Publisher: Ace

October 10, 2016

Review | Armageddeon Rules by J.C. Nelson

Review | Armageddeon Rules by J.C. NelsonArmageddon Rules by J.C. Nelson
Series: Grimm Agency, #2
Publisher: Ace, February 2015
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
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Marissa Locks, newly appointed partner of the Grimm Agency, has a reputation for making a mess of magical matters—although causing Armageddon is a new low, even for her…
Marissa is due for a little happily ever after. After all, she did kill the evil Fairy Godmother, end a war, and snag a sweet promotion within the Fairy Godfather's magical-problem-solving Agency. But between maintaining a relationship with someone whose amorous advances can cause third-degree burns, dealing with a killer-poodle infestation, and helping her best friend, Princess Ari, learn to wield spells more powerful than curing a hangover, she’s not getting as much peace and quiet as she hoped.
When an enemy from her past appears to exact a terrible revenge, Marissa’s life goes from hectic to hell on earth. With Grimm inexplicably gone and Ari trapped by a sleeping spell, Marissa decides to fight fire with hellfire—and accidentally begins a countdown to the apocalypse.
With the end of days extremely nigh, Marissa will have to master royal politics, demonic law, and biblical plagues in a hurry—because even the end of the world can’t keep the Agency from opening for business…

I was stunned to discover a light-hearted book about Armageddon, yet Nelson’s Armageddon Rules is exactly that. It’s light, silly, a little fluffy, and just fun.

In her mind, Marissa Locks has paid her due. She saved the day in Free Agent and is looking forward to a little relaxation – well, as much relaxation as a partner in Grimm’s agency can get. Loaded down with evil poodles, lost princesses, and lusty princes, Marissa has her hands full. Then the world erupts in chaos.

Grimm is unreachable, and soon, Marissa finds herself trapped into organizing the beginning of Armageddon.

Normally, I wouldn’t find Armageddon funny, but I loved the hilarity that Nelson brought to it. Everything, from the demons orchestrating it to Marissa’s take on the dreaded plagues, was just funny. It also brought out a deeper side of not only Marissa but Grimm, the all-knowing fairy godfather. I loved the depth that the lighthearted nature of the book brought to their relationship and how it intensified the characterizations. Instead of simply being the man in the mirror (hah), Grimm became a person of emotions and history.

I didn’t like how quickly Marissa’s relationship had progressed with Liam, her cursed boyfriend (no, the girl does nothing halfway). When we left them at the end of Free Agent, they were just starting a relationship. In Armageddeon Rules, their relationship has moved up multiple levels, leaving me feeling like I had to rush to catch up. I felt like I had missed out on crucial parts of their relationship, parts that I would have loved to read.

Armageddeon Rules is first and foremost a humorous urban fantasy. I love the world that Nelson has created: the magic hiding in plain sight only empowers the storyline. There’s one final book in the Grimm series, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

4 Stars

Posted October 10, 2016 by Ellen in reviews / 0 Comments
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June 13, 2016

Review | Free Agent by J.C. Nelson

Review | Free Agent by J.C. NelsonFree Agent by J.C. Nelson
Series: Grimm Agency, #1
Publisher: Ace, July 2014
Pages: 281
Format: Paperback
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

When it comes to crafting happily-ever-afters, the Agency is the best in the land of Kingdom. The Fairy Godfather Grimm can solve any problem—from eliminating imps to finding prince charming—as long as you can pay the price…
Working for Grimm isn’t Marissa Locks’s dream job. But when your parents trade you to a Fairy Godfather for a miracle, you don’t have many career options. To pay off her parents’ debt and earn her freedom, Marissa must do whatever Grimm asks, no matter what fairy-tale fiasco she’s called on to deal with.
Setting up a second-rate princess with a first-class prince is just another day at the office. But when the matchmaking goes wrong, Marissa and Grimm find themselves in a bigger magical muddle than ever before. Not only has the prince gone missing, but the Fae are gearing up to attack Kingdom, and a new Fairy Godmother is sniffing around Grimm’s turf, threatening Marissa with the one thing she can’t resist: her heart’s wishes.
Now Marissa will have to take on Fairies, Fae, dragons, and princesses to save the realm—or give up any hope of ever getting her happy ending…

All Marissa Locks wants is to be a free agent. Is that really too much to wish for?

Yet, due to the deal struck between her parents and Grimm, the Fairy Godfather, Marissa needs years’ worth of Glitter to pay off the debt. And, well, to be honest, she kind of likes working as Grimm’s agent, helping to keep the peace in the magical and non-magical worlds and help lost princesses find their princes. But when a straightforward matchmaking mission goes awfully awry, it’s up to Marissa to save them all.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much from Free Agent. Partly due to my cranky mood when I started it and my hit/miss relationship with books lately. Thankfully, J.C. Nelson saved the day with Marissa’s character.

She’s complicated. A girl thrust into the world of indentured servitude (even though Grimm is a nice guy, it’s not every girl’s dream to set up everyone else’s happy-ever-afters) without her memories of her past is bound to left afloat and lost in the world. Despite her bravado, Marissa has the same fears and uncertainties that haunt many of us. It’s her decision to throw the matchmaking mission’s plans to the wind that makes her stand out, creating an underdog.

I especially loved the world building, the idea that a magical kingdom sat over an everyday street, accessible only if you knew how. There were touches of whimsy throughout Free Agent that gave it the fairy tale feel we love, but grounded by hints of darkness to keep it from getting too frivolous.

Grimm’s character is one of more complicated in the story. I would love to get an inside glimpse into his story and more about his world (we get a bit, but not much). Maybe that will come in future stories?

The only drawback to Free Agent is the pace. The pace is all over the place. quiet, quiet, quiet, ACTION, infodump, quiet, quiet, ACTION. The action scenes were good, the quiet okay, but the infodumps could be spread out a little more.

Regardless, Free Agent was a surprising, fun read. I can’t wait to see what happens next with Armageddon Rules!

 

3 Stars

Posted June 13, 2016 by Ellen in reviews / 0 Comments
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