Psychic Says (Revelations #2) by J.J. Black #mm #review @PridePublishing


Psychic Says

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A spirit is a terrible thing to waste.

Stephen Jurgens has always gone his own way, both professionally and personally. Disowned as a child by parents who did not approve of his gifts, Stephen struck out on his own and, along the way, became a highly sought-after psychic. Between his own private clients and the consulting work he does for Revelations, business has never been better. If only his love life was meeting with as much success. Despite his efforts to reach out and enjoy the dating scene, his heart remains drawn to only one man—Maddox Blackwood.

Alpha of the Pontiac wolf pack, Maddox Blackwood is the only man Stephen has ever met who has the power to destroy him. Their initial meeting led to a rejection of epic proportions that left Stephen wary of any kind of romantic entanglement. Now, eight years later, Maddox is back and ready to claim Stephen as his own, as he should have done all those years ago. The only question is, can Stephen find it in himself to forgive the past and accept the future Maddox is offering?

All thoughts of mating are put on the back burner when Revelations receives a call for help from a local cougar pride. People are dying, but are their deaths as mundane as they appear or is something more nefarious plaguing the Pride lands? With their investigation underway, Stephen and his team soon discover that things aren’t always what they seem, and just because you don’t see something, doesn’t mean it isn’t hunting you.

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Psychic Says is an interesting concept. A combo Psychic/Medium which is supposedly an odd combination in the universe of this book.

I’m not sure what to say about it. There was just so much going on. There was Stephan, the psychic/medium, Wolf shifters of which Maddox was the alpha, Cougar shifters, demons, souls, and a necromancer. That’s an awful lot of paranormal lore to put into one book.

And Elden… the bad guy? He, to me, was the only character who leapt off the screen. I got him. Within moments of him showing up on the pages, his personality came through loud and clear. It wasn’t the same for any of the others. Stephan was kind of all over the place. Maddox was one dimensional.

And that’s another issue. I think the story might have made more sense if it focused on the drama between Stephan and Maddox’s mating issue OR the necromancer devouring souls. Instead, I was never sure what the story was about. Because the mating happened earlier than expected considering and kind of felt like they were just getting it over with.

There were some good scenes, but overall I found they went on too long. For instance, the final scene between Stephan and Elden… it took 15% of the book. And most of it was inner monologues of Stephan not knowing what he was doing and knowing he needed to do something. And Elden standing there waiting while Stephan had those inner monologues. And what bad guy is just going to stand around while his enemy thinks things over that much?

The writing was good, but there was just too much going on for me to feel satisfied.

threestars

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The world JJ Black has created with the Revelations series and her shifter books (overlapping universes) is refreshing and enjoyable. In the second Revelations book, we finally get Stephen’s story—and his history with Maddox, alpha wolf shifter.

I was thrown a bit when Black revealed their backstory—apparently Stephen and Madd are mates, and Madd has known about it for 8 years, while Stephen doubts the validity of Madd’s assertions. There’s a ton of tension, and Stephen has a bunch of reasons why he never gave in to Madd’s advances. Since they get thrown together on a case for Revelations, that tension ramps up. I am usually not a fan of UST, but Black skated the edge of frustration with this pairing and had them snap at a good point.

The villain makes the book, in my opinion. A necromancer is usually a dark and twisted individual, and this incarnation is very creepy. I can’t describe just how creepy. And I sincerely enjoyed the way Black crafted this book to have Stephen be the foil to the villain, an almost mirror image, though still pure and non-warped by evil acts and greed. Though Stephen is past the average age for self-discovery, he still manages to learn about himself, the man he’s falling in love with, and about his full potential, settling his inner turmoil and resolving the plot at the same time.

My only issue with the book is that it could have been longer—some minor plot threads were left unfinished and the world was far more interesting than the minimal exposure it received. It could have gone another 50 to 100 pages and I would have given this a 5 star. Still a praiseworthy book and I will be reading it again.

fourstars

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