Tuesday, 24 May 2016

REVIEW & PROMOTION - STRUCK - PHOEBE MEADOWS SERIES BY AMANDA CARLSON

Title: Struck
Series: Phoebe Meadows
Author: Amanda Carlson
Genre: Urban, Fantasy
Release Date: 24th May 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
When Phoebe Meadows gets struck by a strange light in the stockroom of Macy’s, life as she knows it flies out the window. As if being hit by lightning isn’t bad enough, she’s accosted in the subway by a man with a missing hand, arrives home to find a raven on her kitchen counter, and her neighbor, Ingrid, shows up dressed like a gladiator hell-bent on protecting her.

Before Ingrid can shuttle her to safety, Phoebe is kidnapped and tossed into one of the Nine Worlds where she’s quickly forced to come to terms with what she is: A valkyrie. The only problem is, she has no idea what that means.

After a narrow escape, she finds an unlikely ally in Loki’s son, Fenrir. Together the valkyrie and the wolf must battle their way back to New York City and reach the valkyrie stronghold where Ingrid is waiting for her. But with danger and obstacles at every turn, she might not live long enough to learn the full truth about who and what she really is…


OTHER TITLES 
BY AMANDA CARLSON

Jessica McClain Series
Blooded #0.5
Full Blooded #1
Hot Blooded #2
Cold Blooded #3
Pure Blooded #4
. . . . more to follow

Sin City Collectors Series
This novella series is co-written by Kristen Painter
Aces Wild #1
Queen Of Hearts #2
Ante Up #3
Dead Man's Hands #4
All In #5
Double Or Nothing #6
Titles wrote in pink are by Kristen Painter


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amanda Carlson is the author of the upcoming Jessica McClain series. The first book, Full Blooded, will be released by Hachette Book Group, ORBIT US & UK SEPT 2012. She’s been writing for over ten years. Full Blooded is her first novel. She lives in Minneapolis, with her husband and three kids.

AUTHOR LINKS


REVIEW

Title: Struck
Series: Phoebe Meadows
Author: Amanda Carlson
Genre: Adult, Urban, Fantasy
Release Date: 24th May 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
When Phoebe Meadows gets struck by a strange light in the stockroom of Macy’s, life as she knows it flies out the window. As if being hit by lightning isn’t bad enough, she’s accosted in the subway by a man with a missing hand, arrives home to find a raven on her kitchen counter, and her neighbor, Ingrid, shows up dressed like a gladiator hell-bent on protecting her.

Before Ingrid can shuttle her to safety, Phoebe is kidnapped and tossed into one of the Nine Worlds where she’s quickly forced to come to terms with what she is: A valkyrie. The only problem is, she has no idea what that means.

After a narrow escape, she finds an unlikely ally in Loki’s son, Fenrir. Together the valkyrie and the wolf must battle their way back to New York City and reach the valkyrie stronghold where Ingrid is waiting for her. But with danger and obstacles at every turn, she might not live long enough to learn the full truth about who and what she really is…


Goodreads Link

INITIAL THOUGHTS
I have read quite a lot of books by Amanda Carlson, such as Bks 1,3 & 5 in the Sin City Collectors Series which is co-written with Kristen Painter as well as Bks 0.5 through to Bk 5 in Amanda's Jessica McClain Series which I admit to being totally besotted with since reading Blooded. So I do have high expectations as I approach reading Struck. One of the immediate questions I have is will Phoebe Meadows be as kick butt as Jessica McClain? I'm hoping so. Looking forward to discovering a new character & series. I also haven't read about a Valkyrie before either.

THOUGHTS WHILST READING
15%  - I don't normally like reading mythology and Gods but I can feel this book pulling me in already!
34% - Phoebe is quickly learning to kick butt! A great new character from Amanda Carlson.
49% - Ooo my! the hot Fenrir, Loki's son #bookcrush #bookboyfriend and the innocent new to being a Valkyrie Phoebe, Odin's daughter are getting rather steamy!
55% - Should Fenrir and Phoebe be placing so much trust in the snakes?
60% - I am really hating having to put this one down to go to sleep! Lots of action, danger, mythology, gods, demons, monsters, a newbie Valkyrie and a little romance thrown in with Fenrir, the son of Loki."

REVIEW
I was fortunate enough to be offered a free e-arc of Struck in exchange for my honest review.
The cover features a young woman who upon reading the book you find out is Phoebe Meadows. Phoebe seems to be being struck by lightning, yet at the same time she appears to be controlling it too. There is also a large bird on the cover who is an important character from within the book. I love the font and format of the book title, series title and the Authors name appears boldly on the cover but at the same time compliments the cover rather than dominating it. There is also a byline which says "Lightning is about to strike twice. . ." which pertains to things that happen within the book as well as fitting well with the title of of the book too. So would this cover alone make me pick this book up from a book store shelf? Yes, just the cover would have me taking it from the shelf to learn more about it. Of course as an Amanda Carlson fan I would always pick up any book written by her to investigate it further.
The main character in the book is Phoebe Meadows, and we first meet her whilst she is working in her local Macy's shoe department. Phoebe has gone in search of a certain pair of shoes for a customer, then there is some sort of "sonic boom" and she is struck (hence the title) and blacks out amidst a pile of shoes! That is the moment Phoebe's life changes, though she isn't yet aware of it. Phoebe returns to her small apartment, to find a large black bird in it! A woman called Ingrid who Phoebe initially believed was a just a friendly neighbour turns out to be a Shieldmaiden/Valkyrie who is actually quite closely related to Phoebe. Ingrid does try to help Phoebe and reveal's who her real parents are. Phoebe can hardly believe that she is the offspring of a union between a God and a Sheildmaiden. (see I am trying not to reveal too much ere which is difficult when I just want to rave about the book!). Ingrid informs Phoebe that the large bird, called Hugin has been sent by her father to warn that danger is coming! Ingrid explains that other supernatural beings in different realms who wish to harm Phoebe. Ingrid goes on to say they need to travel as quickly as possible to the safety of the Valkyrie stronghold Phoebe learns if she is caught by the Norns they will either send her to one of the Nine Worlds or even kill her. To say it's a lot for Phoebe to take in is an understatement! In fact it takes a mixture coaxing, scaring and bullying to finally make Phoebe agree to go with Ingrid even though at this early stage she is still finding the whole story somewhat unbelievable. The two women set off on what will be a long arduous, possibly dangerous journey to the Valkyrie stronghold. Ingrid hands a knife that she refers to as Gram to Phoebe, informing her that her father sent it for her to defend herself with if attacked. 
I have to say that Amanda Carlson really keeps your attention from the first words on the first page to the last words on the last page. There is lots of detail and scene setting throughout the whole book. You can read what may seem to be an insignificant piece of information at first but then later in the book all becomes clear. 
This book contains many different supernatural elements, there's the mythology of the Gods and all their disagreements with both each other and the other supernaturals such as other shieldmaidens, valkyries, norns sutyrs, and ettings. Then there's also the shifter element of Loki's son Fenrir, and his powers, and banishment . .  I loved how Phoebe's parentage and siblings are revealed to her, and I think her romance with Fenrir is a great part of the book too. I am wondering what will happen when her father finds out about it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and am eagerly awaiting the next book as I have so many questions and so many possible scenario's spinning around in my head. For the future romantic parts of the book, I'm thinking there may be a promising future romance between Sam and Tyr.. . .then there's the steam and sizzling relationship between Phoebe and Fenrir. After reading the sneak peek of book two that is revealed at the end of this book, I am highly anticipating the training that Phoebe will have to undergo, which I can imagine will be both informative, interesting and humourous to read. I'm looking forward to learning more about and hopefully "meeting" Phoebe's parents and other siblings. Another question that sprung to my mind was I wonder if Phoebe & Jessica will ever cross paths?   
So did I enjoy reading Struck? Yes, as I have said in my review I enjoyed reading this book from the first word to the last. Oh and I loved the sneak peek at book two.
Would I recommend reading this book? Yes, if you love mythology, or even if you are like me and don't know much about the subject its a really great read.
Would I want to read another book in the Phoebe Meadows Series? Yes! It was rather cruel and sneaky of Amanda giving a sneak peek of book two. . . and now I'm wanting even more now!
Would I want to read other titles by Amanda Carlson?  I already have read other titles by Amanda. I am also looking forward to more of the Jessica McClain Series. 

FINAL THOUGHTS
Wow another fantastic kick butt female from Amanda Carlson! In my opinion this book is a promising start to yet another brilliant series by Amanda Carlson. I highly recommend reading this one. When can I read more?



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