Review of Reaping Shadows by Jamieson Wolf

Standard

Note: I’ve registered my blog so my url is ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords.com.  Please make note and change your bookmark.  Thanks!  We will now return to your regularly scheduled program!

Rating: 3.5 stars

Darion Muerte is a Reaper, one of many, and has been one for centuries.  He gathers the souls of the dying so they can move on, hunting for them each night with his Shadow, a creature made from his essence. One night as he follows his Shadow tracking the next person he is to visit, he is astonished to see that their target can see not only his Shadow but Darion himself. The people whose souls he gathers never see the Reapers who come for them but this one can.

His target’s name is Kale.  Not only can Kale see him but Kale isn’t sick, isn’t dying, and above all isn’t afraid of him.  So why did his Shadow lead him straight to Kale?  In a flash of need, Kale and Darion have a sexual encounter that leaves them both gasping and wanting more.  Kale feels that he has been waiting for Darion his entire life.  Darion is experiencing the same unfathomable feelings for Kale.  But at the end of the night, his mission cannot change. It must end with Darion taking Kale’s soul.

I liked the premise of this short story.  That Death has many Reapers who gather the souls of the dying to help them pass on, accompanied by a Shadow.  The Shadows are an almost dog like creature created from the Reapers shadows and they help their Masters locate the next soul to take. Wolf extends his take on this by introducing Kale, a man who can see his Reaper and Shadow when no other person can.  Kale is  also healthy so why is a Reaper coming for him?  We get a hint that this might be something Kale has been fated for all his life but that is never fully explained, so a hint of mystery hangs about the character.  After a night of passionate sex (and some very hot vivid scenes), Darion is supposed to take his soul.  The plot continues to gain interest amid some neat twists but then with the introduction of the Brothers Grimm and the arrival of Death itself, the story takes a turn that it never quite recovers from.

The Brothers Grimm are hunting our two protagonists until Death appears to strike a bargain.  The final plot point hinges on the sacrifice Darion must make in the name of love. But the author has not finished setting up a realistic or viable reason for us to buy into this sacrifice.  And the ending just doesn’t seem plausible (yes, I know this is a supernatural tale after all, but the author must make us believe the actions described and I never did). So at the end the  whole story just unravels and so does the rating.  Again, I suspect the author set about trying to accomplish a much larger story that just doesn’t work in a shorter length.  Still there is much to like about Reaping Shadows and I look forward to the next story from Jamieson Wolf.

Cover:  Staci Perkins is the cover artist for this moody spot on cover.  Great job.

The Olympics, the Week Ahead in Reviews and a Milky Way Martini That’s Out Of This World

Standard

So things are happening all around this coming week.  I have been glued to the Olympics in London along with millions of others and that opening night still has me thinking.  Words like stupendous, mystifying, amusing, and outright flabbergasted swirled in my head as the spectacle  unfolded.  Loved the symbolism of the Oak Tree on Glastonbury Tor but wondered how many people went “huh”.  The Industrial Revolution and the molten river was very cool.  And who doesn’t love Kenneth Branagh reading a passage from The Tempest? Hmmm…dancing doctors and nurses, and hospital beds for the NHS?  I am told it is a “veddy British” thing and it must be as that and the “creepy” big baby had me stymied! Mr. Bean had me in stitches from first sight right thru his Chariots of Fire run. I will pass over the digital revolution.  I loved, loved the songs!  Singing my heart out along with them.  But was it only me that it seemed as though I was watching people watch a large tv on tv?  Don’t know.  Maybe it was just getting late at night.  Then came that eye opening, yelling for others to come see, smashing tour de force at the end. Wow! From the torch arriving with David Beckham (scream of joy) on a fast moving boat to the young athletes acknowledging and saluting their past, the older Olympians, to the lighting of the Olympic Flame (so incredible).  Then it is all topped off by Sir Paul and Hey Jude singalong.   Let me just say I was a totally happy camper when the lights finally went off.  And how great was Her Majesty and her corgis, even the fat one?

So I am watching the events this week and with the permanent generator being installed, yes a permanent generator, on Monday.  “Take that Pepco!  I should send you the bill.”  We are assured of a constant stream of power.  A great thing really considering the storms that arrive every night, bringing hail, high winds, and torrential rain to some parts of the  area, we just never know where it will hit.  So happy dance on Monday, might even post of pic!  And no problems getting my posts up – knock on wood.  So to the tune of the Olympics theme, here’s the lineup this week:

Monday:                                Reaping Shadows by Jamieson Wolf

Tuesday:                                The Man Trap by Lee Brazil

Wednesday:                          The Trust by Shira Anthony and Verona Keyes

Thursday:                              Three Fates Anthology by Andrew Grey, Mary Calmes and Amy Lane

Friday:                                    A Foreign Range by Andrew Grey

Saturday:                               Hired Muscle by Hank Edwards

So we are still trying different cocktails to entertain with and break the heat.  Today we are going into outer space for The Galaxy also known as The Milky Way:

Ingredients:

* 1 1/2 cups ice cubes
* 1/4 cup cold water
* 2 fluid ounces vanilla-flavored vodka
* 2 fluid ounces white Creme de Cacao
* 2 fluid ounces irish cream liqueur
* 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
How to make it

Chill a martini glass by filling it with 1/2 cup of ice and cold water.
Place 1 cup of ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Pour the vanilla-flavored vodka, white creme de cacao, and Irish cream liqueur over the ice; cover and shake vigorously. Dump the ice and water from the martini glass and drizzle the inside of the glass with chocolate syrup. Strain the cocktail into the glass to serve.

Contest Winner, The Week Ahead and It’s Sidecar Time!

Standard

What a great time we had during Series Week.  Great comments and new authors/series for me to investigate and read.  Winner of Primal Red is yganoe! Congratulations and thanks to everyone who commented.  Two cover artists I forgot to mention were Catt Ford and April Martinez! Love their covers too! Next contest up will be JL Langley week in October to celebrate the release of My Regelence Rake with a series recap, a author spotlight and a book contest for that novel. Plus I will be participating in the Halloween Blog Hop so stay tuned.

Meanwhile Maryland’s rollercoaster weather ride continues.  We hit another record yesterday.  The coldest July day temp ever recorded.  We had a high of 71 degrees F yesterday.  This on top of 6 more records, mostly for heat.  Hottest 100 degree days in a row, hottest day, hottest night…and then the coldest day?  All in the same month?  Climate change, people!  It’s real!

So anyhow, back to the week ahead.  I have been reading some really great books of late, and my review of one of them, Ariel Tachna’s Fallout will be posted on Tuesday. You don’t want to miss this book. So lets get to all the books being reviewed this week:

Monday:                             Country Mouse by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov

Tuesday:                             Fallout by Ariel Tachna

Wednesday:                       Notice Series by M. F. Raiya

Thursday:                           Pricks and Pragmatism by J. L. Merrow

Friday:                                 Reaping Shadows by Jamieson Wolf

Saturday:                             Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino

Now for the summer cocktail of the week.  Nope, still not cooking, more summer cocktails to come:

Sidecar (light, tasty, and packs a punch):


 

 

 

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1 lemon wedge
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) Cognac
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Cointreau or other Triple Sec orange liqueur
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) fresh lemon juice
1 cup ice

Directions:

Spread superfine sugar on small plate. Rub lemon wedge halfway around rim of chilled martini or coupe glass. Dip moistened side of glass in sugar to lightly coat outside rim of glass. Set aside.
In cocktail shaker, combine Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice. Add ice and shake vigorously until well chilled, about 30 seconds. Strain into prepared martini or coupe glass and serve.