Category Archives: Anya Bast

January Through June 2011 Reads – Star Ratings

Books I read in January through June this year. Separated into star ratings, then listed by order in which I read them. All up at GoodReads. Some reviews here on my WordPress. Does not include books that I didn’t finish, because I’ve deleted them from my catalogue, and likely my memory.

Let me know if you decide to read or not to read them, based on my ratings. Because yes, I am that egocentric 😉

5 STARS: Rage (Jackie Morse Kessler), American Vampire (Jennifer Armintrout), Project 17 (Laurie Faria Stolarz), The Gathering (Kelley Armstrong), The Repossession Mambo/Repo Men (Eric Garcia), Moongazer (Marianne Mancusi), Wither (Lauren DeStefano), Girl Hero (Carrie Jones)

4 STARS: Outside In (Maria V. Snyder), Stocking Full of Coal (Amanda Feral), The Walled Garden (Michele Lang), The Shadow Runners (Liz Maverick), The Vespertine (Saundra Mitchell), Linger (Maggie Stiefvater), Dark Life (Kat Falls), Demonized (Naomi Clark), The Reckoning (Kelley Armstrong), Midnight Alley (Rachel Caine), Feast of Fools (Rachel Caine), Lord of Misrule (Rachel Caine), Carpe Corpus (Rachel Caine), Fade Out (Rachel Caine), Coming Home (P. D. Martin), Kiss of Death (Rachel Caine), XVI (Julia Karr), Ghost Town (Rachel Caine), The Girl in the Steel Corset (Kady Cross), Matched (Ally Condie), Uninvited (Amanda Marrone), The Bradbury Report (Steven Polansky), Uninvited (Justine Musk), Exile (Rebecca Lim), Helper12 (Jack Blaine), Darkness Becomes Her (Kelly Keaton)

3 STARS: Jealousy (Lili St. Crow), Among the Betrayed (Margaret Peterson Haddix), Among the Barons (Margaret Peterson Haddix), Becoming (Kelley Armstrong), Shadow Days (Andrea Cremer), Day of Fire (Kathleen Nance), Dreaming Anastasia (Joy Preble), Things Bogans Like, Beyond Heaving Bosoms (Sarah Wendell & Candy Tan), Fugitives (Alexander Gordon Smith), The Power of Two (Patti O’Shea), Coming Undone (Lauren Dane), In the Arms of Stone Angels (Jordan Dane), The Iron Witch (Karen Mahoney), Damaged (Yolanda Sfetsos), Falling Freestyle (Vivian Arend), Jeweled (Anya Bast), Thyla (Kate Gordon), It Takes a Village Idiot and I Married One (Alex Borstein & Cherry Chevapravatdumrong), Burn Bright (Marianne de Pierres), A Touch Mortal (Leah Clifford), Night and Chaos (Naomi Clark), Savage Transformation (Lexxie Couper), The Official Illustrated Guide (Stephenie Meyer), Exit Strategy (Kelley Armstrong), Made to Be Broken (Kelley Armstrong), You Are So Undead to Me (Stacey Jay), Hereafter (Tara Hudson), Relentless (Lauren Dane), The Scarlet Empress (Susan Grant), Close Encounters (Katherine Allred), Perfect Cover (Jennifer Lynn Barnes), Killer Spirit (Jennifer Lynn Barnes), West End (Laura Van Wormer), Moon Sworn (Keri Arthur)

2 STARS: Defiance (Lili St. Crow)

June 2011 Releases

Done with May 2011 Releases? Here are June 2011 Releases. To see further dates, check Reading Wishlist.

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May 2011 Releases

Done with April 2011 Releases? Here are May 2011 Releases. To see further into the future, check Reading Wishlist.

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April 2011 Releases

Done with March 2011 Releases? Here are April 2011 Releases. To see further into the future, check Reading Wishlist.

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[REVIEW] Jeweled – Anya Bast

Anya Bast
Penguin Berkley Heat (US & CA: 2nd November 2010; AU: 1st December 2010)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Best suited for fans of Megan Hart’s Order of Solace series, Jeweled is an erotic fantasy romance – “fantasy” in that it feels like an historical, but is set in a fictional land.

The world-building intrigues: if the royalty likes them enough, the magicked join the privileged to bring magickal blood back into the royal family. Evangeline Bansdaughter’s emotional magick leads her to be Jeweled, her back pierced to mark her as the royals’ magickal property. She’s also tattooed to mark her as the sexual property of a royal.

Then comes the revolution, with the beheading of royalty/nobility. Evangeline rescues Anatol Nicolison, one of her fellow Jeweled, and they disguise as lower-class folk. They’re soon discovered, though – not because of the jewel or tattoo, but rather Evangeline’s demeanour.

Really, I expected someone to tear out her jewel, either to help her assimilate with the lower class, or as an attack by the revolutionaries. But after the piercing heals, the jewel remains and is barely mentioned again. That tattoo never comes into play, either. So why all the big deal about them at the start to not become an issue later on?

Anyhoo, Evangeline and Anatol make a friend in a brothel owner who helps them acquire accommodation, but they soon move in with the leader of the revolution. But Gregorio Vikhin never wanted the beheadings, didn’t want the violence. Too bad; they happened anyway. He doesn’t hate the Jeweled, so he’s quite friendly with his new housemates – and new bedfellows. Evangeline wants both men, and they both want her. They don’t want each other, but are willing to share in order to both keep her. Therefore, Evangeline has the power, and this doesn’t sit well with me. Romantic relationships should be absolutely equal – even when three or more are involved. That and the fact that m/m scenes totally float my boat. But Anatol and Gregorio don’t act that way, though they both do Evangeline at the same time (different orifices).

For a tale including a revolution, there’s little direct violence and danger to the trio. You’d expect maximum external conflict to strike leading up to the third act; instead, it comes in the final thirty pages. There’s a capture, and fake bladder weakness is used as a ruse to escape/injure a captor, who totally falls for it. I think you know my opinion of that.

But Jeweled isn’t plot-driven; it’s really about the characters, but I can’t muster up any enthusiasm for them. Partially – okay, mostly – because there’s opportunity for m/m action, and it never happens. If Evangeline had been poor and hideous, would Anatol and Gregorio still love her? Maybe they’d still want to screw her, but they go on about how beautiful she is, lalala… It’s difficult to care about a character with whom you can’t identify. She freaks out about her new acquisition of emotions, and the men treat her special because of that, and you know what? I’m just getting fed up with Special Snowflake characters. People who are beautiful, smart, skilled, talented, beloved, adored, worshipped… I just want characters to whom I can relate. Relationships I can believe. (Which is probably why I shouldn’t read romance, though I’m totally fine with erotica.)

I hoped for heavier political and exterior plot meat. I hoped for less shagging, and more chatting and having a sense of humour. And yes, I hoped for m/m action.

But what this novel did for me is help identify my reading preferences. And getting all ranty means I see the potential in this story, even if the execution doesn’t work. That’s better than feeling “meh” about it, right? It at least sparked some emotion. And isn’t that why we read in the first place? To be engaged enough to give a toss either way? To feel feelings? If so, then Jeweled, indeed, achieves that goal.

November 2010 Releases

Done with October 2010 Releases? Here are November 2010 Releases (behind the cut). To see further into the further, check Reading Wishlist.

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9 New Covers

Behind the cut.

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6 New Deals

Kelley Armstrong‘s as-yet-untitled 3rd YA trilogy to Rosemary Brosnan at HarperTeen & Amy Black at Doubleday Canada, for publication in 2014.

Anya Bast‘s Midnight Enchantment (conclusion of the Dark Magick quarter) & the 1st book in a new paranormal romance series called the Brotherhood of the Damned, in a 2-book deal to Cindy Hwang at Berkley Sensation (World).

Becca Fitzpatrick‘s Tempest to Emily Meehan at Simon & Schuster (North America) in a major 2-book deal, for publication in 2011. The 3rd book in the Hush, Hush series.

Darynda Jones‘s Grimsight in a 3-book deal to Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin’s (NA). A teenager’s life is irrevocably changed when a grim reaper starts high school in her small town.

Veronica Rossi‘s Under the Never Sky to Barbara Lalicki at Harper (NA) in a 3-book deal, for publication in 2012. About forbidden lovers from radically different societies – following a girl banished from her enclosed, technology-bound city out into the deadly natural world, where she encounters a savage boy who becomes her only chance to survive & return home.

UK/Commonwealth rights for Veronica Roth‘s Divergent to Rachel Denwood at HarperCollins UK.

13 New Covers

13 new covers behind the cut.

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October 2010 Releases

Done with September 2010 Releases? Here are the October 2010 Releases. To check release dates further into the future, check Reading Wishlist.

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