The Emperor’s Edge ~ Lindsay Buroker

  • Title:  The Emperor’s Edge
  • Author: Lindsay Buroker
  • Series: The Emperor’e Edge #1
  • Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Sonja
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Description:  Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin, is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.

Review:   I really struggled with the rating for this book. I have my own little criteria for how many stars I give to books, but I wanted to add 1 to this book – because it was free. But, in the end, I had to be true to my system. I was able to put down this book – the action frequently lulled – but I sure wanted to return to spend time with this little band of characters.

The heroine, Amaranthe, is quite unlike your typical heroine. She is not snarky. She does not kick butt. She is just honorable. And true. And decent. And, by just being who she is, she pulls in people to work around her and with her. And, oh, the characters with which she surrounds herself. Quite the merry little band she has gathered. The author also makes a little twist on the popular “thief” artifice because Amaranthe is forced to perform her deeds not while working for the enforcers, but by working more in the underground.

I know many have classified this as Steampunk. The author herself dumps it into many classifications and calls it a mash up. To me, this book was just fantasy. It had elements of other genres, but, in the end, it is simply fantasy. 

I really enjoyed the banter. It certainly was not constant, but happened very subtly in appropriate instances. Many times, I went back and re-read because I felt, “Did I read that right?” A couple times, I even laughed out loud. I suspect, as the characters are even more fully fleshed out in later volumes, it will happen more frequently.

I really, REALLY enjoyed this book. I am now fighting with myself over whether or not to start on the next one in the series. The battle wages not because I do not know whether or not I want to READ the next, but because I fear that I will get to the end of Book 5 and have a cliff hangar or other such nonsense that is so prevalent in fantasy today. I do really want to spend more time with this motley crew.

PS:  I read through all of them. All the books currently in print. Or at least in digital form. They are all wonderful!

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Notorious Nineteen ~ Janet Evanovich

  • Title: Notorious Nineteen
  • Author: Janet Evanovich
  • Series: Stephanie Plum #19
  • Genre: Romance, Mystery
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Source: Public Library
  • Reviewed by: Valerie
  • Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Description:  #1 bestselling author Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels are: “irresistible” (Houston Chronicle), “stunning” (Booklist), “outrageous” (Publishers Weekly), “brilliantly evocative” (The Denver Post), and “making trouble and winning hearts” (USA Today).

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don’t just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don’t do what Tiki tells you to do.

After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track down the con man. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.

The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory. . . .

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  This is a typical installment of the Stephanie Plum series.

Once upon a time, I really enjoyed this series. Alas, these days, it has gotten pretty stale.

Here is the synopsis for Notorious Nineteen . . .

Stephanie is broke. Her car gets blown up. She uses her grandfathers’s car until Ranger brings her another. She is inept at bounty hunting, but is determined to make it work. She STILL can’t make up her mind between Morelli & Ranger. She goes to her mom’s for pot roast. Her grandmother gets into trouble for being disruptive. Lula is along for the ride, needs food, and jumps on someone. Stephanie finds herself in danger but still has no bullets for the gun in the cookie jar. She makes out with Morelli. She bonds with one of her non-violent skips. Finally, she gets attacked, but Ranger saves her thanks to bugs and tracking devices. She gets her gets her man (or at least his body) in the nick of time, which staves off her impending financial ruin for now.

Sound familiar? I flagged this review as containing spoilers, but can it really be called a spoiler when the summary can be used for almost any of the nineteen books in the series???

It would be nice to see some character development and maturation. It felt like the early books did a good job at having the characters and relationships progress, but I think the series may have jumped the shark. Maybe it was the Team Morelli/Team Ranger stickers in the back of the book?

First World Princess Problems: Disney, Entitlement, and the Hipster Movement by Michelle Browne

Hello hello!

I am back once again with the blog post I promised earlier this week. With a fairly sizeable American Apparel store on the way to work, hipsters are pretty visible as a part of my daily life. The movement wasn’t one that I understood at first. I saw the fashion, heard some of the music–unless it was too obscure, of course–and set my brain to work, trying to comprehend it.

Source. This is pretty much half of your basic hipster wardrobe; however, fedoras, oddly-fitting 70s blouses, ludicrously high-cut pants, and chunky plastic jewelry are also mainstays. Oh, and those goddamn mustaches. Mustaches everywhere.

Part 1: Observing Hipsters

I could tell there was a trend going on, and I recognized the impact of Japanese fashion on its style, but there, my understanding ended. Thick-rimmed glasses and a mishmash of stylistic references to different eras that were combined into a decidedly unique look, generally involving Apple products. Hipster fashion was everywhere, growing each day, and yet, to be called a hipster was an insult. The look is praised and derided in the same breath. It has managed to retain an exclusive cachet even as overweight North Americans everywhere are trying to squeeze into sterility- and embolism-inducing skinny jeans.

Just in case you, dear reader, are confused by the term hipster, I’ll provide a brief description of the word’s application in most modern contexts. The current hipster look and attitude are stereotypically characterized by exclusivity, streamlined clothing cut for those with a lower-than-average BMI, expensive electronics, obscure music by mostly independent artists, and the traditional snarkiness every cool group displays at its zenith. Skinny jeans and an androgynous look are generally the norm, and a pseudo-worldly display of international interests combined with affected quirkiness are hallmarks of the attitude that matches the clothing.

Of course, this description is leaving out the history of the hipster, which is an evolving movement that takes its roots from Jack Kerouac and other Beat poets, as well as from Andy Warhol’s Factory crew. Still, don’t let the description fool you–most hipsters are, as with any trend, far less extreme than in typical descriptions, and quite a few people can make the fashions work without having to display the less tasteful aspects of the attitude.

I’m going to touch on a previous column, which dealt with cultural appropriation and skimmed over how to avoid it. I mention it because affecting ‘tribal’ styles without a specific ethnic origin and using ‘first Nations inspired’ designs, such as feather headdresses, are common to hipster styles. A lot of important touchstones for non-Euro-American cultures that happen to look cool get borrowed and recycled in the hipster look. I don’t think I need to explain why using sacred or culturally sacred symbols for casual fashion is bad and pretty disrespectful.

Still, because I don’t want to rehash what most of the internet has been bitching about for the last couple of years, I’m going to skip ahead to the part that involves Disney. We all love Disney, right?

Source. There’s your overlap. You’ve been warned.

Part 2: Disney Princesses

A few friends of mine have started to rear their own offspring, and the rest–including me–still use this and any other excuse to enjoy some Disney nostalgia. There’s no getting around it–ostensibly evil, money-grubbing, exploitative corporation or no, Disney is a company that makes a good kid’s movie. I’m not going to get full-bore feminist on everyone’s asses, and we’ll talk more about why Disney is both very good and very bad another time, but the fact remains that good songs and good animation resulted in some good movies.

The princess movies in particular have done a surprisingly good job of surviving their over-marketing. In spite of being saturated with merchandise and sequels related to the roughly grouped stories based on carefully retold fairy tales, we aren’t sick of them yet. The beauty of The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, or even the somewhat condescending Princess and the Frog film still remain, even with the faults of the films.

I hate to gut something that formed such an essential part of so many childhoods, and I hate to restate the obvious or oft-said even more, but the princess films have also done a fair bit of damage to our psyches. In addition to the body issues, the presentation of love as the end-all and be-all of life, and the easy solutions, the princesses generally had to put in only token effort to have the world delivered to their feet. Perhaps it is natural, then, that movies associated with white privilege and the style associated with white privilege have overlapped so neatly.

The thing is, the princesses always sought ‘more’, a certain meaningfulness to their lives that they just couldn’t put in place. Belle was unfashionably intelligent; Ariel, curious about a culture she was restricted from interacting with; and Jasmine, unwilling to hide from the world once she’d gotten a taste of life beyond her castle walls. The older princess films were made in a time when marriage was the only thing that mattered, and the newer films have been made with Disney trying to compensate for its past failures, so they lack the soul-searching elements that made the 90s era Disney Renaissance films so good.

Source. More dress-up time, to give your brain a quick rest and some fashion candy.

Part 3: The Point

You were probably wondering how these two were linked, and whether the entire post was an excuse to show these drawings. (It wasn’t, I promise.) The hipster movement’s roots had to do with disaffectation with privilege, and its current manifestation is both reliant on Western wealth and Western discomfort with this wealth. Yes, we’re currently experiencing a job crisis in America, but up here in Canada and down in the States, most people still have enough money for that iPhone, and will still make sure that their second-hand clothing is fashionably tight.

For young women at the moment, then, whether we’re comfortably swaddled in the illusion of security that university provides or out and learning the joys of long-term work in retail, these films still resound. Those of us who were born into the 90s or 80s, we ‘millenials’, were promised the world. And, having gotten it, or having had it snatched away by , we want ‘more’, a thing we can’t put a name to but keep searching for. Like the girls wandering around their family’s gardens and singing about their discontent, many of us feel incomplete.

The hipster movement soothes these feelings nicely, with its concentration on aesthetics and arbitrary acceptance and rejection system. The stories that resounded with us as children still resound now, well after their appeal should have expired, for the simple reason that we are trying to find meaning, and failing.

At times like this, it’s hard not to scowl and point to people like Malala Yousafzai, one of millions of girls who would kill for the educational opportunities that we grudgingly endure and even squander here. What the hell are we complaining about, one might ask, and not without reason. Privilege, though, and the easy access to money, social supports, and parental back-up plans, are their own traps. The disintegration of these backup plans as the economy has failed hasn’t really fixed the problem of growing up in a world where life is easy and hard questions are optional.

Am I saying that the answer to our desire for ‘more’ is activism rather than indifference? Well, possibly. It certainly beats settling into that sufficient job and sufficient house and wondering why being able to afford most of one’s wants just isn’t satisfactory. The thing that gives someone’s life a meaning may be something big, like getting equal educational opportunities for women, or it might be something smaller, like making art. Still, if there’s one thing we can learn from the princesses and the hipsters, it’s that ambient levels of wealth won’t keep us happy, or keep us from looking for something more significant. Romantic love alone certainly isn’t the answer, but there are answers out there. Looking, and looking beyond the next iProduct upgrade or temporary entertainment, is the only way to find that vague yet recognizeable quantity, “More”. “More”–it’s the new American dream.

*****

Thanks for returning and patiently waiting for your late Sunday night fix. Don’t forget to check back for short stories, more politics, analysis, scraps of science, and even some reviews. This is your SciFiMagpie, over and out!

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This article was originally posted on Michelle Browne’s blog on October 15, 2012.

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A Venetian Affair ~ Dana Mitchell

  • Title: A Venetian Affair
  • Author: Dana Mitchell
  • Genre: Romance
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  When cool, reserved Helen Stoddart dons a mask in magical Venice, it changes her life forever. Her identity protected, she succumbs to a night of wild lovemaking with gorgeous Italian, Gabriel Venier. Convinced she’ll never see Gabriel again, Helen returns home to Australia, where an old family scandal sees her hunted by the paparazzi. Then Gabriel arrives, looking for the mystery woman he can’t forget. But the Helen he encounters is withdrawn, arctic, nothing like the gorgeous, sensual woman seared into his memory. Despite Helen’s reluctance, Gabriel makes time for them to get to know each other, and for slow, delicious seduction…

Review:  3.5 Stars for being a light, romantic read with a large dose of passion.

What a fun, fast read! I picked up the story and read it in a few hours. I was immediately drawn into the mysterious attraction between Gabriel and Helen. Sometimes, an unspoken exchange has more power to influence your mind and emotions because it’s mostly instinctive response and instant fantasy.

The skeleton’s in Helen’s family were thrown into the limelight and Helen’s guilt becomes the truth no matter how much she professed her innocence. Tired of defending herself to deaf ears, Helen retreats into herself and shows the world an icy exterior. It’s the only way she knows how to protect herself and keep the promise she’s made to her mother.

For one extravagant night, Helen finds alarming passion in a stranger’s arms and stubborn flames of desire spark to life in her heart. A desire for normalcy, love, acceptance and a future with a family of her own. With dawn edging up over the waters of Venice, Helen leaves her hopes and lover behind to return to her life. Several months later, Gabriel and Helen are thrown together by chance and a storm of emotions overtake them both.

I found the story to be a warm, engaging read that I really enjoyed. The mixture of mystery, music, taking chances was the right mix of elements to draw me right in from the get go. I’m a fan of strong characters and this story has it with Gabriel. Helen is a nice clash of stubbornness, independence and child-like hope for approval. It’s all believable to me.

The only big complaint I have about the story is towards the end. There are so many ways to say, “I love you.” I felt let down by the exchange that actually occurs. I full heartedly love the way the Veniers fall en mass on Helen and put her firmly into the center of their family. There are other elements that felt rushed, perhaps skimmed over and characters that could have been filled out more (like Helen’s only friend) but overall the book was fun to read and I enjoyed it. A nice intro to a new author in Australia! I look forward to reading more from Dana Mitchell.

The Versatile Blogger Award 2013

Silk Screen Views is happy to have been given the Versatile Blogger Award by Teepee12 of the blog Serendipity! The Versatile Blogger Award it given out to sites that make a variety of posts on many topics. Thanks to Teepee12 for nominating SSV! In honor of this award, I’ve made an award with our brand of flair:

SSV Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Include a link to their blog.
  • Tell the person who nominated you seven things about yourself.
  • Make a list of bloggers that you nominate for the award & tell them about it.

In the post about the Liebster Award, I talked a lot about myself. For this award, I would like to talk a little bit about everyone that makes Silk Screen Views run the way it does. I may be spearhead of the operation but it wouldn’t be possible without the amazing people I am delighted to work with! Read along and find out something new about the people behind Silk Screen Views.

1)  Greetings!

Irate Izzy and I have known each other for years. We’re best friends and met through a mutual love of social dancing:  Lindy Hop! One of these days, I will write up a post about dancing and share some of my love of that with you. I met Snarktastic Sonja and Darth Val in a book discussion group on Goodreads called Girls, Guns & Grimoires. It’s one of my favorite groups in Goodreads because I’ve had countless fun discussions there about books and more. Between the four of us, we make a dynamic team that offers a chaotic mix of paradoxical natures and outlooks. We share the love of books, snark, good times and intellectual glee!

2)  A Word

Everyone has a word or phrase that they find themselves using regularly. Well, here are the ones we tend to use the most. *Note: My word changes as I phase in and out of things. The one listed here for me has been true for the past few months but who knows how much longer it’ll remain as such.

  • Soo ~ “Sweet!”
  • Sonja ~ “Evidently.”
  • Val ~ “Fascinating.” (Spock)
  • Izzy ~ “Dude.”

3)  What would be the pen name of choice if we ever wrote romance (erotica)?

  • Izzy:  Lily LaBlanche
  • Val:  Catherine Lloyd
  • Sonja:  Susan Levana
  • Soo:  Nessa Rei Conor

4)  Exactly what does everyone do on Silk Screen Views?

We all come from diverse backgrounds and careers. Each of us has a long history and experience with editing, organizing, planning and implementing events and projects. Half of us are single and the other half are happily married with great kids. As we’ve gotten more involved with Silk Screen Views and figured out how much fun & challenging it is to be a part of the website, we decided to add services page to SSV and become a part of the process for creating books.

Everyone writes book reviews, most of us has formulated and published an Author Interview and it’s a free for all to post in Ramblings/Rampage. We all bring our unique perspective to the site. We may all love the same topic, book or interest but we relate to each differently. It’s sharing those differences in a mutual love that makes SSV interesting.

Sonja, Val & I network on Goodreads to help promote our posts and reviews. I’ve taken to Twitter and give out daily Tweets on what’s going on with SSV or those we’re connected with on Twitter. Val has put together the Facebook Page and maintains it to keep people up to speed on there. Izzy and I maintain the website. It’s usually me for the day to day stuff but Izzy has her hand in the pot and helps to solve the big mysteries.

5)  Cool Factoid

  • Sonja ~ I rode in an elevator with Felicia Day. Bwahahaha!

My love of reading has led me to try new things that I would never have thought possible. For instance, I taught myself to draft sewing patterns. Armed with a book, I feel like I can accomplish almost anything.

  • Izzy ~ My hair has mind of its own! Anyone with curly hair knows the dealio. I provide Soo morning entertainment every day cuz she never knows what she’s gonna get from my wild hair!

I play piano fairly well and I’ve been known to get my pants covered in paint as I get lost in making art by hand, brush & more.

  • Soo ~ My laughter is infectious and powerful! You can hear me laugh outside.

During a live jazz performance, a musician (who later became a friend) announced that my laugh should be recorded and used as an alarm clock because it would be a great way to wake up.

  • Val ~ I am doing a half marathon every month this year.

Background on Val’s Pen Name:  If I were to write romance novels, I would definitely use a pen name.  I considered what that would be long ago and decided to combine the names of my grandparents.

6)  Thoughts on Silk Screen Views

Izzy:  Gold armor is not a fashion statement. Remember that! I look forward to helping with many posts because I live with Soo and she’ll strangle me. It’s okay because I work well under pressure.

Sonja:  SSV has led me to read more critically. I actually have to think about my reviews instead of just stream of consciousness. Instead of just knowing I love a book, I have to determine why and how.

Val:  I have been having a lot fun reviewing for SSV.  It has allowed me to fan the flames of my inner snark.  I have also begun to think more critically about what I am reading, which has led to a greater appreciation for authors.

Soo:  Maybe you’re starting to notice but I hardly ever do just one thing or for just one reason. SSV started as a project that I’ve had on hold for a long time that I wanted to begin and as part of my way of getting back into writing everyday. It’s become it’s own entity and I love how much I’m gaining from every new experience. It’s invigorating to be a part of creating something that touches other people or helps people you admire. I love learning and challenges. I get plenty of both by working on Silk Screen Views.

7)  Crystal Ball

What’s ahead for Silk Screen Views and our little gang of misfits? A WHOLE LOT!

Look forward to more authors & books joining the Author Interview & Review Series.

Snarktastic Sonja will be doing a showcase that will feature–well, you’ll find out when it comes out.

Darth Val has her eyes set on book covers and she’ll be making a note on them. Will you agree or disagree?

Irate Izzy may be showing her love of all that is Arrow, Vampire Diaries or Person of Interest. Maybe a rant or rave on Veronica Mars. Whatever it is, it’ll keep you on your toes!

A discussion about the Fantasy genre that crosses several websites and bloggers will kick off the debates further as SSV joins the rounds with my own stance on the question: Is Fantasy becoming mired in medieval scenarios and need a kick in a different direction?

Scribes Corner will be getting several updates with interesting articles written by authors.

Rampage only has one post at the moment but will it stay that way? NAH!

o===o===o

Silk Screen Views Nominates the Following in No Particular Order:

Seven Kinds of Hell ~ Dana Cameron

  • Title: Seven Kinds of Hell
  • Author: Dana Cameron
  • Series: Fangborn #1
  • Genre: UF, Fantasy
  • Format: eBook
  • Source: NetGalley
  • Reviewed by: Soo
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  Archaeologist Zoe Miller has been running from a haunting secret her whole life. But when her cousin is abducted by a vicious Russian kidnapper, Zoe is left with only one option: to reveal herself. Unknown to even her closest friends, Zoe is not entirely human. She’s a werewolf and a daughter of the Fangborn, a secretive race of werewolves, vampires, and oracles embroiled in an ancient war against evil. To rescue her cousin, Zoe will be forced to renew family ties and pit her own supernatural abilities against the dark and nefarious foe. The hunt brings Zoe to the edge of her limits, and with the fate of humanity and the Fangborn in the balance, life will be decided by an artifact of world-ending power.

*Potential Spoilers*

Review:  3.5 Stars – I had a tough time rating this book. A part of me says that it only deserves 3 stars but I wanted to give it 4 for excellent ideas. In the end, I compromise with a 3.5 stars.

Zoe’s been on the run for most of her life. Her Ma didn’t explain exactly why they’re on the run. She only knows that her father was mixed up in something bad and her Ma took her away when she was a baby to keep her safe. Most people get to live in one town or two while growing up. Zoe has grown up all over the U.S. and under several aliases. She gets ready to take off again but it’s totally different situation now. Ma falls prey to cancer and leaves her with two commands before she dies. The most important:

Don’t let her father’s family find her.

The world that Dana Cameron weaves together is striking in its unique mix of legends, paranormal, shape-shifters and mythology. It’s like looking at the world with cool shades. Everything is familiar and the same but everything has a layer of meaning that has been left unseen. What if all those pictographs and cave drawings of half man and half animal beings were true? What would the world be like then?

The first book of the Fangborn introduces us to an unlikely group of characters. In the lead is Zoe, a socially awkward young woman who isn’t comfortable in her own skin and used to a life of secrecy. She can count the number of real friends on one hand, but she’s willing to leave them all behind to keep everyone safe. She’s not just running away from an unknown danger that haunts her family. She’s running away from everyone to hide from herself.

The Beast.

She can’t control the Beast. What if the Beast takes over and she never turns into a human again? What if the Beast attacks the people she loves? She can’t take the chance. She won’t take that chance.

It doesn’t matter. Everything Zoe knows and believes in will be challenged. The very people she least expects to be a part of her insane journey across the world will be at her side. How does she know who is a friend or enemy? How will she know who to trust? What is this prophecy that says she’s the chosen one? With every step forward, there are two taken sideways.

Instead of leaving town and starting a new life in a new city, Zoe finds herself stalked by those who bear a striking family resemblance. Danny, an old childhood friend, becomes bait to lure Zoe into a dangerous game with nefarious characters. With heart pounding and terror trapped in her throat, Zoe dives into the rabbit hole to save her friend.

The story grabbed me full tilt at the beginning. I became confused when the pace slows down to a near crawl, and I felt like I was thrown into an info dump with long mental digressions into the past. I realize all of them are important for the story but I felt rather disappointed in the pacing. It’s like starting a roller coaster ride. Instead of getting ready to go down that first hump into speedy reckless exhilaration, you find out that you need to ride around for a while, go up another few hills and THEN you get the adventurous yeehaw drop.

I love everything about the Fangborn, the hints about where they’re from, what they can do and how they are an integral part of society. Even if they’re a hidden part of it.

As a lover of history, mythology and relics, I find myself equally put off and attracted to the archaeological aspects of the story. Parts of it is really interesting and parts of it throws me out of the story. As a reader, I never came to terms with Zoe being an archaeologist. If Zoe was still a student and working as an intern, it would be easier to accept. Most of the time, I would forget she is one until the book reminds me that she is.

The climax of the story is MOST EXCELLENT! I wanted to give the story 4 stars just for the climax. It was very well done! It wasn’t exactly what I expected and the unusual mix of events was awesome! I may have jumped up and down a little in excitement during this part. Okay, it was really a sit down chair dance but it still counts.

I want to preface my next comment with this: I’m definitely team Zoe & Will. I want them to work. However, the love making scenario felt really out of place. I’m glad they got together. I just think the description could have hinted more and said less. That small bit of the book felt really out of place in the way it was written. Not by that part happening but because of how it is written. It’s not because I don’t like explicit love scenes. I do. I just felt that this part was an odd duck out with the rest of the book.

I would have liked more time to get to know the other characters and a little less time in Zoe’s head.

The bones of the story are great and I can’t wait to see what story the second book will tell.

I know I didn’t give the book 4 stars. It doesn’t matter. You should read this book. The reasons why I would mark a book down to a 3.5 stars may not be your reasons. This book is an excellent start to a new series and I am definitely going to be in line to read the next one.