A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Semper Fae (Endangered Fae #3) by Angel Martinez — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 The is book three in the Endangered Fae series. While you could probably read this alone, it would be best if you started from book one. Having said that, this is the best book so far and shows what could have been possible in the first two books. This […]

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Blood for the Spilling (Studies in Demonology #3) by TJ Nichols — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 You really need to read this as a trilogy, and I would highly recommend them if you like epic fantasy/erotic romance with graphic violence. I was so excited for this third book to come out. If I rated the trilogy as a whole, I would rate it 4.5 stars. […]

via A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Blood for the Spilling (Studies in Demonology #3) by TJ Nichols — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 I almost don’t know where to begin with this. So much happens, it almost feels like different stories cobbled together. Diego and Finn are living in their new house in the Montana forest. Diego has to take a business trip to New York. While he’s gone, Finn saves a […]

via A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Diego (Endangered Fae #2) by Angel Martinez — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Finn (Endangered Fae #1) by Angel Martinez — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5 Finn is awake after centuries of Dreaming with no way to get back to the Otherworld now that the Veil is closed. Diego rescued him as it appears he’s preparing to jump off a bridge. Finn is a fae and the city, with all its iron and steel, is […]

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Review: Rogue In the Making by T.J. Nichols, Studies In Demonology 2

rogue-in-the-making-cover
Cover Artist: Catt Ford

I would rate this 4.5 stars.

Angus is straddling two words, now considered a rogue warlock and wanted by the College and police, he is protected by the underground. He has been training in Demonside as an apprentice to his demon, Saku, but he can’t stay there as he’ll be drained of power and die. He can only get back to Humanside with the help of the underground opening the void for him to return. They have their own agenda besides rebalancing the magic to save the world. On the other hand, it is not only humans who are ambitious and want power. There is plenty to distrust on both sides.

Some of the demon mages have volunteered to train some wizards in the underground to help rebalance the magic. They come to Demonside to learn for nine days and then go back to Vinland to recharge before they are drained. The demon mage council has voted for a year trial to see if this will make a difference. It’s the only way to keep the peace and if it doesn’t work, the demon wars may start anew.

Angus is already hardened by what has happen, no longer than naive young man. The blood magic is starting to take a toll on Saku, who doesn’t approve, but has no choice if he wants to save Demonside and keep his own precarious position as head mage of his tribe. Mages are not allowed to have families because it is a conflict that may keep them from putting the tribe first. This book gets angsty as Saku tries to push Angus away emotionally. Meanwhile back in Vinland, the love triangle continues at Angus and Terrance reconnect.

There is still the whole rest of the world to consider, not all territories engage in magic like Vinland. The Mayan Empire and New Holland can’t agree on how to manage the magic while other countries want to kill all magic users. Some countries allow natural magic, but not demon magic. As the world is covered in ice and people are dying, other countries have propsed sanctions against Vinland for their use of demon magic. The people of Vinland are shut off from all outside news. Vinland is claiming the World Council of Demonology is to blame. Again, the parallels to two equally corrupt groups of magic users (the underground and the College) trying to seek power through fear and propaganda while propping up the president while using civilians as magic sacrifices, should be obvious to our current political climate. This also has shades of Ender’s Game, although the wizards/warlocks are around 19, thankfully because–sex magic.

Even discounting the recap of the first book, this had a few repetitive thoughts, but that is a very minor thing. The pace was slower than the first book–even though everyone is always doing something, the plot was not really advanced much beyond what had already been shown or foreshadowed. I enjoyed the journey and it was necessary to get us to book three as those humans and demons who want peace and to work together, are endangered from both sides of the conflict. I really can’t wait for the next book.

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Review: Warlock In Training by T.J. Nichols, Studies In Demonology 1

warlock-in-training-cover
Cover Artist: Catt Ford

I would rate this 4.75 stars.

When Angus realizes that what his parents taught him is not always true, he needs to find his own path in life and while is it not what his parents want, it might be what the world needs. Angus is in a magic school, learning how to summon a demon to steal his magic. Eventually when a demon is drained of magic, they are usually killed. There are wizards who have magic, but do not make themselves stronger by taking magic from demons.

There are so many interesting what-ifs in Angus’ mind. I love the different types of demons. Angus doesn’t want to summon a demon in class so he can fail out; he gets a sexy demon instead and gets yanked into Demonside/Arlyxia. Saku needs a warlock to rebalance his world due to the humans taking magic from it. The whole way humans are exploiting the demons and magic itself became more horrifying once I got to see demon civilization. The higher warlocks in Humanside obviously know what is happening, but are too greedy for their own power to care. There are three ways to rebalance the magic, but the most fun is sex magic. I vote yes. If you don’t like knives and blood play, this may not be the book for you. There is a lot of violence and sex in this world.

The world-building here is intriguing. Miniti is the ruthless leader in Demonside and trying to save her people. Humans are the ones that starting breaking the unwritten agreements between them set in place hundreds of years ago after the demon wars. The more magic humans take, the colder and wetter their world is becoming. Warlocks in Vinland are storing the magic somehow. Meanwhile, Demonside is becoming a desert–the demons becoming like Saharan desert natives. Usi is another demon mage like Saku, only she uses blood magic and gives the souls to Miniti. The danger is clear: when beings are backed into a corner with nothing to lose, violence is a likely result.

Angus and Saku are now bound together until one of them dies. When Angus is retrieved from Demonside and the warlocks, including his father, try to take his memories away that he is left feeling betrayed, confused, and frightened. Is is better to stay at the Warlock College and continue to learn magic in order to fix what is wrong? In essence, he becomes a double agent. He could be killed by either side. He seeks out his ex, Jim, in the wizard underground for help. Saku has his own help from the mage council, but not all mages are happy with watching their world die while waiting for the humans to get a clue and do the right thing. The parallels with what we are doing to our workers and our natural resources, the despair and climate change, are obvious.

Terrence becomes his college tutor, but he is also part of the underground. I hope to see more of him in future books as a way to give Angus an anchor in the human world. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot. Let me just say I loved everything about this story. I can’t think of anything I’d change.

 

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A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Texas Charm (Aberrant Magic #6) by Lyn Gala — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 The sixth book in the series focuses on the policemen in El Paso from book three, Art and Zach–partners both on and off the job. We know that the local council had misallocated or openly stolen federal money instead of using it for a Djedi Center, so Salma comes […]

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A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Devil Take Me Anthology by authors Rhys Ford, Ginn Hale , Jordan L. Hawk, T.A. Moore , C.S. Poe , Jordan Castillo Price — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 Infernal Affairs by Jordan L. Hawk I would rate this 4.5 stars. We meet Ralgath on his first day on the job as a crossroads demon summoned by Chess. In exchange for his soul, Chess gets powers to hunt monsters and vampires. Poor Ralgath never stood a chance against […]

via A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Devil Take Me Anthology by authors Rhys Ford, Ginn Hale , Jordan L. Hawk, T.A. Moore , C.S. Poe , Jordan Castillo Price — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

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Review: Echoes Of Deviance By Lyn Gala, Aberrant Magic 4

Echoes of Deviance cover
Cover Art: Natasha Snow

When book four starts we see the affects on the team of not having more local cops with Talent. I think this is to allow for more Talent teams to be created in the future and to show how integration rather than segregation is what is needed, showing the contrast with how the Egyptians, Vatican, and Native Peoples handle their societies.

 

They get called to the scene of a cop killing where someone used magic. Obviously, the cops are a little hostile. The interdepartmental politics in this one could have been more of a nightmare with a task force set up to find out who killed Peterson, actually a parole officer. He was supposed to be meeting with Alan Underwood, one of his parolees, when he was killed. We learn he was a dealer with a long history of violence and selling drugs. His coworkers Kyle Hall and Chandler Owen want justice and put pressure on the task force. Mrs. Underwood is the first real clue that all is not what it seems. We finally get what looks more like a law enforcement investigation in this book. The actual take down of the suspect is not on the spirit plane.

 

We get to see Kavon time walk–it had been mentioned before. The author is clever at putting up roadblocks that will make seeing the past or future difficult to see, or this would be over too quickly. The idea of time is very important in this book, but I won’t tell you how.

 

At this point, I have to wonder if the publisher insisted on all the racapping of previous books and already established characters. This is not a series that has standalone books, so I feel like this much is unnecessary. I also feel like anyone who can’t follow these books is used to easy reads and maybe doesn’t want to concentrate too hard on anything anyway.

 

The friction between Darren and Kevon is about walking that fine link of being partners and Kevon being his boss. Darren having access to more powerful magic yet having none without Bennu is a bit of a problem on occasion. Kavon having problems being overprotective of his team even though he knows they are qualified federal agents and good at their jobs. Both are facing the effects of the bond settling into place. The good news is that the emotional bond that I wanted to feel instead of just hear about, finally clicked for me in this book so I am willing to mostly forgive the clunky recaps. The love scenes and displays of affection seemed much more natural and intimate.

 

This actually has a lot of socially relevant ideas: about opportunities and education for the poor; ignoring tradition if it is no longer useful; and about taking the responsibility to help if you have the abilty/resources to do so. We see Darren start to see how the Djedi centers really could make a difference. This is connected to the POV we get of Assistant Director White in the epilogue to clue us in on future plot developments.

 

I would rate this 4 stars.

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Review: Mafia And Magics by Lyn Gala, Aberrant Magic 5

Mafia and Magics Cover
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Angel Zamora is in prison when Darren and Rima visit him. It’s really unique in this series that we get Angel’s POV. Three men with no history of Talent were released from prison, began showing signs of using magic, and then were shot in the back of the head. They offer Angel a deal to be an informant on anyone who tries to recruit him when he is released from prison. Angel has no plans to get involved with the mafia or the feds, but life is what happens to him when he’s making other plans. As he is pressed into service to the Luschesce crime family, he is kept captive at their estate where he meets Matt.

Lest we forget what series this is, a crow heron is following Angel around. Angel is being as truthful and honest as he can in his own morally neutral way. Instead of pushing Matt away, it’s strangely having the opposite affect. It is difficult not to have sympathy for Angel, but we are privy to his thoughts. Jerry is the mob enforcer who takes Angel on jobs. Vin is the boss’s brother who has some brain damage due to childhood trauma. The moss boss is the one teaching Angel how to use his magic. Then, we have the FBI who should be the good guys, but really aren’t in this scenario–even Rima and Darren have basically blackmailed Angel into cooperating. The characters help so we get to see a full range of what shades of grey morality really look like. At first, Matt seems to be the foil for moral center, but even Matt has made his choices. I suppose we are supposed to latch on to Kavon, but he loves the law–to the letter–and the law is not always just and has loopholes. We all have our lines in the sand and this is where we get to see where they are with everyone involved.

I like the way the relationship between Matt and Angel developed, but I did need just a little more. I even understand how stressful situations can help accelerate how well people get to know each other and affect how quickly trust develops. But, two sex scenes and Angel is thinking in terms of love? I think that could have waited until a little later in the story. The sex scenes were well done. The epilogue gives us Kavon and Darren having couple time and discussing how the case wrapped up. There are more ideas generated about how magic works based on Bennu knows but that’s it for our DC characters.

So, this is great…but stylistically it is the outlier as it doesn’t match the rest of the series. With all the previous repetition in world-building, part of me wishes the rest of the series had done this and woven in different stories/cases to keep their day job with the FBI at the fore. This has more in common with Lyn Gala’s book called Lines In The Sand (which I recommend) than being dropped into the middle of an epic urban fantasy series. I could see fans of Mary Calmes possibly liking this book. It’s a mixed bag because I think if you had not read the previous other four books, this could hook you in, but that is deceptive if you like the way this book is written. I feel like this could be the calm before the storm. Still, as we gear up for the epic battle of good and evil ifrit, which is where this seems to be going, it helps to remember the individual battles that are fought all the time. Those battles matter too, every day in every way.

I would rate this 4 stars.

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