The things I liked ultimately were overwhelmed by the things I didn't ("baby" x infinity, incessant manologuing, adventure plot absurdity, everycharacThe things I liked ultimately were overwhelmed by the things I didn't ("baby" x infinity, incessant manologuing, adventure plot absurdity, everycharacterineverybookitis, prolonged insulting dickheadedness on the hero's part [probably because, unlike the heroine, I don't melt when an insulting dickhead tacks "baby" onto the end of being an insulting dickhead]), "get on the pill immediately because I'm a spoiled brat who won't use condoms and I don't care if I give you an STD")....more
You know those people who are so earnestly, relentlessly PC and enlightened, and tell you all about it every chance they get, you just know they're fuYou know those people who are so earnestly, relentlessly PC and enlightened, and tell you all about it every chance they get, you just know they're full of shit? Well, meet your MCs.
When Kali thought "Hmm, that's an unusual amount of devotion for a man to have for his captain" and then "The only possible explanation is that they must be GAY," I was dismayed there wasn't a full page of "NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT" to follow because without that standard I-am-not-a-homophobe disclaimer, it almost seems like the kind of thinking you get from homophobes, who assign sexual significance to any emotion that passes between men, which CERTAINLY could not be the case here because WE ARE SO ENLIGHTENED, SEE?
When Fletcher was flying his feminist flag (say that ten times fast) by deriding the content of women's magazines, I wanted to say, "Maybe SOME women WANT that lifestyle, and who the hell are you to impose your vision of personhood upon them as if it's not the 'imposing upon them' that's the problem but that it's been the wrong vision until your almighty wisdom came along?"
As dialogue, it's as forced as bad acting. As a screed on equality, it's incomplete. Strewing the pages with soapboxes didn't improve the story in any way and took me out of it every time I bumped my shins into one and had to stop to critique the shoddy construction. And the stops were frequent.
There was also a crazy, petulant, Rumplestiltskin villain tacked on about 3/4 of the way through, who wasn't much of a threat to anything and was easily dispatched, but he did say out loud that Kali's skin was brown, so obviously he was villainous scum....more
From the school of Epilogues Are For Telling You Crucial Information Withheld During The Story For The Sole Purpose Of Handicapping Your UnderstandingFrom the school of Epilogues Are For Telling You Crucial Information Withheld During The Story For The Sole Purpose Of Handicapping Your Understanding Of Events....more
Clio is a Disney Princess, complete with eccentric pet cat, eccentric pet bird, eccentric pet Druid witch, anThis had the potential to be cute fluff.
Clio is a Disney Princess, complete with eccentric pet cat, eccentric pet bird, eccentric pet Druid witch, and eccentric pet worshipful orphans.
Merrick demonstrated a sense of humor that made me buy the book. ("You've never seen your bride to be? What if she has a beard?" "Then I'll teach her to shave." Good on ya, sir.)
Unfortunately, proximity to one another brought out the worst in them.
Clio becomes overwhelmed with feminine angst ("I'm a poor oppressed female!" despite no evidence she's ever been restricted in any way), spiteful ("He kept me waiting two years longer than promised, so I'm never showing up on time for him ever!"), and grossly irresponsible ("How dare he forbid me to leave the castle unescorted to wander the war-torn borderlands? I'll steal his horse and sneak out!"). That's not "spirited"; it's childish.
Merrick's favorite pastime is thinking about throwing Clio out a window, locking her in a tower, or strangling her (a lot). I could sympathize with a single wistful longing to lock her up for the safety of herself and others, but repeated fantasies of violence toward women are NOT CUTE.
Pages and pages describing food and home décor.
Tons of internalization (since god forbid any thoughts or feelings should be vocalized), yet emotion was kept at a distance even while internal monologuing.
Events that seemed emotionally significant happened offscreen and were thrown away in one-line afterthoughts. (i.e., He upset her, felt bad about it, went out on an errand that must have been lowering for a mighty warrior in order to make it up to her, and instead of showing the kick in the pride he's willing to take to make her happy again, ALL we hear about is "She learned he'd spent the past two days scouring the countryside for flour.")...more
Plot summary: Lying, manipulative, inconsiderate, overbearing jackass finds happily ever after with a woman with an emotional arc consistent with sevePlot summary: Lying, manipulative, inconsiderate, overbearing jackass finds happily ever after with a woman with an emotional arc consistent with severe psychiatric disorders (Why isn't he paying attention to me? DON'T TOUCH ME! How can he ignore me? OMG HE'S KISSING ANOTHER WOMAN! I can't resist your punishing kisses and rage sex! I'M LEAVING YOU! Oh, darling, I'll love you forever and ever!).
This book would not have been possible without repeated generous contributions from Inability To Communicate Like Mature Human Beings. ...more
Things improved tremendously when the POV switched to Shaun, who exhibited more personality in his first five paragraphs than were displayed in 500+ pThings improved tremendously when the POV switched to Shaun, who exhibited more personality in his first five paragraphs than were displayed in 500+ pages of Georgia, whose robotic recitation of events that happened to more dynamic characters made zombies and political corruption seem boring. Unfortunately, this switch didn't occur until around the 90% marker.
The multiple instances of OMG MAJOR DISCOVERY!!!!! followed by several chapters of doing "stuff" before revealing the OMG MAJOR DISCOVERY!!!!! didn't rouse my curiosity so much as piss me off. The motivation for those chapters was absent until they were over and it no longer mattered. If I don't know WHY a character is allegedly frantic, I just don't buy that there's any real urgency.
The villain's villainous monologue and dastardly final deeds were comical, falling just short of twirling a moustache. Anybody with an ounce of sense would have kept his mouth shut except for protestations of innocence and let his lawyers tear the evidence apart at trial, so either he's not smart enough to be a key player in this scheme or his exit is an exercise in melodrama. ...more
Prime example of why I have come to despise series. This book does not stand on its own feet.
Benefit of the doubt, all the worldbuilding happened in tPrime example of why I have come to despise series. This book does not stand on its own feet.
Benefit of the doubt, all the worldbuilding happened in the previous book and is only nodded at in abbreviated, unhelpful "as you know, Bob" fashion here.
Characters were already introduced in the previous book, so let's just skip that pesky "this is who I am and what I stand for and why you should care" part.
The romantic relationship started in the previous book, so there's a whole chunk of their story I'm only getting in recap.
"It's a SERIES" has become an acceptable excuse for abandoning critical storytelling elements. Nobody should have to read half a dozen books to piece together the story in ONE, and it's ludicrous to assume they're going to rush out, cash in hand, in their eagerness to do so.