Pocket Full of Tinder: Book Review
Fantasy , Romance / December 5, 2016

Title: Pocket Full of Tinder: A Noon Onyx Novel Author: Jill Archer Published: December 15, 2016 Genre: Fantasy & Romance with touches of other genres Length: 293 pages Pocket Full of Tinder is the fourth book in Jill Archer’s Noon Onyx series. I am reviewing Pocket Full of Tinder from an advance review copy that I read in eBook format. To set the tone, I am delighted to write that this may be the best book in the Noon Onyx series to date. If you are new to the Noon Onyx series, then I highly suggest that you read the three previous books as soon as possible. The genre-bending nature of Jill Archer’s novels is inventive and refreshing, and world-building is one of her greatest strengths. The heroine, Noon Onyx, is a magic-slinging Maegester-in-Training with a drop of demon blood coursing through her veins. Noon lives in Halja, a post-apocalyptic version of our world in which the demons rule while angels and humans are forced to find ways to coexist with their demonic overlords. Pocket Full of Tinder picks up in the aftermath of a shocking reveal at the end of the third novel, White Heart of Justice, regarding Noon’s former lover, Ari Carmine. I loved that the story picked up where it left off and immediately continued the previous…

Witches of East End: Book Review
Fantasy , Romance / October 12, 2016

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz is the first book in a fantasy series that features witchcraft and a healthy dose of romance.  Although not a perfect book, Witches of East End is a solid foundation for the series. As the story begins, The Beauchamp women are hiding a magical secret from the residents of the sleepy Long Island town known as New Haven.  Joanna Beauchamp, along with her daughters Freya and Ingrid, stopped practicing magic after the Salem Witch Trials due to a “ban.”  Despite the long centuries of passing for mortals, the Beauchamp women soon find individual and highly personal reasons to dabble in their long abandoned arts. Much of Witches of East End focuses on the development of the three Beauchamp women.   Some of my favorite scenes simply involved Ingrid gushing over her love of history and literature while struggling to keep her beloved library from closing.  Freya is more of a wild-child whereas her mother Joanna is the wise and cautious matriarch.  The male characters, including the wealthy, heart-throb brothers Killian and Bran Gardener, are never point of view characters and generally serve as love interests for the first three-fourths of the book.   However, a major twist involving unexpected elements of Norse mythology is…

Ranma 1/2 (2 in 1 Edition): Manga Review
Comedy , Manga , Romance / October 10, 2016

Ranma 1/2 (2 in 1 Edition) is the latest English release of the classic Japanese manga.  The artwork in this particular release is cleaner than previous English versions of Ranma 1/2.  As the name suggests each book contains two collections of the Ranma 1/2 manga.  Ranma 1/2, in both manga and anime form, is one of the most hilarious and action-packed stories that I know of. For whatever reason, many Americans continue to discount anything that is illustrated or animated as something that is meant for children.  This is an unfortunate mistake in perception, because some of the best stories that I know of come from Japanese manga or anime.  If you are unfamiliar with these Japanese forms of entertainment, keep an open mind and remember that just because something is drawn out or animated that it does not automatically mean that it is targeted at children.  Many manga and anime are created specifically with a teenage or adult audience in mind. The main concept behind Ranma 1/2 is that Ranma and his father, Genma, fell into cursed springs while continuing their martial arts training.  When Ranma or Genma touch cold water, they are turned into a girl and a panda, respectively.  Since the only way that…

White Heart of Justice: Book Review
Fantasy , Romance / October 9, 2016

White Heart of Justice is the third installment in Jill Archer’s Noon Onyx series.  For anyone who is unaware of the series, Noon Onyx’s post-apocalyptic world is populated by demons (the victors of Armageddon) and a host of unique fantasy creatures.  The series focuses on Noon’s developing magical power, relationships, and many adventures in the unforgiving, demon haunted world of Halja.  For additional background information, check out my reviews of Dark Light of Day and Fiery Edge of Steel. As in Fiery Edge of Steel, White Heart of Justice sends Noon beyond the comforts of St. Lucifer’s Law School to the uncharted, near-mythical fringes of her world.  As the story begins, Noon is focused on winning the Laurel Crown Race in order to win the right to choose her fourth-semester residency.  As it turns out, the Divinity (the school of Angels) is still upset about Noon’s (sort of accidental) destruction of a priceless statue.  To make amends and win the Laurel Crown Race, Noon sets out to retrieve the legendary White Heart sword from the ice-tortured outpost of hell known as Tartarus. Once again, Jill Archer’s secondary characters prove to be as interesting as her main character.  Noon’s carefree and…

Fiery Edge of Steel: Book Review
Fantasy , Romance / October 9, 2016

Fiery Edge of Steel is Jill Archer’s second installment in her Noon Onyx series.  Archer’s novel is set in an engrossing fantasy world brimming with magic, creatures, and plenty of opportunities for adventure.  Fiery Edge of Steel essentially takes all of the best elements from the first novel in the series, Dark Light of Day, and improves upon them to create an exciting and thought-provoking narrative. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the series, my review of Dark Light of Day provides plenty of background information about the post-apocalyptic, demon haunted world of Halja.  In short, Noon Onyx is training to be a Maegester because she can control the forces of waning (destructive) magic due to the drop of demon blood in her lineage.  Because of their power, Maegesters are tasked with controlling the demons in Halja, arbitrating disputes, and may even be called upon to execute a demon in extreme cases. While Dark Light of Day focused on Noon’s myriad struggles coming to terms with her waning magic and her new life at St. Lucifer’s Law School, Fiery Edge of Steel sweeps Noon to the edges of New Babylonian civilization into the unknown.  When a resident of a distant outpost, known as the Shallows, sends a complaint to the Demon Council regarding the Patron Demon Vodnik,…

Dark Light of Day: Book Review
Fantasy , Romance / October 9, 2016

Dark Light of Day is the first novel in the Noon Onyx series by Jill Archer. Before I begin the review, I must point out that Jill Archer was born and raised in Pittsburgh (objectively the greatest place to be born).  Therefore, the quality of her work is undoubtedly beyond reproach! Archer’s world-building is one of the most compelling elements of the story.  The essential background to Dark Light of Day is that angels (lead by the Savior) and demons (lead by Lucifer) fought Armageddon many centuries in the past and that the demons were victorious.  New Babylon, the major city in this post-apocalyptic world, is inhabited by angels, demons, and their descendants, as well as Hyrkes (regular people who cannot use magic). Noon Onyx is born with a drop of demon blood in her lineage, which makes her a part of the Host.  Although it is common for girls to be born with waxing (healing) magic, Noon is ashamed of the fact that she is blessed/cursed with waning (destructive) magic.  Her neighbor, and potential love interest, Peter spends most of his time trying to find a reversal spell to give Noon the healing magic that she desires.  However, Noon soon attends St. Lucifer’s…