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Friday, July 31, 2015

Review: The Terrans by Jean Johnson

Title: The Terrans
Author: Jean Johnson
Series: First Salik War, book 1
Genre: Sci-Fi
Publisher: ACE
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
Born into a political family and gifted with psychic abilities, Jacaranda MacKenzie has served as a border-watcher and even spent time as a representative on the United Planets Council. Now she just wants to spend her days in peace and quiet as a translator—but the universe has other plans…

Humans have long known that they would encounter more alien species, and while those with precognitive abilities agree a terrible war is coming, they do not agree on who will save humanity—a psychic soldier or a politician.

But Jackie is both.

After she is pressured into rejoining the Space Force to forestall the impending calamity, Jackie makes an unsettling discovery. Their new enemy, the Salik, seem to be rather familiar with fighting Humans—as if their war against humanity had already begun…
The Terrans is the first book in the First Salik War series by Jean Johnson.

Jacaranda (Jackie) MacKenzie, the most powerful telepath and telekinetic of the United Planets is ready to start her early retirement from public service, but the leaders of the government and military have other plans for her. Precognitive members of the military have foreseen encounters with new alien races and a war to come against with one of them. In all of their visions Jackie is always front and center as a key player in the events to come. Knowing this, the military assembles a team of specialists lead by Jackie and sends them to space -in the Aloha 9- to explore new areas in search for these new aliens.
During one of their trips, a big alien ship surprises them, trapping them and bringing them on board. Using her telepathic abilities Jackie realizes the intentions of the aliens (Salik) are not good at all. Thanks to her ability, she also finds five human minds inside the ship. They have been kept prisoners and if they are not rescue, soon they will be meals for the Salik.
Thanks to Jackie’s telekinetic abilities she is able to free the five humans, bring them aboard the Aloha 9 and escape the Salik’s ship.
Although these five humans are almost identical as them, they are not Terrans, they are a different race known as V’Dan. The leader of their group is Captain Li'eth Ma'an-uq'en.
The V’Dan have prophecies that told them of this day, when they will meet the Terrans, the race that will help them fight their war against the Salik.
Returning home with five aliens on board has its complications. They will need to live in quarantine until they are all clear and from there the political maneuvers will start.  Including the plans to return the V’Dan to their home planet.

I loved this book, I loved it so much that I would like to tell you to trust me, buy it and read it, but I know that is not enough, so let me try to do my best to convince you.

All the characters in The Terrans are great, from the main characters to the secondary.

Jackie is a heroine easy to like, admire and cheer for. She is not only smart, she is very ethical and always does her best thinking of others first. Because of her abilities she also has to deal with discrimination and misconceptions. Her responses to this only made me like her more.

Li'eth is another character that was impossible not to like. Li'eth is more than what he appears, but he doesn’t take advantage of this. I liked how open minded, caring, and protective he was. I can’t say more about him without giving spoilers away.

There is a relationship blossoming between Jackie and Li'eth, I liked that nothing is rushed or forced. I can’t wait to see how things progress between these two.

Like I said before, the secondary characters were also great, there are many to talk about, I will just say they all made the story better, more complex and more entertaining.

Jean Johnson really surprised me with her creativity. The world she created for this series is impressive and really well thought, from the planets, to the ships, to the science behind it all. The story is also fabulous. I liked how Johnson used specific situations to give us important information about the world, politics and society. That was very smart of her. Although I liked all the information Johnson gave us, I can see some people having trouble with the amount of it.

I liked everything about The Terrans, I liked the characters, I liked the world, I liked the story, I liked the pace, I liked everything.
I liked this book so much that it was 4 in the morning and I was still reading it, that’s the problem of starting a book late at night. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to wake up early the next day, so I was able to read until my eyes were closing, sadly I had to go to bed with only a few chapters left to finish it. But do you know what was the first thing I did when I opened my eyes, ok, the first thing I did after having my morning coffee? Continue reading this book and I didn’t put it down until I finished it. And do you know what was the first thing I did after I finished it? No? I bought the first book (A Soldier's Duty) to a series (Theirs Not to Reason Why series) that is set in this same world, but 200 years later than this series. That’s how much I liked The Terrans.

The Terrans is a book I highly recommend to sci-fi fans. Saying I’m looking forward to second book in this series, The V'Dan, is the understatement of the year. I’m dying to get my greedy hands on that one, 2016 can’t come soon enough for that.

My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
The Terrans
The V’Dan (2016)

Other reviews Goodreads

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

DNF Review: The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

Title: The Bourbon Kings
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: The Bourbon Kings, book 1
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.
The Bourbon Kings is the first book in The Bourbon Kings series by J.R. Ward.

J.R. Ward is one of the authors to whom I owe thanks for made me fall in love with books again, after many years of not reading. I remember, years back, when I discovered The Black Dagger Brotherhood series and how much I loved those books. But although, the first seven or eight books will always hold a special place in my heart, I cannot say the same of the last installments. Unfortunately after many unsatisfactory books I decided to give up on that series. Despite that, I still had faith in J.R. Ward and her talent as an author. For that same reason I was very happy when I hear she was writing a new non-paranormal series. I thought that maybe this new series would be another great hit as the first installments of BDB were for me. Sadly, that was not the case, and now, after weeks of trying to finish reading The Bourbon Kings I have to be honest with myself and with an aching heart, DNF the book.

I tried, I really tried to finish it. I read couple of chapters at a time. I tried to find something good in each of them. I tried to find something to connect with the characters or with the story, but after many fail intents and only reaching the 40% mark in five weeks, I just couldn’t continue, I knew it was time to quit.

My problems with The Bourbon Kings were too many, but I’m going to tell you some of them for you to get an idea. My biggest problem is that it reads like a 80s soap opera and I hate soap operas. My second problem was with the characters. Apart from Lizzie, none of the other characters have any appealing qualities. They all felt like caricatures of spoiled kids. Lane, the “hero” is married, he abandoned his wife in his family home and lived for two years in New York, sleeping on a friend’s couch, drinking and gambling everyday, with not care of the world because he didn’t want to do the mature way and confront his problems, and I, as a reader, I’m supposed to liked him and understand his behavior because he was brokenhearted. Now, thanks to unforeseen circumstances he’s back to his family house and wants to save what he had with Lizzie (who is not his wife) and doesn’t take no for an answer. Really? No, no and no. Why he didn’t do that months/years back if he really wanted her in his life.

The other characters are the same or worse. Lane’s sister Gin is Mrs. Rich Girl Clichés and so over the top that she was annoying and not compelling. The other siblings and parent figure don’t fall far from this characterization.

Another thing that I hated in the last BDB books and is also present in this book is the brand name dropping. There was a scene, with Gin, in which I counted 20+ different products named, from clothes, to jewelry, to cars. 20+ times in one scene!!!

For those and more reason I’m DNF-ing The Bourbon Kings, and with a broken heart, I’m also breaking up with J.R. Ward.

My Verdict: DNF
Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hot Off the Press: July 28th Releases

July 28th

In the DrinkAllyson K. AbbottMack's Bar Mystery #3Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Half a WarJoe AbercrombieShattered Sea #3Fantasy
And Then He Kissed MeKim AmosWhite Pine #2Contemporary Romance
Every Last BreathJennifer L. Armentrout The Dark Elements #3YA
Primal Heat Part 3: A Paranormal Shapeshifter Werejaguar RomanceA. C. ArthurShadow Shifters #6.3PNR
Broken PromiseLinwood BarclayPromise Falls #1Thriller
White DeathTed Bell Alexander Hawke #9.5Thriller
Siren's CallJayne CastleRainshadow #4PNR
Fall of BlazeH.O. Charles The Fireblade Array #6Fantasy
ExcaliburMichael ClaryCamelot Wars #1Fantasy
The BlindShelley Coriell The Apostles #3Romantic Suspense
OblivionKelly Creagh Nevermore #3YA
The Silence of the ChihuahuasWaverly CurtisBarking Detective #5Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Taking the HeatVictoria DahlJackson: Girls' Night Out #3Contemporary Romance
Lone RiderB.J. Daniels The Montana Hamiltons #2Romantic Suspense
RedzoneWilliam C. DietzMutant Files #2Sci-Fi
Lady Be GoodMeredith DuranRules for the Reckless #3Historical Romance
Beware of MeCynthia Eden Dark Obsession #4Romantic Suspense
Wild ThunderCassie EdwardsWild Tribes #2Historical Romance
BreakingBarbara Elsborg Fall or Break #2Romance/MM
Spider's TrapJennifer EstepElemental Assassin #13UF
InfernoAngela Graham Harmony #4Contemporary Romance
The ForgottenHeather GrahamKrewe of Hunters #16Mystery/Paranormal
To Mate an AssassinCeri GrenelleLost Alphars #1PNR
The Conquering DarkClay Griffith, Susan GriffithCrown & Key #3Sci-Fi/Steampunk
CrookedAustin GrossmanFiction
Racing the SunKarina HalleNA
If I Could Turn Back TimeBeth Harbison Women's Fiction
Baby’s Got BiteCandace Havens Take It Like a Vamp #2PNR
Break Your HeartRhonda HelmsNA
The Good, The Bad and The SmugTom HoltFantasy/Comic
If He's NobleHannah Howell Wherlocke #7Historical Romance
Never Die AloneLisa Jackson New Orleans #8Mystery
The Promise of LoveBilli JeanLove's Command #6Romantic Suspense
Shades in Shadow: An Inheritance TriptychN.K. JemisinInheritance - Short StoriesFantasy
The TerransJean JohnsonFirst Salik War #1Sci-Fi
All the Ways to Ruin A RogueSophie Jordan The Debutante Files #2Historical Romance
Killing PrettyRichard KadreySandman Slim #7UF
Silent CreedAlex Kava Ryder Creed #2Mystery
The Drowning GodJames KendleyThriller
Frisk MeLauren LayneNew York's Finest #1Contemporary Romance
No Place to HideSusan LewisWomen's Fiction
Perfect TouchElizabeth Lowell Romantic Suspense
Dragon FallKatie MacAlisterBlack Dragons #1PNR
Killer JamKaren MacInerneyA Dewberry Farm Mystery #1Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Thrill MeSusan MalleryFool's Gold #18Contemporary Romance
Dragons Live ForeverD'Elen McClain Fire Chronicles Book 4Fantasy
The Orchard at the Edge of TownShirlee McCoy Apple Valley #3Contemporary Romance
Confessions of a Queen B*Crista McHughThe Queen B* #1YA
How to Be a Grown-UpEmma McLaughlin, Nicola KrausWomen's Fiction
Master of FormalitiesScott MeyerSci-Fi
The Dinosaur LordsVictor MilánFantasy
The Remaining: ExtinctionD.J. MollesThe Remaining #6Sci-Fi/Dystopian
Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker's NightbreedJoseph Nassise, Del HowisonTales of Clive Barker's Nightbreed - Short StoriesHorror
Fatal PursuitElisabeth Naughton Aegis #3Romantic Suspense
The Secret SisterBrenda NovakFairham Island #1Contemporary Romance
Grunt TraitorWeston OchseTask Force Ombra #2Sci-Fi
Brush BackSara Paretsky V.I. Warshawski #17Mystery
The FallR. J. PineiroSci-Fi
Clink or Cooler?Jutta Profijt, Erik J. Macki Morgue Drawer #5Mystery
The Color of LightEmilie Richards Goddesses Anonymous #4Women's Fiction
A Stellar AffairLaurel RichardsSci-Fi/Romance
A Wedding on Primrose StreetSheila Roberts Life in Icicle Falls #7Romance
The Legacy of Copper CreekR.C. RyanCopper Creek Cowboys #3Contemporary Romance
The Highlander Takes A BrideLynsay SandsHighlander #3Historical Romance
The Forbidden BillionaireJ.S. Scott The Sinclairs #2Contemporary Romance
Tortures of the DamnedHunter SheaHorror
The Hotter You BurnGena Showalter The Original Heartbreakers #2Contemporary Romance
Drape ExpectationsKaren Rose Smith Caprice De Luca Mystery #4Mystery/Cozy Mystery
The Ambassador's WifeJennifer Steil Fiction
The Fifth House of the HeartBen TrippHorror
The Bourbon KingsJ.R. Ward The Bourbon Kings #1Romance
The Calamity Janes: LaurenSherryl WoodsThe Calamity Janes #6Contemporary Romance
The Forbidden ManElle WrightEdge of Scandal #1Contemporary Romance
Bad News CowboyMaisey Yates Copper Ridge #3Contemporary Romance

Contemporary Romance
Historical Romance
New Adult
Paranormal Romance
Romantic Suspense
Science Fiction
Women's Fiction
Urban Fantasy
Young Adult

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