Rating: 2 stars
I desperately wanted to like this. It was one of my most highly anticipated books of the fall. I love the fae. I should have loved this, but it fell flat. Although this was YA, that wasn’t the issue. The characters were mature enough. I thought this was a fantasy with a side of romance when all it turned out to be was a romance. You take out the romance and this book literally has no plot.
Isobel was a talented painter who did portraits for the fae. Her ability was so impressive that she was commissioned by the autumn prince to paint her portrait. She did the unthinkable and painted him with human emotions. Apparently this warranted the prince to kidnap her and drag her to his court to stand trial for her crime. Somehow this was meant to repair his reputation.
At the point she was kidnapped, she had known Rook the autumn prince for a fairly brief period of time. They had no meaningful interactions in the time they had known each other, but when the painting was finished, Isobel thought she was in love with him. The idea that they could be in love by this point in the book was ridiculous.
This had the potential to be good. The Wild Hunt wasn’t functioning normally. Three of the four fae courts were being weakened somehow. Many zombie like fae creatures made from human bones were rising. There was a fascinating world to be explored and developed, but it wasn’t. None of that stuff mattered in the end. The world building was awful. The explanations for how things worked were vague. I wanted to know so much more. I could have forgiven the mediocre romance if the world building had been focused on more.
It was emphasized that Rook was one of the most powerful fae in existence, which perplexed me since he often seemed weak. Even though he was often the most powerful man in the room, somehow he was always very close to being killed. Isobel was okay. She didn’t do anything too stupid but didn’t make the best decisions either. Since the romance was the plot, the big conflict impeding their relationship was the Good Law, which was a fae law that prevented humans and fae from being in love. It wasn’t having sex or procreating that was illegal but simply loving each other. It was stupid. The end was disappointing. The resolution to their crisis was too simple. It annoyed me that they defeated their powerful enemy with such ease.
I’d definitely be willing to give another book of hers a shot. This one wasn’t for me, but I’m sure most people will like it more than I did.
Rating: 2.5 stars
This had too strong of a YA vibe to really enjoy it. The focus of it was more on the romance than the paranormal plot. The first time Piper and Gris kissed it specifically mentioned they did not use tongues. They were 17 and 18. Most teens that age would do far more than an innocent kiss like that. The romance wasn’t exciting when the best thing I could hope was for them to hold hands or maybe a french kiss. From the start it was mentioned that Gris would not be staying in town, so there wasn’t much hope for an epic HEA.
The world building was simplistic. The gist of it was revealed early on, and there wasn’t anything exciting to learn after that. There was a mystery to it. Gris was trying to figure out why so many fiends were gathering in the town. It was too boring, and the most obvious solution was the answer. Piper was dealing with some mental issues. Gris was dealing with issues but his were completely different. Their issues made each of them outcasts. More depth to the characters would have been better considering what they were dealing with. I’m sure plenty of people will like this. It just wasn’t for me.
I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 3 stars
Series: Tales of the Black Lily #1
Clearly I must have read this wrong. Sure it was good, but I didn’t love it like everyone else. It was a creative retelling of Cinderella. Arabelle wasn’t some pathetic, lost soul who needed saving. She was intent on doing the saving herself. Prince Marius was just about perfect: intelligent, strong, charming, and willing to do what is right. Obviously being a Cinderella story instalove was going to be part of it, so I was okay with that. In the beginning Arabelle treated Marius like shit. It was hard for me to believe that she was so beautiful and brave that he was willing to overlook her major faults.
Arabelle was a hard character to like. I admit I have been obsessed with politics lately. I think that may be part of the reason why I didn’t like Arabelle. Her attitude at least for the first half of the book or so was reminiscent of the things I hate about politics which are strongly prevalent in the world today. Helping her people who had been oppressed was an admirable goal. There is a right and a wrong way to go about it. IMO she chose the wrong way. She was doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. Being motivated by hatred is never a good thing. Hatred has a way of making people blind to the truth and reason.
Arabelle was obsessed with taking down the vampires. They needed to be killed because they were killing humans. Nothing is ever so simple. In any given group of people, the bad actions of a few does not mean the entire group is bad, but in Arabelle’s hatred she had convinced herself that all vampires were bad. The actions she wanted to take to right the wrongs of the vampires made the humans no better. Her willful ignorance of the situation as a whole consumed my thoughts while reading this. Since she was the leader of the rebellion her stupid beliefs and actions were hard to ignore. The one good thing I will say in her defense is that she did grow as a character and change her views when presented with facts, which is why I liked the book more towards the end.
Thanks to Netgalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 3 stars
Series: Dark in You #1
I had high expectations for this based on all of the amazing reviews and was left feeling disappointed. It wasn’t bad, but it was just another PNR novel. In this world, each demon has one demon who is their anchor. It’s not a sexual thing but is a close bond between them. They don’t chose their anchors; when they find them, they instinctively know. Anchors make it easier for the demons to control their demons once they bond.
Since the characters were demons, they exuded sexuality, but the intense insta lust was irritating. Knowing Knox and Harper were anchors only increased the desire or so it seemed. It didn’t take long before Knox started throwing around the phrase she’s mine often although he was one of those men who didn’t do serious relationships. Neither Knox nor Harper seemed like the types to instantly be drawn to someone else.
Knox Thorn was was too alpha male for me. He wasn’t a jerk or anything but was selfish and demanding. I didn’t think he respected Harper’s wishes since he was always trying to force her to do what he wanted to do. He really pissed me off when they had sex since he only allowed her to come on demand. I wanted to smack him every time he called her a good girl. He did everything possible to pry information from Harper about her life, but refused to reciprocate when she wanted to know something about him.
I had an issue with Harper. Considering she was supposedly strong willed and independent, she easily gave into Knox’s demands. Because of her past Harper had trust issues, but she seemed to trust Knox easily enough. Knox was drawn to her because she was brave and didn’t back down. A lot of her actions in regards to how she treated Knox contradicted the descriptions of her. She didn’t want to bond with him or even get to know him, but whenever he’d show up, she’d go where ever he dragged her without much complaint. Knox didn’t have to try hard to convince her to do anything. In many ways she was submissive to him, and someone as prickly as her should have been more combative.
Rating: 4 stars
Series: Unbound #1
Three words: Mafia with magic. It’s the best way to describe this world. In this city there are two rival syndicates. Everyone in each syndicate is bound to the leader via magic meaning they have to do anything the boss tells them to do. They can’t flee because they can be tracked via magical means. Once someone signs on with a syndicate they’re screwed because their life isn’t really their own until their contract is up.
Some people are unskilled which means they’re a person without magic. Plenty of people have magic called skills. Commons skills are binding, shadow walking, and tracking. People with rare skills or lots of magical power are highly desired by the syndicates and hunted down if necessary.
Liv was a tracker. She was best at tracking people by using their blood. An old friend Anne showed up unexpectedly because her husband was murdered. They were bound to help each from an old childhood oath. Her friend asked her to do something she really didn’t want to do, but she had no choice but to help her. Worse yet she wanted Liv to work with her old boyfriend Cam who she hadn’t seen in years and didn’t want to see again.
Liv was tough. She came off as bitchy at first, but there was good reason for it. She was being backed into a corner by people she cared about when she already had troubles from the Cavazos syndicate she was bound to. The more I learned about Liv the more I liked her. At first I was unhappy that Cam wormed his way into Liv’s life the way he did, but I grew to like him quickly. I understood why Anne did what she did, but I thought she was a bitch. Even as I learned more about her situation, I couldn’t sympathize with her.
The story was told by alternating Liv and Cam’s POV. It really helped to get both of their perspectives and know what was going on in their heads. There were some unexpected twists in the case they were working on and were some surprising revelations about Cam and Liv’s relationship. This was an original take on UF and a really good for the first book in a series.