All the words

The Jekh Saga

H.E. Trent 

3/5

There is a lot of room for great sorties when we talk about aliens, so alien invasions are among the subjects that would definitely catch my attention in books. 

My mind was totally blown by this story, though. Why, you ask? Because we, humans, are the invaders! That right there was the little detail that had me reading them back to back. 

We are talking about a world that discovered there was life in another planet and immediately sought to make contact, or no nefarious reasons but to learn from each other. And then, they met us. And we, with our overinflated war machinery and shoot first, ask later philosophy, shot them down –literally– and overtook their planet. 

It sounds about right, doesn’t it? 

This is a story full of details. Just how I liked them. H.E. Trent imagined a whole world: Jekh. From the color of their skin and their stature (due to the levels of oxygen and light on their planet) to their social structures and relationships (two-thirds male population is bound to create differences). 

My favorite part of this story is the uprising of the jekhans. This was, basically, a story of a whole species overcoming the oppression of alien invaders, us. For me, that was the absolute best part.  

Awkwardly, most of the story is NOT about this uprising, but about three siblings, the McGarry‘s, and their romantic entanglements with the locals. Full of complications when they’re pushed into a culture where the biological imperative asks for two men/one woman triads. 

“She didn’t like that word, tantrum. (…) tantrums were for children, not grown women who’d made men’s lives moderately more difficult by demanding an iota of respect”.

-Salvo

There are a lot of cultural clashes, challenges to the gender roles and miscommunications. It is a truly interesting story, occasionally interrupted by sexual scenes. Until the end of the third book, Salvo, where the uprising is suddenly successful and we were left totally out of the loop.

While the natives are finally fighting back an retaking their capital from the inside, guerilla style, we are reading about the last of the McGarry siblings, Owen, and his emotional issues. That was really disappointing.

All in all, It’s a very GOOD story, but I’m not really interested in reading the last two books of this series. Once the uprising is over, everything else in the story feels meaningless. 

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The Emerald Lily

by Juliette Cross

3/5Fairy tale princesses and vampires.

I’m a total sucker for the re-telling of old classics, especially when it involves supernatural or magical creatures. This is actually the fourth and last book in a series, but I didn’t know that when I got it. It was only until I finished it that I saw the list of “other books in this series“. I totally agree with the author when she says that this story can be read as a stand-alone.

The Emerald Lily tells the sleeping beauty story, but they are all vampires. hat’s the easiest and most encompassing blurb I can give you, trust me. There’s a sleeping princess, who gets waken by a kiss. There is a power-hungry evil queen. And there is a strong handsome soldier/assassin who is totally my type. Not because of his physical description or his job, but because it is not common to find such a strong and unbothered second to a strong woman.

“You bring me to my knees with the strenght that is inside you. A woman whose external beauty s nothing compared to the powerful godess who resides witin. Ascend your throne? Oh, Mina. You are already a queen”

Usually, the man who saves the princes is the center of the story. I don’t even remember how many time I’ve read a story where the only purpose of a princess is to make the male character into a king. this is not that kind of story. In his one, both main character share in the suffering and in the glory. Both victor and heroes in their own right. That was one of my favorite parts about the whole thing.

Did I enjoy it? Definitely. Who doesn’t love a good epic battle? It was original, action-packed, sexy and I love a good queen coronation. And that ending was totally a surprise. A very GOOD book.

I was so happy with it, that I don’t really feel any urgency to read the previous three stories in this series. Maybe it is because I already know how it ends… Perhaps I will read all of them at some point, but definitely not any time soon.

 

Dying by the Hour

by Kory M. Shrum

3/5
This is the second part of the Jesse Sullivan series, and I’m still fascinated by this idea of a living “zombie” as the main character and essentially “the good guy“.

This one is divided into two parallels points of view, Jesse‘s and Alice‘s. While one is obstinately trying to pretend nothing is happening, nothing is different and no one is trying to kill her. On the other hand, there’s Alice. She’s desperately trying to protect Jesse and helping her to live in denial, by doing whatever is necessary to keep her safe. Even keeping her in the dark while she gets involved in scary and dangerous things.

But, of course, Jesse cannot escape the reality that someone is trying to kill her, or from her growing powers.

We finally got to meet the bad guy and realize that he’s not all bad, but mostly crazy. All through the horrible things he is doing and keeps on doing to Jesse, I kept thinking of all the thing he had endured and how that could have messed him up.

Dying by the Hour is a GOOD book, feels like build-up. I’m hoping Gabriel and his gifts will move things along. it’s starting to get exciting.