Soulmated by Shaila Patel

Soulmated by Shaila Patel


Title: Soulmated (Joining Souls #1)
Author: Shaila Patel
Published: Jan 24th2017
Length: 300 pgs
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Month9Books
This Review is a Part of the 2020 Coastal Magic Featured Author Reading Challenge

Soulmated is a YA Urban Fantasy Romance is the first book in Shaila Patel’s Joining Souls series. At the beginning of the read things went a little slow for me; the book was interesting, but it took me a little while to get wholly engrossed into the world of the book. The writing is of excellent quality the plot was thoroughly mapped out, and it shows. 

Soulmated takes place in present-day Cary, North Carolina. The empath abilities and the love interest puts this book firmly into both the Urban Fantasy and Romance genres. Our main characters are Laxshmi Kapadia and Liam Whelan. They are both high school students with way too much on their shoulders. Liam has recently become the head of his Family and Laxshmi is stuck catering to an overbearing mom who seems determined to secure financial stability through her daughter with no regard to Laxshmi’s happiness. 

Soulmated is told in first person POV through our main character’s Laxshmi and Liam in the alternating chapter format, this format doesn’t always work, but Patel manages to continue the story from chapter to chapter and pov to pov without skipping a beat, the story flows fluidly no matter who’s pov we are reading from. I’m starting to think I prefer this format as opposed to the style where each pov is told in separate books 

Laxshmi is an Indian-American girl being raised by a traditional Indian mom; her mom is very strict and comes off as caring only for herself; she’s the villain of Laxshmi’s story. Liam is Irish, and he’s searching for the “ONE” he’s an empath. Empath royalty actually and he’s just become the head of his family. He is trying to find his one. Looking for the soulmate who will both increase his power, and enrich his life is taking a toll on him, after so many years and so many failures he’s got a bad taste in his mouth for the whole thing, it’s become a chore, and he’s nearly convinced it’s nothing but a while goose chase.

When Laxshmi and Liam meet their worlds collide, and there are several forces, determined to keep them apart, jealous classmates, racist, overbearing family members and factions within the empath community. This book mostly focuses on the necessary world-building, characterization, and the development of Liam and Laxshmi’s relationship, but by the end of the book, you’re hooked. Patel hit’s hard with a cliff hanger, so I highly recommend having book two on hand and ready to go.

Trail of Lightning By Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning By Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning

Trail of Lightning is the debut book by Native American Author Rebecca Roanhorse; the first in Roanhorse’s The Sixth World Series which is destined for greatness. Rebecca Roanhorse creates a unique dystopian world, unlike anything I have read before. What would happen if there was another great flood if all that we knew washed away? What if the Navajo built a wall to control their borders? What might become of our world if we continue to abuse it? The world that we know would be no more. That’s the premise of the novel. The characters here dwell in a new world; that which was left, after most of the former world washed away. The fifth world is reborn into the Sixth world; where magic returns to the Dinè Clans. Where the old gods, their immortal children, and monsters return.

“This last flood, the one you call the Big Water, ended the Fifth World and began the Sixth.”

But the rise of the Sixth world may have been the end for the rest of the world. It was a new beginning for the DInè. As tensions rose in the fifth world the Dinè had the foresight to build a wall separating their lands from the outsiders; singing blessings as the bricks were laid until it grew in both beauty and strength. While the rest of the world washed away, the Navajo land became Dinetah.

” They say the hataałii worked hand in hand with the construction crews, and for every brick that was laid, a song was sung. Every lath, a blessing given. And the Wall took on a life of its own. When the workmen came back the next morning, it was already fifty feet high. In the east it grew as white shell. In the south, turquoise. The west, pearlescent curves of abalone, and the north, the blackest jet. It was beautiful. It was ours. And we were safe.”

“But I had forgotten that the Diné had already suffered their apocalypse over a century before. This wasn’t our end. This was our rebirth.”

Trail of Lightning is written in first person POV through our protagonist Maggie Hoskie, as well as through character dialogue, interactions, and memories. Roanhorse waste no time inducting the reader into this new world by immediately opening the story with conflict, creating a lasting first impression of our reluctant Heroine and setting the tone for the novel with powerful a powerful message and evocative language.

This is the first thing the reader learns about Maggie Hoskie:

“ I’m the person you hire when the heroes have already come home in body bags.”

Maggie Hoskie is a Monster Hunter. Trained by the Immortal Monster hunter himself Neizghání a child of the gods, Maggie is also an outcast. When we met her she’s at a low point in her life reeling from heartbreak and abandonment; she’s lonely and feeling sorry for herself.

“Killing is the only thing I have that makes me worth anything to Neizghání? And Neizghání was the only thing I had that makes me worth anything at all?”

I don’t know a woman or girl who hasn’t felt like this at some time in their lives.

In some ways, Maggie is your cliché Fantasy Heroine a loner, scared to get close to anyone, an ass-kicking badass who doesn’t believe in her beauty.

“I’m sure a beautiful woman like her has her choice of men.” My eyes shoot to Kai, looking for the joke. I clean up okay, but no one has ever accused me of being beautiful, and I know damn well I’m not as pretty as he is.”

But as cliché as that may be, in my experience this is the recipe which has proven to be essential to the construction of a great heroine. Many of my favorite Heroines made up this way. Maggie has Honàghà K’aahanáanii, clan powers which make her, faster, stronger, but it also has a dark pull. She’s always fighting against the dark side of her clan power the bloodlust that brings out her baser nature. Imagine a little devil on your shoulder whispering sweet nothings in your ear every time someone pisses you off.

“I’m Honágháahnii, born for K’aahanáanii.” He nods, thoughtful. “Honágháahnii I know. ‘Walks-Around.’ And that means you’re . . . ?” “Fast. Really fast.” So what’s your other clan? What does K’aahanáanii mean?” “ ‘Living Arrow.’ ” “So does that mean you’re good at archery or something?” “No, Kai.”
“Living Arrow means I’m really good at killing people.”

“K’aahanáanii whispers to me that it would be simple to pull the Glock I still have tucked in my pocket and put a bullet through the back of his skull.”

At the same time, Maggie is more human than she’s willing to admit; the author allows us a more in-depth look into her life. Maggie has suffered so much pain and loss first the tragic murder of her grandmother which was the catalyst to the emergence of her power, and the most recent and still open wound being her abandonment by her mentor Neizghání who she is in love with. As someone currently recovering from the end of an eight-year relationship, I found Maggie’s experiences to be both relatable and emotive. If you thought your breakup was hell, imagine recovering from a breakup with a god. An inhumane being who cannot love on a human level (sounds a lot like my Ex). The origins of Maggie’s pain, and the motive behind her way of existing both humanized and made Maggie more real to me. When I began to understand her motives and thought processes I knew that the author had hit the mark.

Kai Arviso is the secondary character, the grandson of a Maggie’s friend a medicine man name Tuh. Kai has been exiled from the other side of the wall a town known as Burque formerly known as Albuquerque. Kai is a devilishly handsome man with a way with words. He’s also a medicine man, and he’s hiding something. Maggie and Kai are opposites Kai is a people person, and adverse to violence. However, he appreciates the necessity of violence as well as Maggie’s violent nature together they are a balanced pair what Kai lacks in his capacity for violence he makes up for in both charm and power. Balance is essential in Native American Culture.

“Kai steps forward. Starts to sing. Navajo words, soft and low. Closer, within twenty feet, he lets them come. Voice still steady. Fifteen. Twelve. And then he flicks the lighter alive, leans in over the flame, and blows. His breath catches the fire, sends it whirling. Small at first, but then it grows. Tall as a child, but then taller. And it circles, twisting into a cyclone of blue and orange and yellow and red, until it’s a massive whirlwind of fire that builds, builds. “

As the series grows, I expect Kai to emerge as a force to be reckoned with.

In almost every fiction book with a Native American element Coyote, the trickster is often a common theme. He pops up frequently in both fantasy and urban fantasy, in fact, he’s the father of one of my favorite characters Mercy Thompson.

Coyote is most often written not as a benevolent god by usually not as one purposely out to cause harm, even though his trickster nature often does. Coyote’s character has been written in many different incarnations, but Roanhorse’s Coyote is a character I’ve never met before.

Although some elements remain the same, there are nuances that separate Roanhorse’s coyote from the rest of the pack; making this version of Coyote distinctly different. This Coyote is dark a little twisted and reminds that the gods are not like us, mere mortals cannot comprehend their motives.

“I think now that it must have tickled him, a creature who could change his shape as easily as humans shed clothes, to dress the white man’s frontier dandy when visiting a Navajo girl. He looked splendid, of course, but the choice was subtly cruel. I knew the stories of the Long Walk, of duplicitous land agents and con men. To remind me of them was no accident on his part.”

“I shudder at the blast of fury that pours from his body. For a moment, the pretense of the Western gentleman falters and I glimpse his true form under the facade. Shaggy gray-and-brown muzzle, dull yellow eyes, a mouthful of teeth meant for tearing carrion. He fills the room, frightening and unnatural”

While we often get the “gist” of cultural references, it’s evident that when writing second hand on the lore of other cultures; while assuming to have a full understanding of their ways, you are bound to fall short; this is the reason why own voices books are so important. It’s a testament to how powerfully written Roanhorse’s Coyote is, that as I read, I had the impression that every other version of Coyote I ever read was wrong. And the author acknowledges this.

“ So that was the Coyote?” Finished, he pushes the bowl away and leans back, stretching his lithe frame out and crossing his legs under my coffee table, arms behind his head. “He wasn’t what I expected.” ”

“ “What did you expect?” “I don’t know. A little less serious, I guess. All the Coyote stories I’ve heard portray him as kind of a fool.” He shrugs. “He didn’t seem so bad.” ”

I look forward to the development of this series and revisiting the Sixth World.

According to 23 and me, I’m only 1.7 percent native American but 100% proud of this book. Trail of Lightning is a fantastic debut novel I loved it! And you should grab a copy too!

Roanhorse is currently working on, Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World #2) which is Scheduled for release April 23rd 2019 by Saga Press and available for pre order.

Visit Roanhorse’s Website here

Storm of Locust Amazing book cover

RR - Storm of locusts

Stray Magic (Stray’s #1) By Kelly Meding

Stray Magic (Stray’s #1) By Kelly Meding

 

Stray Magic

Edelweiss Plus Review

TITLE: Stray Magic (Stray’s #1)
AUTHOR: Kelly Meding
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
PUBLISHED: June 19th 2018 by Harper Voyager
RATING: ★★

This is one of my most dreaded types of reviews. A critical one. I hate doing critical reviews. But as reviewer honesty is one of your most essential attributes this type of  review tends to make me feel as if I’m tearing the author apart. I hate it. Loving reading means you love authors. You don’t want to bring hurt to your loved ones. If I feel this terrible writing it I can only Imagine how the author will feel reading it. I procrastinated HARD on this review. As my subscribers you guys have to comment below let me know if I’m crossing the line from critical to asshole…… anyway here’s my latest review.

Stray Magic is an urban fantasy novel the first in the new Strays series by Author Kelly Meding. Kelly Meding has been on my TBR list for a very long time so now that I’m reviewing I jumped at the opportunity to get an ARC from Edelweiss.

The Novel is written in the first person POV of the protagonist Shiloh Harrison. Shiloh is the second in command in the Federal Para – Marshal Unit based in Hebron, Maryland the story opens with our protagonist trying to blow off some steam with her lover after wrapping up a lengthy case. They were supposed to have three uninterrupted days of carnal bliss, but crime doesn’t pause for your love life.  Shiloh is called back out on another case shortly after arriving home.

Shiloh’s team is called out to a case where vampires have invaded and are holding a trailer park full of people hostage. The Master Vampire Woodrow Tennyson has concocted this plan to keep the members of his line safe. Vampires and werewolves are being abducted and never heard from again, to protect his people he’s placed them in a high visibility situation where they are under surveillance and safe from being abducted. I thought that was a very original plot twist.

Tennyson is holding the trailer park hostage until he receives assistance locating his missing people. And Somehow after threatening to harm Shiloh’s mom Tennyson becomes a defacto member of the team throughout the investigation.

The title of this book is telling. Stray means precisely that. Shiloh’s team is a mish-mash of supernatural rejects from different species. You would expect the characters to pull through circumstances in exceptional ways as the underdogs of the supernatural world that they are. But that isn’t the case. The team is made up of Shiloh our main character she’s a half Djinn half human which seemed interesting at first, but Meding’s take on it gets old fast. We then have Novak the devils reject an incubus who has been kicked out of hell, stripped of most of his powers, and is in hiding. Jaxon Shiloh’s Ex a Skin Walker who turns into a Seven Point Stag, Kathleen the Dhamphir (half human half vampire), and Their Leader Julius, a human.

The author intends to write Shiloh’s character as a hardcore rough around the edges Female badass, and while Shiloh makes an attempt depth, her character is equipped with the personality of a petulant teenager and therefore misses the mark. Several of the character interactions and relationships lack chemistry; most seem forced or weird.

As a reader you can when something doesn’t mesh with the natural progression of the story or the character relationships.  In a few of the scenes, it appears as if the author wrote herself into a corner.  Meding gets tripped up when she doesn’t follow her own rules of magic.  A few times Meding comes up with unreasonable loopholes to get the characters either out of a jam or to create conflict; as a result, some aspects of the story seem unrealistic, as ironic as that may sound. Now I understand this is all made up but the thing about fiction especially urban fantasy is the author has to write eloquently enough to make you believe it could happen. The writing has to in-effect paint all over the walls of your subconscious. It’s not something I can explain, but all true bibliophiles understand what I mean.

There are also several instances where something is over, or unnecessarily explained something; it occurs often enough to be annoying. Sometimes with information that isn’t imperatively relative to the characters or storyline and wouldn’t be relevant to the reader. The book does have some redeeming qualities though. The Plot and action are instant and continuous. Meding doesn’t leave you in suspense long, and there are no boring parts. (just frustrating ones). The events move along quickly. The premise was interesting, but it was all a bit rushed.  The way the book is written doesn’t give the reader the opportunity to bond with the characters this is the first book in a series, but it reads like a fourth or fifth. Frankly, the author missed the mark on this one. However, my copy was an unedited proof, many of the issues I found with the book may be corrected in the final print. So I say give it a chance, and if you’ve read the book leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think.

His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1)  By Naomi Novik

His Majesty’s Dragon (Temeraire #1) By Naomi Novik

TITLE: His Majesty’s Dragon HMDAUTHOR: Naomi Novik
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
PUBLISHED: March 28th, 2006
RATING: ★★★★☆

Discovering His Majesty’s Dragon was something of a happy accident for me. Having come across Throne of Jade (Temeraire #2) in a desk drawer at work I was immediately interested in the book because of the Dragon on the cover. It was obviously a fantasy novel about dragons. After reading the blurb I knew I wanted to check the series out, but I didn’t read the book right then. There was a listing of books in the series on the first page and I was easily able to determine there was a book preceding this one that I would need to read first.

I have been intrigued by books about dragons and riders ever since I read the first book of the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon by Christopher Paolini back in August of 2008. The closest I ever came to finding a novel similar to the Inheritance Cycle series was in 2013 when I came across the Eon series by Alison Goodman, but Goodman’s series is only two books; although I really enjoyed those books the series ended way too soon for me.

His Majesty’s Dragon is a historical fiction novel based on the Napoleonic war, with a slight emphasis on the escapades of Villeneuve. The premise of the novel is an alternate reality where Dragons are real and are used as an important battle tool during the war.

There are two main characters, Captain Will Laurence and his Dragon Temeraire. Captain Laurence is a Naval Captain who takes pride in his duty to his country as an Officer in the King’s Navy. Captain Laurence has a strong sense of honor that seems to be fueled by his dysfunctional relationship with his Father Lord Allendale.
Quote:
“Lord Allendale looked at Laurence’s coat with heavy disapproval and said nothing to his son at all. “

“It is an old quarrel at heart,” he said. “He would have had me go into the Church, like my brother; he has never counted the Navy an honorable occupation.”

“But truly, he has never approved my choice of career; I had to run away from home as a boy for him to let me go to sea. I cannot allow his will to govern me, for I see my duty differently than he does.”

Then Temeraire is hatched, and although Captain Laurence was not the one who had drawn the short straw, the Dragon chose him and a strong of honor and duty led to a set of circumstances that tore Captain Laurence away from his beloved job as a Naval Captain and thrust him into His majesty’s Aviator Corps.
Quote:
“So if a hatchling let you put it into harness, duty forever after tied you to the beast. An aviator could not easily manage any sort of estate, nor raise a family, nor go into society to any real extent. They lived as men apart, and largely outside the law, for you could not punish an aviator without losing the use of his dragon.”

Temeraire is a character you’ll love instantly from his first words to Captain Laurence after his hatching ( I mean who doesn’t love talking Dragon’s). Novik’s use of anthropomorphism brings Temeraire to life, aside from the human characteristic of speaking and an uncanny intelligence Temeraire experiences a wide range of human emotion, sadness, happiness even jealously. At heart Temeraire is a sweet, Logical, inquisitive being ready to take on the world with an intense hunger for knowledge and a strong sense of independence.
Quote:
“Temeraire’s quick perception and the concern in his voice were like a tonic for his weary unhappiness, and it made Laurence speak more freely than he meant to.”

“I have never met the King; I am not his property, like a sheep,” Temeraire said. “If I belong to anyone, it is you, and you to me. I am not going to stay in Scotland if you are unhappy there.”

“No, Laurence, I cannot promise such a thing,” he said. “I am sorry, but I will not lie to you: I could not have let you fall. You may value their lives above your own; I cannot do so, for to me you are worth far more than all of them. I will not obey you in such a case, and as for duty, I do not care for the notion a great deal, the more I see of it.”

“Laurence is my captain,” Temeraire said, the smallest hint of belligerence in his tone, and an emphasis on the possessive”

“Come now, what is this jealousy?” he said softly.”

Laurence and Temeraire don’t exactly take the aviator corps by storm, however Laurence’s unorthodox ways definitely set some of the ingrained practices in regards to Dragons on a tale spin. Laurence regards Temeraire the respect due to any intelligent being, and doesn’t see him as an animal or tool but a creature with feelings and intelligence.
Quote:
“Laurence finished swallowing and said, “Yes, sir; you have the advantage of me.” “Berkley,” the man said. “Look here, what sort of nonsense have you been filling your dragon’s head with? My Maximus has been muttering all morning about wanting a bath, and his harness removed; absurd stuff.”

“Damned foolish idea if you ask me, dragons swimming; great nonsense.”

I am no history major, so I used Google to do a bit of research into the authenticity of the historical references. Accuracy of historical events, such as Villeneuve at Toulon and proper usage of what I will refer to as “terms” or “phrases” of the time such as Clodpole a noun referring to a stupid or foolish person, or Scrub a noun referring to a contemptible person (Not the 90s slang term made famous by the singing group TLC) and Bluestocking which refers to an intellectual or learn individual, a term derived from Elizabeth Montagu’s Bluestocking society. There’s even an appearance or two by Miss Montagu herself. These things all lend authenticity to Novik’s tale as a fantastic work of historical fiction.
Quote:
“Villeneuve and his fleet have slipped out of Toulon under cover of an aerial raid against Nelson’s fleet; we have lost track of them.”

“Austria is mobilizing; she is coming into the war with Bonaparte again, and I dare say he will have to turn his attention to the Rhine instead of the Channel, soon enough.”

“It is not to be borne! An Imperial in the hands of some untrained Navy clodpole—”

“I have to tell you how very sorry I am. I know I have been playing the scrub.”

“You would be quite astonished at how much of a bluestocking I am become, Mother; he is quite insatiable.”

“Oh, I am sorry to hear it, my dear, but we are very happy to have you even briefly,” she said. “Have you met Miss Montague?”

Novik’s writing is direct and purposeful, yet warm and inviting. Though I am far from an expert in literary devices I find His Majesty’s Dragon to be an excellent example of fictional prose. Novik writes in such a way that the meaning of words is made clear by the context in which they are used while managing to use words such as auspicious, congenial, and henceforth without the tale becoming boring and monotonous making the reader feel relaxed and at home in the world she has created.

Novik’s imagination gives us an original take on dragon riding; her take on dragons in general is refreshing for me because it was unexpected. And her talent for writing grants the tale an air of reality.

Stormrise (Storm Chronicles #1) By Skye Knizley

Stormrise (Storm Chronicles #1) By Skye Knizley

stormrise

TITLE: Stormrise (Storm Chronicles #1)

AUTHOR: Skye Knizley

GENRE: Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

PUBLISHED: October 30th, 2013

RATING: ★★★☆☆

Stormrise is the first book in the Storm Chronicles series by Skye Knizley. The human world and the supernatural underground are separate in Knizley’s tale. While some humans know about the things that go bump in the night, most of Chicago’s population have no idea Vampires, Lycans, Ghouls or other nightmare creatures exist.
Quote:
“Humans found a strange and inexplicable excitement, never knowing they were rubbing shoulders with monsters.”

The main character is Raven Storm, a Dhampyr and Detective on the Chicago Police Force. Raven Storm is the alter-ego of Fürstin Ravenel Tempeste the youngest daughter and right hand (a.k.a. enforcer) to Valentina Tempeste-Strohm, Mistress of the city and leader of Chicago’s supernaturals. Raven became a detective following the death of her father. She carries her father’s old gun and drives his old car; the memory of her father plays a large role in how she conducts herself in the line of duty and sometimes in her everyday life. A mix of Dirty Harry and Calleigh Duquesne (from CSI Miami). Raven Storm has a big gun, she never misses, and she’ll solve the case while wearing her favorite red bottoms.
Quote:
“After a few moments, her eyes fell on the small-framed photo of her and her father in front of the old sixth district. He had been a stern man, but always gentle with his daughter, regardless of the day’s events. His death had been the reason Raven had joined the police force rather than living out her life as her mother’s bodyguard and fetch-all.”

“Dad always said skill was fifty percent luck. I think he was right. “

“It was her idea of casual work attire and she looked like she had stepped off the cover of a magazine”

“It’s an Automag III, made by AMT. My father left it to me. His note said I was never to leave home without it, and I never have. It fires the thirty-caliber carbine round, more power than a three-fifty-seven magnum with a little lighter recoil due to the heavy springs inside the slide.

Raven’s regular partner is out of commission so she gets partnered up with the resident idiot of the force, detective Rupert Levac a.k.a Codumbo. But Levac is much more than he seems. There’s nothing dumb about him. He might be a slob but he’s no slouch as a detective.
Quote:
“As usual, he looked like he had neither showered nor shaved in days. He had stubble you could light matches on, his rumpled suit had been slept in, and pieces of pickle and a stream of ketchup streaked down his tie.”

“How can you tell from here?” Raven shaded her sensitive eyes against the sun. “The pile of cigarettes on the street next to it and the cloud of smoke that comes out the window every now and then,” Levac answered. Raven looked at Levac with a new sense of respect.“
Stormrise follows Raven and Levac, as they investigate a series of strange and gruesome murders; in which the victims seemed to have exploded from the inside out. The case goes to Raven because well she gets all the weird cases.

“The rest of the squad,” he replied. “They were telling me you get all the weird ones. They’re absolutely right.”

“Honestly…do you ever get a basic crime of passion? A run-of-the-mill murder?” “If I did, I wouldn’t know what to do with it,” Raven replied. “I’m getting used to cases like this. Did you find anything else in our staged ritualistic crime scene?”

Levac was a character that grew on me quickly; his character impressed me throughout the book. He proved to be an exceptional partner to Raven, proving the age old adage don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
Quote:
“Raven shook her head and straightened, facing down the much larger man. She was about to reply when Levac pressed his pistol to the side of the alpha’s head. “That’s my partner you slapped across the dance floor,” he said in a calm voice. “All we wanted was to ask you a few polite questions. Now you are under arrest for assaulting an officer. Want to try resisting arrest?”

Not long into the book we meet Francois De Guerre who becomes Raven’s love interest. I instantly disliked Francois. Although the author wrote his character as charming, I found him to be cheesy and slick. Things began to move too fast between Francois and Raven, in a way that was forced and unnatural. Francois was a stranger to Raven when they met. Raven’s unnatural attraction to him is a contradiction with the personality the author created for Raven’s character. She may be a fashionista but she is a bad-ass, take no shit, no holds barred detective. It just isn’t realistic that in her spare time, she would jump into bed with a man she hardly knows anything about; or that she would rely on and trust him with her personal safety on so many occasions; she doesn’t even trust her own partner who she’s known for a while enough to trust him with the knowledge of the supernatural underground.
Quote:
“You are truly a delight to behold, Ravenel,” he said in the formal tones of the Court. “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Your mother has told me much about you, though not enough to pierce the veil of mystery surrounding you.”

“She watched the beautiful vampire bow to her mother and then take a seat at one of the empty tables arranged for Court guests. Though she found it difficult, she dragged her eyes away from him and returned her attention to the proceedings”

“Now tell me about this Du Guerre guy. He seems to think you want us attached at the hip.”

“Can we go?” she asked with a hand on his arm. Du Guerre looked down at Raven and nodded. “Of course, Ravenel. Where would you like to go?” Raven licked her lips, making her red lipstick glisten in the light. “Where do you think?” she purred.”

There is a point in the story where I wonder if Detective Levac may be interested in Raven as more than just his partner. Is this the setup for the next story? The murder investigation leads Raven and Levac to the supernatural underground looking for leads. Levac knows Raven is hiding something from him, but he trusts her enough to let it slide. For now.
Quote:
“A date?” Levac asked with mock surprise. “Like, with a man? A living, breathing guy?” “Oh, shut up, Levac.” Raven walked quickly toward the exit. “Remember, I hit what I aim at.” She closed the door behind her, not registering Levac’s gaze or the disappointment on his face.”

“Fantasy, huh? So how did he toss you a good ten feet and how come that slap didn’t snap your neck like a Popsicle stick?”

“I hammed it up,” Raven said. “Come on, if he was really that strong he and his cronies would have mopped the floor with us.”

Levac didn’t look convinced, but shrugged and leaned up against the window. “If that’s your story.”

As Raven and Levac work the murder case, we learn that Raven isn’t your average by the book detective. She’ll do whatever is necessary to solve the case and she isn’t too worried about the rules. At times her loyalty stretched thin between her duties to uphold the laws of Chicago and her duties to the vampire court. But she has no problem using her title as Fürstin, to strong-arm some of the underworld citizens into submission to further her police investigations.
Quote:
“It isn’t always easy. Sometimes my worlds collide and the results are not pretty. I take my duty to the law very seriously, just as seriously as my ties to my family. Having to decide between the two has made my life difficult on more than one occasion.”

“Hi, I’m Fürstin Ravenel, the Mistress’s daughter and chosen one. You’re not. If you want to live through the night, nod and open the door for me.”

Eventually, Raven and Levac solve the murder case. Raven finds out too late this murder case had more players, and motives than she thought; and Stormrise ends with an unexpected plot twist.

I enjoyed Stormrise, and found it refreshing. But the majority of the book focuses on Raven and Levac solving their murder case. The murder turned out to have been orchestrated by a supernatural being but was not a supernatural crime. Because of that one item, Stormrise reads as a mystery with a hint of Urban Fantasy, as opposed to an Urban fantasy with a little mystery mixed in.

Stormrise is a good read. If you have a hankering for a mystery with a side of paranormal this book definitely is for you