Level Grind by Annie BelletPublished on October 4, 2016 by Saga Press
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
An omnibus of the first four books in the USA TODAY bestselling fantasy series—collected together for the first time in one volume. Jade Crow is a sorceress hiding from the most powerful sorcerer in the world: her ex-boyfriend.
Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress.
Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho, hiding from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers—her ex-boyfriend Samir. Yet when dark powers threaten her friends’ lives, Jade must save them by using magic. But as soon as she does, her nemesis will find her and she won’t be able to stand up against him when he comes.
Collects — Justice Calling; Murder of Crows; Pack of Lies; Hunting Season.
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I was terribly disappointed in this bind-up. I’m all for a good urban fantasy but this story took every cliche in the genre and threw it all into one place.
One of my biggest issues is that this was a collection of four novellas. Each of the stories moves too quickly to give the characters and their relationships to really develop. A lot of that, I think, comes down to the length of the stories. I’m not usually one for novellas, preferring full-length novels, and these were so short that the characters didn’t get the time they needed to grow. Nothing about them really stood out in a way that kept me interested in reading more. I did like the geekiness that filled the stories, at least.
I wasn’t really invested in the world either. Bits and pieces come out throughout the course of all four novellas but it takes those four to really breathe life into it enough that I didn’t start getting into the novellas until the last one and by that point I wasn’t invested in the characters enough to want to read beyond that.
These are books to read if you’re looking for something light and quick, and don’t plan to put too much though into the story beyond the surface. I’ve read a lot in the genre and this book just didn’t cut it in comparison to others, and I couldn’t turn off the critical thinking part of my brain long enough to really enjoy this one.