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MelHay has commented on (134) products.

7th Son: Descent by J C Hutchins
7th Son: Descent

MelHay, May 27, 2015

Seven men are approached and not given a choose about going with the abrupt men who are sent to retrieve them. These men will learn they were put on this Earth with a reason in mind. An experiment. They are part of a secret project, 7th Son. When they are told the pieces they need to know of their creation they will have to come to terms with the fact that half of their lives are not their own. And the memories they share, which belong to another called John Alpha, is what will help them bond together and use their individual expert fields of professions to find the man that the facility feels is responsible for the presidents death. The knowledge John Alpha contains, of them and of the project, will be a challenge for them as they work together to find and collect him, before more die.

Wow. The start! The visual holds you on every word. To start with such an event as the President's death... and how it was done along with WHO! I was hooked to learn what was going on.

We get the story through the seven clones. It was rather easy to keep up with who was who as I went. When we meet each man we saw they each have a distinct personality, and each are completely different from the others in life, job, personality, and even in their abduction. Even as early as chapter 2, I knew each man as he was talking. I was amazed (early on and through out the book) with how easily I caught on to the clones so early. If I happened to start to blend the men J.C. Hutchins seemed to know that. The author would drop a distinct characteristic that told me who was talking or being talked to. J.C. has done an amazing job of making each character their own and memorable as he's moved the story on, and the plot deepened.

We spend time with the seven men as they came to grips with what they learn of themselves, the parents they remember, and the aunt and uncle that raised them. Then there was this whole facility and the psychotic John Alpha. In this form we learn of the men and the science project they are. But, we all know not all the details are shared... and the clones come to grips with who they are in order to solve the riddles John Alpha has left them, and try to stop his crazy rampage.

Oh, this story could soooo be a tv series. To watch and never knowing where Alpha was, or who he would be... Yes, could be a show to catch our attention and keep us guessing. I even thought Dollhouse fans might enjoy this book.

This story has a few action moments, but what has caught me is the mental intrigue. It was like a psychological battlefield for these men! What they learn and have to twist to keep people safe by finding John Alpha. The mystery and history behind the 7th Son project. The conspiracy grows, widening, and the feel that we've not even come to the point of knowing all that happens here or why. There are bread crumbs dropped and I'm working at putting the puzzle together. I like this. It's a story to think as I'm listening, digest, and think as it goes.

I have already downloaded book 2: Deceit and will be listening to it as soon as tomorrow. I have to know how deep this and the conspiracy goes!
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Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard
Phantom's Dance

MelHay, May 27, 2015

All performing auditoriums and stages have their own ghosts. Rousseau Academy of Dance is no different. However, this ghost might be real, as a broken stage light and a silver necklace with a pendant is found. Christine's dream to become a ballerina with the company is in jeopardy if she can't audition for the Second Company to move up in ranks. But she has her own fears to deal with. When she visits the theater, she meets a young man who starts to help her with her dance. But he sees more in her. Her dreams and relationships are now in danger after opening herself to a young man behind a mask.

The dance world is extremely competitive, yet Christine has been blessed to find a few great friends here. Jena, Liam, and Van. She even meets a great boy to fall for, Raoul.

Christine has big plans as a future ballerina, but she needs to excel at the junior academy as her first step. She struggles with the performances and it's holding her back. She hopes with hard work she can hopefully over come it, and soon.

The beginning is a soft start with introductions to the characters around Christine. In two chapters we get hints that there is a mystery here and it builds slowly from there. There is something going on here, and it's not just Liam and Van trying to get the Ghost Hunters here to investigate the 'ghost' to be on tv. There are a lot of wide connections quickly made at the beginning of the story - different people in different places that Christine bumps into. Yet we don't get the true feel of the 'Phantom' until about chapter 19.

This story feels more of a blend of the movie Save the Last Dance at the beginning and Phantom of the Opera toward the end.

Even though it was slower starting, somewhere along the way I found I was drawn into Christine's life. I looked forward to seeing what would happen to her and how she'd react. This brought me to feel that the story is character driven. All that happens around Christine affects her. You get drawn into her world of dance and life. All she experiences and how she grows with it, yet falls apart as well. Christine comes across as naive when it comes to boys and the ways the world can be harsh and unexpected. The reason for this, as she's shy of eighteen, is she's focused her life on ballet, which is extremely time consuming.

Her mom cares, but she's going through a rough time in her life as well. She's struggling with being a working single mom and her own emotions with recent events.

The story is a Young Adult feel in the beginning. BUT there are events that happen later in the story that I would recommend for older readers. An abusive relationship is present. It's not a complete description of the event, but you are well aware what has happened and it's talked about.

As I found I was drawn into the story and needed to listen to how things turned out, there was one small thing at the end that still floats in my mind. It hasn't upset me, but feels... I don't know, I didn't much care for it. I understand it being here, but it feels off.

I listened to this story on Audible. At the beginning there were a few moments where the narrator seemed muffled and hard to hear. But after the first chapter all was well. She did a lovely job with different voices to distinguish the different characters. She had the young girl sound to her voice as if I was listening to Christine talk. She did a wonderful job of narrating the story and not distracting from it, but enhancing it.
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The Diamond Conspiracy: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel by Pip Ballantine
The Diamond Conspiracy: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel

MelHay, May 27, 2015

Eliza and Wellington return from the states in a rush. The Ministry Seven is in deadly danger and have called Eliza home. What the Ministry Seven have found, and trouble they dipped into, brings the dangers of the Queen and others into light. But when talking to the children, Wellington and Eliza realize the Department, another agency they know of under the Queen, is cleaning up...the Ministry. The Ministry is in grave danger and scattered about. Eliza and Wellington will learn great secrets that they will use to help restore society to it's rightful standing. But the Maestro and another new evil work to stop them at every turn. However, maybe a new ally will help give them an inside scoop on what they are up against...

Good grief, Charlie Brown! Talk about a kick start beginning. WOW! So much happening and I'm rushing to keep up.

My smile grew with each word of Eliza and Wellington's banter and brilliance in it. Goodness do I enjoy these characters, and even as a couple they are just as much fun. The humor and banter is not lost with a relationship started, as this is part of the foundation in their relationship as well. They both are taken with each other, but it seems Wellington is the one swooning a bit more. It's great to see Eliza is the strong woman we all know her to be. She is a field agent first and foremost with the Agency she knows and loves crumbling around her and danger on the heals of her loved ones. At the same time - when the time is there - she loves, hard. Wellington is new to field work and Eliza's knowledge of field work and the secrets not stored in Wellington's archives are important to their survival. Both their strengths play a huge importance in the book, and this is why this couple will survive as a duo of outstanding agents and a couple.

It was amazing to see the Ministry Seven in this book. They play an important part and have moved up in their standings from street children to much more. I'm hoping this is the list of new agents in the future, as they deserve it! We also get to see what happens to a few of the Ministry Agents through their eyes as the even is happening. Good and bad.

Pip and Tee take me through an array of emotions as I read this book. I'm relaxed with Wellington and Eliza, enjoying their banter and good humor. Then I picked up with the Ministry Seven. Oh the tension in me grew with theirs. And the worries and fears of what could happen with... Then the secrets I learn, and they don't stop! Oh it's a circle of emotions repeatedly.

By George! I do think this is my favorite book of the series. I don't know how Tee & Pip are going to top this one. This book is only 368 pages, but when I was done I felt like I read a door stopper 1,000 pages (enjoying every minute of it as it flew by). There was so much information packed into these minimal pages. It's hard to believe all that is here!

GOOD GRIEF, THE SECRETS!!!

The secrets we learn! Are you curious about the Restricted Section of the Archives? You'll learn it. Curious about Director Basil Sound? Yes, your speculation was raised with those subtle moments by him. You learn about it!! Want a bit more on Wellington's past? We get to dip a bit further into that as well. Enjoy the assassin Sophia del Morte? You'll see her here in closer proximity, and if an assassin can have limits.

The immense amount of information and TWISTS will have your eyes bulging and jaw dropping throughout the book! There are also a few big names from history mentioned in this book. Oh to see them here!

Now, to wait with baited breath for the next Ministry book to arrive. As I know Tee and Pip can top what they've done, and I NEED to see it!
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Dirty Magick: Los Angeles by Neal Pollack

MelHay, May 26, 2015

The stories are all a mystery of the old feel blended with magic. Tommy guns, Dames and Dolls, and the noir old feel to detective case solving. All mixed with magic in Los Angeles. So many different takes on magic in the big city of Angels.

As I read, I enjoyed the stories that were shared here and the worlds created. I did notice that it seemed there was at least one copy edit error in every story. But I was able to over look them.

The Forbidden Pose: A Matt Bolster Yoga Mystery
Bolster is called to come to Silver Lake by his sometimes poker buddy and former partner from LAPD Homicide. A woman of about late twenties is dead in her home, frozen in her yoga pose like time stopped. Someone is teaching the forbidden poss to people that don't know what could happen.

It was cute with the yoga take. However, it wasn't my favorite of the stories. The mystery was an old feel of Bolster hitting the shoe leather and finding who's teaching people the pose and why. There even felt like descriptive words were in wrong placement as the describer is a few words from it's focus.

Cougar Witch Plot
Megan has found nothing helps her anger. She's made a lunch appointment with a witch who's suppose to be astounding at what she does. The jaded Megan wants the man to suffer.

I enjoyed this one from the starts. No it's not because I'm female and this woman wants revenge on an ex. It's the witch that caught me. She is the real dean and doing her magic on Megan. I did, however, get a kick out of Megan and what happened to her ex.

An Eye For An Eye
Al Blake is hired to assassinate the D.A. while giving his speech on the courthouse steps. His unknown client requested Blood Magic. Blood magic requires the mage to be close, but Al likes to be there just in case...

A magical assassin, blood magic, mob mention... Oh yes, I'm curious.

This has an "old" feel to the story. I love Al's feelings on hurting woman. I really enjoyed the turn of events with this story and the flow of it.

Almost Angels
Tom's on the case of a dead girl carved with intriget swirls and designs. There's a wizard that's draining people of magical power from their soul. Not able to get the sight of the girl from his mind, he goes to find the true killer.

I like the feel of our main character here. He gives a feel of himself in the story so I feel the emotions with him. I enjoyed this quick story of magic and protection.

Sign of the Times
The Mara demon he's got, and digging her prison, is more than he knows. A blast from the past as he learns about him, and she already knows about him.

I like the way this one starts and the connection between the capture and captured. There is a turn of events in this story and the end wasn't what I expected. Rather neat.

That Old Hill Magic
At the bar watching a female demon sing, Detective Darcy Winters is on the job.

I like the world hinted at here in this short story. I'd be curious for more. Bluesy ad futuristic blended with supernatural. The fight is my kinda read!

The Hounds of Tartarus
Chuck has crawled out of the ocean and made his way to L.A. for help from Hess. Now chuck is ready to avenge his death, and get his money back from Vince.

We get the story from Jose - an angel of death. He takes his time with those that are dead, to get them to their peace and move on. Cool twist to Chucks life after death. I like the draw of realization and stages of grief.

Well done!

Call It Intuition
She's a big band singer, who sees shades when emotions run high. Billy, the trumpet player of color, is killed and her abusive boyfriend is on the case. But Kyle, a patron of the club, is more than he seems. And Greg Maloni's crew is helping with the funeral. So what really happened to Billy? Why?

She sees shadows, shades that play out scenes. Others don't know she sees them. She learns what happened to Billy. I really enjoyed this one as it's an old time mystery in a jazz age. I liked the time frame picked for this story and the ability our main character has.

Hearts at Rest
Frankie is on a murder case. A man was killed at the film studio. It's a List killing with what is seen. But this killer is a mystery as Frankie and his crew know of no Lister this powerful.

We see a new creation here. The term Lister. It's a turn used for the division Frankie works in that refers to those with abilities.

Oh I loved the ending to this one. What we learn of the characters...Cool! There is a fae twist to this tale.

Mr. Mean
I started but ended up skipping it. I just couldn't get into it.

Tainted Hooch
Kincaid's called into a young actresses home with the young actress looking well beyond her years in death.

Starcrossed
A djinn who owns a special club and a wizard that finds his way past the trips to get in. Miss Maurus's establishment becomes a tea house when the LADP - wizards - shows up looking for a missing girl.

Oh this was a lovely tale. I enjoyed the djinn and the 'bottle' feel of the club. A touch of love in this story from the history we learn along with the story. Two stories in one with the history and current. Lovely.

Seeing Dead People
Kelly brings Jet to the crime scene. Jet specializes in ghosts.

This is no run of the mill magick. Not even Black Magick. It's Dirty Magick!

This case takes us into unexpected moments. Dark, dirty magic is present.

The Winds
Jackie is on the case where his old friend was murdered. Everything scattered and blown around. The Santa Anas winds were strong...

A full mystery here. I think maybe the longest story in the book. Full with characters and explaining.
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The Stillness of the Sky: A Flipped Fairy Tale by Starla Huchton

MelHay, May 26, 2015

Jack passed on leaving her father when her mother left. She thought he needed her kindness to help him. Now, Jack has to leave. The kindness she can do to her drunken father to help him is to go. The journey Jack follows is one she never thought she'd find, but amazed at what she learns. In a world were war has depressed the people, Jack's kindness is needed, and even greatly appreciated when it's touched someone. Jack learns she's to stop the war that's killing the people. A war between giants and the humans. Jack has much to learn and fight for with kindness as she searches for her mother to learn about her family history, which will shock her.

Giants, Bards, Princes, magic, and kindness.

Oh my freakin' goodness!!! This is my favorite of the two books thus far. WOW!! Starla completely out did herself in this one.

So much love and kindness. A GREAT inspiration for all to be better in the kindness way to all. I think I enjoyed this one more than the first, and the first was amazing. The talent in Starla's writing has become something to reckoned with. My word! Starla is a Bard for sure. The Bard story here has a true Bard feel to it. All the words are poetic and so SO many amazing phrases and statements that people could relate to their lives. This story has the feel of many fairytales do, the underlining meaning and something to take away from it in the end.

Out. Standing.

Now, after my gushing love for the book, to about the book. The character of Jackie, Jack, is one that caught me from the word go. Her heart is huge and she wants nothing but to help everyone. She wants nothing in return for her kindness to them. Her kindness and seeing the kindness help someone is all the favor she needs back.

The tale of Jack is as you can predict, the tale of Jack and the Bean Stalk remastered. And remastered it is. We see the giants, but in a touch of a different fashion. The magic of music, stories, and dancing are relayed through people who are bards. The story of old is here, but turned into a fresh installment that will draw you in and hold you here with the magic of words.

Do you need to read the first one to read this one? No, I believe you do not need to read Shadows on Snow before this one. And the books are created that way as they are of different people in the same world. There is mention of a few that are in the first book, but nothing that you need from that book that's not told in this one. Now if you want to read in chronological time order, then yes read Shadows on Snow first. But not necessary.

Again, this book is a great tale for all ages. Adult and Young Adult will enjoy this clean story alike.

Do you need it? OH HEAVENS YES!!!
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