Welcome to one of the December 15th stops on the blog tour for Mack by Christina Bauer, the latest installment in the Angelbound Offspring series. This tour was organized by Xpresso Book Tours and came with complimentary access to review copies of the series! Unfortunately the release of the review copy for Mack was later than expected, so those of us with earlier stops probably don’t have reviews for the new title yet, but you can read on for more information, an excerpt from Mack, and a review of book one: Maxon. I do have copies of the rest of the series now including Mack and will be sharing those reviews as well as I get to them.
Christina Bauer has been featured on this blog multiple times before, and when I finally volunteered for a review on her third or fourth stop here with Calla, (also featured in my Top 20 of 2020,) I discovered that I love Christina’s writing. I knew when I volunteered for this review tour that I was already overbooked this month, but I just had to try and at least read one of the books in time for this tour. I’m so glad I did! I can’t wait to get to the rest and share my reviews as they come. Thank you so much to Xpresso and Christina Bauer for the opportunity!
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About the Book (Mack)
Angelbound Offspring Book Six
by Christina Bauer
Published 15 December 2020
by Monster House Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Count: 172
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
“How I love Mack! This book is full of fun, action, humor, great characters, snarky dialogue and chemistry. Fantastic!” – The Wooly Geek
I’m Mack, a regular human who happens to run a secret league of vampire hunters. For most of my nineteen years, my daily routine has been to kill bloodsuckers, rinse and repeat.
But if I thought the vampires were trouble before, now stuff is about to get downright apocalyptic.
Why? The clock is ticking. The magical city of El Dorado will reopen soon. And once that happens, the vampire leader, Roman, will enter and create an army of bloodsuckers who do more than just kill humans—these vamps also take the shape of the last person they murdered. With thousands of supernatural warriors behind him, Roman will wipe out humankind and repopulate the world with vampires.
Not on my watch.
Trouble is, Roman knows I’m coming for him, so he’s targeting the woman I love, Kaps. There’s no way I’m putting her in danger, so I tell Kaps we’re through and go after Roman on my own.
But my woman is a badass dragon shifter who wants to end Roman as much as I do. When it comes to saving humanity, Kaps won’t let anyone stop her.
“Mack is a force unto himself. And Mack with Kaps is phenomenal.” – Phoebe’s Randoms
The Angelbound Offspring Series
Midnight is here.
I stand outside the Zoetic Fortress with a smile on my face and an umbrella in my hand. Unlike Doc Langstrom’s toilet brush, this item is a true magic wand.
Why the enchanted umbrella? Midnight is almost here and with it, Kaps. Once my girlfriend arrives, we’ll hone our vampire hunting skills with the magical battle simulations loaded inside this very umbrella. Fun times.
Stepping in a slow circle, I inspect the landscape. Where should I wave this thing?
There’s no lack of places to cast, that’s for certain. The full moon shows off every detail of the Fortress grounds. Essentially the place is a series of mini-castles that encircle a central lawn.
Nodding once, I make my decision. Best to wave my umbrella-wand right in the middle of the open green.
Turning, I march toward the lawn’s center. Suddenly, a black shape passes over the moon. Pausing, I scan the dark streak more closely. To regular humans, that’s an ordinary shadow. But I’ve a bit of demonic DNA in my background. Which means I can look past magical glamours.
To me, it’s a dragon.
My grin widens. That’s not just any dragon, either. It’s Kaps. The woman I love. Based on her speed, she’ll land any second.
A great black shape blots out the moon entirely. Massive dark wings send a gust of wind in my direction. Heat radiates from her dragon’s body as she lands only a few yards away. For a moment, I can soak in the glory of her form. Dark scales. Eyes that glow red. A line of scarlet spikes that run down her back and tail.
A shimmer of red light surrounds her body. For one more moment, the massive dragon looms tall. Then it’s replaced by the human version of Kaps. My woman is no less impressive this way, what with her dark hair, amber eyes and whip-fast tail. She wears leather pants, hefty boots and a halter top.
Damn, I’ve missed her.
Books 2-5 in the Series
About Maxon (Book 1)
Angelbound Offspring Book One
by Christina Bauer
Published 6 May 2015
by Monster House Books
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Count: 330
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Prince Maxon may be twenty-two years old now, but he’s still haunted by his boyhood abduction and torture in Hell. To deal with his past, Maxon limits his present-day activities to killing demons and seducing women. No long-term relationships. No combat too dangerous. No problem, right?
Maxon’s life has stalled out. The old thrills aren’t there anymore, either on the battlefield or in the bedroom. While staking out his next fight, Maxon meets what seems like just another girl after a good time. What he gets is a close encounter with Lianna, a lady warrior with ties to the mysterious elemental rulers called the monarkki. It’s love at first fight. Trouble is, Lianna’s running from a dark history of her own, and her elemental enemies are closing in. When Lianna gets taken, Maxon realizes that after years of wrong choices and dead ends, the right woman is worth risking it all.
My Rating: 4 stars
Consider “liking” my review on Goodreads
I was granted complimentary review access to Maxon via NetGalley widget as part of my participation in the Xpresso Blog Tours review tour celebrating the release of book 6: Mack. Thank you to everyone involved in distributing the review copies to us tour hosts! This has not swayed my opinion. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
While I have read Christina Bauer’s work before (and loved it) this is my first dip of the toes into the Angelbound lore, so fellow readers who are more informed please forgive my lack of ability to comment on familiar characters, plot points, etc. As this is the beginning of its own series (Offspring) within the larger universe, I felt confident jumping in on this one, and I don’t feel that I was missing too much. I’m a little confused looking at other reviews, though, as some of them say this is book four. Is it the fourth Angelbound world book published by publication date? Is it simultaneously part of another sub-series? I’m going to have to read every single Angelbound book now! (Fortunately, that sounds like an excellent way to spend my time.)
This book moves quickly and doesn’t ever let the reader get bored. It primarily jumps back and forth between what Maxon is up to and what Liana is up to, and I do think I preferred Liana despite this clearly being Maxon’s story. With that said, I loved the “dude-bro” feel to the banter between Maxon and the other guys, and this book opens on that, so there’s a big win! The way Christina’s characters interact with each other in such a genuinely teenage mindset kind of way is what made me love her work when I reviewed Calla, so I’m glad to see that continuing in this book (and presumably the rest of the series.)
Maxon, Liana, and many of the other characters in this book are a half-angel paranormal being called Thrax (what is the plural for thrax?) and many including Maxon devote their time to fighting demons. Maxon is the prince in waiting of the Thrax (I guess that is also the plural?) but before he’s completely eligible to inherit the throne he must fall in love. Enter Liana, a clear choice, yet somehow nobody sees the pair happening including Maxon and Liana themselves. Will they? Won’t they? You’ll have to read it to find out! I will say I truly appreciate that while this is a YA novel and while there’s a romantic element to the plot, the classic YA romance trope of “insta-love” does not make an appearance here. It’s kind of refreshing, honestly, to see intended romantic partners in this sort of novel have no interest at all when their paths first cross.
I absolutely love how much elemental magic features in this book (and I presume in the rest of the Angelbound books.) Elemental magic is my catnip when it comes to subgenres and components of fantasy. I identify with fire myself, and I love all the things that can be done with a fire-affiliated character, so if Liana had been vying for a position with fire elementals that would have been icing on the cake for me, but I do think water works better for her and this particular story and it was very well done. The elemental magic components to this book alone would be enough to make me curious about book two.
Does this book stand well on its own / as the start of its own series that can be read without reading the previously piblished material in this world? Yes… but. There are clearly things that happened to some of these characters at some other time that were mentioned and sometimes briefly explained, but I got the feeling that these were already explored at length in another book and that’s why the explanations were so brief. Some of them seem to have played large roles in shaping these characters, and I felt just the slightest bit like I had missed something. It didn’t distract too much from the book and I clearly did get through this book and enjoy it as my introduction to the Angelbound world, so I expect most other new readers would be able to do the same.
I’m genuinely looking forward to reading the rest of the Angelbound Offspring books and then backtracking and finding the older Angelbound books as well!
About the Author
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
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