Solaris Seethes But I sure Don’t…

Solaris Seethes by Janet McNulty

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Let’s start this review with a huge sigh…This was a book I REALLYwanted to like. This was not just because it was going to be my first review for onlinebookclub.org, but because I love the idea the author had.

This is a book about science fiction, myth and the power of belief. Rynah is a badass scientist/warrior on her home planet of Lanyr. In an attempt to defeat the demons that haunt her past Rynah partners with people across space and time to help save the planet and life she clings so desperately to. Rynah partners with some unlikely companions: the philosopher, the warrior, the lover, the inventor and Solaris (a talking ship) to go on adventure of a life time.

The book melds futuristic sci-fi with old lore mythology in a story what a heartbroken woman will do to try and divert fate and prove that family ties are stronger than societal perceptions. The first novel in a trilogy the book that will give you feelings reminiscent of Dr. Who, though this is mostly just because of the traveling through space on a ship that is more than just a ship.

Now let’s talk about the good of the book. The world building is really fun and differs per planet in a really colorful way. Also I really liked the idea of Rynah and what she could represent for women in the world of sci-fi.

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The bad…the whole book felt like it was trying so damn hard.“Rynah put the craft in forward and sped off. Wind ripped through her long locks-she had lost her hair clip during the firefight, as they never hold when one is darting about in an effort to avoid death-as she steered her way to the nearest shipyard.”The style of writing drove me crazy in the first quarter of the book before she finally stopped with whatever less than amusing technique the author was attempting to accomplish.

There was one super long sentence that was over 9 lines long and was pretty much just adjectives. Everything was dash this or parenthesis this to make the sentence LONGER and LONGER. As you can see-it drove me crazy. “She turned a corner, dodging into another person’s yard (decorated with a blue picnic table and patio umbrella with daisies painted on it, despite the shabbiness of his neighbors), before diving through a loose board in the wood fence (its edges rotted) and into another alley, and forced to squeeze past an abandoned, green Cadillac (with rusted fenders and a missing left, rear tire) that nearly blocked her path.” This style calmed down after about a quarter of the way through the novel and became a lot more manageable/tolerable. Also the characters are really one-note and lacked connectivity. The characters were all taken from different points in time on what was supposed have been earth yet they all just accept their new fates and lives left behind with pretty much instantaneous acceptance. And the worse negative of all: Rynah was totally the stereotypical cold-hearted bitch.

On goodreads I gave it a 3/5 stars but really it more of a 2.5/5, I just felt like the author tried so hard to do something really  cool and I really wanted to like it.

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Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust…Will They All Fall Down?

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Mistborn trilogy book 2!!! A book dealing in consequences of actions, relationships and the notion of whether attraction is more important than similarities in personality.
Oh Brandon Sanderson…this book didn’t get as good of reviews on Goodreads  but I really have to disagree. I found it even better than the first. I like the way the author dealt with aspects of the human condition and how their can be consequences to abuse and violence.

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The book begins where the second left off. Keisler is dead but Vin has succeeded in achieving his dream of overthrowing the thousand year reign of the Lord Ruler. What do you do if you have achieved the plans of someone no longer alive and don’t know where to go from there? This is the main issue in the second Mistborn book. Vin has made Elend King but can a philosopher really be a good king? Can a relationship work if balance of power is unequal forcing one partner to essentially use the other as a weapon? Is it possible to consider that a form of love?
Battles are won and lost as ash rains down from the sky smothering farms and mists begin to fill the daylight hours causing deaths among those brave enough to wander into them.

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Sanderson really knows how to tell and epic tale with a fantastic feminist, female main character. Where her strength doesn’t make her unloveable but enables people to love her and appreciate her more. I think this is Sanderson’s greatest strength as a fantasy writer…his ability to write a fantastically created well rounded world.

I really don’t want to accidentally give away any spoilers so I will just say this… give this fantasy series a try the second book is even stronger then the first in my opinion and well worth the 600 plus pages to read it(if I’m remembering the page length correctly).
-Happy Reading and Crafting!

Can Misadventures Be Marvelous?

The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter lacks misadventures and pretty much anything marvelous. It should really be named the Boring, Lackluster Life of Ingrid Winters-almost divorcee, sad attempt of a teacher and a not-so-great mother.

This book was torture to read. Not at first because I kept hoping it would turn around. I had hope that the adventure would start or at least Ingrid would grow somewhat of a back bone and stop messing up her life. When I finally had to accept that this was just how the book was and it was NEVER going to turn around and become the fun book I thought it would be is when the torture started and continued until the VERY LAST PAGE. Why Ingrid why? Why do you let your husband treat you like crap? Why are you so neurotic? Why are you such a lackluster mother? Why do you allow yourself to be bullied at a job you so obviously hate?

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This story represents I feel like most women out there in the world minus the “adventure” to Russia to complete an agreement that no one really understands and doesn’t actually benefit any of the professors at the school. They think if they get this next great thing in the status quo their lives will become greater and more fulfilled. We feel we have to work harder so we can afford the bigger house that we just MUST have because it will make our lives that much happier.

This step will make us a better mother because don’t our children deserve the very best? And isn’t it much easier to spend money on a house that we can’t afford than to invest our time in another person or our children? This book shows how we let the “alpha” people walk over us even if they don’t really know best because we decide that it is easier to give in then fight or talk louder over them and allow ourselves to be heard…isn’t this really how Trump became president?

You don’t have to take my word on this book…I feel like when  I went on Goodreads people either absolutely LOVED it or really HATED it like me. I didn’t buy this book because it called to me but as a place holder between the Mistborn series because it was offered as a Kindle First to me from amazon.
Read it if you dare 😉

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As and end note…after my trip to Emerald City Comicon I may have bought too many books haha…

When The Change Drops…

I’m going to be honest…when I first started this book I complained A LOT. It took about one hundred and fifty pages for me to start liking it and those pages took about five days to get through because since I wasn’t liking the book I kept falling asleep while reading it. Good for my brain probably but not good for reading progress. After I got past the point where I hated the book I actually started to really like it and then by the end I loved it. Causing me to race to the book store to get the second and third in the trilogy to have them not have the second book! So now I’m patiently waiting on Amazon to bring deliver them to my doorstep haha.

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What did I have to complain about you might ask? Well character development of course. The book is very environment focused. So you hear a lot about the buildings, the plant life(or lack there-of), a lot about walls and desolate wasteland. I was tired of the reader being expected to bond with the main character instantly because they’re “broken”. I don’t care that they’ve had bad things happen to them. It isn’t going to make me instantly connect with them as a character if they are poorly written. At first I thought this was the case with this book and was so disappointed because I’d heard such fantastic things about the author.

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In the end I grew to like the characters and even maybe get slightly attached …but still not to the point where I cared whether they lived or died. But maybe George R.R Martin has just got me used to not caring about the characters with his unpredictability.

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The book is focused on two tiers of people. There is the nobility, merchants etc…the higher ups and then there are the Skaa who are no if, ands, or buts about it slaves. The higher tiers of people believe they are superior to the skaa in every way even in their breeding. It is banned to have any half children and if a noble man has sex with a skaa female he must kill her immediately that night. Half children are hunted down because only nobility are allowed to be mistborn or have allomancy powers. Everything changes when Kel comes into the picture and wants to flip the switch on the way society is set up but to do that he has to kill the Lord Ruler who has essentially infinite power an has lived and ruled for a thousand years. To me he was the physical manifestation of peoples racism, fear and intolerance. Ken though he represented hope and goodness was not all that good though. He killed without remorse and did anything to achieve his goal as you’ll find when you read the book.
All in all…
Story writing: Great.
Story concept: Fabulous. I loved the way the magic existed in this world and how people controlled it through burning metals and throwing coins to Pull and Push.
Characters: totally grew on me even if it wasn’t love at first sight.
Moral of the story: don’t judge a book by its first hundred plus pages because now I’ll be starting the second book in the next few days.

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Me, Myself and Why Are These Books So Amusing?

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A friend recently gave me the book Me, Myself and Why. Her and her mom are both avid readers and realized they had two copies of this book and decided to be completely awesome and give me a copy. Now this is book is by the same author as the Queen Betsy books, MaryJanice Davidson, so if you like her writing style from those you will instantly love this book too. Its humorous, completely ridiculous, and the character will totally have bad taste in men(it’s like a given).

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Me, Myself and Why is not really supernatural like her other books I’ve read so far. It more delves into what the human psyche will do to protect itself and how that can lead to powers that appear more of a tall tale almost up there with vampire and werewolves than real life. Unlike most books, I like the take this one has on what people would call mental health issues. I don’t want to say what each character has because it might give away part of the book, but in most stories this would be a murder mystery where Candence was the murderer instead of working to solve the murders.

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In this book there’s a psychopath going around killing people in threes and Candence Jones has to figure out who it is and how to stop them before it’s too late and the people she really cares about get hurt. Lucky for her she isn’t your average girl and works for the “unconventional” part of the FBI with people with unusual skills. If you feel like a cattily written, action, romance(ish) novels I recommend this book. Hopefully it will keep you guessing till the very end.

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I’ll leave you with a grainy snapchat photo of Echo’s newest obsession…sniffing my books very intensely, enjoy! 🙂

Hello, Is It Me You’re Looking For?

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I finally, finally read the book #static. I bought it almost a year ago at the Seattle Comicon and it has sat on my night stand ever since. I kept meaning to read it and instead getting distracted by another book. It’s a pity too because the book was absolutely a fantastic read and the author, Erik Laster, was really such a nice guy when I met him. We talked about Archie comics a bunch and how they’re  turning it into a t.v show and these people he knew were trying to make a documentary about the comics(or something…my memories a little vague almost a year later from the conversation). And because he is such a nice guy he signed my book I bought which I personally am always a sucker for a signed copy…it’s one the reasons I love being able to meet the authors of books/comic books at the cons.

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Anyways, to get back on topic…If you ever wonder what happens to you after you die, like shows similar to the Twilight Zone, and love a good mystery then this book is for you. The main character, Curtis Brooks, older brother dies unexpectedly and he is left with numerous unanswered  questions and a mother on the brink of an emotional meltdown. A short time after his brother Willis’s death her receive a phone call from him from the beyond or what Willis describes as a Walmart filled with anything that is past its time. There’s shelves and shelves of old televisions , radios, and phones….even things dating back to the ancient Roman era.

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Curtis becomes obsessed with what he believes are encoded messages his brother is saying in their conversations while Willis becomes obsessed with why this Walmart-esc limbo exists to begin with. The story plot stays interesting the whole book with trivial things teenage boys deal with in every day life thrown in for an extra comedic effect. Definitely a book I’d recommend and one I’ve already loaned out to be read because I loved it so much.

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This was me at the beach a week or so ago but just imagine that I’m jumping for joy because I liked the book that much 😉

It Was the Best of Books, It Was the Worst of Books…

Bad books, bad books whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?( I’m sorry I just could resist all the cliches…at least I got them out of the way in the beginning right?)
I mostly write about books I really loved or ones that  I thought were well written even if I didn’t enjoy them but there are plenty that don’t make the cut and I thought I’d do a few funny blips on each one without focusing on them too much. I want to be honest without influencing you too much away from them because what’s not for me could totally be your cup of tea…
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Let’s start with the comic Catwoman Vol 1: The Game. I had such high hopes going into this I love female super heroes but knew absolutely nothing about Catwoman except from a few glimpses of the movie. I was so disappointed. The writing is really choppy and unfocused. It isn’t female driven at all unless you want to see a character ceaselessly driven by bad impulses never learning from her mistakes. Oh and if you want to see her have a ton of sex with Batman and then tell him maybe she doesn’t want/deserve to be saved by him at the end of the comic. If you go on Goodreads a lot of people agreed with my opinion but a lot of people also loved it. Maybe if you lean towards more classic super hero comics this is for you?

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Wuthering Heights. Omg I hated this book. I powered through it on vacation in Mexico at the beginning of summer. My goal this year was to read more classics. I used to all the time, in fact two of my favorite books are Jane Erye and Little Women, but man I hated this book. The characters are so whiny and I didn’t feel like there was any kind of redemption in the end. The only question  I have is how did this become considered a classic romance novel?

Lolita was another classic I really wanted to like… It took me what felt like forever to finish it. I kept wanting to quit but I hardly ever don’t finish reading a book after I’ve made it through the first 50 pages. It was such egotistical and obnoxious writing and the whole story just made me so sad for Lolita and there isn’t really a redemptive ending either. Another classical let down.

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Wreck and Order. Now this last one a feel a bit bad giving it a bad review because I got it for free. It was one of those random competitions where you just enter your name/address on either bookriot or Goodreads…I don’t quite remember which one now. I do remember it was exciting to win it, and get to read it before its release date. It was just so damn disappointing, predictable and the best word I can use is hipster-y pretentious. I will leave you with the description and let you decide from that:  “A boldly candid, raw portrait of a young woman’s search for meaning and purpose in an indifferent world.” I will tell you it was none of these things… Save yourself the time and if you’re feeling like a book along those lines read Eat Pray Love or something(the cover art is pretty though isn’t it?).

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I think I’ll be doing a post like this every month or so to get some of the bad books out of the way. Hope you enjoy!

Does Locke Lamora Lie?

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The Lies of Locke Lamora

The Gentleman Bastard Series Book 1, 2 & 3
*this review contains BIG spoilers *

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“They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.”

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I almost chose not to write a review for this book because I have such mixed feelings about the first book. People RAVE about it on Goodreads. I for one just thought it was adequate…maybe that’s because the boyfriend is reading the Names of the Wind right now which I absolutely fell in love with even with disliking the first sixty pages or so(I’m sorry the first 60 are just such slow writing, sorry Patrick!!!)

I kept hoping it would be the same with Locke Lamora but if anything it became slower if even with it being completely action filled. Every 50 pages or so contained a new plot…a very, OVERLY detailed plot filled with twists, turns and every tragedy in between. Every time I would start to enjoy the book again I would have to read a 10 page rendition of him trying to trick several money lending clerks out of their fine clothing before he finally reveals the scheme he was trying for the whole time.
AND THEN the author kills of the twins and Bug!!!!!! I literally said what the fuck out loud when I read it I was so surprised. There was no where in the book that lead me to believe the author would pull a George R.R Martin and kill off 3/5 main characters!!! Really just to fuel the very main character Locke’s vengeance at the end of the book and his sorrow in the beginning of the second…because yes I read the second and the third book after starting writing this review.

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This review is actually very old in the making and I’m struggling to remember the 2nd and third book enough to review. I remember liking the second book much better and the third book even more. At least by Goodreads standards…I gave the first 2 books 3/5 stars and the last one 4/5 stars. Mostly I felt this way because of the main characters obsession that is being labeled as a romance even though it takes forever for us to finally get to know the gal Locke loves ever so much. Though once they do she is an interesting character and I like their battle of wills later on. She definitely gives him a run for his money and who doesn’t love a woman like that? 😉

Overall, I’d say it equals out to an interesting read after I got over the death of three main characters that the author makes you love and care for. There is nothing quite as traumatizing as that, but I guess you could say that’s the make of

good writing right?

It’s the End of the Line Jax…

**slight spoiler alert of those who haven’t finished the series…also a warning that this is a pretty long review**

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Say what? We’re on to book four now in the Sirantha Jax series! And this one is filled with more excitement than the last as its name suggests… Killbox. We now know that Jax’s diplomacy was successful but in the end it doesn’t matter because the Morgut know that Vel’s “people” lack the technology to be an adequate defense against them and their people eating ways.  Jax and Marsh’s rocky relationship is forced to be put on hold once more because they’re called to resume their duty for the sake of the Conglomorate and all mankind. The difference is that this time Marsh is asked to play the pivotal role by creating and leading an army of rogues and bandits to help save planets and ships from Morgut attacks.  Because Marsh is well…Marsh and ever so much the “hero” he can’t date Jax and be in a higher in rank then her. Therefore he breaks her heart and there is a lot of moping on both ends throughout the whole book. The wonderful team of friends that have been developed into interesting characters in the past three books are split a part into different crews and space ships. Which is a tad heart wrenching to read about it but it does add a severity to the books and the realism of war. The whole book also Jax is working with Doc to help use her DNA to combat Grimspace burnout and gain the ability to not have to use the ports in Grimspace just like the Morgut and Jax can do. After the trial Jax and Vel accidentally  go on the adventure of their lives and time changes literally for them. Leading to discoveries about ten thousand year old technology and the very Makers that shaped Grimspace to the way it is today.

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Aftermath, the 5th book in the Sirantha Jax series is just has the name suggests…it is all about Jax dealing with the aftermath of her actions. She alone decided to save the universe from the Morgut and now she must deal with the consequences. The fourth book ends with Jax literally changing Grimspace and its beacons with her mind, saving and damning humanity at the same time. Like all war criminals(or heroes depending on who’s judging)  Jax is arrested and forced to go to trial. This book is the beginning of Jax attempting to make amends and in Ann Aguirre’s fabulous writing style she is already starting to tie up loose ends so by the 6th book every story plot has reached its conclusion. This is one of my favorite things about Aguirre’s writing(well beyond the stories themselves haha).

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In this last book Jax is grounded and has to face dealing with the constant pull of grimspace calling her name and tempting her back again. But there are some things better than grimspace and for Jax that is righting societies wrongs even if that means she has to literally change her face to do it.
A few of the characters in this series make an appearance in name only which was a pity but new characters living on the planet La’heng enter the scene and they’re interesting enough to make up for it.
We are brought to La’heng because earlier in the series Jax is introduced to Loras. A man whose life she saves in the first book only to realize that the reason no one else was helping him is because once you help a La’hengrin they are bound to you for life unless you fail to save them and another person does. And being bound really does mean exactly what it sounds like…forced servitude or else they will LITERALLY die. This is all from chemical warfare on their planet way, way, way before the series started. I’m getting off topic though…so Jax saves Loras, he’s bound to her, then she fails to save him and leaves him to die(not Jax’s proudest moment). He is then enslaved to another character and fellow ship captain who plays a large part in the earlier books(not March though…that was much earlier) until Jax pays a scientist huge sums of money to find a cure.  The cure is now found and we open to the last book with Jax implementing guerrilla warfare on the essentially warlords or as they prefer to be called…wealthy politicians on La’heng because they will not allow the La’hengrin’s their freedom.

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The whole book is filled with fighting, mischief, and romance… the usual fabulous Ann Aguirre writing. March’s nephew gets to play a much larger role in this book, which was really interesting and I honestly wouldn’t mind him making an appearance in another book or series by Aguirre. March and Jax finally get the chance to discuss their relationship and talk about their feelings because neither of them can escape because of La’heng being on lockdown. Vel is as always just a fantastic badass through the whole book…I mean honestly how can you not love him?
What can I say? I think the series is fantastic and Ann Aguirre is a fabulous writer. If you like the genre…as Felicia Day calls it in one of her Goodreads categories: Vaginal Fantasy. Also, on a fun note I finished my Goodreads challenge of a 100/100 books!!!!

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Jump Jax, Jump…

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Sirantha Jax, a badass babe from space. Or Siri… but she only ever let one man call her that and get away with it.
This review is for the first 3 books in the Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre. I’ll do a brief bit about each book…but the series as a whole is just a really fun read.

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Grimspace is the first book in the series and it opens to Sirantha locked away in a mental health institution for causing her space ship to crash killing everyone on board. She has no recollection of anything that happened right before the crash but she clearly remembers all the pain and smells of burnt flesh after it. She thinks this is what she deserves…to be trapped in that government facility being forced to relive the crash over and over again until a new man enters her life. He offers her a chance at freedom but like the saying goes freedom doesn’t come free and is Jax willing to pay the price?

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The book introduces a lot of great characters that remind me a lot of the show Firefly which I would hope at least some of the people reading this have watched because it is absolutely fantastic. It reminds me in the way that there are people on the outer planets tend to be more “western cowboy” and the way they view the law and the government is often the same way. The books main characters are an  lesbian (exiled)princess mechanic, a mind reading love interest, a quiet doctor, an alien baby, and a race of beings who have been chemically altered so their very existence is dependent on their ability to stay attached and “serve” a human being. Jax is of the human race but she is one of the specific people who possess the “j-gene” which allows her to travel though Grimspace(thus the name of the first book) with a pilot. She and others with the j-gene work as a sort of navigation device visually able to see all of space and the designated ports the ships can enter through…I kind of imagine it’s like being able to find the way though a black hole.

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The second book, Wanderlust enters into a world where Jax in now dating Marsh her PSI lover and she is a woman without a ship and a job now that she’s revealed how truly bad the Corp was. Now things are in revolt though and Jax must face the consequences and help fix the way the universe is run before a new bad, the Morgut,  takes over and literally consumes them all.  She must journey to the planet Ithiss-Tor with her new pal and bounty hunter Vel to convince them to join the Conglomerate. Vel is pretty much my favorite character and as a “bug” I visualize him as a praying mantis kind of alien. Him and his species communicate in an elaborate form of body language and clicks and “chits”. This book also introduces a character that will later appear in another one on Ann Aguirre’s series The Dread Chronicles.

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Doubleblind introduces us to the third book in the series and the one where Jax actually gets to Ithiss-Tor. She’s escaped a kidnapping attempt and many threats on her life and those around her to reach a planet where she is unwanted as a diplomat. But Jax has never let other’s perspectives of her undermine her choices and she is determined that the mission is to be a success regardless of the risks. This book is filled with glamorous gold gowns, games of Charm, a PSI who is too damaged to tell the difference between a friend and a foe, a badass assassin who can kill by the flick of her pinky, and a man who can heal from almost any wound. Doubleblind is definitely a good addition to the series, especially because I honestly feel like the second book is mostly a filler for the 3rd one. It was your chance to get to know the characters better with a bit of story plot and action inbetween before getting to the third book where all the twists, turns and plot development is.
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*I’m about to finish the 6th book any day now and when I do I will do  a review of four, five and book six in the series …and there MIGHT be a tad bit of bragging because it will be my 100th book read for the year in my Goodreads challenge *