Welcome to The Forgetful Book Lover

Hi lucky readers,

I hope you enjoy books as much as I do. I’ve started this blog so I have a place to talk about books. Partially to review all sorts of books from graphic romance to young adult books. Mostly they will not be young adult books. And sometimes discuss issues I see in books.

I will never devote most of a book review to -ism issues. Because I wouldn’t be able to finish a book that bugged me that much. But Those are important issues, and if I missed them, please feel free to comment on it. I am a White Canadian, so I do not usually pick up on -ism issues. I also find it hard to participate in book discussions that take that route, since I do not have much experience or knowledge. If I feel the need to discuss it here, I will make it a separate post.

Please feel free to comment on posts, no matter how old they are.

Lovin’ the Coven (Reverse Harem) Minor summary of books

I first read the Lovin’ the Coven Series last week, and I’m trying not to give away any information that’s not available in the official summaries for other new readers. I loved these books, so I’d give it 9/10 stars. First, I’d like to state two things. I have a soft spot for reverse harem series. And I’m asexual who doesn’t fit the negative ace stereotypes. These two things are important, because the different types of relationships the main character Dot forms are a main part in the series. Also this usually isn’t a series where the romantic relationship takes backstage to the plot. They effect the plot, and are often part of the plot. I also got an ARC of the 5th book. There are also a couple of things readers may consider offensive in later books. (Having non-straight people go against their orientation for example). If these thing weren’t present And the books were much longer it would get a 10/10 (I love really long books). These are only Availible on Kindle/Amazon

In the first book, First Moon you see the start of the Coven. Dot and her best friend Josie moves to a new town, and loves it. She meets the townsfolk, and knows it’s her new home, and immediately buys a home and business.

In the second book, Second Blood, Dot has to help a devastated coven of Vampires stop whomever is killing them, and continuing to set up her coven and help restore her new home. It’s also in this book that we meet the Asexual character Yuki. And I love her, she is a very well done asexual character. And I relate a lot to her. She’s also a staple side character. As Dot really is the only main character. But she has a stage full of strong and well written secondary/side/supporting characters, which is all that’s needed.

In the third book, The Third Charm, the new members of the coven are interviewed and they get ready to welcome them to town. Dot’s family spell books are stolen and something weird starts happening around town. And Dot has to fix it fast before it escalates and becomes even harder/impossible to reverse. While managing the bond with her new familiar and growing powers.

In the 4th (and currently latest book) Fourth Rite Dot has to travel to Underhill and deal with some surprising aftermath from The Third Charm. Including assassination attempts and Marriage proposals.

In the 5th book Dot has to rescue a prince and figure out who her father is. It’s a gripping tale, like the other books. With a lot of surprises and interesting things revealed. We also see more of Dot’s growing power and love of her Coven.

The author has two more books planned (boo, she should just run it for ever 😉 ), and is starting a second series, The first of which will be released after book 5, but date is TBA (To be anounced). Then she will rotate between the two series.

Kindle link to the series

 

Anne Bishop: Black Jewel Worlds

I’m posting Anne Bishop’s series separately, in no particular order.

The Black Jewel worlds are a group of about 10 book (a new untitled novel is scheduled tentatively for release in march 2020). It contains two series with two stand alone novels and two books of short stories. The first series gives us the name for the universe, as the Black Jewel Trilogy. It introduces us the the main set of characters, most of whom are children who grow in the second book, and are complete adults by the third. The second series takes place semi-independently from the first, as it has a mostly separate cast of main characters and a completely new setting from the first trilogy. But it ties into the Invisible Ring stand-alone novel, which could be considered a distant prequel to the other two books. This world is very dark, with a lot of sexual violence and sexual abuse, as well as physical and mental/emotional abuse. The antagonists of the series uses abusive behaviours to alter the cultures in all countries they can reach in order to gain then maintain control. It can be a very hard read, as it can be very descriptive at times. I would not suggest listening to this series as an audiobook due to this, since it is much harder to skim read if needed or skip scenes on rereads (yes I do this). But there are also many awesome and bright moments.

There is a lot of world building in this series, because there is so much information that is vital to the understanding of why things are happening. And why certain characters didn’t or couldn’t stop things from happening as they did. In this world women are supposed to be the leaders, lead by Queens who are technically destined to rule an area due to their birth statues. Why one person receives this title verses another title isn’t well explained. Though one short story does explain why magic currently works the way it does, as well as the theory exchanged by characters in Heir to the Shadows. The antagonists try to change this, because they do not have the title of Queen. Their magic is accessed through themselves burning their energy faster requiring more food the more powerful they are. They store it in Jewels, which indicate how powerful they are. The author has also twisted our preconceived notions of what’s good or bad, and in this series the darker your jewel the more powerful you are. And the power has influenced some animals making them sentiment and able to control the magic and have jewels as humans can.

Anne Bishop: Ephemera

I’m posting Anne Bishop’s series separately, in no particular order.

Ephemera was the Third series I read by Anne Bishop. It is a rich and imaginative world. The series focuses more on the people involved and romance that happens, rather then plot flow, not by a whole lot, just enough to stand out to me. Except for the last book, which is my favourite. And I think might be the longest book. The series changes main characters each book but focuses around two Land Manipulators (my own term), their Incubus cousin, mother and friends as they discover the truth of the distant past, how their father died, and fight the Eater of the World among other enemies. My favourite thing about the series really has to be the sentient world. It helps keep things light and funny at times.

And in fact Emphemra is the name for the planet and it’s consciousness. The magic used by the world in unique way. There are four distinct ways to classify people used in the series- Land manipulators , Wizards, Demons, and Humans. In general Demons live separate from and reviled by humans, for various reasons. some Demons are predators some aren’t and just look different.. The demons have the usual spread of powers and species like the Succubus and Incubus, demons horses, and Minotaur like demons. Humans are humans as we are, nothing magically special about them, else they fit in one of the other categories. The Wizards have branded themselves as the law makers and keepers. While the land manipulators connect different parts of the world together, or alter them to keep them in check/balance from the emotions that humans emit (Ephemera is very empathetic). The powers of the land manipulators changes based on the area they are in, and in one area they are generally gender based. The land manipulators are not always seen as good by humans. Due to the nature of the enemies faced in this series there is torture and abuse both physical and mental. Including neglect of children and murder for murders sake.

 

Anne Bishop: Tir Alainn Trilogy

I’m breaking Anne Bishop’s different series/worlds into separate posts, in no particular order.

The Tir Alainn or World of the Fae trilogy was the First series I read by Anne Bishop, and I loved it ten years ago, and love it now. Though I think I read the 3rd book first by accident. It’s a mix between historical fiction and high fantasy. The plot, setting, and characters sent me back to the library for the other two books. Compared to Anne Bishop’s other works it can seem a little dry. But I think that’s the difference in genres. There is so much in the world building, past and present. And honestly, and it’s shocking to say this, it probably the least violent of her works, at least towards the characters we see. There is Violence against women, including genital mutilation. And torture of both genders.

So, what is the series about? It is about a world where the magical elements seem to be in danger. There are about 4 different groups, though only 3 have main characters. They are the Fae, Witches, Humans, and Little Folk/People (sprites and such). The Fae are the least involved in the other cultures, before this series. And much is forgotten about the past by most of the world. Including those who depend on the information since forgotten. Now the Fae are disappearing, Witches are dying and a man who calls himself the Inquisitor is trying to conquer the last country to “harbour” them. To me, it is basically a re-imagining of the witch trials that happened across Europe and North America, over a much smaller time scale. It also shows how quickly and easily a single person can alter the beliefs of a group of people just by using their own prejudices and greed against them.

Patricia Briggs, Expanded (possible spoilers, sorry)

Patricia Briggs is one of my favourite authors, and frequent source of rereads. While I have not read every single book of hers (there are two I couldn’t get into when I tried). The older books will be harder to find in print, especially if you want hard cover editions. But they should all be available in Ebook or Audiobook format, depending on your location.

She has two Urban Fantasy series, which are located in the same world. She also has one stand-alone novel, and three series of the “traditional fantasy” (my term) or Epic Fantasy genre (here is a list of various Fantasy sub-genres). One of the reoccurring features in all of the books,and a large part of the reason I love them, is the world building especially in the traditional fantasy books. She not only teaches us about the characters, but also the worlds she invites us into, past and present. I also love her strong characters, especially the women, because they are also realistic, and not copies of each other, unlike other authors. One of the only downsides to her books, in my opinion, is that they often feature sexual violence, or situations where one or more party cannot give consent to sex. But it is never dismissed as a minor thing, or unimportant. Sometimes unactionable by the characters, yes, but not a good thing in anyway. And compared to other author’s works, they play a minor part in the series and generally not that graphic.

I will start by saying I haven’t read the Hurog Duology, but others fans adore the two books. Then there is the stand-alone book, Hob’s Bargain, and it is my least favourite. But, once again others love it. And it’s very well written. Just not my favourite cup of tea. It’s about a world where all except certain types of magic were either dampened or suppressed by a huge spell. And people with magic had to hide it, or risk death. That is, until the spell is broke. And we see how a isolated village deals with this, as the magical world around them wakens.

Next is the Raven Duology. And, as with the rest of Patricia Briggs’ work I adore it, and wish there were more books available in the world. It is a world of nomadic travellers and city-folk/town dwellers (my words). Where only certain people are allowed to practice magic safely. Unlike in the Hurog world, magic isn’t suppressed here. Rather there is a terrible prejudice for unknown magic users, in part due to true stories (exaggerated or not), and false stories promoted by an unknown party. And a lack of understanding to what the magical part of the world actually looks like. In this story, the main characters are a Traveller and a kidnapped farmer, and few other folk. They work to free the farmer, and uncover a disturbing cause of the prejudice against Travellers and the reason so many have died in over the generations. Also lots of magic use, and sword fighting. It is fun, and funny. It is sad, at times, as any good series is. It’s full of life and it’s ups and downs. It’s full of interesting tales.

Then we have the Sianim Series. Which is 4 books featuring 3 different main couples for the books. the 3rd and 4th book might be able to be read without reading the others, but I’m not sure if everything would make sense. The first two books feature the same main characters, and are set fairly close together. The third book happens some time after the second, and the fourth years after the others. The first two main female characters are sent to spy on powerful people, and become embroiled in dangerous situations as a result of this. The third female is hired to find out who or what is killing the nobles in the city she lives in. This world is much larger then the other two I mention above, and we find out about a mage war that threatened the entire population in the past, and possibly the present. We also find out about an emerging threat in the third books, the second dealing with the aftermath of the first book, and the heroine’s family. While it is a slightly more serious series then the last, and the first Ms. Briggs published, it is full of amusing stories to break up the sad times, and historic legends.

Second to last is the first of the two Mercyverce (as fans call it) series. Both series are still being written, with events occurring that effect each other. There is also a book of short stories, that doesn’t fit entirely in either series. The first series is the Mercy Thompson Series, which is currently expecting it’s 11th book next March. The main character is Mercedes Thompson, who is a shape-shifting Coyote, and half Native American (tribe unknown, due to her father’s death) half Caucasian. She is a VW mechanic, who is known some of the local supernatural community, due to her upbringing with the werewolves, and being taught car repair by a metal working Fae. This ends up causing her a lot of trouble, as the Fae and eventually the Werewolves are out to the public, and tensions between the groups and the government come to a head, along with the usual bad luck of having villains crossing her path that she must defeat for the survival of herself and/or her friends and family.

Last of all is the Alpha and Omega series (A&O), it has five books, the latest published this pasted March. It starts directly after the first Mercy book, but has some inconsistencies due a time lapse between writing the ending of Moon Called and the short story that began A&O, also called Alpha and Omega. The main couple meet in the short story and quickly fall into lust and the potential mate bond their wolves want. (this series doesn’t destined soulmates btw, but a magical bond can form between wolves and their partner, if the wolf/wolves accept the other person as a spouse for their human half.) After that, they travel dealing with various issues in order to protect the werewolves and humans from different entities.

My Frequent Recommendations.

This is an incomplete list of my favourite authors. They will often have triggering content. And I don’t always remember to warn about it.

Some of these books may not be available in your preferred format or from your favourite retailer (there is a reason I use 3 different ebook retailers)

Patricia Briggs, who currently writes Urban fantasy, and as a hand full of traditional fantasy books. Her books do contain Sexual assault and other types of abuse. (but as a negative, shouldn’t happen issue). Her main series is about a shape-shifting Native American Coyote, who works as a Mechanic. It focuses on her interpersonal issues (who she should date/marry) and her friends. And she is an underdog, who always wins. First book is Moon Called

Sherrilyn Kenyon writes series where each book has it’s own couple (Except the belador series, which is currently only being written by co-writer). She deals mainly with Urban Fantasy, and her books deal with sensitive topics, including abuse (especially the League series, and DH books with a high page count). Her Dark Hunter books deal with her take on mythology, and fighting the bad guys. Generally the guys get most of the view point time, but her women are generally strong in some way. Her league series is set in the space travelling future, and is about fighting the League which has become corrupted, along with various corrupt planetary rulers. NEGATIVE: her writing has suffered in recent years, and she has taken to revisiting events for multiple books, sometimes with large portions of the new release c/p from previous books.

Garth Nix is a Fantasy author. I’ve read his Abhorsen series, and love it. It’s about powerful women who save the world (not to spoil it, but there are 5 books, with 3 different lead females). It’s a take on good necromancy vs bad necromancy and demons/monsters/etc. It’s better then I’m making it sound.

Karen Chance has two series, and while the main series female can seem less kick butt, she was just thrust into a world/power without preparation. She’s a seer, with little training. And now she has to use the power she’s gained, and that of her allies to save the world. In the other series, a Half vampire has to use her abilities to undercover plots and stop them. To save the world. She’s super kick butt, but dealing with being a half vamp, where half vamp has an unusual twist.

Lynsay Sands writes vampire romance books with one or both main characters belonging to the equivalence of the vampire government(s) to protect unwitting humans from rogue vampires. Lots of blood, violence, and some abuse. Lots of humour to counteract that.  If they don’t work for their secret government, they are related to them (it’s also that the police force are basically all related, since having kids is the main way vampires are allowed to increase the population). Lots of reoccurring characters, but new main couple every book. I find these books full of humour. NEGATIVE: Child abuse is seen only as sort of bad in at least 2 books.

Shelly Laurenston writes shifter romances, where the women are all strong, sarcastic, and lots of laughs. There is a over arching plot, with most books dealing with moving it forward a bit.

Ann Aguirre writes different types of fantasy, and I love what I’ve read. it’s been awhile, so I can’t really summarize what I’ve read. I just loved it.

Devon Monk writes different types of fantasy too. I’ve only read the Allie Beckstrom series. And I loved it. it’s about a really powerful magic user, and the price she pays to use her magic and save the world. I accidentally started with the second book in the series, and didn’t feel like I missed anything until later books.

Keri Arthur writes Urban Fantasy. I find her books hit and miss, I really liked her Riley Jenson Guardian series, but not it’s follow up series. Riley is a kick butt heroine, whose half vampire half werewolf and dealing with that and her place in a world that does iirc know about magic and stuff.

Kresley Cole writes Urban Fantasy, either young adult or very steamy romance. I couldn’t get into the YA stuff, but others I know love it. her Immortals after dark series if full of kick butt women, who frequently tell their SO where to stick it, and/or are just coming into their powers.

Anne Bishop, I’ve read and loved all her books. She writes traditional fantasy, or more steam punk fantasy. But she writes a lot of darker subjects, and very likely to trigger people with traumatic pasts or self harm issues (her courtyard series). Her Black Jewel series is about finding the Witch who will save the worlds, and freeing the people from a corrupting force, then the aftermath of that. The corruption occurs by heightening the harmful impulses in people, like violence and abuse esp sexual abuse. The first Courtyard series is about a blood prophet finding freedom and finding her place in the world after legally being kept a prisoner for her entire life. She gets prophets by cutting her skin. And she finds freedom within a courtyard of Others, who are multi-shaped people (generally they have 2-3 shapes), who are very powerful, feared, and control the continent (NA equivalent). And the world is in a precarious situation as the fear-hatred of the Others is about to come to a head, in a Anti-others movement. And that is the other plot line. The Emphera series is about a family finding their place and saving the world from an unleashed evil and the existing evil that hid among the population in general. The Pillars of the world series is essentially a take on the inquisition/witch hunt in a world where magic did exist.

Joanne Bertin’s physical books may be hard to find, and aren’t available in Audiobooks, but are easily available as ebooks afaik (I have them on google’s app). She has 3 books, about a few dragon lords and their friends. Dragon lords are long lived people who are born from mortals, and only find out who they are after their first change. (it’s random, though usually commoners). They are considered god blessed, and are the incorruptible force in the world, and try to keep the peace. I’ve been rereading the 2nd book since I was 13, and the first book since I was about 20 and the 3rd book since publication. they are great.

Anne McCaffrey’s books are going to be hit and miss to find. Ebooks are available of course. They are generally older books, so there are -ism issues with some of them. Also some continuity issues. Her most commonly know series is her Pern series. which is a futuristic non-tech based world, where they have dragons, and fight thread. There is a series set among the Harper’s Hall (scribes, bards, instrument makers, and more). Otherwise it focuses on the life around the Dragon rides and their society, at different times. Then there is her Talent series, focused on the development/advancement of people with physic powers, and eventually dealing with a deadly enemy with their powers. (2 series, one focused on the foundation/creation of the society/culture needed to deal with sensitive people and the second dealing with the deadly enemy). She also has multiple other series set in space.

Sharon Shinn her books can be seen as either YA or on the line. I really like the ones I’ve read. Especially the 12 houses series or the Elemental blessing series. The first is about a country on the brink of war due to a few different issues (a few people who want to rule instead of the king, and lower nobles who hate being beholden on the existing 12 houses of nobility, and growing fear of magic due to a newly powerful religion). the characters support the king and work to stop the war and protect the kingdom and mystics (magic users). In this world, magic is more like X-Men mutants rather then harry potter witches/wizards. each book has a new main couple, but we still see the other couples. In the Elemental Blessings the country everything is split into 4, based on their belief system. They believe in a type of numerology and categorizing of people (based on their personality) as belonging to certain elements. There are also 4 families where the head of the family has magic based on their elements. There are 4 books (boo, I want more), with a new main female in each book.

Teyla Branton‘s Unbounded Series is about another long lived/superhero series, where each person has a set of power, and are really hard to kill. there are two groups, one who wants to control everything to gain power, one who wants to help the people. They aren’t known to the public, and fight each other. (not available in Audiobooks )

Lindsay Buroker is a good author. I’ve read two of her connected series. One is available in a ebook set, the Forgotten Ages saga, and is about a really smart woman with a talent for languages (like Hidden figures smart, or The Arrival smart), getting kidnapped and escaping, getting home, and more. The second deals with her SO’s homeland and a one of the characters from the first saga. And saving The kingdom, and the ruler’s life.

Jasmine Walt’s Baine Chronicles are about a shape-shifter mage whose life is illegal, and getting caught. During a fraught time, with essentially a terrorist group, and stopping it. And fixing the problems that let the group gain power. Also has a spin-off series about a character from that series. She also writes other series, which are hit and miss. (I strongly believe I was not in the right mood to read the books that were misses). Some of them are also closer to erotica and feature multiple partner relationships. (Linsey Hall uses the same narrator for her dragon’s gift world)

Derek Alan Siddoway has the Gryphon Riders series about a princess who is chosen by a baby griphon to be their rider, and them growing together, and what they when the gryphon is grown. (save the world type things)

Michelle Sagara writes one series I’ve listened to (and might be better for reading then listening IDK). The Chronicles of Elantra, which is about a “chosen one”, and you can either start with book 1 (Cast in Shadow) or the prequel (Cast in Moon light). The thing is, no one knows why she is a chosen one. The books are about her finding her place, whether she wants it or not. And coming to terms with her past, her magic, and ignorance. She works for the equivalent of the police force. It’s a mix technology history (but also not earth) setting Fantasy book. There are mentions of abuse, and torture, but iirc it’s mostly not shown, just talked about. Also children being killed in the first book.

Melissa F. Olson, she has a world with (so far) 3 trilogies tied together. and they were very good. The first one I read was about a woman with death magic, who didn’t know it. The other 2 are about a null, who is a witch whose magic is that she cancels out magic.

Linsey Hall has the Dragon’s gift world. each series about 6 books long, iirc you can buy the books as one though and save some money. The first 3 don’t stand on their own well, though the 4th does. The books are about very powerful women coming into their own while saving the world, and making it so they don’t have to continue to run. (Jasmine Walt uses the same narrator for her Baine series)

R.K. Thorne has a trilogy about a prince who has magic, in a world that scorns or outlaws magic. And thus is force to hide it. And he gets kidnapped by a very headstrong woman, and what follows after that.

Tamora Pierce writes two worlds. The first is Tortall, which she has written 6 series about, and two companion books. They are on the line between YA and adult fantasy, so they will appeal to older teens and adults (though they are usually considered YA). The first four series are written in chronological order. the other two series happen prior to the first four. The other, Emelan series is in a different world, and contains 3 series. The first two are solidly YA, and will appeal to younger readers more easily then the Tortall series. the 3rd series is more advanced, and may not. Tamora Pierce bases her books on historic places/cultures and people.

Hmm What to Review

So, I have over one hundred books. I’ve read 99% of them. Picking which book to review first is going to be hard. Especially since so many books belong to series, and I don’t want to pick a book in the middle of a series. It’s quite amusing to look at my book case, and have to disqualify half the books straight off due to being second or later in a series.

But here is a list of books or series I’d like to eventually review.

Patricia Briggs “Mercy Thomson” and the “Alpha & Omega” Series

The many worlds/series of Lora Leigh.

The Dragon Lord series By Joanne Bertin

Much of Anne Bishop’s works.

Sharon Shinn’s “Twelve Houses” and “Elemental Blessings” series