The Night Realm is the first book in the Spell Weaver series by Annette Marie. It is a urban fantasy novel with some paranormal romance thrown in.
Clio is a demon that has been sent to Earth for her protection. As the illegitimate daughter of a king she was in danger in the unstable kingdom. Or, her half brother thought that her unique skills would be of more help elsewhere. When she is enlisted to go to the Night Realm to basically steal powerful magic chaos ensues. She also meets an extremely hot incubus.
This is a unique urban fantasy with a lot of potential. I enjoyed that there were many new elements, or unique ways of combining old urban fantasy troops. It is well written, with words flowing together well, no noticeable spelling and grammar errors, and the plot is consistent.
Unfortunately, there were also a lot of cliche elements also. The virgin girl who gets so flustered over a guy. When she first meets him I felt like I was reading every other paranormal romance book in existence. Thankfully, things improved dramatically from there. The characters became unique even if they still remained mostly perfect.
There was also just a bit too much in the book. I can't remember the last time I read an urban fantasy book and thought there was just too much action, this may be the first time. However, characters can only take so much before you can't expect them to get away. Then to end with them not even seriously harmed after all they have been through. It was a bit too much.
I still enjoyed the start of this series and plan on continuing to see where it goes. I see a lot of potential in Annette Marie as well as her characters.
My Way to Canossa is a collection of novelle's that all have a historical slant. Each story is suppose to have a connection to a historical event called the Walk to Canossa. However, the stories are more like a mixture of moden life with historical overtones with a lot of historical technobable thrown in at times.
The writing structure is good. The words flow well most of the time. There is no glaring grammar or spelling errors. The story structure is not as great. It was not obvious to me when a story ended and another began. Until, I realized that the chapter headings just were longer. The stories did not really have a great conclusion. They just seemed to end.
The characters themselves are varied. You are able to discern the differences between all the characters, even when there is a large cast interacting at one time. Although, I cannot say that any of the characters were really of much interest to me.
If you are an avid history buff then you may enjoy this collection of fictionalized stories. However, I have a feeling that they way the events are warped in each story would cause a true history buff to cringe. Having only the vegest sence of what is really going on, I just felt like I was always missing something.
Overall, this is not a bad collection. The story plots could use some fine tuning, but the writing and characters are fairly solid.
Authority is the second book in the Southern Reach trilogy. It is very different from the first book and yet not really all that different.
In Annihilation the main character, the Biologist, is coming out of a state of confusion into a world that is full of confusion. This is very evident in the writing and the structure of the story. In Authority the main character, Control (yes that is his name), is grounded in reality and has to learn how to let in the world of Area X into his perception of the world. Because of this difference, Authority is almost like a whole different book.
However, Authority is still very much like Annihilation in the writing. VanderMeer's writing style, to date, in the Southern Reach series is beautiful. You can pick any paragraph in the book and just read the sentences and become enchanted, regardless of the actual plot. The writing in Authority is less lerical then Annihilation, but it is still masterful.
If you want a strong action packed plot, then you may not enjoy this trilogy. The focus is really on language and people. The plot is almost secondary. Yet there is a plot, and it does move forward. I found myself engaged and hooked from the start of the book.
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