Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review Wrap Up: Stronger Than Magic by Melinda Van Lone

Urban Fantasy
Date Published: 12/20/12

 Being attacked by a demon in Philadelphia shouldn’t have been a big deal. Tarian Xannon is, after all, heir to the Dolphin Throne and the strongest magical talent in generations.
 Never mind that demons aren’t even supposed to exist. Never mind that the demon managed to swipe some of her blood. She’s never met her match before and she’s confident she can handle the situation.
 She creates a plan to find the demon, and kill him, before he destroys her, or worse, steals her power and the Dolphin Throne.
 Of course, she hadn't counted on the throne insisting that now would be a great time for her to provide the next heir.
 She’s a modern woman with a demon to kill, and a baby to produce. What could possibly go wrong?

OUR READERS REALLY CONNECTED AND LOVED TARIAN's CHARACTER. while it may have been a slow start, they urge you to keep going because the Action, romance, and a surprising twist will keep you engaged and leave you anticipating the next in the series!

This Book has averaged a 4* Rating from reviewers during this tour.
It is currently at 4.5*'s on Amazon and 4.3*'s on Goodreads.
This book is $2.99! 

Okay, I did something really stupid regarding this book, and I just have to get it off my chest. It's eating a hole inside of me. Figuratively, of course, but still.

Up until about fifty pages into the book, I was pretty convinced that Alex was gay.

I know, I know, I'm horrible! I can see that now. Maybe it was because he called himself a style magnet the first time I met him and practically strutted his stuff trying to show off his new shirt to Tarain.

And then I got to the whole mating issue part, and I'm like well.... this is awkward....

So yes, I'm really sorry, Alex, for the misunderstanding, but at least I figured it out eventually! I hope there has been no permanent infringement on the subject of your masculinity because I think you've got a pretty good handle on that. I was being stereotypical, and I apologize.

Now that that's over with, let's get on to the actual book.

The thing that I liked the most about it was that it always kept me guessing. Melinda would throw me little crumbs of information at a time that would lead my thoughts in a certain direction, but then I would pick up on another trail that sent me in a completely different one. I wouldn't say that anything was unexpected because my brain had be exploring every option since the beginning, just that I wasn't sure which one would be true.

In a way, I kinda hated having to do that. Not in any way is that a problem with the book, just that I'm not a huge fan of having to question everybody's loyalties. And by everybody, I do mean everybody. Daric, Alex, Calliope, even Tarian's mother at one point in time. I just hated having to consider the possibility that they were actually out to get Tarain.

My favorite character wasn't actually one character, but many: the archivists. At least towards the end when they weren't being bratty and actually decided to help. There was just something so cool about those little guys and how they all shared the same consciousness, even if they did tend to have a bit on an attitude. I really hope they're explored more in later books. 

Tarain herself I liked a lot more than I expected to. At the beginning, I was on the same boat as Daric and thought she was a tad spoiled, always used to getting her way and never having to face a problem she couldn't blow right through. I'm not saying that she's some high and mighty pampered princess because that's not her at all. She is just very powerful, and she knew it, so there was no need for her to ever think that she might fail.

But she grew up a lot as the novel progressed, and it was very believable too. She didn't just wake up one morning and say, "Today's the day I'm going to be responsible." No, if she tried that, it would probably last ten minutes before someone tried to shove her in a dress, stick her in a room full of men, and she'd say, "Screw it," and leave.

Instead, she learned through her mistakes, like real people do. She messes up many, many times, and rushes into things without thinking more often than not. But sooner or later she figures it out, and she does start to mature. She grows into her responsibilities as a leader and as a possible mother, without anything seeming too fake. Because, like every else Tarain does, it's done her way, on her terms, and in her own sweet time.

Melinda pens "Stronger Than Magic" in a well developed, smooth flowing, original plot with strong characters. A great start of a series that takes you into the magickal and paranormal world with a touch of romance. I totally enjoyed the book and can't wait for the next in the series. Highly recommended for all paranormal, magickal, romance fans.

I give "Stronger Than Magic" a 5 star rating.


January 22 - Brooke Blogs - Review
February 1 - Musings of a Blodger - Review/Guest Post
February 6 - My Reading Addiction - Review
February 7 - Queen of the Night - Review/Guest Post
February 8 - Ashley's Bookshelf - Review
February 9 - Sitting with a book - Review/Interview
February 12 - Twinsie Talk Book Reviews - Review
February 14 - Waiting on Sunday to Drown - Review/Guest Post
February 19 - Stressed Rach - Review

Melinda VanLone writes fantasy and science fiction, freelances as a graphic designer, and dabbles in photography. She currently lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband and furbabies. When she's not playing with her imaginary friends you can find her playing World of Warcraft, wandering aimlessly through the streets taking photos, or hovered over coffee in Starbucks.
twitter: @melindavan

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