Shit. This book here is why I quit reading erotica. (Which sucks as I was counting on it after reading Kaye’s Hearts in Darkness!) Romance in generalShit. This book here is why I quit reading erotica. (Which sucks as I was counting on it after reading Kaye’s Hearts in Darkness!) Romance in general is a genre that can get very repetitive and tiring. It was something I knew exploring the genre, and then something I grew tired of. Especially the past few years. AND especially after reading some authors who actually think outside the box. For some reason paranormal romance suffers from that repetitiveness and can be unimaginative. Same with erotica.
Which I find sad. Fantasy elements are endless and imagination has no limits! All this can create an exciting world and characters. The sad truth is world building doesn't usually factor in too much. Or they've taken the same old tropes pasting them in.
In The Service of the King it could be any PNR world. The only difference is that vampires apparently have to feed from virgins.
Yeah. This book never really had a chance with me. Because I was left wondering if it was just the vampire king? It would be hard to feed all those warriors virgins only. Especially if they have to mate with them. Talk about slicing down on your inventory.
The author was trying to say that these girls were cherished. Appreciated. That by mating they weren't just blood and baby makers. Bullshit. They are. Though I appreciate it being addressed, even if it was halfhearted.
Another thing was the Souleaters. Basically evil vampires that the good vampires have had an on going war with. They had nothing to offer to the story except to be villains. They shaped both the pasts of the characters, but overall they felt like nothing more then an idea. This book was so dull that they never actually factored into the present. Except to “give purpose” to some of the events.
Overall the sex was dull, there was no chemistry between the two leads and I honestly didn't care about them. This was a copy and paste story that has been told a thousand times in the PNR/erotica genre. This is why I've quit reading erotica/romance. It's so predictable.
Sexual Content: Yeah. Nothing you haven’t seen before.
This is a debut novel and while I'm impressed, and it's a friend's book. I'm sticking to my guns. Because I'm mean like that.
Born to Die is a very chThis is a debut novel and while I'm impressed, and it's a friend's book. I'm sticking to my guns. Because I'm mean like that.
Born to Die is a very character driven world. It immediately hooked me as Lyric began to muse upon her life in the first chapter. It sets up the novel well and established that this was going to be a dark and haunting read. Shit happens to Lyric, it's unpleasant and horrible. Gosh I loved it. The villain(s) is pretty dastardly and there's this huge mystery as to why he's fixated on Lyric.
The connections the characters have to each other are dysfunctional and creepy as all get out. No—dysfunctional doesn't even come close. I don't know!!! It's scary to see them interact and while they're interacting, at any moment one of them could go even more psycho and simply maim another character. Let alone kill.
The romance is very interesting and there's just enough mystery behind it. Not a terrible love triangle. Though the “dream guy” took me a while to swallow. Ellis works her character skills and eventually wins me over. Besides it was cool in the end. The vampires and the mystery of what other supernatural creatures are out there kept me driven to finish this book.
Driven to keep going despite the fact that I had numerous questions about the world. This is slightly futuristic, but at no time did I feel like it was really futuristic. So why the time line speed up? The characters and they're interactions were well done; I had a very clear image of them. The scenes and the world in which the story takes place was barren. A couch was mentioned here, a creepy basement talked about but not fully described to set the scene.
Basic things in the world were left out. Like the house that Lyric was staying in. Was it the vampire's house? Did they simply break in, why didn't people notice? Especially with the screams and psychotic noises coming from the house? Things are kind of hinted/assumed at, but I never felt like a scene was fully developed. Not to mention the important ones pertaining to the mythology and setup of the world.
I've said it before, well done characters can save an average world or average plot. However, it's hard to do if the world isn't fully explored, or a single scene setup. Make the time period you've picked for your book feel relevant; you're story is taking place in it. If a character is being tortured I want the full picture of the room. Sorry, but if I'm wondering what the room looks like I'm not truly enjoying the story.
The writing is pretty well crafted. At times beautiful creating haunting and chilling scenes. Sweet and moving scenes, and heightened emotions. However. A few times there were too many characters being referred to by “her/hers/she” and “him/his/he” that it was confusing. Especially at the start of the book. As if Ellis had forgotten she was talking about multiple characters and that it might be a good idea to distinguish them by name.
My final critiques on the writing is that at times it was repetitive. Saying the same thing over and over again just with different words. Sometimes I felt like the coma bombs were too much. Just make it two separate—or three—sentences. Again that was more at the beginning of the book. The final (and last one I promise) is that every now and then a description felt totally out of place for the style of writing. Imagine this haunting passage that left you numb, and then this hit: “it was sadder then road kill”. Or something like that. (Sorry my highlighting feature wasn't working so I can't remember the exact quote. It wasn't as bad as that example.) I think it was added to add flavor to Lyric and make her seem more like a simple country girl. It didn't work because it was so out of place!
A lot of readers might not mind those type of things. I know when I've read other books and they lacked on some front it seemed like I was the only one who found issue. Because this novel is chilling and haunting. This is a dark horror mashup that fantasy readers of vampires will like. Ellis isn't afraid to go there. Rape, slaughtering children, mental and physical abuse, and loss are the tip of it. Not to mention that no matter how dark things get, there's hope. This is a promising attempt and if Ellis does it right she'll be a formidable author.
Sexual Content: It's there. Nothing really slapped me in the face. However, there's rape and mental rape. Very dark themes and some minor sexual humor.