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Black Lament by Christina Henry

Black Lament had a very drastic change in tone to the first three Black Wings stories. And honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, it showed an amazing ability to have a changing and dynamic character; on the other, I love Maddy Black for her sass, sarcasm and wit, all of which were tainted by a black halo of depression. When they were present. However, this change in the general ambiance of the tale really should have been obvious from the title of the novel.

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Black Howl by Christina Henry

The end of this story was one of the most insanely powerful stories that I have read in a long time – it both made me want to cry and whoop for joy. Maddy’s constantly dramatic tale gets more intense with each book in the Black Wings series, and I’m not really sure how it can get any more potent than Black Howl. I read the entire book in about three hours – it was just IMPOSSIBLE to put down! And even four hours after finishing the last page, my head is still spinning and twirling with the tale I just read.

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Body Double by Tess Gerritsen

The nature versus nurture debate has fascinated me ever since I first heard of it in my first year of University. Is it our genetics which define who we will be, or is it the way in which we are bought up? Personally, I’ve always believed that it is a mix of the two, but the discussion and the extent to which aspect of ourselves has the most impact is always an interesting one. One which Gerritsen explores beautifully through Maura Isle’s parentage in Body Double.

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The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen

The first two Rizzoli & Isles books deal almost exclusively with Rizzoli, so it is really refreshing and nice to understand crime from the point of view of an ME. Maura is the complete opposite of Rizzoli, although both women are fighting for respect and their own place in a man’s world. The ‘Queen of the Dead’, like Jane has her own hang-ups, her own past and her own battles to fight within the male dominated society.

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The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan

It was really enjoyable to delve into Halt’s history and his past. He is the perfect enigmatic mentor for Will (and even Horace), so his history and what led him to become the mysterious hero that we love and know has fascinated me since the inklings of it in Oakleaf Bearers. The presence of his twin brother, and the reminder that no matter how many genes two people have in common, they can still become completely different characters. Halt’s steadfastness and admirable sense of self are severely juxtaposed by his brother’s entire persona – a great reminder that it is our choices that create us, not our parentage.

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Erak’s Ransom by John Flanagan

It was fun to flash back in time after the conclusion of The Siege of Macindaw. Will’s last year as a Ranger was always going to be an important story, if not just for his graduation, but also his hopes and dreams for his own future. The fact that this gets wrapped up with rescuing Erak from another fascinating nationality (the Arridi) just added to the feeling of excitement and closure at Will’s final year of apprenticeship.

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The Siege of Macindaw by John Flanagan

The depth of Will’s care for his loved ones becomes blatantly obvious in The Siege of Macindaw. The lengths to which he is willing to go to rescue Alyss are remarkable, and the depth of his conviction throughout this story is incredibly endearing. It is also a great hallmark of the man that Flanagan was able to effortlessly create out of the boy who started out confused and scared in The Ruins of Gorlan.

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Kitsunegari by Kelley Armstrong

Jeremy’s Asian supernatural heritage is shown in Infusion, yet, the true meaning of this and why it created the amazing werewolf Alpha wasn’t revealed until this story. The explanation of his heritage, and even why his mother was so desperate to reproduce with a man that even she found despicable finally makes sense. As does his constant drawing of runes and his uncanny ability to know when his Pack and family are in danger. Even the tattoo which Jamie decides to get at the conclusion of No Humans Involved has an unforeseen power.

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Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong

I’m honestly still not sure what my thoughts are on this story. But, in the most positive way I have ever experienced – nothing was as I expected, the ending caught me by surprise and the entire story has been rattling around in my head for hours. There is just something about Armstrong's writing and her Women of the Otherworld series that tends to linger with me after I finish one of her books, but this novel more so than the rest. It just helped to tie in the greater story, which until now, I couldn’t actually envisage, and, more than that, showed a different, stronger side to Hope Adams than the previous stories.

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