Rating: 3 stars
Series: The Four Horsemen #1
I wanted more of everything: emotion, depth, plot, character development, history, and most importantly world building. Pestilence is the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse to terrorize the world. A plague spreads wherever he goes. Sara draws the short straw and sacrifices herself in an attempt to kill Pestilence. She waited for him to come as if she actually would have known which road he’d ride in on. Then she violently proceeds to kill him somehow being deluded enough to believe she is doing the right thing and is the first one brave enough to try. Amazingly enough he’s immortal and can’t die. As if I didn’t see that one coming.
From the very beginning of the book I did not like Sara. The way she attempted to kill Pestilence was extremely painful and sick, but it was okay in her mind because she was doing the right thing for mankind. Doing something evil for the right reasons does not negate the fact that something evil was done. She never even saw the hypocrisy of her situation. My first impression of her was not a good one. It didn’t help that she was immature. My opinion of her didn’t change because she didn’t change much. It was hard to believe that someone who had been alive since the beginning of time would find her of all people throughout time to be the only interesting one. Yeah freaking right.
The world building was severely lacking. Pestilence never explained anything because he couldn’t speak for God. All he gave was a brief description of his very long existence. There was never any explanation for why he felt the way he did about humans or about what his purpose in the grand scheme of things is. I desperately wanted to understand him so he would seem like more than a bastard who wanted to wipe out mankind for some unspecified reason. For most of the book I had sympathy for him because he was in a shitty situation; he was hated and reviled for being what he was meant to be. The end of the book ruined things for me in regards to how I feel about the characters. I have spoilers that explain more about this in my review on goodreads.
There wasn’t much of a plot. Pestilence went around spreading the plague. Sara, his captive, went with him and complained about it the whole time. People would try to kill him and hurt Sara because she was with him. Then they’d go onto the next place where the cycle would repeat. For a book that revolved around death, it wasn’t highly emotional. It was about suffering, everyone’s suffering, but the only suffering I felt was having to get through this book.
Rating: 4 stars
Series: The Messenger Chronicles #1
I would have given this 5 stars but the ending left me feeling betrayed. It was meant to. I’ve never been fond of unreliable narrators. I don’t like getting to know a character intimately through their thoughts and feelings to find out I have been lied to. It’s totally different if they lie to other characters or themselves as long as it’s understood that’s what is going on. I prefer it when their thoughts are honest. IDK how to feel about Kesh. She was honest in her thoughts but not forthcoming. The things she withheld painted her thoughts and actions in a different light. She’s not a character I can trust. Kesh will have to prove herself to me before I can say I trust, understand or like her.
All of that aside, it was rather good. I was hesitant going into this. Books about space, even fantasies, aren’t my thing. The world building was excellent. The fantasy and space aspects were blended seamlessly. Everything was explained well enough that all necessary information was given as needed, but there is so much more to learn. I can’t wait to learn more about the different planets and races. I really liked how the world worked in regards to tek and magic, two opposing forces unexpectedly working in concert.
The characters were compelling whether good or bad. Each had their own hidden backgrounds and motives. Kellee seemed to be the most straightforward although I doubt it’ll stay that way forever. Damn did I like him. He was tough, strong and unique. It was great that despite his history he was determined to move forward and make things right. Sota was barely in the story but I was desperate for him to come back.
Honestly reverse harems have never interested me. This is a Pippa DaCosta novel so I had to read it. I prefer two people to be focused on each other romantically. There wasn’t much romance in this. Kesh did only seem interested in one person beyond sex, which made the multiple lover bearable. Kesh wasn’t deluding herself into thinking she actually cared about the three men in this. It didn’t seem like what I assumed a harem would be, so I gather more lovers will enter the series later on. Although I haven’t minded the reverse harem aspects of this, it hasn’t inspired me to read others. It has inspired me to continue with this series. Part of me wishes I hadn’t read this yet because it’ll be months before the next one is released and the cliffhangers gut me every time.
Rating: 3 stars
Series: Devil’s Isle #3
Chloe Neill’s books may not be for me. I gave up on CLV, and I’m about ready to give up on this series. For one thing the pacing is slow. I never got invested in the plot. It took me a few days to get through this. Every time I put it down I had no desire to pick it back up again. After 3 books, I’m not deeply attached to any of the characters. I like Liam and Claire, but don’t care about anyone else. Although I like Liam and Claire, they are not unique.
This picked up a few weeks after the last book. Liam had taken off after the battle. Claire was coping with him being gone without having heard from him. Then Liam was framed for murder, and Claire and Gavin had to find him. They knew he was innocent, but proving it would be hard.
Liam and Claire reuniting was not all I hoped it would be. I understood why he left, but it was still a total dickhead move. I was hoping there would have been something more drastic behind his motivation to go into hiding. Claire forgave him, but I’m not sure I have. Even once they reunited, he was distant for most of the book.
The quest to prove Liam’s innocence was ridiculous since Claire and Liam repeatedly did stupid things. Liam going back to New Orleans was not a good idea. Containment was hellbent on framing him. He should have let Claire and Gavin look into it. Going to the scene of the crime ultimately helped but caused lots of problems. Claire’s actions regarding a certain new character were not smart. Without the piss poor choices the two of them made most of the developments with the plot would not have been possible.
It didn’t help that Claire was also wanted by containment for her connections to Liam. They casually walked around New Orleans, went to some of their usual haunts, and hung out with their usual crew. All of these things would have made them easy to find, which is not good since they were on the run. Neither of them wanted to be caught and sent to the dreaded Devil’s Isle aka the least scary prison on Earth. It’s actually more like an internment camp than a traditional prison. Other than not having an abundance of supplies, the people in devil’s isle aren’t treated poorly. Plus it seems like it would be easy to escape if someone was determined. The ultimate threat to them should feel more threatening.