It's been a long time since I've read a book that was so enthralling, I was book-high for days after finishing it. That is what Swordspoint has done t...moreIt's been a long time since I've read a book that was so enthralling, I was book-high for days after finishing it. That is what Swordspoint has done to me. In fact, I'm going to re-read it as soon as I finish the stack I'm currently working on. Jo Waltonreviewed Swordspoint for Tor.com, and she said exactly what I felt when I reached the end of the story: "...and even though I’ve just finished it, I want to keep on reading." Except when I said it, it came out more like, "I want to keep reading this book, but I want it to be a different book, but with the same people and the same town." You know, because of book-high. I can't wait to read The Privilege of the Sword.(less)
Ugh. My first finished read of 2013, and it had to be this book. THIS BOOK. I was alternately charmed and repulsed by Midnight Marriage. On one hand,...moreUgh. My first finished read of 2013, and it had to be this book. THIS BOOK. I was alternately charmed and repulsed by Midnight Marriage. On one hand, the settings and vignettes were nicely detailed; on the other, the writing was clunky and the characters inconsistent. (If you're still reading the first couple of chapters of Midnight Marriage and you're already sick of the phrase "injured duelist", don't worry. It's only used about 19 times. It'll soon end.) Archaic words are used throughout the book, which I can't really complain about, since they are period-accurate. But then a word like "thuggish" (a word not in the English lexicon until the publication of "Confessions of a Thug" in 1839, according to Wikipedia) slips in among the 18th-century vocabulary exercises. A minor quibble, sure, but one that stalled my reading progress for a good thirty minutes, because I was busy having a coronary over it. Don't make me look up a word like "riband," when "ribbon" would save me the trouble, and then try to slip "thug" past me. (As an aside, I know a lot of useless things. In this case, I learned where the word "thug" came from as a kid, thanks to Indiana Jones. And now I know about "ribands" and "toad-eating", thanks to Lucinda Brant.)
As for the plot, I wasn't looking for anything complicated. I mean, it's a historical romance. There's going to be a headstrong heroine and a rake of a leading man, who turns out to have pure intentions. Blah blah blah. I read the plot summary, I knew the premise. But that didn't make the idea of a child bride, married at midnight WHILE DRUGGED, any less squicky, no matter the outcome. And, I won't get into the misogyny that even the characters we are supposed to be rooting for indulge in. That poor dumb Dominique. She just can't help the way she was written, but really. The whole Virgin-Whore thing was really heavy handed here.
And speaking of characters: I don't even know who these people are. Is Deb a headstrong, independent girl, or is she an emotionally-incontinent idiot who blames her mood swings on (view spoiler)[her inevitable pregnancy? (Hid that one for spoilers, but are we really surprised?) (hide spoiler)] Is Julian a girl-hating douche with a bad temper, or is he just a misunderstood "good guy" with unrealistic expectations of how others should behave around him? Either way, he's an asshole.
In the end, I have no one to blame but myself for reading Midnight Marriage all the way through. In my defense, it started out nicely enough (and it was FREE). But by the time I found myself halfway through and committed to finish, it all fell apart. Next time I need a quick read, I'll stick to a fluffy YA novel or a Batman comic.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)