characters Strange Roads 107

Jennifer Quail Ù 7 characters

Strange Roads

R and the Lord of Earth and Fire or so the strange Mark Valentine and his eually unusual companion Nadia Julian tell them And none too soon as the unlikely allies are plunged into a battle against dark forces poise Jennifer uail has the makings of a great story here Two well developed characters overcome ideological differences as they learn to use their newly discovered magical powers And use them they do uail writes magic uite well The four elements are splashed across the page in a synesthetic rainbow Her vampire lore is well thought out and remains consistent Both relationships work well and the multiple points of view give us plenty of insight The book is worth reading solely on the strength of the characters and the actionHowever the plot is “survive till the end” They do The characters and the action and the magic and the historical surroundings all set a big stage and beg for something Supporting characters tell us that there’s The wafer thin baddies seem to know there’s something The epilogue hints that there’s But it’s not in this book Waiting for the reveal which I never got kept me reading to the end and I’m glad I did In spite of its shortcomings page by page it was a great read and I fully expect future installments to deliver the goods

characters Strange Roads

D to take over the world starting with Washington DC Sparks literally fly as Alan and Elaine confront dangerous enemies and even deadly allies in a race to find a magical treasure and the key to their own destinies I first knew about Strange Roads when working on its cover design and when I finally got around to reading it I have to say it blew my mind uail's style can go from rich and detailed to fast paced and breathtaking all the while keeping it all vivid and involving both for her adventurous rich setting and her complex multilayered characters While some plot elements are clear classics of the genre reluctant heroes with uniue powers suddenly thrown into an epic adventure having to battle enemies for a mysterious artifact and I'm personally not fond of soulmate narratives uail's uniue writing treats all of these concepts in a uite clever interesting way Her rich rendition of magic and the supernatural her excellent use of points of view and most of all her characters realistically flawed deep and growing from their experiences are definitely this novel's strongest points Strange Roads is the start of an adventure that left me wanting and I can't wait for the seuel

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What do a conservative ex Navy test pilot and a liberal Senate aide have in common? Nothing really except being the two most powerful Mages born in decades Elaine Gates and Alan Graves are the Lady of Wind and Wate I picked this up because the author is a poster on a horse forum I'm on and I'm always looking for fun things to read It did not disappoint even though this is not a genre I typically read though I probably should read of it it's good funSo in a nutshell here we have the story of two adults in Washington DC who discover they have unusual powers There are vampires and creatures created by magic and lots of great action Our two main characters Alan and Elaine OK a bit of similarity in the names here but that's no biggie especially because I think Gates and Graves are excellent last names for our main characters are markedly different people Elaine is a bit snarky and bitter but has a good sense of humor buried in there along with a lot of courage Alan is actually complicated to figure out as he comes across as a sort of typical DC lawyer slash prettyboy without a lot of depth His background and the meat of his character doesn't really come out until later he masks his depth with good looks and humor and affability kind of the opposite of Elaine While I think that they are perhaps a bit too perfectly yin and yang they work well together and I enjoy both of themOur other two characters Val our ancient vampire and Nadia his thrall lover partner blood source are interesting and fun as well Nadia is fabulously competent and cool under pressure and Val keeps the depth of his experience age and power mostly under wraps and surprised me as being a rather calm presence along with a good sense of humor In short the main characters are all interesting and people I want to get to know Their shortcomings never overwhelm and even though I felt Alan to be a sort of weak character at the beginning towards the end of the book we learn a lot about him that gives him much depth and strength YayOther things I enjoyed1 The action I love how the author describes magic and her battles she is a very visual writer everything that happens is in waves of color and visual effects2 This is terribly minor but I LOVE the shout out to using real cream in eggs instead of milk YES SOMEONE GETS IT FAT FLAVOR If the second book includes any references to flavoring foods with bacon or duck fat I will be over the moon3 The relationship between Val and Nadia Though I haven't read many vampire books I know in Twilight at least one of the things that annoyed me very much was the idea of a very old vampire falling for a pretty silly and immature girl i know that was the target market Nadia is wonderful she is ageless has been around a while apparently getting long life herself for her relationship with the vampire lucky her and is the sort of person I can actually understand an immortal being being interested in Yay 4 I also like that while romance seems pretty inevitable for Alan and Elaine it wasn't really the focus of the book They definitely become very close their magic or less intertwining them and giving them great intimacy but this is accomplished without really working the romance thing Compared to many novelsseries where the main characters have a romantic relationship it's positively chaste which is different and refreshing although I imagine we'll get there I also really love that Elaine is not consumed by her singlehood in general 5 Descriptions of DC I haven't ever lived there but do like to visit and live in the surrounding area It's nice to read stories about places I know There are some weak points though oh I hate talking about these1 Some editing problems with the electronickindle version typos formatting changes between chapters etc This is minor and I've seen worse but a couple times it was a little jarring and took me out of the story a little bit2 I'd like a little bit in terms of what the overall plot is Who are the bad guys exactly? How did Nadia and Val identify Alan and Elaine? What's the actual war here? I feel like this book was a series of battles but I don't know what the war is even about On the one hand this is how Alan and Elaine experience things so it works on that level On the other we do have insight into Nadia and Val and their perspective so I would really like to have had a bit of this included though I imagine the next book will get us there3 Keeping the characters voices in the dialogue Most of the time the dialogue worked but there were definitely moments in this book where the dialogue didn't seem to have each character's uniue flavor and I found I might get confused about who was talking as they sounded the same We get the idea of who each of them are from description than from their actual words Elaine is an exception since she tends to be biting and sarcastic Dialogue is hard that's why I'm not a writer And for the most part it works well but I think this is something that could be developed a little better That said this happens in a lot of books so is not really a big dealOverall I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to Was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it and hope Ms uail's horse got a few cookies from me buying it He can expect a few when the next one comes out

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