Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Flame in the Dark by Faith HunterFlame In The Dark by Faith Hunter
Series: Soulwood #3
Published by Ace on December 5, 2017
Pages: 368 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

Nell Ingram has always known she was different. Since she was a child, she’s been able to feel and channel ancient powers from deep within the earth. When she met Jane Yellowrock, her entire life changed, and she was recruited into PsyLED—the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals. But now her newly formed unit is about to take on its toughest case yet.

A powerful senator barely survives an assassination attempt that leaves many others dead—and the house he was visiting burns to the ground. Invisible to security cameras, the assassin literally disappears, and Nell’s team is called in. As they track a killer they know is more—or less—than human, they unravel a web of dark intrigue and malevolent motives that tests them to their limits and beyond.

Flame in the Dark by Faith Hunter brought everything that I loved about this extended world that Hunter created, along with the growth of the members of Unit Eighteen. The conflict they found themselves facing stumped me for the entirety of this installment and I have to admit that that was an unexpected treat in and of itself.

With how explosive the ending of Curse of The Land was, and just the unexpected nature of the characters and tone of Hunter’s Soulwood series, I was left going in blind with Flame in the Dark. While I loved this aspect, I also found myself anxious because other than what I knew of the characters there was nothing to hold onto when it came to this new chapter.

A lot of the relationship dynamics within Unit Eighteen of the PsyLED has changed since Curse of The Land thanks to both what Nell had to do in order to save Rick, and some intimate relationships appearing between other members, as well as the inclusion of Soul who’s almost as strange as Nell. You would think that when the conflict and mystery was presented that the interoffice situations would be overwhelming and/or irritating, but I thoroughly enjoyed the changes happening between the characters and the growth of their connections. With how the conflict and mystery completely stumped everyone involved, it during the down time that Unit Eighteen was able to find within HQ and at Nell’s farm that helps you remain interested instead of being burned out with all the ‘what if’s’ and never ending clues being dropped on almost every page.

The reason I’ve noticed why Hunter’s Soulwood series is my favorite over her Jane Yellowrock series is because of the authentic growth of Nell and the more popular secondary characters. Knowing Nell’s background in God’s Cloud Glory Church you’ll realize that everything she encounters from Blood of the Earth to Flame In The Dark are things that she’s learning and honing for the first time, so I love that she doesn’t have dumb and irresponsible moments because it would be a betrayal of the core of her character. Nell is such a champion and survivor and advocate for others that I find myself a die hard Nell fan. The way she goes about taking care of the Brother Ephraim’s essence on Soulwood, the fate of her younger sister Mud who still resides on church ground, her attraction to Occam, and how she takes things thrown her way with such balls is amazing to me.

Every clue that was revealed and hinted at within Flame in the Dark constantly left me in a state of huh?. Just when I would think I would know what direction the story would go in, Hunter would drop another hint or clue that had me reevaluating everything revealed, just as she did with the characters. Flame in the Dark fed my mystery, romance, and fantasy appetite in spectacular fashion and I can’t wait to see what the next installment of this series could bring, especially with how this story ended.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series: the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)
Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries.
Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.

Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Silence Fallen by Patricia BriggsSilence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #10
Published by Ace on March 7, 2017
Pages: 371 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Publisher
three-half-stars

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...

Trying to rate Silence Fallen is the challenge I find myself facing both in the start and quite possibly in the conclusion of this review. Usually having the rating guides my thoughts a little when writing my reviews, but for Silence Fallen I’m just going to have to wing it.

My excitement for Silence Fallen has been unmet when it comes to the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, but with this latest installment my excitement feels like it was prematurely set free, and without much cause.

Silence Fallen wasn’t a filler story per se, or at least I wouldn’t categorize it as such, but it was definitely filled with too much dialogue and not enough doing. I’m not talking about it lacking action because it definitely had that, but the amount of talking and explanation of things seriously drug this story on. I literally found myself thinking as I was reading Silence Fallen, “was there this much inner dialogue and history lessons and just general talking being done in the previous stories in this series?!”

Silence Fallen also showed me that I am so tired of Mercy getting kidnapped or disappearing. The first few times that it happened were okay but in Silence Fallen Mercy found herself misplaced almost a total of three times. In my opinion that’s a lot for one person in one book. I’m also tired of the Pack, both Adam’s and Bran’s having to come and rescue her and for this I blame the author, and most of the time Briggs can do no wrong by me. Either she’s (the author) going to have to evolve the character of the Mercy or she needs to come up with more conflict scenarios.

While there were some cool things that happened in Silence Fallen I think it would’ve worked best as a novella, or an in-between story until the next release.

About Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy. In Fall 2010, Patricia made another foray into traditional fantasy, when Ace published a revised version of her very first book, Masques (2010), and its never-before-published sequel, Wolfsbane (2010), both of which debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list for Mass Market Fiction.

In 2006, Ace Books published Moon Called, the first book in her #1 New York Times bestselling—and signature series—about Mercy Thompson. The non-stop adventure left readers wanting more and word of this exciting new urban fantasy series about a shape-shifting mechanic spread quickly. Blood Bound (2007), the second book in the series, debuted at #12 on the New York Times bestsellers list. After the incredible success of Iron Kissed (2008), which landed at #1 on the New York Times list, the Mercy Thompson saga continued to win the hearts of readers and grew in popularity with the release of each book. Bone Crossed (2009), the fourth book in the series and first to be published in hardcover, debuted at #3 on the New York Times Hardcover bestsellers list, where it stayed for four weeks. The most recent hardcover, Silver Borne (2010), debuted at #1 on the New York Times Hardcover bestsellers list and stayed on the printed list for a total of three weeks!

Briggs also writes the Alpha and Omega series, which are set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson novels. What began as the novella “Alpha and Omega” in an anthology called On the Prowl (2007), was then expanded into a full new series. The subsequent books were Cry Wolf (2008) and Hunting Ground (2009), both New York Times bestsellers. The third book of the Alpha and Omega series is Fair Game (2012) and debuted at #4 on the New York Times bestsellers list. For more information about Patricia Briggs and her marvelous novels, feel free to visit the author on the web at www.patriciabriggs.com.

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dead Heat by Patricia BriggsDead Heat by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega #4
Published by Ace on March 3, 2015
Pages: 324 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
five-stars

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way...
Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

A huge recalibration of the paranormal food chain had just taken place in Fair Game, this series’ fourth installment, and you would think that all Fae problems would have become non-existent since they have declared themselves against humans, but who could’ve guessed that taking a surprise trip to Scottsdale, Arizona would cause problems that hit extremely close to home for Anna and Charles Cornick?

I am a true Charles and Anna die hard fan. The only way that I would not love a book involving or featuring these two would be if they were not together as mates. Shut my mouth for even saying it, but its no less true. Both Charles and Anna are meant to be together and Dead Heat exemplified that in a way that I feel the other books haven’t.

I have never wanted a villain more dead than the Doll Collector. How the heck could the Gray Lords let something like this stay wandering around the world where unsuspecting humans resided?! Oops, my fault I gave them more credit than they’re due, they only care about themselves. Okay, rant over.

The pages in this book had me literally freaking the heck out! The “fetches” that the Doll Collector used made me feel like that those trying to save the day were trying to kill a fly at a barbecue, they would get close a couple of times but that little critter would slip through their fingers until it got cocky and then wham down it goes.

In Dead Heat, Charles and Anna are now in a place where they are comfortable with each other and themselves. In Crying Wolf, Anna was getting to know who Charles was and how different his wolf, Brother Wolf, and the wolves in his pack were different from those she knew in Chicago. Charles, on the other hand was coming to terms with the precious gift he was given in Anna. The opportunity for peace in a number of ways was presented to him in who Anna was. Hunting Ground, sort of continued on this same thread but we, the readers, were able to glimpse Anna stepping away from the shadows that plagued her and from the overbearing protection that Charles was ready to always provide and stand on her own two feet (or four paws) with her head held high. Anna showed real backbone in this third installment of their journey. Charles recognized it and adapted.

With everything that happened in Fair Game, Dead Heat, was the perfect sequel. To be quite honest I didn’t think that my heart could take anymore of their gut wrenching struggles and obstacles that Anna and Charles had to face in their previous books. Having said that, it surprised the heck out of me when I was not only able to endure it but begin to understand another layer to these characters.

When I would read the Alpha & Omega series I admit that I focused more on the struggles all the characters, most importantly Anna and Charles, went through and how they overcame, but I never looked at how each struggle or act of strength molded and shaped them to be who they were presently in the newest book. I take that completely as my fault as a reader.

Anna and Charles’ relationship has changed, for the better, so much that it melts my heart when the amount of love and respect they have for each other is seen in their every action. Then there are those other times when my heart hurts in remembrance for what they had to go through to get here.

Patricia Briggs does such an amazing job in keeping up with the suspense but balancing it out with tackling real life issues, in the case of Dead Heat, pregnancy risks and the other options available to still achieve what you desire most.

Having said all of this, I am highly anticipating the next book for this series. I hope there are as many books for this series as the Mercy Thompson series. Amazing book, I highly recommend it to all my paranormal romance lovers out there that like their books with a whole lot of kick.

About Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series, lives in Washington State with her husband, children, and a small herd of horses. She has written 17 novels to date. Briggs began her career writing traditional fantasy novels, the first of which was published by Ace Books in 1993, and shifted gears in 2006 to write urban fantasy. In Fall 2010, Patricia made another foray into traditional fantasy, when Ace published a revised version of her very first book, Masques (2010), and its never-before-published sequel, Wolfsbane (2010), both of which debuted on the New York Times bestsellers list for Mass Market Fiction.

In 2006, Ace Books published Moon Called, the first book in her #1 New York Times bestselling—and signature series—about Mercy Thompson. The non-stop adventure left readers wanting more and word of this exciting new urban fantasy series about a shape-shifting mechanic spread quickly. Blood Bound (2007), the second book in the series, debuted at #12 on the New York Times bestsellers list. After the incredible success of Iron Kissed (2008), which landed at #1 on the New York Times list, the Mercy Thompson saga continued to win the hearts of readers and grew in popularity with the release of each book. Bone Crossed (2009), the fourth book in the series and first to be published in hardcover, debuted at #3 on the New York Times Hardcover bestsellers list, where it stayed for four weeks. The most recent hardcover, Silver Borne (2010), debuted at #1 on the New York Times Hardcover bestsellers list and stayed on the printed list for a total of three weeks!

Briggs also writes the Alpha and Omega series, which are set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson novels. What began as the novella “Alpha and Omega” in an anthology called On the Prowl (2007), was then expanded into a full new series. The subsequent books were Cry Wolf (2008) and Hunting Ground (2009), both New York Times bestsellers. The third book of the Alpha and Omega series is Fair Game (2012) and debuted at #4 on the New York Times bestsellers list. For more information about Patricia Briggs and her marvelous novels, feel free to visit the author on the web at www.patriciabriggs.com.