Once upon a time there was a young woman with a dream. A dream that women the world over could live in freedom as equals. That they would have the right that many women have been denied for hundreds of years, possibly more - to live healthy, happy lives with partners who love and respect them and provide for their needs.
Then that young woman read Dark Prince - and her dreams were shattered.
Actually, this is all a lie because that young woman, the woman writing this review (yes! It is I!) didn't actually finish this twisted garble of a mess.
Now I know, I KNOW that I'm not always easy going on books. I have a standard (though considering the fact that I have read all ten of the BDB books may convince people otherwise but that aside...) I know I like the writing to be of a certain standard and for there to be characters of a certain quality and a plotline and world that has a certain depth and or immersive quality.
From what I read, this is less a novel and a How To Guide. How To Travel To A Distant Country And Ensure Your Body is Never Found After You Get Abducted, Abused and Killed.
First and simple step:
1. Do everything Raven Whitney does in the first chapter of her book. No, I'm not kidding. That really is her name. Aptly so as she has long, silky raven hair (yes it's referred to as such in this book) which begs the question of what her parents were going to do if she'd been born with red hair. Or if, she had been born with black hair, it had all fallen out three weeks later (as it did with me) and grown back blonde.
2. Romanticize and imagine men like Prince Mikhail Dubrinsky are sexy and possibly good life mates.
"But surely, Kat," you say, "you can't have too much to say about a book when you only read twenty-two pages into it."
You'd better believe I do!
The book begins with Mikhail, lonely and contemplating ending his own life. The following excerpt was actually published by the way. I'm not making this shit up for giggles. If I were it would probably be better:
"Grief overwhelmed him, consumed him. He lifted his head and roared out his pain like the wounded animal he was. He could no longer bear to be alone."
So our female protagonist, who has a psychic ability to connect with people mentally, contacts him to cheer him up.
He contacts back and love blooms.
Okay, sounds alright, right? WRONG! WRONG, SO FREAKIN' WRONG!
Our two protagonists psychically meet on page two. He's sexually assaulting her with his mind by page 8.
But it's okay, because Mikhail is a studly stud. He's an immortal, rich and extremely handsome. Petty things like laws and personal boundaries and respect for women mean nothing to him, and they shouldn't mean anything to you either - this is the message of the book.
By page eleven, she has decided that he is mega creepy and decides to escape. He psychically contacts her to tell her that he knows that she wants to run away and it just isn't going to fly and that he can and will force his will on her.
Now, at this point the correct response would be:
B) Tell him to go get fucked and that if he so much as comes near you, you will scream bloody murder and have him arrested for assault.
C) Give the psychopath your full name and casually head down to dinner.
I leave you to guess which option our
fuckwit heroine chooses.
By page fifteen another man has casually placed his hand on our female protagonist's leg and invited her outside. Correct, normal and balanced reaction from the male would be:
A) Realize that this woman is a perfect stranger and therefor perfectly entitled to receive attention from other men.
B) Decide to stake your claim next time you see her and offer to be her one and only - hoping earnestly that she will choose you.
C) Use your psychic powers to attempt to kill him - stopping only when the female protagonist desperately entreats you to stop.
By page seventeen our
chauvinistic-pig and emotionally abusive asshole male protagonist has the female protagonist in his arms and is running through the forest to his home with her.
Raven, being the clever and clearly cautious little monkey that she is asks, "Did you kidnap me or rescue me?"
Oh wait, honey... I think I know the answer to this one! *Kat thinks very, very hard*
She tells him quite clearly on page nineteen that she wants to go home... several times.
His response? "You can not fight me, little one."
This is what he calls her, by the way. I don't know about you but if a man starts to call me 'little one' as opposed to, oh I don't know... MY NAME - then he is going to get one serious round-house kick to the face.
On page twenty, when any normal and sane person would have taken the first opportunity to give him a swift kick to the cajones and run like hell,
the dumbest character I have ever come across...no, wait...the dumbest character I have ever come across enters his house of her own free will.
She ignores all of his past behaviour because he somehow understands her. He somehow connects to her. He reaches deep inside her to a place that has never been touched by anyone else before... I'd like to reach deep in and touch her BRAIN because that obviously hasn't been touched before either!
Why is this crap romantic? Why? Why does this spawn a series that sells lots of copies and makes the author lots of money?
The writing is not purple prose. It is beyond purple prose. Purple prose would be EMBARRASSED to be seen with this writing. Everything about it is bad.
If you've seen The Iron Giant (Lord, if you haven't GO WATCH NOW!) then you'll know that in that movie is a giant robot made of iron. Yet this robot has a thousand times more personality and charisma than our much touted and manly Prince Mikhail.
He's a robot. Some kind of space robot given a caveman's brain by an alien species intent to discover if stupidity in the human race is indeed limitless and thus perhaps mined as a kind of fuel for their spaceships. This book was written by these aliens to test us and see how ridiculous we'll go.
However, if they have any success with this method - then I won't entirely argue with their plan because after all, by the laws of supply and demand - it'd be cheaper to fill up my car with stupidity then it would with gas.