Review: Into the Ashes (Taine McKenna Adventures #3) by Lee Murray

Into the AshesDisclaimer: I received an ebook in exchange for an honest review.

The third installment of the Taine McKenna adventures follows the format of the two previous books without becoming formulaic or predictable. It’s an action-packed adventure featuring human and supernatural dangers, full of both familiar faces and new characters I hope to see again in future books.

This time, the supernatural element is a lot less obvious — no giant monsters this time. Instead, Murray delves deeper into New Zealand mythology to use environmental dangers to great effect. For various personal reasons, I am NOT a fan of stories about volcanoes and/or earthquakes. But I tore through this book because I was enjoying the story enough not to be put off by the very realistic and detailed descriptions of being near an active volcano and its various environmental impacts. The only reason I knocked half a star off my rating of this book, compared with the two previous, is that I really liked the inclusion of giant monsters in addition to very human villains. Totally a personal opinion on my part.

Jules and Taine keep breaking my heart in this book. If this series was a single romance novel, I’d be smacking them both right now. But this isn’t a romance novel, and Jules and Taine are portrayed as realistic people — real people don’t always get a happy ending.

Just tell that to all the other people who die in this book: heroes, villains, and innocent bystanders alike. I like a healthy dose of reality in my supernatural thrillers, and this book has it in spades.

Can’t wait to read the next adventure featuring my favorite Kiwi soldier!

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

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Review: Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey

Leviathan WakesI purchased this ebook when the first season of the television adaptation aired, but didn’t get around to reading it until a recent vacation. I’ve seen three seasons of the show so far, so that will obviously color my interpretation of the book (such as visualizing actors as their characters and such). My husband and I have been telling people that The Expanse is the best science-fiction on TV for years, so I’m happy to say that the book is also some of the best science-fiction I’ve read in years. Continue reading

Review: Into the Mist (Taine McKenna Adventures #1) by Lee Murray

Into the MistDisclaimer: I consider the author a friend; however, I purchased an electronic copy of this novel for full price.

For those of you who are averse to the horror genre, I’m happy to report that this novel is instead a thrilling action-adventure. There are some gory bits, but it’s not gratuitous, and the moments that literally made me jump while I read were shocking in the way that marks excellent writing. This was a blast to read, even for a wuss like me. Continue reading

Review: Teeth of the Wolf (Path of Ra #2) by Dan Rabarts & Lee Murray

Teeth of the WolfDisclaimer: I read this book as part of the editorial process; I look forward to purchasing a hardcopy to add to my collection.

I was honored to be one of the first people to read this book, and it blew me away even more than the first in the series. I didn’t realize near-future noir was a thing I needed in my life until this series, and now I wish more of it existed. But I’m not sure whether any other attempts would measure up to the adventures of Penny and Matiu. This book ups the ante from the previous, with more action, more conspiracy, and more supernatural dread.  Continue reading