Night Huntress: Otherworld, Book 5

Night HuntressAuthor: Yasmine Galenorn
Book Name: Night Huntress
Series: Otherworld
Order: #5
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating:  Okay
3+stars

 

Blurb:  We’re the D’Artigo sisters: sexy, savvy operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But being half-human, half-Fae means our supernatural talents always go haywire at the wrong time. My sister Camille is a wicked good witch who attracts men like honey attracts flies. Menolly’s a vampire who’s still getting the hang of being undead. And me? I’m Delilah, a werecat who’s been marked by the Autumn Lord as one of his Death Maidens. And wouldn’t you know it, Karvanak–the demon general who stole the third Spirit Seal–is back.  And this time, he’s out for blood…

The Hags of Fate enjoy seeing me squirm.  First, my boyfriend, Chase, mutters another woman’s name in his sleep.  Then I discover the Autumn Lord has a very special plan for me.  But things go from bad to deadly when Karvanak–the Rāksasa–returns.  In order to get his greedy hands on both the fourth Spirit Seal and his former associate, Vanzir, he kidnaps Chase. Now, we have to find a way to rescue the man I love without risking the safety of both Otherworld and Earth…

Review:  I finally had to drop my rating for one of the books in this series because all the things that bothered me in the first few books are still there and absolutely aren’t improving.  Mainly, the utter lack of ability to connect to the characters with regards to their romantic relationships.

It just isn’t all that entertaining to read a story that is supposed to have a romantic aspect to it and have that romance entail the main connection not only cheat, but lie about it completely, then admit that he just felt like it (and for no other reason than that he is a pig), then have the woman pretty much shrug and say “Okay, I forgive you”.  No matter if the “culture” is all about open relationships.

I have no problems what-so-ever with stories about poly or multi-partner relationships.  I don’t even have problems with stories about casual relationships.  But I’m just not buying the openness that is supposed to be a part of the fae culture that the main characters are from.  Not the way it is being written.  It just does not come of as genuine.  I haven’t felt it in the other stories, but this one was the absolute worst.  Openness does not equate a lack of respect for the parties involved in the relationship and that that lack of respect is okay.

Really, the whole relationship part of this book kind of killed what I liked about the rest of it because it was just so incredibly off for me I couldn’t get past it.  Honestly, it was enough that I really should probably even give it a lower review than I did.

I don’t know if I will bother with any of the other books in the series if this is what I have to look forward to.  Yes, I want to read about all the mystical parts of the story as well, but if I dislike so much of the rest of the book, then it becomes a chore rather than a pleasure to read.

 

Dragon Wytch: Otherworld, Book 4

Dragon WytchAuthor: Yasmine Galenorn
Book Name: Dragon Wytch
Series: Otherworld
Order: #4
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating:  Really Good
4+stars

 

Blurb:  We’re the D’Artigo sisters: savvy–and sexy–operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But being half-human, half-Fae short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Delilah shapeshifts into a tabby cat whenever she’s stressed. Menolly’s a vampire who’s still getting the hang of being undead. And me? I’m Camille, a wicked-good witch, trying to juggle faulty magic, gorgeous men, and the demonic war in which we’re embroiled. Sometimes, it’s hard to know just who we can trust…

The Equinox is coming, and mayhem rules. A crown-prince unicorn offers us a legendary gift, but it vanishes. Goblins and trolls swarm the streets of Seattle. And now Smoky, the sexiest dragon alive, decides to stake his claim–on me. Overshadowing it all, the third spirit seal surfaces and Shadow Wing’s after it. But I’ve discovered a secret that could change everything. A new power is rising–a dangerous force from the past–one that intends to restore balance to the worlds…whether we like it or not…

Review: This is another good story in the series, though I’m beginning to be a bit torn as to whether I should keep rating these as a 4.  The things that bothered me in previous books, seem to keep bothering me rather than getting better.  The books about Camille seem to bug me the most at this point.

The nature of her relationships just doesn’t seem to work all that well for me.  In this book, she begins a relationship with Smoky the dragon, but he comes across as some seriously creep stalker, especially if you look at how Camille seems to feel uncomfortable around him and some of the things he says and does.  This is on top of being in two other relationships that, apparently, are all good with the openness of it even though the reader is only told that everything is hunky dory and didn’t actually get to see the issues worked out.

I have no problem with multiple partner relationship stories, but I have to believe that they work the way the author is writing them.  I just can’t seem to get into this one.  If I could take out the relationship aspect of these books, I’d probably really love them.  As it is, I enjoy the action and plot parts of the story, but end up kind of skimming the relationship parts because they just don’t appeal to me.

Darkling: Otherworld, Book 3

DarklingAuthor: Yasmine Galenorn
Book Name: Darkling
Series: Otherworld
Order: #3
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating:  Really Good
4+stars

 

Blurb:  We’re the D’Artigo Sisters: Half-human, half-Faerie, we’re savvy–and sexy–operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But our mixed-blood heritage short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times.  My sister Camille is a wicked-good witch whose magic is as unpredictable as the weather.  My sister Delilah transforms into a tabby cat when she’s under stress.  And me?  I’m Menolly, acrobat-extraordinaire-turned-vampire.  And I’d give my right fang to make my sire pay for killing me.  That is, if he doesn’t find me first…

“All over Seattle, humans have been going missing, only to turn up as newborn vampires–the sure sign of a rogue vamp on the loose. It looks like Dredge is to blame. The same sadistic Dredge who gave me my scars, and who may well be in cahoots with the demon Shadow Wing. If so, Otherworld and Earth are screwed. The only way we can hope to defeat Dredge is for me to travel home to Otherworld, where I must face my own demons. Because unless I sever the ties that bind me to Dredge, all hell is going to break loose…”

Review:  Book 3 and I’m still enjoying the series.  The focus in this book is on the third sister, Menolly.  It was a little less of a romantic focus than the other two books, but there was just a lot that need to be dealt with and addressed in this book with regards to Menolly’s character.

The issue I had in the previous books with the dialog seems to have been much better in this book, though I’m still conflicted over the cultural sexuality as it is presented because it still seems a bit unclear as to where the characters stand and what the actual cultural significance is in relation to the main characters.

There didn’t seem to be as much progress towards the overall arch of the series storyline outside of dealing with some of Menolly’s history in this book, which dropped the interesting factor down a tiny bit for me.  I do have the next book on my To Read list, so I’m waiting to see if the interest level picks back up or continues to drop.

Changeling: Otherworld, Book 2

ChangelingAuthor: Yasmine Galenorn
Book Name: Changeling
Series: Otherworld
Order: #2
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating:  Really Good
4+stars

 

Blurb:  We’re the D’Artigo Sisters: Half-human, half-Faerie, we’re savvy–and sexy–operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But our mixed-blood heritage short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Camille is a wicked-good witch whose magic is as unpredictable as the weather. My sister Menolly is a vampire trying to get the hang of being undead. And me? I’m Delilah. When I’m under stress, I transform into a tabby cat–and a series of violent murders is really getting me bent out of shape…

Someone’s been slaughtering the Weres of the Rainier Puma Pride, and my sisters and I have been enlisted to investigate by Zachary Lyonnesse, golden boy of the werepumas. Right away we smelled demon trouble, and we tracked it directly into the snare of the Hunters Moon Clan, sworn enemies of Puma Pride. But there’s more than Were rivalry at work. It’s that old demon Shadow Wing who is setting a deadly snare for the pumas. We have to find out why, which means a visit one to of the Immortals. Unfortunately, for my sisters and me, our half-human blood is just enough to put us in mortal danger.” “At the Wayfarer Inn, a portal to Otherworld and the local hangout for humans and beasties alike, our fellow operative Jocko’s been murdered. Every clue points to Shadow Wing, the soul-munching, bad-ass leader of the Subterranean Realms. He’s made it clear that he aims to raze humankind to the ground, turning both Earth and Otherworld into his private playground. Our assignment: keep Shadow Wing and his minions from creeping into Earth via the Wayfarer. The demons figure they’re in like Flynn. After all, with only my ‘bumbling’ sisters and me standing in the way, how can they miss? But we’ve got a secret for them: faulty wiring or not, nobody kicks ass like the D’Artigo girls.

Review:  I always love it when an author manages to surprise me with an interesting plot.  Could we please have done without the concept of spider shifters, though? Spiders?!  Eeeppp!  One of my least favorite things in the world and I had to spend over half this book imagining all the creepy possibilities that little twist managed to bring out.  I thought for sure I’d have nightmares and this so isn’t a scary book.

Okay, other than that I’m a wuss when it comes to the creepy crawlies, I did really like the direction this book took with the plot.  Normally the concept of a spider shifter would have broke something in my brain trying to believe it, but I think this was done well enough to skirt that issue for me.

I had some of the same issues with this book as I had with the first one with regards to the lack of a more natural flow of conversation.  In a lot of cases it was hard to determine what kind of emotions should be going along with the words because it wasn’t clear which made it hard to connect with the characters mindset.  The shifts in conversation didn’t seem natural and tended to trip me up.  Again, not in all of them, but in enough that it is definitely noticeable.

I’m still not totally buying the cultural issues with regards to the sexual relationships in these books.  It still falls a bit onto the flaky side for me which makes them a bit less believable, no matter how interesting the characters may be.  That flakiness takes something away from their likability for me.

I still really enjoyed the story, though.  There was enough that I did like to overshadow the few things that bugged me.  Already have the next book in the series on my To Read list.

Witchling: Otherworld, Book 1

WitchlingAuthor: Yasmine Galenorn
Book Name: Witchling
Series: Otherworld
Order: #1
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Rating:  Really Good
4+stars

 

Blurb:  We’re the D’Artigo sisters: Half-human, half-Faerie, we’re savvy—and sexy—operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But our mixed-blood heritage short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Delilah shapeshifts into a tabby cat whenever she’s stressed. Menolly’s a vampire who’s still trying to get the hang of being undead. And me? I’m Camille—a wicked-good witch. Except my magic’s as unpredictable as the weather, as my enemies are about to find out the hard way…

At the Wayfarer Inn, a portal to Otherworld and the local hangout for humans and beasties alike, a fellow operative, Jocko, has been murdered. Every clue points to Shadow Wing, the soul-munching, badass leader of the Subterranean Realms. He’s made it clear that he aims to raze humankind to the ground, turning both Earth and Otherworld into his private playground. Our assignment: Keep Shadow Wing and his minions from creeping into Earth via the Wayfarer. The demons figure they’re in like Flynn. After all, with only my bumbling sisters and me standing in the way, how can they miss? But we’ve got a secret for them: Faulty wiring or not, nobody kicks ass like the D’Artigo girls…

Review: I went back and forth between whether this was a 3 or a 4 star book, so it really kind of lands right on the line between the two, but I went ahead and dropped into the 4 because I did like it.

At first, I wasn’t sure I’d even finish it because there were things that keep throwing me off of getting into the story.  Probably one of the bigger things was that the conversations between the characters seemed really stilted and unnatural, like the emotions just didn’t translate.  It felt as if they were in there without any context as to what was going on in the scene beyond the words in the conversation.

The other thing that started to bug me was how some of the background and history was presented.  It was kind of like reading a dry essay at a couple of points, just a way to throw it in there and get it out of the way because the reader needed the information.

After the first couple of chapters, though, things got a whole lot better.  Either I finally got into the story or the writing got better, I’m not sure which.  Either way, I did end up enjoying the story and the majority of the characters.  I’m not sure I’m all that thrilled with how some of the romantic scenarios are presented.  There is a level of casualness that strikes me as flighty rather than as a cultural standard that I think the author is trying to convey.

I think that the way the world is presented was done pretty well and has lots of interesting potential.  Many of the characters are the same.  There are a couple that may end up being the kind that a reader loves to hate, but I’m not sure we’ve seen enough of their personality to know if that will be the case or if they are weak characters.

All in all, it ended up being a pretty good book.  I already have the next one on my To Read list.  As there are quite a few books in this series, I’m hoping that they continue to be good at the very least.  Best case is that they get even better and potentially creep up on the rating scale.