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Tanks and sorcery and high-power rifles and demon-possessed undead. Now I have to read the rest of the Shadow Ops series. But when he sees something he was never meant to see on a covert mission gone bad, he finds h The Review: The combination of military and urban fantasy in a modern day setting and the exploration of a variety of interesting, compelling characters really worked and established Cole as an author to watch for sure.

Control Point, Fortress Frontier and Breach Zone were excellent novels and even though Gemini Cell may not feature the same characters and take place a few years before the main story, I was hooked from the get go once again, with Cole knocking it out of the park. Nobody can know that they exist. There's enough here to make it feel both as though it's set in the same universe but also can stand on its own as an individual work, and as a result there's no reason why anybody who loved the first trilogy should be put off by this latest offering. The character development is paid as much attention to as the action and this is great to see, with Jim Schweitzer really being a character that gets fleshed out well.

What was I thinking? At least they didn't give a paragraph description of every weapon, but otherwise it was pretty typical of the subgenre. This one wasn't quite as good as I was hoping, but good enough that I'll continue on with the series later this year before the third book is released. Korey Jackson does another great job with the audio.

This series is the only thing I've heard him narrate, but he's got a great voice for military fiction. I enjoyed the original trilogy of this series, but I wasn't exactly itching to jump into the prequel series. I de Executive Summary: I decided I'd wait a bit until this new trilogy was closer to completion. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as I'd hoped. It's not a bad book, but after his last two books, my hopes were a bit higher. I probably liked it more than Control Point , but I found it a tough listen and slow going at times. I'll start with the positives: I found Jim Schweitzer far more likable from the start than Oscar Britton.

The other new characters, especially his wife were all pretty good as well. I also think the quality of Mr. Cole's writing has improved with every book. Additionally I really like the world that he has created. That said, I was pretty bored for awhile. The struggle between Schweitzer and the Jinn was, well tedious. The book felt like a lot of setup. I think he wanted to make this book an entry point for new readers, and not just a prequel for those of us who read the original trilogy.

I'm tired of comic book movies constantly doing origin stories, and I think some of that carries over here. I already knew a lot of the details of the world. I would have liked to see Schweitzer interact with the world more, and learn more of the backstory of the conflicts of the original trilogy rather than so much time being spent on Schweitzer's own particular struggles.

I thought the ending was much stronger than the rest of the book, and it gives me hope that I'll enjoy Javelin Rain more than this one, much I like I did with Fortress Frontier. Dec 05, Timothy Ward rated it really liked it Shelves: Myke Cole is famous for writing military fantasy, focusing on magically enhanced soldiers in modern day.

I love just about everything about what he did with this book. The main focus is on a Navy Seal and his inner battle between doing the job he is best at and being the husband and father who can enjoy his family and not put them at risk. As far as that emotional battle goes, Myke completely nailed it. It was hard to keep reading at times because it was so painful to endure the main character's Myke Cole is famous for writing military fantasy, focusing on magically enhanced soldiers in modern day.

It was hard to keep reading at times because it was so painful to endure the main character's heart struggle. That also meant I had to finish the story, though, so that's a good thing. I'm a little confused about the ending, but this is only the first book in the series so maybe the last page will be explained more in the next book. At times it felt a little much when the character was stuck in prison or even out on the field, the back and forth became a little tiring.

The action became a little tiring as well, but in the end Myke did well resolving the back and forth with a surprise. Great read that only gets knocked from a five to a four star because of the scenes where the action and jinn back and forth went on for a little too long.

The main heart of the story is the main character and his family, and because he's not with them for most of the middle-to-end, I had a chunk that I had to push through to get to the resolution. Other than that, many elements in this story are top notch and therefore makes this a high recommendation. Dec 03, Mia rated it it was amazing. This is a review of an advanced copy which may differ from the final version of the book. I give this book five stars for the extent I relate to it and how it personally affects me, four stars on a purely objective evaluation.

It takes place years before the events of the first book of the aforementioned series. This is a perfectly fine —perhaps even ideal-- introduction to Mr. The understanding and appreciation of this series is no This is a review of an advanced copy which may differ from the final version of the book. In some ways, beginning with this book may be a better progression.

This prequel details the beginnings of the United States' attempt to rein in and inject organization into the magical chaos that randomly manifested in society. Jim Schweitzer was a Navy Seal, an elite among elites. He was skillful, competent, a leader. He is proud of and loves being part of military aristocracy, almost as much as his love of, and pride in, being a husband and father.

While on a mission, he stumbles upon a well-guarded secret, becomes a target for elimination, and is overpowered and defeated. When he comes to, he does so in the tattered remnants of his physical body, sharing a consciousness with a foreign spirit, both of them plucked from oblivion and conjoined by a sorcerer. Amid all this confusion, Jim is once again called into service by his country as part of the ultra-secret Gemini Cell, an undead army of sorts. The resultant fused and resurrected being is fiercely powerful and Jim must relearn the capabilities and limits of his own body.

He must further grapple with the other spirit inhabiting his corporeal being as well as with some problematic demands and orders of his new superiors. It is difficult not to be intrigued by the magic surrounding the unusual triumvirate of sorcerer, spirit and soldier, an inherently problematic yet seemingly symbiotic relationship. A new world is emerging suffused with magic nobody yet understands much less control. Yet magic is power and power will always be sought after and fought for.

It is certainly at the top of the wish list of the U. The characters are more diverse and complex-- alternatingly sympathetic, frustrating and deplorable, but all parts fascinating, not the least of which for their monumental miscalculations, erroneous judgment, and failures. It is worth noting that Jim Schweitzer is married to what is described as a singular, formidable woman. I must reserve judgment here, however, as for about three-quarters of the book, this was more of a tell rather than show introduction.

I hope to be regaled by the specifics of Sarah's unique brand of tough in the next installments. Cole shows no qualms placing any of the characters in jeopardy, often of the potentially fatal kind. It is a fearlessness echoed throughout the book. You cannot be other than dauntless when attempting to demystify the inner workings of the military. Myke Cole succeeds in a curious thing-- the humanization of a soldier.

He does this by giving equal attention to all other things a soldier may be-- son, father, husband, friend, man. An ordinary person's perception of the military is largely informed by the media which portrays it as a juggernaut subsuming individuals into its overarching superstructure. Training is intended to render response rote and reflexive, hierarchy is primordial, and obedience to orders is non-negotiable.

While service is the underlying consideration, the most immediate objective of a deployed soldier is to survive: You can't be both the hand and the blade, Sarah. That's how you get juntas. I don't worry about the nature of evil. There's only alive or dead. Philosophy has the luxury of examining morality in a vacuum. Combat does not enjoy the same luxury. The portrait of the exigencies of war is almost totally awash in grey.

Yet through it all, the individual strives to assert itself: Analyzed in isolation, each side is rational and defensible; their interaction in the same space, however, will always be fraught with complications.

The Awakening by Yvonne Heidt

There are definite instances when they are mutually exclusive and one or the other must prevail. What is admirable is the balance Cole achieves in presenting the different sides to this dilemma. There is no transparent agenda or endorsement of any particular point of view. In the examination of the fictional characters' differing positions, however, a reader is spurred to thought that may lead to the development of his or her own personal stance. Symptoms, reactions, responses are varied and unpredictable, gripping fear the only constant.

Trauma is singular and distinct, resisting comparison, and forever changes a person. They never missed a chance to proselytize. No tragedy was sacred, no setback off-limits. They would solemnly enter your private space, regal and pompous as crows, full of righteous self-importance.

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Then, when she was at her weakest, they would tell her why the unacceptable was acceptable, why it was okay that she'd lost the love of her life because an invisible man in the sky and it was always a man, wasn't it? It describes with a sharpshooter's accuracy the ultimate loneliness of grief and the almost wholesale ineffectiveness of attempts at comfort, particularly those consisting of religious platitudes. This is an amazingly insightful observation about the ritual of consolation-- how it often forgets that loss and grief ought to be about the griever not the consoler, how cliches and pro-forma condolences provide the very opposite of comfort, how it is perhaps better to remain silent than to say the absolute wrong thing.

I have not forgotten the action. It bears noting, however, that this book more seamlessly integrates other sub-genres into Cole's trademark military fantasy-- science fiction, mystery, romance. To paraphrase a character in the book: The fun--and the reward-- lies in discovering how. But don't tell Mr. Cole-- he abhors fun. Zombie macho testosterone soldiers. Not what I expected.


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The action sequences are pretty good, but it's just unrelentingly macho. Dec 21, Alex Ristea rated it really liked it Shelves: You really can't get much better if you're looking for military fiction. Myke Cole's background shine through, but not in a braggadocio manner. It's not "hey look at me and all I know! I like that it wasn't just on the technical side of weapons and tactics though that was awesome , but Myke dives into the psychology of warfare. Without going too deep into spoilers, there are some interesting parallels between modern and ancient warfare.

Y You really can't get much better if you're looking for military fiction. You can't help but think how introspective this novel is, but if you're a fan of Myke's non-fiction writing on PTSD and related topics, I reckon this will be right up your alley. This is a fast and fun and funny! I will be honest here and hope that Myke doesn't kick my ass in saying that I tried reading Control Point and couldn't finish it. Myke has found his stride, and I think he's an author we all need to have on our immediate pul lists.

There were a few issues I had with the overall pace and the finish, but otherwise recommended if you want a solid book focussing on the military. Oct 03, Kelly rated it really liked it Shelves: The movie Lone Survivor was my introduction to what a U. Before then, I had a vague idea they were something like Marines in wetsuits. The film begins with a look at the training a SEAL must go through in order to get their pin. The rest of the film clear The movie Lone Survivor was my introduction to what a U. The rest of the film clearly demonstrates why that insanity is necessary, however, and these were the men I had in my head when I picked up Gemini Cell by Myke Cole.

He pushes through to complete his objective, regardless of the cost — which could have been the life of his best friend and brother in the SEALs — all for a container of dead bodies that get torn up in the crossfire. All it would take is a phone call. When the mission follows Schweitzer home, the consequences are dire. In an attempt to protect his family, he is cut down in a scene that is so brutal, I actually held my breath while reading.

Ninip is the soul of an ancient warrior that has been plucked from the void. Together, they will continue to serve their country as a new type of soldier, as part of the experimental program known as the Gemini Cell. Schweitzer soon proves that the tenacity that earned him his SEAL pin is what separates him from the other operators in the Cell. His battle for dominance of his body continues long after others have succumbed to the power of the jinn tethering them to not-death.

These other operators end up properly dead or caged, used like rabid dogs on missions where subtlety is unnecessary. He and Ninip clash intellectually over what it is to be a soldier and a warrior. Their ideas on honour differ, as does their take on operational procedure. This facet of the book: In a book of extremes, the battle between life and death, love and honour, this is the middle ground. What ties it all together and makes the mission, any mission, worthwhile. There is plenty of action, though. Schweitzer is sent on missions as mysterious as the one that got him killed and each provides a clue to the puzzle of his existence and the tragedy that befell his family.

They read like science fiction set on an alternate version of our planet where magic is flowing back into the world. There are several things to love about this setting. One is the magic, itself. This is a world like ours, where any of us might wake up one day only to discover we can set fire to the cat. What would you do with that sort of power? Cole explores this dynamic thoughtfully and realistically. I find the fact the US Military immediately creates a unit for magically endowed soldiers amusing. Honestly, who knows how we would respond to spontaneous cat barbecues or actual zombies serving in the armed forces.

Each book has a good dose of action and intrigue. The covers are adorned with soldiers in body armour. Flawed and prone to second-guessing themselves. Not always the best operators, but always honourable. Finally, not all his heroes are men. As a dedicated science fiction reader who just happens to be female, I appreciate the balance. But Breach Zone , the third book of the Shadow Ops trilogy, is my favourite so far, probably because it was the grand finale for a great plot arc.

Gemini Cell is different sort of story, though and I kind of expected that. Every book Cole writes is different. That should be the end of the story. As he wrestles with a literal inner demon, Jim realises his new superiors are determined to use him for their own ends and keep him in the dark—especially about the fates of his wife and son… This is my first foray into the world the Myke Cole has created and despite being effectively the fourth book in the series, it serves as an excellent jumping off point for those late to the game.

In this book we see the ultimate golden boy hero get his head blown off and turned into something different. So we have the devastating willpower, controlled discipline and completely unimpeachable integrity of our protagonist combined with a fucking attack dog that knows nothing of modern technology but can literally change the body he is in to turn into a weapon. It is an interesting battle between the two and serves as much of the basis of the dialogue. The perspective is an interesting one as we also get to see those around him witness it for the first time with an excited scientist babble the is reminiscent of every stupid scientist that has ever come too close to his creation.

Like the guy in Deep Blue See who gets arm bitten off by giant super intelligent shark, the idiots in Alien 4 the try to train the soldiers with liquid nitrogen and Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man you know they have it coming and you cant wait to see one get squished. The blurb above nicely sums up the narrative and my only criticism would be is that I feel I have been here before in terms of the revenge tale structure as it certainly has hints of Darkman and Robocop.

It was written as an introduction to an already well-developed world though so there are many people who have read the first three books that love the characters and the world who wanted to know how it all began and I believe this book is for them. There is a ton to enjoy in the book, particularly the high-octane action scenes and the overall coolness of Jim Schwietzer. It brings a quick realisation to this other world power that this human dead shot might not be as useless as he assumed.

There are a few twists and turns in the plot that really threw me for a loop and the side characters of Sarah and Steven get a nice arc that adds depth and contrast to the story in comparison to the events being dealt with by our protagonist. I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for my review. This review and more can be found at www. Jul 18, Jacob rated it it was amazing Shelves: An action filled intense explosion of a story! Nov 07, Stefan rated it really liked it Shelves: Gemini Cell is in a sense a prequel to that trilogy. A prequel in the L.

The second bit of good news: Read the entire review on my site Far Beyond Reality! Oct 28, Joel rated it really liked it Shelves: I agree with the other authors who said that Myke Cole improves as a writer with each book. The prose and stylings of this novel are superior to his past books for sure, and he's clearly grown as far as writing about personal relationships and character growth.

That said, this was not my favorite of Myke's books - I enjoyed it, but I'd put it behind his trilogy as far as overall content. It felt a bit more anemic of a story than the trilogy, lacked the cool world pieces and history. The action se I agree with the other authors who said that Myke Cole improves as a writer with each book.

The action sequences were as good as always, but his focus was so much more on the interpersonal relationships, and it ended up bogging down the story a little bit. Overall, still very enjoyable of a book, and would be a good starting point for people new to Myke's work. I hope if people do pick this up as their first read by him, they'll follow up and read the Shadow Ops trilogy, which is excellent.

Dec 08, Hilary rated it liked it Shelves: If I'd picked this prequel up first, instead of Control Point I'm not sure I would have even finished it let alone read the others. I also suspect that part of the plot-messiness here is down to the sheer chaos of accidentally stumbling across such things in magic. I'll still read the sequel If I'd picked this prequel up first, instead of Control Point I'm not sure I would have even finished it let alone read the others. I'll still read the sequel though, see where it goes.

Military fantasy fans and action romance fans would enjoy this equally. While not plotted like a romance, the protagonist's journey largely revolves around his family, his conception of himself and his purpose. Author Myke Cole checks a lot of the boxes: I also appreciate the side helpings of ethics, philosophy, etc. Also, very cool that the hero is the walking dead. Not a glamorous vamp, something much more g Military fantasy fans and action romance fans would enjoy this equally.

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Not a glamorous vamp, something much more grisly and gruesome but powerful. Who manages to be noble and romantic. Jul 11, Rana rated it liked it. I think I liked this? This was a romance buried beneath urban military fantasy something. And not buried all that deep. Dec 06, Jon Adams rated it it was amazing. It's unlike anything I've read and I loved it. Dec 18, Mark Lindberg rated it it was amazing. Myke Cole presents his online persona as a completely serious, anti-fun person.

He also presents himself as a very morally straight man. This may have affected my expectations for his books, giving me the perception that Gemini Cell would be a straightforward military by the numbers novel, even though I had already read the first of his Shadow Ops books, Control Point, and Myke Cole presents his online persona as a completely serious, anti-fun person.

This may have affected my expectations for his books, giving me the perception that Gemini Cell would be a straightforward military by the numbers novel, even though I had already read the first of his Shadow Ops books, Control Point, and knew it was not like that. He happily disabused me of this notion within the first handful of pages of Gemini Cell, which starts with a bang. Several bangs, in fact, and characters who make very questionable decisions, characters who are not, in any way, perfect ideals. It was a pleasant surprise, and the rest of the book was just as gripping, not giving me a single boring moment to complain about.

The magic system here is very interesting. Myke has shown us the same world before, in the Shadow Ops series. Given that the Shadow Ops series is set after Gemini Cell, this could easily have turned out to be nothing more than a money-grab prequel… But it is much more than that. It gives us a glimpse of magic that is utterly different than that in the Shadow Ops series, and takes us on a journey with a completely different set of characters. The magic, a form of necromancy, gives Jim not only incredible powers that are amazing to read, but also a very interesting internal battle, for the spirit that inhabits his body is constantly fighting him for control of it.

It provides an interesting dual perspective, internal and external, and asks more questions than it answers. Also, since this story is so different from the Shadow Ops series, they can be read in either order, with minimal, if any, spoilers. Her actions, while some of them are ones you would want to say that you would never do yourself, are understandable given the extreme situations she is placed in. I should stop here and note that there is a strong content warning on this book.

Not only is there bloody, brutal, morally disgusting violence, there is also sex. However, this is not in the book as fanservice, nor is it there simply to make the novel more raunchy and sell copies. Given the things he did, and how his story ended, I am truly not sure why we had the viewpoints from him that we did. Sunny Skye is the force behind the origin of the S. Two other talented women whom she initially met when she was a child and her father was making a documentary about psychically gifted children, joined forces with her to start and sustain S.

Sunny and Jordan's story weaves throughout the book and is a joy unto itself even with all the ups and downs. Notwithstanding, her psychic skills along with her two associates are the ever pervasive stars of this story. Sunny is quite remarkable and is protectively hovered over by her two associates. These three ladies are astounding! If I did not have obligations clogging up my day, I would have read this book in one sitting. It is that compelling, engrossing, and fulfilling.

I am a devotee of psychic phenomena. However, I completely recommend this, suspecting that even non-devotee's will find just as much enjoyment and perhaps some new interest in the subject. This is unquestionably a winner! Nov 05, Just a man's point of view rated it it was ok Shelves: I was somehow compelled to rate this book 4 stars because I really liked the ghost story, the rythm, the suspence.

Above all, I thorougly appreciated the psychological insight of the character Jordan while coping with suffering and the deep understanding showed by Sunny in regard. I found passages I would define lyric in describing how the negativity is a self-created shadow much more than any ghost and later how the soul, who we really are, is really not touched by the dark gloom of sufference, I was somehow compelled to rate this book 4 stars because I really liked the ghost story, the rythm, the suspence.

I found passages I would define lyric in describing how the negativity is a self-created shadow much more than any ghost and later how the soul, who we really are, is really not touched by the dark gloom of sufference, which can shield temporarily who we are, but never destroy it. This has been much more I was expecting from this book. As much as I can like the first sight love of two characters, I'd really like to read about some development. I understand attraction, but I cannot think about an important involvement without the two women get to know each other.

On the contrary, here we find two adult, very different characters almost immediately having a way to each other both in feelings and in sex. And, talking about sex, it would have been nice for them to have some privacy. I found unrealistic view spoiler [their smooching in the midst of some thrilling, scaring ghost hunt hide spoiler ] and above all I found annoying view spoiler [their going at each other where they could be easily catched by Sunny's mother hide spoiler ] , which is a scarier situation than every ghost apparition!

I enjoyed reading this novel. But I'm sorry because it could have been really great if only the author would have cared for a better love story. Mar 23, Jem rated it it was amazing Shelves: Awakening is the first in a series about the adventures and misadventures of a group of ghostbusting psychics who appropriately, call themselves Sisters of Spirits or S. The book is thoroughly enjoyable on many levels. It has angsty psychological drama. It has horror and a mystery to be solved.

And last, but not the least, the romance is intense and very sexy. Feb 14, Pippa rated it liked it Shelves: Sisters of Spirits is a paranormal investigation group, formed by three friends with different abilities. Shade Stewart is the necromancer, who handles the darker side of the business.

The book really kicks off when an explosion puts Shade in a coma and traps her in her nightmares. Once Shade is in this world be Sisters of Spirits is a paranormal investigation group, formed by three friends with different abilities. Once Shade is in this world between worlds, Heidt has much more freedom to play and this is when both Shade, and Raven, start making sense as individual characters, and also as potential soul mates.

The development of the characters is nicely done, and it became a much more interesting book and I was much more invested in the two main characters. Feb 01, D. Leigh rated it it was amazing. I liked this author's first book okay, but I absolutely loved, loved this book. My interest in ghost hunting could be described as "mildly interested" until I read this book. She either knows her subject matter really well, or is the best I've seen at faking it.

I was spellbound and still wanting more when the story ended. It does, by the way, leave the door open at the end for a sequel I'm salivating already. The characters, the pacing and the editing were flawless, in my opinion. It's definitely on my re-read list for the month before the next installment hits the book shelves. Feb 03, Terry Baker rated it it was amazing.


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  8. Book one of the Sisters of Spirits Trilogy Psychic medium, Sunny Skye, is the head investigator and founder of the Sisters of Spirits, a paranormal society. Each woman has a slightly different role in their interactions with the paranormal. Tough cop Jordan Lawson, is in her own mind, a top notch cop. Jordan will trust only hard facts and herself. There is no way Jordan believes in ghosts.

    Not even when she comes face to face with one. When Sunny and Jordan first meet, there is an instant attraction between them. But Sunny can see the demons Jordan is carrying around with her. Will Sunny be able to help rid the sceptical Jordan of her demons? Will Sunny even be strong enough without destroying herself?

    Jordan is hiding deep, dark, secrets from her past. Will Jordan learn to trust Sunny enough to help her? If these two women are ever to get together, the burning question is Her debut book was excellent and I wondered if she would be able to top it with this new trilogy. In fact this first book in the new series has got off to a running start.

    The two main characters, Sunny and Jordan, are both well formed and multidimensional. There is a great cast of secondary characters all playing their parts to perfection in the progression of this story and interacting so well together. Yvonne Heidt is proving herself to be a master storyteller. Her stories are based around the paranormal. They are mesmerizing and fast paced, keeping the reader intrigued throughout the entire book. This book is not a horror story. It can be read by anyone. There is a nice slow burning romance too, just for good measure.

    Although part of a trilogy, this book concluded and just left an opening for the next in the series, so, no frustrations with cliff-hangers. Feb 18, Sara rated it it was amazing. The book opens on a younger version of the main character and how she met her two "sisters". Flash forward many years to the present and watch how they have grown, their blossoming skills and wondrous personalities that bring the story to life.

    Download e-book for iPad: The Gemini Trilogy: The Awakening by T.J. Lajeunesse

    Cut to the cop Jordan, lives and breathes her work despite a past betrayal that you only get the faintest inkling of as you read along. A bizarre introduction of the two, Sunny and Jordan, leads slowly into a romantic swirl of impulse and lust, maybe more The book opens on a younger version of the main character and how she met her two "sisters". A bizarre introduction of the two, Sunny and Jordan, leads slowly into a romantic swirl of impulse and lust, maybe more.

    Is it possible for a person who needs to see to believe to be able to get past those fixations for love and a true bond? Can they overcome the haunting past Jordan has? Can Sunny get through the darkness to the real woman behind the hardened mask that is Jordan? Will the two end up with their happily ever after or will they just end? This book is a wonderful introduction to the trilogy, their characters all have their twists and turns, ups and downs, and feel as real as even your own next door neighbor.

    Completely worth buying to read again and again, because it never gets old. I can only wait on the edge of my seat for the next book to release; like an eager puppy ready to run, this book brings that excitement and desire for more. I suggest this to anyone who enjoys reading. Jun 03, Rebecca Langham rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

    To view it, click here. My rating 3 stars reflects, to a degree, a personal frustration I've developed with lesfic in recent months. I would have rated the book at four stars if it didn't happen to push those 'pet peeve' buttons. So please, take my rating with a grain of salt, it probably deserves higher - and if I could click 3.

    The novel is well-written, delivers what it promises from the beginning, and does an excellent job of exploring the paranormal world without bogging us down in unfamilia My rating 3 stars reflects, to a degree, a personal frustration I've developed with lesfic in recent months. The novel is well-written, delivers what it promises from the beginning, and does an excellent job of exploring the paranormal world without bogging us down in unfamiliar language or concepts.

    I also loved that it So, to the author, please forgive my rant below. It's not about your book as such, it's more about the trend I can't seem to escape in my reading. Trends that were present in this book. I've read lots of books in the last six months with two common plot points, both of which are in this book. Foster carers are ineffectual and do more harm than good.

    I know this can be the case. Like any group of human beings, some carers are not good people. But, for once, I'd like to read a book where a foster carer is a half decent person. As a disclaimer here, I've been a foster carer for nearly 10 years. I'm just sick of seeing them vilified, being used as faceless characters that add to the overall traumatic background of a character.

    Most carers want to help children heal as much as might be possible given the circumstances. There's so much rape in lesfic. Or at least, I've somehow managed to pick up one book after another where a woman is raped. It's subtle in this book, there's no graphic sexual assault, but it's clear through several references that Jordan was sexually assaulted by men, and that it's largely her mother's fault for not protecting her or putting her in a position where it was easy for unsavoury characters to access Jordan as a child.

    I know these things happen. Someone very close to me is the survivor of ongoing childhood sexual assault. But I can tell you, they get sick of reading adult characters who seem to be close to broken because of those experiences and so do those close to them. That version of the story is told often enough. Can we see a character who went through those experiences, it's a shadow in their experiences, but it doesn't characterise their entire life or colour their entire personality and even make it impossible for them to life a 'functional' life?

    Or, perhaps a character may experience something that was challenging, difficult and extremely hard to life with, that ISN'T a rape? It feels like it's become an almost "go-to" style of plot point with how often I've seen it lately. And that trend doesn't fall to this book alone, of course not! I just didn't enjoy seeing it yet again.