eARC Review – Empress of Salt and Fortune

Title: The Empress of Salt and Fortune

Author: Nghi Vo

Publisher: Tor.com

Publication date: March 24th, 2020

112 pages

4.25/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

With the heart of an Atwood tale and the visuals of a classic Asian period drama The Empress of Salt and Fortune is a tightly and lushly written narrative about empire, storytelling, and the anger of women. 

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy.

Review

**Thank you to Netgalley, Tor.com, and Nghi Vo for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

A delightful short story with Asian influences. The story of a royal from the north brought to wed the emperor in the south. She gives him a son and earns her exile, where she uses her time to plot against the crown. This book is told in true storyteller fashion, bits of information is provided piecemeal by the woman, Rabbit, narrating the tale. The recipient of the tale, Chih, is a cleric whose job is to document history and seek answers.

Rabbit’s story tells a different one than is told currently in the empire, however it is a heartbreaking tale of sacrifice, loss, and loyalty. This is a very quick read, and some bits are left up to the imagination and hinted at, but the ending is clear and not completely surprising. The flow of this book was beautiful and fit the story line perfectly. I normally don’t enjoy Asian influenced storytelling as much, but this was short, sweet, and evocative.

There isn’t much to say about a book that is 112 pages that I haven’t already said, so this review will be shorter than usual!

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Temptress

Title: Temptress (Manhattan Ten #2)

Author: Lola Dodge

Publisher: Ink Monster, LLC

Publication date: November 12th, 2019

126 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A seductress. A super brain.

She’s an indie operative who only works alone, stealing other super heroes’ powers with a kiss and bringing down the bad guys. Those stolen powers add up to a crazy arsenal, but Temptress isn’t built for super strength and shooting laser beams. Her body is falling apart and a teensy mission slip-up gets her tangled with the Manhattan Ten.

He’s the M10’s leader. The man, the myth, the Mensa-conquering legend. Nothing escapes Thinktank’s calculations… Until a run-in with Temptress leaves him powerless. Superpowers stolen with a kiss can only be returned with a kiss. 

Natural enemies can only get closer. And closer. And closer…

It’s love at first fight in the second volume of the Manhattan Ten Series.

Review

**Thank you to Ink Monster, Netgalley, and Lola Dodge for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Temptress is tasked with capturing Steel, a member of the Manhattan Ten accused of sexual assault by the LVPD. With her power she is able to suck other super’s powers out of their body with just a kiss, so she is used often when the police are dealing with a super. She also works at casino’s helping to monitor security situations. She is also able to USE all the others powers – but not without a price. In comes Thinktank, the leader of the Manhattan Ten. She isn’t supposed to steal his powers, but he gets in her way – what choice does she have? Problem is she can’t figure out how to return his powers, the usual quick kiss isn’t working. Guess they’ll have to keep trying…

In the second book of the Manhattan Ten short story series, a new superhero emerges to catch Thinktank’s eye. Temptress, or Jenny for her friends. I loved Ivory, so I knew I needed to get Temptress to continue on in the series – and continue reading the companion stories of the Manhattan Ten. Temptress’ character was so awesome – she was completely bad-ass and totally nonchalant about it. She just walks into a fight without a care. I also like getting to know Tank’s character more than what we got to see in Ivory.

As with the first one, this is an adult short story, so there is sexual content – but I would say less than there was in Ivory. The focus of this story was more about figuring out Temptress’ backstory and eventually saving her from her past. With her ability to steal other super’s powers – she really is a force to be reckoned with and I’m happy she got her ending.

Check this out if you want a super quick, fantasy novel with fun characters and interesting super powers.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – Ivory

Title: Ivory (Manhattan Ten #1)

Author: Lola Dodge

Publisher: Ink Monster LLC

Publication date: October 22nd, 2019

132 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

An ice princess. A jaguar shifter.

She’s a flight attendant who wants nothing to do with super heroes. Hiding her ice powers. Hiding from her family. Hiding is a full-time job, but Ivory can only suppress her inner warrior if she wants to keep the normal life she’s built from nothing.

He’s a career hero and a member of the legendary Manhattan Ten. Tall, dark, and shifter, the concrete jungle is his playground. Jag takes nothing seriously until Ivory tempts his inner predator.

Can he melt the stone-cold goddess?

It’s love at first fight in the first volume of the Manhattan Ten Series.

Review

**Thank you to Ink Monster, LLC, Netgalley, and Lola Dodge for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Ivory is the first in the Manhattan Ten series, that is currently being re-released after being published several years ago. Ivory used to be the second in the series, but has been moved to first. Ivory is a novella length superhero story around Ivory, and ice princess, and Jag, a shape shifter that turns into a jaguar. Ivory is working as a flight attendant when she is forced to defend herself and reveal her powers when attacked by an anti-super human. In this world, those with super powers are considered celebrities, but not everyone agrees. Jag witnesses the attacks and brings her into the Manhattan Ten fold, much to her chagrin. Ivory doesn’t want to be apart of a superhero group, she just wants to stay unnoticed.

Ivory is very short and readable, I finished it in one go. There isn’t much character development being a novella, but with more books in the series revolving around the Manhattan Ten I imagine we will learn more over the series. There is some explicit adult content, so if you don’t like reading explicit content this book may not be for you. There is also a fun, love at first sight theme for Ivory and Jag (even though she tried to ignore it!

Overall, this book was a 3.5 star read for me. I would be interested in reading more books in this series to learn more about the Manhattan Ten. The world reminds me of an adult version of The Incredibles.

Happy reading, bookish friends!