Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “#rainebenares”

meilufay’s #CBR4 review #58 All Spells Break Loose (Raine Benares #6) by Lisa Shearin

All Spells Break Loose is the sixth in Lisa Shearin’s Raine Benares series.  It is NOT a standalone book, it’s the culmination of the story developed over the first five books.  Generally speaking, my tolerance for a series expires at book three.  I personally find it annoying to have to carry the characters in my head and then pick them all up again a year (or many years) later.  I dislike the sense that I’m not done at the end of a book.  There’s a lot of series that I’ve abandoned simply because I was tired of maintaining space in my mental hard drive for them.  I may not even read the next George RR Martin.  (But I probably will because, dammit, I’ve invested a lot of time in the series and I kind of want to know what happens.)  I enjoyed the first five Raine Benares books when I read them all together in one week long session.  But in the six month gap between my reading the fifth Raine Benares and All Spells Break Loose, I found that I’d forgotten to care about the characters, and I was just kind of meh about this book.  I’m relieved to have the series all tied up but I’ve learned an important lesson here: stop reading these series.  If, however, you ARE someone who enjoys serial novels, then the magical world of Raine Benares is a fun, light-hearted one to spend time in.

meilufay’s #CBR4 review #35 Con & Conjure (Raine Benares #5) by Lisa Shearin

Life has been action-packed since plucky elf heroine Raine Benares accidentally bonded to a soul-eating rock that has turned her to the most powerful sorceress in the world.  That doesn’t sound so bad except it means that every powerful mage in the world in gunning for her.  The bad guys want that power for themselves, the good guys want to lock Raine and the rock up and throw away the key.  As if her life isn’t complicated enough, Raine’s ex-fiance assassin shows up and Raine’s got to unravel the conspiracy he’s all tied up in while avoiding getting killed.  Luckily she’s a good multi-tasker and has talented and devoted friends.

This series is just straight up fun.

meilufay’s #CBR4 review #34 Bewitched & Betrayed (Raine Benares #4) by Lisa Shearin

At the end of the 3rd book in this fantasy series, our plucky heroine, Raine Benares, accidentally released some of the souls from the Saghred (the soul sucking rock to which she is bonded).  That’s a little bit of good news and a lot of bad news.  The good news is that one of those rock-denizens is a friendly face from her past, the bad news is that the rest of the escapees are bad guys of the worst sort.  When we pick up the action,  Raine is using her seeking skills to hunt down those souls before they bond to a powerful enough body to do some real damage to the world.  Of course it’s never that easy.  Raine, like so many heroines, has to multi-task because she has many other problems – including the fact that one of the so-called good guys is convinced that all this Saghred-induced mayhem is all Raine’s fault. Life is just never easy when you’re bonded to a rock that makes you the most powerful sorceress in the world.  Luckily, Raine has her band of PCs, I mean teammates, to help her vanquish her foes.  Among them are her two love interests elf Paladin Mychael and former dark mage goblin Tam, Tam’s teenaged half-elf son, Raine’s roguish pirate cousin Phaelen, her teenaged adopted brother Piaras and a special guest star whose name will not be spoiled here.  If you’re a fan of RPGs, you will love this fun, action-packed series.

meilufay’s #CBR4 review #33 The Trouble with Demons (Raine Benares #3) by Lisa Shearin

When last we left our feisty heroine, Raine Benares, she had moved to the Isle of Mid – where all magically inclined students go to university.  She’s hoping that the magically talented faculty can help her figure out what to do with her evil soul sucking rock problem.  (God, I hate when that happens!)  As a temporary solution, Raine and her two love interests (Paladin Mychael and former dark goblin mage Tam), have formed an illegal “magical marriage” – a bond that helps Raine control the Saghred.  As if that’s not complicated enough, every power player in the dark magic business knows she’s on the island and inevitable chaos ensues – with tragic potential consequences with so many university students around as collateral damage.  The demons from the title have been unleashed by the demon queen (one of the aforementioned dark magic power players) and the island is now infested with every kind of demon imaginable.

As with every book in this series, The Trouble with Demons, is fun, fast-paced and imaginative.  It’s a little silly (in a good way) and has just a touch of romance, but not so much that a guy can’t enjoy reading it.

meilufay’s #CBR4 review #32 Armed & Magical (Raine Benares #2) by Lisa Shearin

This book picks up almost exactly where the first book in this series picks up (the way this series is written, each episode is almost like an episode of a television show).  In the first book, Raine accidentally bonded to the Saghred – a chunk of alien meteorite rock that feeds on souls – in the process leveling from an average sorceress to one of almost unlimited power and becoming the most popular girl on her particular universe.  Everyone with an ounce of magic wants the Saghred and the magic that it’s linked to.  The dark mages straight up want the power and the immortality that comes with it (along with a generous helping of insanity) while the so-called good guys want to lock the rock up and throw away the key and Raine along with it.  The only thing standing between Raine and all the people gunning for her are the Paladin Mychael, the goblin (but a HOT goblin) and former dark mage Tam, her adopted teenaged brother Piaras, her swashbuckling pirate cousin Phaelen and Raine herself.  She could use an army, but Raine is the kind of girl who improvises with whatever’s at hand in order to keep herself one step ahead of all the people who have painted a target on her forehead while simultaneously fending off a seduction to the dark side by the Saghred itself.  She’s our girl, you know she can do it and everyone will have a lot of fun in the mayhem on the way.

Unlike most vaginal fantasy series, this one can be enjoyed by all genders.  It’s fun, quick and action-filled.  Sort of like the literary equivalent of a summer popcorn movie.  Enjoy!

meilufay’s #CBR4 review #31 Magic Lost, Trouble Found (Raine Benares #1) by Lisa Shearin

Maybe it’s the fact that I found this book due to a Felicia Day review on Goodreads but the entire time I was reading this book I was imagining Ms Day playing the smart-talking redheaded elf Raine Benares and it added an extra component to my enjoyment of the book.  The series feels like an urban paranormal one in terms of attitude, but the world is a straight up fantasy one.  Raine Benares is a seeker – endowed with the magical ability to find lost objects.  Because she’s also a member of one of the most notorious crime families in her world, she’s also got a great skill set in terms of retrieving said lost objects and defending herself while on a seeking quest.  So basically, she’s your average leather wearing, ass-kicking, knife-wielding, sassy heroine.  The kind of character who would be as at home in an RPG as in a fantasy series.  What lifts Benares above being a stock character is the same thing that lifts Dragon Age above so many RPGs (at least IMHO) – it’s the sense of fun the writer lavishes on her creation.  It’s nearly impossible not to have fun reading this series.  It’s a beach read for pale, indoors-y sorts like myself.  And because the romance elements are handled so lightly, this is one of the few female-centered urban paranormal novels I can imagine a guy not only reading, but enjoying.  (Yeah, there are some smooch-y scenes, but Raine isn’t a character given much to soul-searching so your eyes are not going to be blown back by the force of purple prose about masculine beauty.)  It’s really an action-packed adventure story with a few pauses here and there to enjoy some masculine scenery.  (What vaginal fantasy book would be complete without at least two love interests for the main gal to consider while she’s saving the world?)  This series is the fictional analog of potato chips – nutritionally void but so much fun to eat and impossible to consume one at a time.

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