Lhind the Thief
by Sherwood Smith
Lhind the Thief takes us back to the fantasy world from Wren to the Rescue with the politics of royals and many countries throw in the mix. Lhind is a thief who hides many secrets behind her filth, she is kidnapped by a well meaning scribe-mage, Hlanan (love that name!), Rajanas the noble, and Thianra the bard/minstrel. After her treatment by them she starts to make decisions differently, even saving them. After her disguise is gone she continues to grow as a person. She helps Hlanan and Thianra save Rajanas’ city, angers a corrupt Duchess with mercenaries at her beck, and deals with a dark wizard. I enjoyed the more adult action, the trade mark name calling, and the vibrant world.
I thought Lhind was a bit over-powered, and she reminded me of Wren at times; Hlanan also reminded me of Tyron and Connor at times, but they were ultimately different. I think the wizard Dhes-Andis was the most similar to Andreus of Senna Lirwan, with the border spells and mental communications.
I really enjoy Sherwood Smith’s “lighter” fantasy novels, such as this one. While I like her heavier tomes, such as the Inda series, I have to have a greater chunk of time to devote to it as well as reading only that book exclusively.
My Lunatic Life (Lunatic Life #1)
by Sharon Sala
Sharon Sala is a smooth author and there was little to worry about her foray into YA fiction, the story was solid and I was pleasantly surprised to be left hanging on an unsolved point rather than reading a rush conclusion. I like the main character and I like her ghosts, although I would have liked to know more of their background. The love interest, Flynn, came across somewhat pale because I couldn’t get a good fix on him. He didn’t feel as fleshed out despite having more “screen time” than some of the other characters. Perhaps there was a formatting error in the Kindle version I got, but there were several instances of point-of-view change where someone else was suddenly narrating. It was obvious that it was a different person, but the editing there was odd since it looked no different than the preceding paragraph. Overall this was a light, pleasant read by a veteran author. Good job Ms. Sala, I’ll be reading the next! (I need to know what happens!)
Lunatic Detective (Lunatic Life #2)
I enjoyed this book but it seems a bit out of order. The first few chapters hashed the prior book’s events and backgrounds, then a big chunk was the conclusion of DeeDee’s mystery since Tara found a way to find her body. At the end of the story it was more of the strange presence and filler. It seemed out of pace and weird. I expected a better conclusion and more cohesion throughout. Sharon Sala is such a seasoned writer, I didn’t expect that from her. I like the strong characters she writes in this YA series, even if the pop-culture references are utterly mainstream.
Semester Aboard (More than Magic #1)
by Elizabeth Kirke
I started out divided on this, since there was lots of physical descriptions of the people in the book, but not much plot was set up. Further along, you get interested in the characters and their histories. We’ve got a big cast of friends: Jen (new witch), Danio (water elemental), Char (fire elemental), Mariana (mermaid), TS (werewolf), Thomas (vampire) all posing as (or living as) humans on a cruise ship that counts as a Summer semester of college as it goes up and down the west coast of the Americas. Unfortunately the story was too divided amongst the trip excursions and the multi-character byplay rather than any true depth or the mystery of the vampire(s) on board, who are feeding off passengers. The vampires were just there, and they were bad. There were also too many devices allowing implausible things; such as the worldwide Magic Security place (run shoddy if they don’t get back up in there). But it did hold my interest and I liked the characters.
Snow Bound (More than Magic #2)
I stopped this at 54% and won’t be finishing. It’s just getting too silly. This whole soul-packmate BS is super trite and annoying. The story starts off with Jen arriving to a ski resort to meet up with the others. She hasn’t learned anything (not even new spells, cause I am heartily tired of ‘night vision’ and ‘warming’ being the extent of her prowess). Characters like Mariana are left by the wayside again, with no use than being the token mermaid. Then this whole drama with TS and Thomas had me balking, then wanting to snap my Kindle. After Jen’s (annoying, argumentative) cousin Shannon is thrown in the mix… it was quite the book killer. I’m sure this may be up the alley for a (much) younger reader who is interested in the characters.