The thing with most urban fantasy/paranormal series is that the premise pique my interest, but actually putting in the work to read them or finish them, well, most of the time, I never see the end. It happened with Whyborne & Griffin (the last book! gah!) and Soulbound. It gets to the point where so many things are happening for a prolonged period that it becomes a toss-up between laziness and boredom.
So far, Fallen Messengers is doing a great job of keeping me riveted. If this keeps up and hopefully wraps up soon, I can complete the series. I’m giving major props to narrator Alex Kydd. My first impression was he spoke too slowly. It turned out to be an advantage because his slow even delivery helps me through the info-dumps without brain overload. And he gave the million and one cast their distinct voices and personalities, which is impressive given that there are numerous female characters.
This is a review of Books 2 and 3.
Fallen Messengers: Spellbound by Ava Marie Salinger
Can Cassius and Morgan overcome an elusive enemy and save a young girl’s life?
Eden Monroe has spent her entire existence believing she has no magic. Shunned by her mother Brianna and the magical bureau Hexa, she runs away from home when she is forced to embrace a future she never chose, only to fall into the hands of ghastly monsters from the Nine Hells. After being rescued by a mysterious Dryad with secrets of his own, Eden realizes there is more to her past and future than she could ever have imagined.
When San Francisco PD asks Argonaut to assist them in solving a series of strange bank robberies, Cassius Black and Morgan King uncover a disturbing plot that points to an unknown artifact hidden somewhere in the city. Their investigation soon has them crossing paths with a desperate Brianna, who seeks their help in finding her missing daughter. When the witch reveals the shocking circumstances surrounding her daughter’s birth as well as the deadly magic sealed inside the young girl’s body, the Argonaut agents realize their case is linked to Eden and the weapon of devastating power the bank robbers are after.
Can Cassius and Morgan defeat the malevolent organization behind it all and save Eden from her cursed fate? Or will the young girl suffer a destiny worse than death itself?
Spellbound is the second novel in the gay urban fantasy romance series Fallen Messengers. This is an MM paranormal adventure full of action, magic, snark, and a host of steamy angels and demons.
Spellbound is the second book, introducing new characters and multiple POVs. I’m assuming each book will focus on one supernatural agency. Book 1, Fractured Souls, has the MC, Cassius the imperial, joining the Argonauts, the agency overseeing otherworldlies. This book features Brianna Monroe, head of Hexa, the organization of witches. She has a rather complicated relationship with her daughter Eden. The teen ran away after having had enough of her mother’s controlling ways.
What I love most about this series is that whenever people use magic, they go BIG! Even those who just discovered they have the ability don’t start small, which makes the fight scenes super mind-blowing. Although here, it’s a tad bit less intense than in Book 1, but still awesome. Possibly because a chunk of the plot is Eden struggling to survive the streets while being hunted by monsters. Reading about people on the run isn’t my favorite thing. Also, I had to wait for events to connect to Cassius, Morgan and their team. It’s a me problem because, objectively, this sequel rocks!
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Fallen Messengers: Edge Lines – Ava Marie Salinger
The Gods have come to San Francisco…
Cassius Black and Morgan King’s trip to Ivory Peaks to uncover clues about their past takes an unexpected turn when a rift materializes and war demons attack the capital. Having saved one world by the skin of their teeth, they return to Earth, only to find it has been rocked by ominous quakes bearing a close resemblance to the phenomenon that nearly destroyed the Dryad kingdom.
After defeating demons that emerge from a crevasse in San Francisco, Cassius and Morgan rescue the Wild God Pan from the bottom of a rift with the help of Victor Sloan and the city’s otherwordly. But instead of thanking them, Pan makes a startling demand: rescue his lover and prevent the Spirit Realm from being destroyed, and he will reveal the truth about who Cassius and Morgan are.
Help comes from an unexpected source when a pair of Reapers visit the city and Cassius, Morgan, and Victor soon go hunting for a missing deity who may hold the key to saving all the realms. Can they free the immortals from their prisons and find the powerful artefact that can bend the mind and will of even a God? Or will the enemy who has long manipulated them from the shadows win this war and destroy everything they have come to care for?
Edge Lines is the third novel in the gay urban fantasy romance series Fallen Messengers. If you like your paranormal adventures full of action, magic, snark, and a host of steamy angels and demons, then you’re not going to want to miss this enthralling, fun-filled ride!
Edge Lines is the highly anticipated 3rd book because Victor Sloane!!!
The story also has multiple POVs but the majority is from Cass and his angel boyfriend, Morgan. This is where gods and demi-gods make themselves known. The team, along with Victor, has to deal with rifts and war demons appearing in various realms. It has something to do with the disappearance of the winter god and Pan’s lover, the winter god’s nephew.
As mentioned in my review of Fractured Souls, I’m not a fan of Morgan. His brand of assholery doesn’t appeal to me. Here, I go back and forth because, yeah, he’s super protective of Cass, but also an inconsiderate horndog who wouldn’t let his perpetually sleep-deprived boyfriend get proper sleep.
I am team Victor. Cass’ demon ex is a nicer guy than Morgan. That teeny tiny glimpse inside Victor’s thoughts revealed dark possessive desires of owning Cass, mind, body, heart, and soul. I suppose this was meant to show Morgan as the better man but Victor has the goodness in him to know doing so would kill the light in Cass that he loves. If Morgan has to stay go poly, please! Love triangles are never ever fun and tiresome as fuck! This could kill the series for me if it continues.
I’m wondering how much more epic the series could get because this one brought it up another notch! There are the crazy level-ups we love, long-awaited identity reveals that got me hyped for future events, and of course, the action scenes that always go nuclear. The writing strikes a great balance between info dumps, character progression, plot, imagery, and fight scene choreography. And with a talented narrator, this tale of the fallen and the otherworldly continues to be a spellbinding experience that kept me enthralled.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
Fallen Messengers has a cute custom of giving many supporting characters their little happy endings. Cheesy but fun! So Victor might get one too, if he doesn’t end up throupling with Cass and Morgan. Can the angel and the demon share the imperial, please?
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The Ellwood Chronicles: The Enchanter’s Soul – Michele Notaro
Many fall as the last enchanter rises…
The first line of the ancient prophecy keeps playing over and over in my head, but I’m afraid to remember the rest. I don’t want to think about what’s coming for us—what’s coming for him. I’ve been keeping Brinnswick safe for years; I’ve been keeping my coven safe my whole life; and now I was responsible for keeping Sebastian safe, too. It shouldn’t have been a problem, he was my vitmea viramore, after all, and I was used to having the weight of the world on my shoulders.
What Seb doesn’t know is that everyone in the magical community is after him—even if they don’t realize it yet. They’ve been looking for him for centuries; not only for him, but for his soul. But they never counted on him having me. I will protect him with my every breath and take down anyone that gets in our way. His soul belongs with me, not in the arms of evil.
The Enchanter’s Soul is the second book in The Ellwood Chronicles and is a continuation of Sebastian and Ailin’s story. It contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 years of age and older.
Recommended Reading Order:
The Enchanter’s Flame
The Witch’s Seal
The Enchanter’s Soul
The Enchanter’s Soul is the second book of The Ellwood Chronicles and picks up after the events following the big revelation about Sebastian. It talks of a prophecy that warned about enchanters and what their magic could bring to the world.
I liked this second book a little bit more than The Enchanter’s Flame. This has a lot of Ailin’s POV and it’s more compelling to see the story unfold from his perspective. We get more insights into the magical world. We also see the mighty Sage’s vulnerable side and his deep love for his soulmate, his vitmea viramore who needed a smack in the head majority of the time. The feelings ran deeper and cut more painfully because Sebastian needed a lot of convincing that what they have is real, magic bond or not and Ailin has to be the patient and understanding one. I enjoyed the push and pull between the viramores but the “I love you, I’ll protect you with everything I have” declarations did get a tad too repetitive.
Seb’s going about this whole enchanter business the wrong way. Dude, you got magic! MAGIC!!! Embrace it.
Sometimes he reminded me of Scooby Doo, a big guy who gets freaked out too easily by tiny critters but, still, loyal and brave where it counts. So I can’t get annoyed with him too much.
The book has a big cast, I can’t even remember how many kids Ailin has in his coven, and you bet he’s willing to die for any of them. It’s easy to like the Ellwoods, even the little shit Basil, who’s breaking Thayer’s heart. But hands down, the best secondary characters were Emerys, Ailin’s ex, and Julius, the vampire, who stood out with so much going on between the two of them that is yet to be revealed. I can’t wait for their book to come out.
The Enchanter’s Soul started slow then kicked into high gear at 65% when they discovered who’s responsible for the explosions. Then it erupted into all out magical battles that almost burned out their magic. And that wasn’t even it! They barely had time to breathe when Seb was captured, skinned alive and worse! What they did to that dragon… The bad guys were EVIL AF!!!
This was quite the roller coaster. Emotional ups and downs, complicated relationships and enjoyable family dynamics all wrapped up in magic and romance.
I am so hyped up for the next Ellwood adventure. More and more evil creatures are coming out of the woodwork, all of them after Sebastian and that prophecy. War is coming.
Dragons on the cover (b~_^)b
Book 1, The Enchanter’s Flame here
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
The Ellwood Chronicles: The Enchanter’s Flame by Michelle Notaro
Strange things are happening all around Brinnswick. Things that remind me of a piece of my past I’d rather forget. Girls are being killed, drained of blood, and left with strange markings on their bodies. When I finally connect the cases together, a specialist is called in—though, what he’s a specialist of is beyond me.
When the chief assigns him as my new partner for the case, I can’t help but groan on the inside. Why of all people would I be assigned to Ailin Ellwood? The man is a disaster waiting to happen and a jerk to boot. A sexy jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.
What will Sebastian think when he discovers Ailin’s specialty? Will he make a run for it or will he stick around and discover a world of magic hidden beneath the city’s surface?
***The Enchanter’s Flame is the first book in the Ellwood Chronicles. It’s a paranormal romance that contains explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 and over.***
The Enchanter’s Flame is the first book of the highly enjoyable Ellwood Chronicles, a fantasy series about witches and other magic users blended with a chockful of romance, mystery, humor and a dash of police procedural.
Some niggles though. Ailin Ellwood, a very powerful witch, was partnered with Sebastian Fitz, a police detective, to solve a series of murders. At first, Sebastian didn’t know Ailin’s true identity. All he was told was that the man was a specialist. Seb was dragged along with only half an idea of what’s going and had to endure his partner’s assholic attitude. The witch gave cryptic non-answers and made life-altering decisions, ex. magically binding Seb for life, without even consulting him. Also, he constantly read the detective’s mind with no regard for his privacy.
This, understandably, drove the clueless Seb crazy. The story was written from his POV and most of it was him and his hilarious WTF reactions to whatever shit Ailin came up with. The poor guy simultaneously wanted throttle the jerk and get in his pants because Ailin’s got that cool Goth boy look to match the rude ‘tude. The result was a lot of sniping and griping and USTs all over the place. The two literally crackled when they touch!
The world-building wasn’t as immersive as I would have liked but still very intriguing. The setting was deliberately vague, going with that somewhere-in-the-US-but-not-really style. It’s set in the contemporary world where magic users live in secret and work with the government to keep that secret and keep dark forces at bay. The magical part was hinted early on and later became clear to Sebastian as his relationship with Ailin progressed.
We learn that many kinds of magical creatures exist and there are different magical affinities. These include nature, death, light, and shadow magic. They are associated with a certain color which matches the user’s eye-color. And because I’m a sucker for stuff like this, I immediately started imagining what my affinity would be.
We meet the Ellwood clan/coven. They’re a cocky bunch. Shipping Basil, Ailin’s lil bro, and Thayer, a coven member. Shipping them really hard.
We learn about Ailin’s true responsibilities and his deeper connection with Sebastian. Totally loving this vitmea viramore thing they had going on.
The backstory was also revealed. It spoke of war and how an entire specie of magic users become extinct. How these tie with their case unveiled more shocking revelations that turned Sebastian’s life and their entire world up side down.
I had fun with this one. There’s were many good points that overcame the niggles and overall, the story was very entertaining. Recommended for those who like their urban fantasy with a lot of kissing and bickering.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits