DNF. Long story short, this book is vile. And not as in that is my opinion because I didn’t like, but as in it is written to be so. From the very first chapter we are met with rape, violence, blood, vomit, and vile swearing, and everything about sex made horrid… It’s overboard. I just DNFed another book before this one where nasty and disturbing was written in for the coolness factor, and this book make that one seem almost chaste in comparison.
One could have thought that unpleasant details were there to keep true to the medieval setting, but then the writing/language of this clearly sometimes forgot where we were supposed to be. We are in the dark ages, but dialogue may go like this: ‘Awkward.’ ‘Whatever.’ or ‘Like hell.’ (said in a temple, none the less) Not to mention excessive use of swears words, including cnt, fgt, and other c**suckers, in entirely too modern manner, inmh. I’m not saying use Old English, but I do think some phrases and manners of speech are very modern inventions, and should be avoided in a historical world settings.
At first look, this book appeared like something I could love. Dark ages, werewolves, magic, and romance really sounded like a combination right up my alley. Unfortunately, I was completely turned off by the writing, and the excess of gore, and sexual violence. I didn’t even make it past the first part. At first I thought once the MC would get out of her nasty situation in the beginning at the book, it would all pick up. Especially since the short glimpse at Maeniel seemed promising. But then Lucilla made appearance (and started groping the main character) and I gave up. Excessively long and tedious beginning filled with senseless violence, rape, and swearing, and other disgusting details, for the sake of being disturbing, on a loop told me it was not worth wasting my time trying to get through it. Utterly tasteless.
(For future, when a book has multiple mentions of the fact that the author is related to another famous writer on it, and the picture in the back is not a portrait, as it usually is, but a picture of them together, it should probably be a warning enough that they are not trying to sell the book with its content…)
I’ve expected from the very beginning to have to treat this book as ‘something push through in order to continue reading the rest of the series.’ That would be because, unfortunately, I haven’t liked Prisca since book 1. She is a spoiled brat. There is a difference between having an opinion and believing your opinion to be above everyone else’s. She sticks her nose in everyone’s business, thinks she has a right to manipulate everyone’s lives, and doesn’t care to listen to anyone but herself. The whole situation where she ‘loved’ him, but chose to believe the worst about him and leave him a note cursing him to hell, when she actually made a promise to elope…doesn’t do anything to improve my opinion of her either. She doesn’t listen and think, she stops her foot and screams that everything must be as she wants it. A very annoying lead female character. In fact, it’s like she was on purpose written in a way to annoy readers to hell.
Then the “love rival”‘s behaviour didn’t help this book’s impression either… I really don’t enjoy reading books where all you want to do is smack a character on the head hard and long enough until you can shake some brains into there.
The only thing I actually really liked about this book is that the characters of the previous books, all family members, were present and active participants of the story.
There is just something about this book that prevented it from grabbing me. Maybe it was the world setting where the werewolves can only be male and like to walk around topless. Maybe it’s the too many levels of political games (and dominance) and players. (Clans, sorcerers, cults, police, various government agencies, etc; and the pissing contest within each one and among them all. Too much of boring and unpleasant to labour through it all.) Maybe it’s the ‘all self-important’ (prejudiced, judging, I-know-better, and ‘I have to be this way to be taken seriously, so don’t expect me to get off my high horse any time soon’) side to the main character. Maybe it’s all the ‘free sex’ and poly-amorous themes and sexualised imaginary everywhere (right until they are forced into insta-lust and monogamy by the powers above). The content of this book just kept balancing on the very edge between ‘okay’ and ‘don’t like’ for me constantly, and I couldn’t really get into it.
DNFed. This book lost me somewhere between mleh and disgusting. A weak (in more than one sense) main character who surfs through the story on sheer dumbness and luck. It’s likely very subjective, but there just was nothing to like about her. The whole ‘Secret world of supernatural creatures? Hear me talk about it on the radio! A hired gun is coming to kill me and he needs to do it on the air? Of course I can’t quit the show and save my hide, the show is more important!’ way of thinking is just something I can’t get behind. Her attitude towards everyone and everything is just..too dumb. Then, even setting the protagonist aside, the whole “supernatural world” of this book is too immoral and distasteful. It’s all about dominating, bullying, and abusing each other. Mated alpha practically raping anyone he wants and she still wants to hide behind him and have him protect her? Main character’s close friend questioning her why she would protect herself from being raped by the guy who turned her against her will and telling her she’s “getting too cocky”? The main character in turn then deciding she would enjoy it to become a bully herself instead? No thanks.
I have to say I wasn’t sure I really liked this book for 90% of it. It was the feeling of constantly not knowing if every character with exception for the protagonist would die the next minute or betray her. It felt like there was not enough to grasp on, not enough solid ground. I suppose in some way it is actually consistent with the life the main character is living—disappearing and re-eventing herself, watching everyone die. Also, too many innocent people dying left and right might have something to do with that. Usually, ‘mind games’ is one of the themes I try to avoid in books. But I was also pleasantly surprised by the ending, which took me right back to being excited to continue reading this series.
Pretty much in tone with the first book, but slightly lower on the humor count, and slightly higher on the ‘aggravating females’ count (a whole flock of them). If I was in a bit more irritable mood when I read this book it is entirely possible I would be going on a rant about how much I dislike these types of people who think they ‘always know better’ and have a right to interfere with and manipulate others’ lives (friends, relatives, etc.) The whole ‘refusing to realise your own feelings’ concept is also a bit too much of a tired cliche at this point, imho. Other than that, I enjoyed this book because it’s light, fun, has well-developed characters, and reads smooth and easy. Even when there’s some concept I don’t really like, it doesn’t really ever get truly irritating.
I didn’t like the first one, but since this one kept showing up in practically every list and ranking I use to find new books to read, I felt almost obligated to try it. This one felt somewhat better than the previous one, but still 1.5 legs over the line of “too rapey”. Still too full of hatred and aggression. Too crude. Too preoccupied with material things and symbols of wealth and sex, with ‘sex and violence’ being all these books are really built on. Characters hardly talk to each other, mostly at each other. Everyone hates each other, everyone wants to kill everyone else, and then when they feel a fierce need to also have sex with each other for some ‘supernatural-biological’ reason, the ‘plot’ ensues. At least I now have ‘tried’ these series and the author enough to have no regrets about parting our ways and not looking back.
While I expected to like this book enough, black wolf protectors and all, there was a number of issues that just really bothered me: – Personalities of main characters seem inconsistent and floating. They jump from one kind behavior to another in a way that doesn’t feel natural. The heroine switches from acting like a reasonable young woman kidnapped out of her life and being hostile and suspicions, to suddenly being all accepting and understanding and kind to everyone, to suddenly playing at being the lead detective on a case and having authority, to playing at girlfriends, to cuddling with a person and propositioning them, to shutting them out and down 5 mins later… and on and on. The hero only appears to be better because there is much less text in his POV, but his personality also felt like it flipped over half way through. There’s also this ‘brainless’ disease I’ve seen a number of times before, where characters talk and act but pretend that they have no ability to analyze or comprehend why they are doing something and just exist in denial. – A tad too much hate towards women. As in, it’s very hard to find a positive female character who is not dead. I half expected for Rachel to turn out to be the killer. Because the remaining female characters were a lying traitor who sold people out for money and an aggressive egocentric bitch who couldn’t take no for an answer. A vivid contrast to a whole collection of attractive males who also all look like they are in their twenties, regardless of their age, and of course like the main character. – The fact that people kept forgetting and ‘letting be’ the serial murderers they had to catch. The treatment of this part of the plot didn’t seem appropriate, as it was constantly pushed behind something else, as if catching the murders before they killed again was far less important than a whole list of other things. Or at least that was the impression I got. – While the ‘twist’ conclusion itself was not boring, something happened to writing on the last 20% where it turned jaw-numbingly cheesy and dry. The places that were supposed to make me swoon made me grimace. It’s like suddenly there was something very unsavory about the tone of the book and it spoiled the conclusion. The bare facts of which, again, weren’t actually bad on their own… there was just something about the way it all was presented.