Short and Snappy Reviews — Your Lycan or Mine, Magic Steals, & The Second Bell

Your Lycan or Mine? by Michele Bardsley

Insta-love on steroids even by the standards of Michele Bardsley’s Broken Heart series. Boy sneaks up on girl, she feels attracted to him, he keeps showing up, and then she kinda gets used to him? Doesn’t really make a difference if one of them is a soul sucking supe and the other was created to be her mate. I usually pick up a Broken Hearts novel when I want something light and uplifting. Guess this novella achieved that even if it got dark in certain places. The ending was cutesy too. And btw, this IS a novella even if it’s being marketed as a full-length novel.

Magic Steals by Ilona Andrews

Dunno why, but I’ve never liked Jim for all the times he has supported Curran or Kate. He just rubs me the wrong way and appears pompous and unlikeable. I was on the fence about Dali but decided not to like her when she was an ass to Kate in one of the last books in the series. So, not a fan of the leading couple (see my rating for a hint), but I ended up liking the story simply because of the effort the authors put in researching other cultures and getting things right. I mean, where else could I learn about Balinese magic while also enjoying the brand of humor only found in the Kate Daniels universe?

The Second Bell by Gabriela Houston

Remember the time I read and reviewed The Book of Joan? For a book claiming to be feministy, it was the exact opposite! I felt the same way while reading The Second Bell even though it makes no such claims!

Bitchy Characters

The book’s about a town of women who are treated like pariahs by others. Shouldn’t they rise above that amongst themselves? All female characters behave so badly with each other. Do women need men to form true communities? What is the message behind this?

Problematic Villain

Like a cartoonish cliche, the villain in this story has a one-track mind and he would do anything to achieve his objective. No one, not even his mother, who’s supposed to be a sort of wise woman and is regularly watching his outbursts and dark temper, can suss out his intentions. What’s more, our heroine develops feelings for him even when he has been horrible to her from the get go. Again, what’s the message?

Unexplained Plot Points

Women who can tap into a certain power are treated like witches and kicked out into the wilderness. It’s plain to readers that power is an important plot point. Yet we’re shown next to nothing about it. Does it come with limits? What does it even do? Is using it actually bad or just another way of controlling women’s freedom? I couldn’t find the answer to any of these questions!

Unrealistic Ending

Initially, the whole town was against women with powers. So much so, the townspeople made mothers abandon babies born with that ability. Even when they’re scared, a flood will wipe them out, those people refuse to accept the witchy women. All of a sudden, though, they not only try to save the protagonist by lending their energies to revive her but are completely okay living with those women? I mean, what changed?

Amazing premise but lackluster execution and clearly misogynistic vibes ruined this book for me!

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