Move over James Bond, there's a new secret agent hitting the scene. Petite and polished Alexis Stanton hardly seems the type, but raised in a family that gave etiquette equal time with special ops training, she proves she's not one to be underestimated.
After quitting her dullsville job doing data entry, Alex responds to a mysterious newspaper job advertisement and realizes right away that her special training is exactly what White and Associates are looking for. Employed by the mysterious and attractive Mr. White, Alex is given the new moniker Ms. Grey and instantly thrust into secret missions with her life on the line. She may be in over her head, but she's not about to show it because she's also having the time of her life.
Color Me Grey was a fun and exciting book. J.C. Phelps keeps the action and suspense high and manages to hint at romance just enough to make the characters exceptionally intriguing. I loved Alexis Stanton as the heroine - she's tough but also smart and sensitive; larger than life but still easy to relate to. The book was well written with a perfect pace, and as all my favorite series entries do, it tells a succinct story while still keeping readers eager for its sequels. There's nothing Grey about whether or not Phelps knows how to write - clear as black and white, she is a wonderful storyteller and an awesome author to check out!
In Shades of Grey, book two of the Alexis Stanton Chronicles, J.C. Phelps creates an ideal sequel. The story continues where Color Me Grey left off and carries the continuing story arc of Alex Stanton - also known as Ms. Grey - and her work as an agent with White and Associates. Though the books are connected, each one tells a succinct and contained story so they can be enjoyed individually as episodic adventures. Of course, once the reader has a taste of Alex Stanton's life, one book is definitely not enough!
Once again it is the endearing characters that fill this novel with heart. Alex is kind and caring, but also sassy and strong - keeping pace with her male colleagues. The relationships in the book are realistic and believable and the story delves deeper into Alex's family and her growing friendships with her coworkers. The romantic tension between Alex and Mr. White continues to build, and Alex is all the more likable for her character's wisdom and integrity. She doesn't simply fall into bed with the men she's attracted to but thinks honestly about her relationships and the results of romantic attachments.
Phelps keeps the action high and layers on the intrigue throughout the book. It's a delight to witness Alex develop her skills, holding her own as the heroine, as tough and talented as her male counterparts. For those that loved Color Me Grey, Shades of Grey is a wonderful continuation. The third book in the series Reflections of Grey also promises more of the same, and I can't wait to read it!
When five strangers share recurring dreams about both ancient Egypt and the Statue of Liberty, they all know something strange is going on. However none of them, least of all pop star Jesse Cannon, could have expected that behind the dreams lies the truth that they each represent the reincarnation of a god sent to defeat evil incarnate. A firefighter, a philanthropist, a convict, a diva celebrity, and an amnesiac who just might be a terrorist make an odd host for the spirits of earth, water, fire, air and light; but it's up to this cocktail of characters to stop the plague of zombie-like Hollows determined to destroy them and spread a deathly plague. For Jesse, saving the world is going to have to wait until after his appearance on Oprah, and it's up to Jesse's frazzled assistant - the book's hilarious narrator - Jordan to keep the unlikely heroes in line.
Vessel, Book I: The Advent is the first in Tominda Adkins' new series, and if the subsequent books are as well done as this one, readers are in for quite an enjoyable treat. I love the characters that Adkins created and the witty banter - especially between Jordan and Jesse - was delightful. From New York to Chicago and Toronto with flashbacks through the Middle East, Vessel blends fantasy with real life details to give the story a great structure. The Hollows were also a unique and wicked creation. Described as "the lasting imprint of a dying person", these flesh-eating beings masquerading as humans were a frightening and suspenseful addition to the story.
Adkins' book is not a life-altering work of profound literature but what it is, is a heck of a lot of fun. Multiple passages that are literally laugh-out-loud amusing are mixed with nail-biting action sequences to create a fast-paced story that is highly entertaining. With a writing style that might best be described as Rick Riordan meets Christopher Moore, Tominda Adkins shows wonderful promise with this debut work and I eagerly look forward to the future books in the Vessel series!