Authors Showcase: Unfamiliar worlds

The Book: Priceless

The Author: Shannon Mayer

ref=sib_dp_kd-1The Story: When children go missing without a trace, there is only one person who can find them.

Welcome to the world of Rylee Adamson, a woman with unique abilities, some wild friends and a unstoppable drive to save those who can’t save themselves.

But when the details of a missing child duplicate that of her worst case, things start to get freaky. And not in a good way.

Review by Jesi Lea Ryan: Priceless is the perfect blend of everything I like in a book–a kick-ass heroine, intriguing mystery, an assortment of paranormal creatures, well-timed comic relief and a red hot lust/hate relationship.

Rylee is my kind of heroine. She has supernatural talent, yet is fallibly human. I like that things don’t always go her way…well ever. But whether she is leading high speed car chases running from the law, fighting harpies with her trusty blades or going toe-to-toe with magic wielding kidnappers, she’s somehow able to maintain her softness–or maybe a better word is compassion. After having been abandoned first by her biological parents and again by her adoptive parents, Rylee knows what it’s like to be alone in the world. As a result, she has dedicated her whole life to helping those in need. It goes deeper than just rescuing missing children; she is like a beacon to those in need. This adds a surprising amount of emotional depth to the story.

Regular readers of my reviews know I’m all about the love story. My favorites are those that are able to balance lust, affection and antagonism. The relationship between Rylee and Agent O’Shea has all of these elements. Our first introduction to O’Shea is as the FBI agent who has been trying for ten years to prove Rylee murdered her little sister. She didn’t do it, but O’Shea is too haunted by the unsolved case to see past his prejudice against Rylee. When the tables turn and he is forced to place his trust in her, O’Shea finds everything he has even known about the world turned upside down. I loved the way the author handled this relationship. There is no insta-love here, more like a slow burn. This is a love story that is meant to roll out over the course of a series, not wrap up with a nice tight bow at the end of the book. I am so excited to see what happens with this couple.

One of the other strengths of this book is the use of humor. The dark subject matter and gruesomeness of this story could have caused the book to be too heavy. Witty dialog and Rylee’s sidekick, Alex the werewolf, keep the book from taking itself too seriously. Remember my husband walking in on me laughing at my Kindle? Yeah, that was Alex.

About the only character that I didn’t like was Rylee’s best friend Milly. She’s a witch–literally. Even though the two are as close as sisters, she dumps Rylee because her Coven doesn’t want her to associate with people outside their group. (This isn’t really a spoiler. It happens right at the beginning of the book.) I found Milly to be weak and annoying. Her efforts to redeem herself at the end of the book fell flat with me. I assume as the series goes on Milly will either develop a spine or do something so stupid Rylee will sick Alex on her.

All in all, Priceless is an amazing start to a fun new urban fantasy series. I can’t wait to see where this is going!

The Book: The Dagger of Adendigaeth

The Author: Melissa McPhail

ref=sib_dp_kdThe Story: At long last, the reason for the blessed Adept race’s decline has been discovered: powerful beings known as Malorin’athgul are disrupting the Balance and preventing Alorin’s Adepts from awakening to their gifts. Who are they? Where are they? And how can they be stopped when they wield a power meant to unmake the universe itself?

In T’khendar…Prince Ean val Lorian has forsaken his companions in blood and battle to join the traitorous Fifth Vestal in T’khendar in the hopes of gaining some insight into the tragedies that plagued his Return. Now he must confront the man he’s long thought of as his enemy and discover the role he is meant to play in the First Lord’s darkly magnificent game.

The Vestal Raine D’Lacourte has followed his traitorous oath-brother Björn through six kingdoms and into the distant realm of T’khendar seeking explanation and atonement. But the condemned realm harbors shocking secrets, and Raine soon realizes he’s facing his greatest enemy yet—not in Björn, but in the truth.

Elsewhere in Alorin…the young truthreader, Tanis, faces a new villain in the fiery-eyed man he followed from the café in Rethynnea; the soldier Trell struggles to reconcile his growing feelings for the girl he rescued from the river against the guilt of his unknown past; and in Tambarré, another truthreader named Kjieran van Stone treads the incense-filled hallways of the Prophet Bethamin’s temple hoping to uncover a plot of treachery and betrayal before the Prophet demands his soul.

The time has come for each player to claim his role in the First Lord’s masterful game. All will be tested, but only time will tell how many can survive the dagger of Adendigaeth.

Review by Trevoro: The characters I fell in love with in the first book have returned to speed my heart once again in the second! I was caught up completely in the various relationships, mysteries and plot lines revealed in book two.

With my loyalties, my favorites and my suspicions from book one challenged by new twists in book two, I found myself reading late every night – the next page always calling! I’ve read many other series (mostly fantasy and science fiction), but I can’t think of a stronger second book in any of them. There are simply no flat spots in this story, and I can’t wait for the third.

Review by Nicholas: As with most great fantasy I was caught up in the story line and the intricate workings of the world that Melissa McPhail had created.

Dagger is a great continuation of Cephrael’s Hand. Here we learn the Laws of Patterning, the Esoterics and the underlying philosophical viewpoints of Björn and the Malorin’athgul. The stories of the Cephrael’s Hand are continued throughout as the characters begin to grow in depth, their own understanding of themselves and the struggle they are involved in.

Raine’s and Ean’s stories are probably my favorite as they are both looking to their pasts to uncover the truth and help them realize their place in the First Lord’s Game. The central characters are just beginning to discover or rediscover themselves and their place in the struggle that is brewing. As enemies become allies and allies become enemies the struggle for Alorin and the survival of the Adept race hangs in the balance, the First Lord’s game continues and the players take their places.

This series is a rising Fantasy series that should be considered on the same level as some of the most successful fantasy series in the modern era. I highly recommend this series to all fans of the fantasy genre.



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