Series: The Halfling Chronicles

Review: Instinct by J.A. Garland

Posted July 31, 2013 by Sherri in Reviews / 1 Comment

Review: Instinct by J.A. Garland
Instinct by J.A. Garland
Series: The Halfling Chronicles #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Published by BURST on November 4th 2012
Format: Ebook
Pages: 226
Source: Author

Also in this series: The Dysus Dreamer
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Overall Rating:

Book Description:

Blurb:
Lone wolf, Rory Archer, never failed a single mission. Now the hunted instead of the hunter, Rory unwinds a twisted trail leading back to Amber Arlington, a spirited Halfling tied to a world of Shadows. Bound to vows initially forged out of necessity, Rory and Amber's relationship surges into more than either of them bargained for, tangling them in a web of passion. Scrambling to identify their attacker before joining the casualty list, Rory is faced with doing the unthinkable, or watching Amber turned into a slave for his species. In the battle against Shadows, demons and all variety of monsters come out to fight.


Quiana’s Review:
Lately I’ve been on a Paranormal and Urban Fantasy kick.  So when I read the synopsis for Instinct by J.A. Garland, I was definitely tempted.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I will say that I’m glad I got to read this book.

For the most part, I liked Instinct.  This book was brimming with fascinating creatures with awesome powers.  The plot was intriguing and the secondary characters were pretty entertaining.  I liked that some of the characters were complex and were neither good nor evil, but mostly grey.  But there were also some things I had issues with.  For one, aside from the at times too busy plot, there was a lot of history and new terminology to learn.  I spent too much time trying to figure out the meaning of certain references and words.  Some of the terms were not clearly defined when first introduced.  As a result, there were instances where I was taken out of the story, and that’s never a good thing.  A glossary would have been greatly appreciated.

Which brings me to the next issue I had:  the main characters, Rory and Amber, weren’t very compelling.  We got a lot of insight into Rory and he had several chapters from his point of view.  Amber on the other hand, got less focus than Rory, and in some instances, less than some of the secondary characters as well.  Amber spent a lot of her time with Rory, but she remained a mystery for a good portion of the book.  I suppose this was intentional and necessary for the story in order for Amber to remain a mystery, but it prevented me from connecting to Amber as a character; in the end I also had difficulty connecting with Rory and Amber as a romantic couple.  Either way, secondary characters like Slade, Grace, Aaric and Kat were much more interesting than Rory and Amber.  I look forward to reading future stories that give these characters more focus.

Overall, I liked Instinct.  I think it was a decent start for the first book in what is to be a series.  I’m excited to see what the next book, the newly released Dysus Dreamer, has to offer.  This book is nowhere near perfect, but I do recommend it to readers who are interested in the Paranormal and Urban Fantasy genres. (Reviewed by Quiana – The Book Lover).

Review: The Dysus Dreamer by J.A. Garland

Posted July 19, 2013 by Sherri in Reviews / 2 Comments

Review: The Dysus Dreamer by J.A. Garland
The Dysus Dreamer by J.A. Garland
Series: The Halfling Chronicles #2
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by BURST on July 1, 2013
Format: Ebook
Pages: 214
Source: Author

Also in this series: Instinct
Purchase Links: Amazon
Book Links: Goodreads
Overall Rating:

Book Description:

Book Description:

"A powerful half-demon is kidnapped, bloodthirsty werewolves are on the rise, and a planet is dying. A demon warrior and dark elf joining forces are the least of their worries."

Demon warrior, Slade Aesus, is determined to destroy the werewolves controlling his cousin. But a beautiful elf, consumed by her own vengeance, finds the wolves first. Botching her assassination attempt, Annwyn has the most powerful Packs in the world biting at her heels. Both fiercely independent, can the two join forces long enough to fulfill their missions and stay alive?


Quiana’s Review:
J.A. Garland is back with Dysus Dreamer, the second book in the Halfling Chronicles series. The first book, Instinct, follows Rory, a werewolf Tracker, and a very powerful Halfling named Amber. In Dysus Dreamer we revisit the intriguing world of Trackers, Ghosts and Shadows, along with vampires, demons, elves, and werewolves. The second book in the series features the demon Slade on a quest for revenge against a group of werewolves known as the Dirty Dozen: the very organization that terrorized his cousin Amber in the first book. Plans change however once it’s revealed that Amber has once again been kidnapped. Now Slade needs the help of his fellow team members and friends if he wants to save Amber from the clutches of a mad man.

Slade just might be my favorite character so far in this series, and although the point of view switched between characters, I was very happy that he got most of the focus in this book. As someone who likes to be in control and favors working alone, Slade finds himself longing for a partner of his own. When he meets a dark elf named Annwyn, it’s the first time in a long time he feels ready to take on a partner. However, Annwyn seems to have her own agenda, and it’s difficult for Slade to fully trust her. Not to mention there’s an underlining attraction between the two that could end up as a distraction for them both. But for Slade, rescuing Amber is his highest priority, and Annwyn has her own mission to accomplish, which doesn’t leave time for romance, only duty.

I liked this book even more than the first. Mainly because some of the issues I had with Instinct, such as the overly busy plot, the terminology that wasn’t clearly defined, and the rushed romance between the main characters, did not exist in Dysus Dreamer. There was still a lot of new terminology introduced on top of the old, which is why I believe a glossary would be beneficial for readers. Most of the secondary as well as main characters remain just as compelling in this book as they were in Instinct. I’m glad we got to meet some new characters and revisited some old ones as well.

There wasn’t really any romance this time around. I did however like their interactions. Slade was attracted to Annwyn, but he mainly struggled with learning to trust her and accepting her as his partner on the job. I was disappointed that we didn’t get any chapters from Annwyn’s point of view, as I found her interesting and would have liked to get more insight into the character. Maybe a future book will delve more into the character.

Overall, Dysus Dreamer was an enjoyable read, with an exciting story, likeable characters, and enough twists and turns to keep any reader interested. The plot itself is a little more complicated than what the synopsis reveals, and we learn more and more about this world and its’ characters as the series progresses. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, so I’ll leave it up to readers to delve a little deeper into the story and characters than my review does. If you’re interested in paranormal and urban fantasy, then this is a series worth reading. (Reviewed by Quiana – The Book Lover).