry between she and Atticus is sizzling! Unfortunately, she is his apprentice and I’m not sure he’s ever going to let himself fall for her but it’s fun to see him struggle!

I thought the plot of this novel was really interesting. I don’t read a lot of American Native inspired fiction but I do know that Coyote is a trickster god so it’s not too surprising when Atticus gets tricked into a fight he doesn’t want. I enjoyed the interaction between his Druid culture and the very spiritual Native Indian beliefs and learning how some things in the two cultures are more similar than they are different.

Atticus knows that he now has a lot of enemies and he’s going to be looking over his shoulder waiting for a fight, but he doesn’t realize that he may need to watch his front too. Someone that he trusts betrays him and that betrayal leaves him reeling and really, really angry. This sub-plot could lead to an interesting twist in a future story but for now I’m ok with letting that character go.

If you like fantasy, love audiobooks with humor, and want to add to your library this series is great and Tricked was an awesome fourth novel. Each novel has moved these characters forward and made me eager to read the next novel in the series. You can’t get higher praise than that! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase the novel/audiobook!* Tricked: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 4

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Right Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chicks Audio Review: Hammered (Iron Druid Chronicles #3) by Kevin Hearne, narrated by Luke Daniels

Leif Helgerson, vampire, attorney, and friend to druid Atticus O’Sullivan, helped him wipe out an evil coven of witches in the last novel and it’s time for Atticus to return the favor. However, what Leif wants is to kill Norse god of thunder, Thor. Despite being warned by two other gods against killing Thor, he teams up with werewolf Alpha, Gunner, a Russian sorcerer, and some frost Giants and they head to Asgard for an epic battle.

Luke Daniels, as usual, does an amazing job with the narration of the Iron Druid Chronicles. There are so many characters and many different accents, I am amazed with how well he nails it and how much life he puts into these characters. My favorite again is Atticus’s dog Oberon who has a voice more intelligent than Scooby Doo, and it is an admirable sidekick and adds great comic relief.

Hammered has been the most difficult to get into of the three I’ve read in this series so far. When you read a series there are sometimes books that feel like filler or like you’re being set up for future plots. This book feels like one of those. You do learn Gunner and Leif’s back stories and also why all of these characters have a beef against Thor, which is semi-entertaining. I don’t get the feeling that this advanced Attitcus’s character but may in fact set him back a bit. You can’t help but think when Jesus warns you against killing Thor that it might not be a very good idea to do it.

This isn’t the first novel I’ve read that describes Thor as a big bully and not so nice god and I can’t help but think that a certain movie studio may have changed that character to fit female fantasies and sell tickets. When we meet Thor in this novel I did not visualize Chris Hemsworth’s handsome face. Hearne does a great job of wiping away any fantasy vision of Thorne to portray him probably as he was in the original myths, a big jerkwad.

Even though I felt slightly let down by the pace of this novel, I’m still a big fan of the series and I love the narration by Luke Daniels. I did immediately turn to the next novel, Tricked. This is one addictive bit of fantasy! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase this audiobook!* Hammered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 3

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (9/27/21)

It was a busy weekend with another family members birthday and lots of time spent in the kitchen making food for the celebration. It was my job to make a couple of pies. I’ll have to admit I enjoyed the quiet time, put in my ear buds and listened to a good book. I love it when I have a couple of hours where I can be in the book zone. When my minds split between two things it’s better to listen to something I’ve already read, so I got a copy of The Love Hypothesis. My pick for the best romance I’ve read yet this year. Narrated by Callie Dalton, it is fab-u- lous. What else have I been reading? See below!

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Luke Daniels is the narrator for this audiobook series and he voices Atticus, his dog Oberon, and all of the other characters in these books, perfectly. The mix of Kevin Hearne’s fluid plots, humor, and great world building with Daniels take on what these characters should sound like is book listening gold. I really enjoyed Tricked, the fourth novel in the series and highly recommend these if you are an urban fantasy fan.

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I have a soft spot for historical mysteries and The Vanished Days is pushing all of the right buttons. Set during the Jacobite rebellion in the 1700’s I’m immediately swept away by the characters, setting, and yes, the mystery. If you are also a fan of this genre this book is out on Oct. 13, 2021.

As you can tell from all three of the books I’ve talked about in this post I’m all over the place when it comes to my reading tastes! What genre of book has you hooked?

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb

This Chick Read: True Dead (Jane Yellowrock #14) by Faith Hunter

Jane’s secondary home base of Asheville, North Carolina may be home but it’s not where the Dark Queen should be living if she wants to keep her people safe. A threat to her empire has come to NOLA and Jane and her crew fly in to hunker down, hold the fort, and kick some vamp butt. Jane’s past is as vampire hunter and enforcer for the ex- Master of the City in New Orleans, but now that he’s gone Jane is keeping her people safe the only way she knows how. Investigating the threat and killing offer her enemies. This time there are some surprise in store.

I love that Jane is back in New Orleans, the place where it all began. Wrassler and the police LT. Jodie are getting married at HQ and Jane needs to make sure their wedding goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately there are enemies in the city who have other ideas over what needs to happen. Constantly under attack, Jane still managers to investigate the past, put pieces into a puzzle that she has been working on for awhile, a puzzle that will explain who the big bad is that is in town.

I have loved the evolution of enforcer to Dark Queen. I’ll admit that my head was spinning after Leo died, Jane got cancer, based herself out of a winery in Asheville, and healed. I hated leaving the Tequila Boys, and everyone at HQ behind, so when I saw the synopsis of this novel that Jane and her gang was headed back to New Orleans I was so excited to get the book and start reading. It was everything I wanted it to be. Although Jane is now the big boss as the Dark Queen, to these people that she knows so well she is still “Legs” and finds relief in being treated the same by her friends. At least in private.

There are some evolutions to Jane’s relationship with Beast that are best found out as you read the novel, but they bring an interesting twist to each dangerous escapade that keeps you on the edge of your seat and your heart pumping if you see if Jane will come out of this most recent war intact. As with all the novels, she has her two chosen brothers, Eli and Alex by her side, but her true brother Ayatas Firewind plays a bigger role in this book and their familial relationship advances adding another element to who Jane is and was.

I can’t end this review without talking about Jane’s relationship with her love Bruiser. He has his own bit of discovery and evolution in True Dead. Despite both of their characters learning and evolving never fear, they are truly bonded and together.

You’ve heard me say this before (now, 14 times!) but I have to repeat it. If you haven’t read this series please start with book #1. Admittedly that book is the worst of the series because all of these characters grow so much over every book and are a little flat in the first novel. The books just get better and better after that first novel. You can’t jump in at book #14. You wouldn’t understand the nuances in the story or characters so I wouldn’t even try but if you give book #1 a chance you will be in for a really fun, riotously fanciful, dark and thrilling urban fantasy series. You won’t regret the time it takes for you to catch up, I promise!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.

Click this link to purchase!* True Dead (Jane Yellowrock Book 14)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (6/21/21)

I’m going to fess up I have not actually read any books this week. I have listened to one and am listening to another. I’m not sure if anyone is still interested because both books are from Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series. LOL. Has anyone else found that when they have a stressful work week a previously read book is a great comfort? That’s what I’m going through right now. So, listening to the Kate Daniels series makes me feel good. For what it’s worth here is what’s currently on my shelf.

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Technically this book is it’s own series but it falls between book #9 and book #10 in Kate Daniels and it’s content was relevant to the series. This book is the beginning of Hugh’s story and is meant to be read before the final Kate Daniels novel. I think it’s the third time I’ve listened to this novel and it still takes me over half the book to forgive him for what he’s done in the other series. He is one seriously bad dude.

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After finishing Hugh’s novel I quickly start Magic Triumphs which wraps up the series. It is so good.

What books are you finding comfort reading this week?

Happy Monday!

Deb

This Chick Read: Million Dollar Demon (the Hollows #15) by Kim Harrison

Cincinnati has a new master vampire and she has decided to take control of the city. She is forcing people out of their homes to make room for her crew causing chaos on the streets. She’s also hassling Rachel’s allies and has kicked Rachel out of her temporary home. She wants Rachel out of Cincinnati. Rachel and her pixie pal Jenks head back to the church, their wrecked out home and a slew of homeless inderlanders follow. Everyone expects Rachel to step up and solve the problem of this master vamp who is out of control and completely insane.

Fifteen books in and I am still riveted by Rachel’s episodic life. In Million Dollar Demon Rachel just wants to find a home to live in but everyone expects her to step up and solve one of the biggest problems to hit Cincinnati in years. Candace, the new master vampire leads by making her followers fear her. When Rachel finally meets her she realizes the horrors that await her city of someone doesn’t step up to control the situation. Unfortunately for her she is the one who has to step up. She is dating the Sa’han of the elves, runs a pack of werewolves with the alpha David, and is scion to one of the most powerful living vampires in Cincinnati. Because of these relationships and her status as a demon born witch who helped save the demon realm in a previous novel, Rachel is the go-to to fix this problem.

Rachel has evolved so much through this series. She was just a young witch in the first novel and even though she still seems to stumble into trouble without a scratch despite not wanting the attention her status has totally changed. The one thing that hasn’t is that somehow she still seems slightly unsure of herself yet bullsh(t$ her way through most problems. I like sassy female protagonists and there is no one mouthier than Rachel Morgan.

There wasn’t much I didn’t like about Million Dollar Demon’s plot. There was plenty of action, heroics, and edge of your seat awareness that things might just go wrong to keep me reading rapidly. When I was younger Rachel was one of my favorite characters and I still like her a lot. Every time I read one of these Hollows novels I’m transported to a familiar place and it’s a comfort. I can easily get wrapped up in a story and forget about the outside world. I just wish Rachel had learned some confidence. She’s great at faking it but she’s still the insecure young girl she was in the first book. Maybe that was the one thing keeping it from being a five star read. I want Rachel to finally stand up and say I am here and no one is going to do that in my city, and mean it!

If you like paranormal action books this series is a lot of fun. Start with book one because I think if you haven’t read the previous novels it would be really confusing to start with book fifteen. This is urban fantasy escapism and boy this one’s a wild ride.

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase this book!* Million Dollar Demon (Hollows)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Shattered Bonds (Jane Yellowrock #13) by Faith Hunter

Jane returns to the Asheville area to recoup after the blood duel between Leo Pelissier MOC of New Orleands and the European vampires. Recovering after the loss of some friends, as well as healing her wounds Jane is lying low when evil finds her. Not at full strength, Jane has to find a way to defeat this ancient enemy to keep her friends and family safe.

In Shattered Bonds we see a Jane Yellowrock that we haven’t seen before. Weak and wounded both mentally and physically Jane isn’t at all prepared to fight the brother of the big bad who had been chained in Leo’s basement for all of those years. This vampire is all powerful and it takes digging deep for Jane to find her fighting form so she can take him on.

Each story in this series we have seen Jane’s power grow so it was really interesting to see her fight the weakness buried inside her body. Shattered Bonds told the story of Jane’s internal struggles as well as giving us those action sequences we have grown to love while reading these novels. I’ll admit this book was harder to read. I don’t like seeing one of my favorite characters weak but after reflecting on it I realized that her sickness made her human. Something that she was starting to lack in the previous novels. She can’t always be powerful and strong, but in fighting through adversity she gains a different kind of strength. Shattered Bonds took Jane back to her Indian roots spiritually, in a way we hadn’t see previously. I still prefer the kick butt heroine, but I can see why the author took Jane on this journey.

I often wonder how long Faith Hunter can keep up the fast, action-packed pace. Selfishly, I hope it’s for a good long while.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Shattered Bonds (Jane Yellowrock Book 13)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock #12) by Faith Hunter

When the Master of the City of New Orleans has been issued a blood challenge by the the Emperor of the European vampires Jane has her work cut out for her as enforcer. If Leo loses, the city of New Orleans and all areas under Leo’s rule will belong to the Emperor. Something that Jane doesn’t want to see happen. Preparing for the duel requires all of her focus and it becomes immediately apparent that she can only trust those who are her closest allies. Everyone else has an agenda and skin in the game.

Every time I finish one of the Jane Yellowrock books I think ‘this is the best one yet’ and that was certainly the case with Dark Queen. This novel had everything that appeals to a huge urban fantasy fan who has made it to book 12 still invested in all of these characters and their futures. The past couple of books and all of the mentions of this blood challenge did not prepare me for all that it encompasses. It is like a hunger games where all of the weaker characters are taken out early with the stronger characters outwitting and outlasting their competitors. As the enforcer to Leo’s MOC, Jane is challenged to a LOT of duels, but as the Dark Queen and the master of her own house, she has scion’s who take on those challenges for her. Characters I’ve come to like and love may or may not lose their lives. My heart was totally invested in the outcomes, as was the heart of our queen, Jane. This novel held a powerful emotional punch that I just wasn’t prepared to feel and boy, it rocked my world.

A new character arrives on scene claiming a familial relationship with Jane that opens her character to new emotions helping her character evolve even further. Ayatas’ claim brings on a lot of flashbacks to her earlier life with her tribe and she has to face those feelings again of killing a man at age 5. This sub-plot was one that I had eagerly anticipated having read the Soulwood series alongside and sometimes in advance of the matching time line in Jane’s own books. I knew the truth of their relationship before I read it on these pages but it still held a heck of a punch!

This series has been so great and like I said above my enjoyment has escalated with each book, but none of the past books compare with how this story knocked me flat. It was such a powerful, action-packed, emotionally driven novel. So, so good. If I could give a book a 10 rating this one get’s the prize. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock Book 12)

Copyright 2021 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

It’s Monday, what are you reading? (5/3/21)

I have been on a listening jag lately, finding it hard, again, to pick up a book and lose myself in a plot. I think in part this is because my husband has been traveling and I find listening to an audiobook to be soothing. I’ll admit to putting in my ear buds and falling asleep to some old favorites. It’s a comfort when I’m tired of hearing myself talk to the dog. Does anyone else do this? 🙂 The book I just finished is an oldie but goodie. However, I do have an ARC deadline this week so I have actually started reading the book so I can get a review out on time.

This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.

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For those of you who have only watched the TV series True Blood, you are truly missing out. I am one of those people who read the books back when they were originally released and couldn’t watch the tv program because it wasn’t anything like the books. This series is narrated by Johanna Parker who does an outstanding job imbuing Sookie with the humor that her narration warrants. That humor was totaling missing from the show which was all glorified sex and blood. I’m so glad I’ve rediscovered this series and I’m slowly using up my Audible credits one book at a time. It’s totally worth it.

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I met this author many years ago at a book convention. I was just starting out as a book blogger and she gave me her first book to review. Now, years later, I still find myself lucky enough to receive an ARC of all of her releases. I just started this book last night and it comes out on Tuesday. As with her other novels I’m immediately drawn in by the interesting characters. I can’t wait to see where this story takes me!

I hope everyone has a great book on their nightstand that they are looking forward to reading in their downtime. I’d love to hear what book has caught your eye. Please share in the comments below.

Happy Monday and happy reading!

Deb