Publication Date: April 14, 2012
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B007UJJNIE” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41lA4Whdw9L._SL160_.jpg” width=”100″]“Ishtar Bound” is the first book in the Sinnis Series:
Maeve is a matchmaker for the Daughters of Women and the Good Luck Chuck of the witching world; sleep with her and you’ll find your mate. Aaron is a retro nerd with a wild side. Maeve and Aaron are instantly attracted to each other, but sex is all business for Maeve. As their attraction grows, Maeve is ordered to matchmake for Aaron. Can she stand to see him with someone else? And who is killing the women in the couples she’s matched?
Publication Date: April 26, 2012
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B007Y09UDW” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PkWcQXkKL._SL160_.jpg” width=”100″]“Transit of Ishtar” is the second book in the Sinnis Series:
Nathalia, former Abbess of the Daughters of Women, remembers killing herself and wakes in a cold tomb. There to greet her is Eiran, an angel of sorts and her mate in a previous life. Nathalia is now an angel of sorts, like Eiran, and her blood is a heady call to the baddies of the world. Eiran must re-teach her their ways and how to defend herself while keeping a terrible secret from her.
I thought long and hard about what to write in this review because I think too often these sorts of novels get a bad rap. Both novels have a well-crafted story line and in the case of the second book, Gibson creates a whole new world. I think it’s a great injustice that a certain portion of the population will look at the warning about graphic sex and write these novels off. Let’s face it, much of what we read and watch on television feature graphic sex and violence. It’s the evolution of society except, for some reason, when it’s packaged by a female author, people still see it as something taboo. At the end of the day, both novels are straight-up romance novels with no more sex than one might typically find in a romance novel.
If I were pressed to do so, I’d say that I liked Ishtar Bound (a book of Sinnis) better. They’re VERY different novels both in tone and feeling. The first is set in a Texas that we might recognize while the other (there’s a reference to Saudi Arabia) have the feeling of another world. Let’s forget the graphic of the naked butt on the cover of Transit of Ishtar (book of Sinnis). Somehow when you’re dead, clothes just don’t seem important. Nudity is not always sexuality.
Both books were easy reads despite the complexity of the story lines (especially in Transit of Ishtar (book of Sinnis)). I read each in one sitting. There was a long period between sittings where I struggled mentally with a burning desire to read the first book. I think we all know I like baddies and the baddie of the first book, often talked about in the second, sounded really interesting. He was not a disappointment though the baddie of the second book was far more brutal and his backstory probably a bit more interesting. I wish we’d have gotten more of Michel’s backstory (the baddie from Ishtar Bound (a book of Sinnis)) and motives but what Gibson does give us is compelling. Had she gone further with the Michael character, he may have been difficult to believe.
The one moment that kind of stopped me is that Gibson makes it very clear that Eiran and Nathalia are related. Nathalia herself has a kind of an icky moment with that, but Eiran points out that they’re separated by 360 generations. Is that related? I think, if anything, that might be the stopping point for some readers more than the sexual content of the book.
There’s an interesting gender bias in both books leaning in the opposite of the societal bias that gives the reader pause for thought and, if I’m honest, is when I started really thinking about the way society looks at female writers and the injustice of that outlook. The author, Jennifer Cruise, has said that chick lit is the ultimate genre of female empowerment. What is more empowering to women than a society of women? Men clearly have their place but the positions of importance are left to the women both in the first book and second. Maeve is responsible for matching perfect couples while in the second book, Nathalie is the first and most powerful angel type being. Maeve, in the second book, carries the prophesied “One,” a female. Gibson’s novels feel geared to women’s strengths…both supernatural and on a real plane. I don’t know if Gibson intended these simply as stories of overcoming odds or as a light into true heroines.
If I have to be picky, the one thing that bothered me was the character, Margeux’s half English/half French speak. To have that sort of broken English struck me as a little precious. That said, this character wasn’t in either novel enough to make a fuss (and as I sit here, I’m not completely sure she was in the second novel at all).
These are very good reads and if you read romance, paranormal or fantasy, I’d recommend that you add them to your collection. Especially in the second, Gibson weaves a beautiful and complex paranormal world that leaves the reader wanting more. Let me know what you think of these novels and if you agree with me. And if you’re on the fence, give these novels a chance. You won’t regret that you did.
Natalie Gibson has two more novels in the Sinnis series, “Ishtar Anamoly” and “Ishtar Rising”. The Sinnis Short story (PDF) Gwyneth’s Anchor is free for online reading on her website.