December 15th, 2016

Me

Book Critique 2016 – 08/06/2016: Secrets At Midnight (Night Shift #1)

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here
For Review of all books in the series: Go here.

Stars: 3 / 5
Recommendation: An interesting short story involving psychics, changelings and humans - definitely setting a path for other books to be explored.

Night Shift is a collection of four novellas by four authors who have mastered the art of spinning stories in urban fantasy and paranormal romance - Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Milla Vane and Lisa Shearin - published in November of 2014. I have to be honest here though. I picked the book because it had a novella by Nalini Singh. But I was hesitant to read it because her story in this book was based on her Psy/Changeling series rather than the Guild Hunter Series that I love most. However, I read this book and here is my feedback without any knowledge of any of the series these authors have based these novellas on.



Secrets At Midnight is the first novella in the book by Nalini Singh and is the Psy/Changeling #12.5 in the same series. The plot revolves around Bastien Michael Smith and Kirby - two changelings who are mates to each but have a long way to go before the dance begins.

Bastien found the scent of his mate but has been unable to locate her until the day he drives Vera Robbins - a pack elder of one hundred and twenty five years - to her residence. He meets Kirby at her doorstep and immediately reacts in every which way recognizing as his mate. However she confuses him with her scent - although he senses a cat in her, she seems to be oblivion of it, and is a complete human. Why is she not acknowledging her cat element? As for Kirby, she has been alone for so long that the instant feelings towards Bastien although puts her back up, she is unable to resist. However, she need to find out who she is, where does she come from and why is she getting all these uncontrollable cramps often.

Bastien helps her find the way as the plot proceeds with help of his pack leader Lucas and his other contacts. But, will they claim each other as mates? Will she acknowledge who she is and accept? Who is she and what is her animal nature? Will his family accept her despite who she turns out to be?

The series from which this novella is set is in a world where humans, psychics and the changelings (aka shapeshifters) co-exist. It is clear that there is history of things going on around the world as we read this plot. However, since I hadn't read this series from the beginning, some of the parts were a bit lost. Yet, it was gripping enough for me to continue. Of course the sexual elements are there not too subtle and not very explosive either - just right. Very interesting plot theme, but I am not yet ready to explore the entire series (too many books already out there for me to read and complete. :)). However, a short story to definitely pick and read.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Bastien's family is introduced in the book - his mother Lia Smith, his brothers Sage ad Grey and sister Mercy and her husband Riley
2) Other members of the pack like Dorian are also introduced.
Me

Book Critique 2016 – 08/07/2016: Magic Steals (Night Shift #2)

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here

Stars: 2.5 / 5
Recommendation: An interesting short story involving psychics, changelings and humans - but not my palate to read though for this novella.

Night Shift is a collection of four novellas by four authors who have mastered the art of spinning stories in urban fantasy and paranormal romance - Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Milla Vane and Lisa Shearin - published in November of 2014. Since I had read the first novella in the book, even though I had never read the remaining three authors, I still ended up reading. Here is the review of the second novella.

Magic Steals is the second novella in the book written by Ilona Andrews and is the Kate Daniels #6.5 in the same series. The plot revolves around Jim Shrapshire - who ran Clan Cat and a jaguar shapeshifter - and Dali Harimau - a weretiger (shapeshifting tigress).



Dali Harimau is a weretiger but everything opposite of what a weretiger or as a matter of fact a shapeshifter tigress would be - she is vegetarian, throws up at the sight of blood, wears thick glasses, has little skills in fighting and a very skinny girl. But she is dating Jim Shrapshire, who ran the Clan Cat - one of the seven classes in Atlanta's Shapeshifter Pack, a werejaguar, serving as the Pack' Chief of Security and complete badass. Although the dates never crossed beyond first base so far. She was determined to seduce him that day so they can take the next steps. But he came tired after a challenge fight and hurt. Using the magic that flowed through her she puts him in a healing sleep but gets interrupted by her mother and a friend Iluh Indrayani. They have come to Dali to seek help on Iluh's missing grandmother - Eyang Ida aka Ida Indrayani.

But she hadnt introduced Jim to her mother. She was a weretiger - of course all opposite - and also did magic - both the tiger purifying magic and spell-based magic. Did she feel unfit for Jim? Or did Jim play along only with her and not really serious about her? Of course a pack's lead should have a strong mate. So is that what Jim thinks of her - not strong enough? Or is Dali fearing those reasons and playing all this cool? While she is battling her fears, Jim and Dali head to Ida Indrayani's home to find more about her disappearance. Dali finds that some kind of Indonesian black magic is taking over the house and rotting it inside out. She sets on to purge the house and get rid of that black magic. Will they find what was causing this to the house? Who took Eyang Ida? What is the main reason? The plot continues exploring these questions and we see much more beyond that.

The whole plot is written in first-person context.  Again not having read any of the books in this series, a few of the terms and things I did not understand. For instance what if The Shift? Why doesn’t the Magic keep buildings intact? Etc. Although I have to say it creeped me out a bit at the various kinds of mythical and evil beings shown in this small novella. It’s a little gore for my palate and situations that are a bit hard for me to imagine. Perhaps if I read the first book it might help. In anycase not a series that I would follow though.

Good enough book if you like the gore mixed with paranormal romance and fantasy.

Spoiler Alerts:

1) Very interesting that the vehicles run on two different kind of engines - Water Engine (that runs on magic) and Gasoline Engine (that ran on fuel. Wouldn’t we all want to have one such - no more environment hazards because of this.