Katrina Passick Lumsden's Reviews > Bargains and Betrayals

Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany
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Nov 13, 11

Read in November, 2011

These books are puzzling to me. I liked 13 to Life, despite its many problems (particularly the problem of Jessie throwing Pietr at Sarah to make Sarah happy...I mean, get real). Regardless, I was able to overcome and enjoy. It was a sweet story, I (for the most part) liked tomboy Jessie, and Pietr's unabashed honesty and puppy-like loyalty was adorable.

I saw trouble coming in the second book, Secrets and Shadows. The characters seemed somehow less than what they were in the first.

This book brought the reality of the character's changes home and left me with an unsettled, unsatisfied feeling. The inconsistencies were really what got to me, Jessie's in particular. One minute she's a clever, sassy badass, getting done what needs to get done. The next, she's a simpering, whining, guilt-riddled moron who wants to save everyone from themselves. I found myself vacillating far too often between strong like and intense hatred for Jessie. That just shouldn't happen. It was like reading about someone with multiple personality disorder. But at least then the character would have an excuse.

Pietr is even more broody and emoriffic in this installment. I had thought that perhaps now that he and Jessie were truly a couple that we could see Pietr focusing on what needs to get done; saving Jessie from the asylum and saving his mother from the agency. There are times when he focuses on those tasks (sometimes a little too intensely), but throughout it all we're treated to his mood swings and self-loathing.

I don't know why, and maybe it's just me...but I'm really growing tired of reading page after page of self-loathing from these paranormal supermen.

Anyway, this book was so disjointed. There was a definite disconnect between the characters and their actions, and while the first half of the book was kind of slow, the last half was rushed and sloppy. Some things aren't even properly explained, leaving the reader to sort of guess what something means. During a scene towards the end, when everyone is dealing with the fallout of the attack on the agency, Jessie tries to tell Pietr about how Dmitri's second-in-command tried to kill her and Sophie (Jessie managed to kill him instead). She says, "Dmitri's other second..." and Pietr cuts her off with, "Dmitri thought he was with us." Then Jessie says, "With us? I'm still trying to figure out what the hell that meant. My reading comprehension is far from being poor and yet this book managed to confuse me on several occasions. Was there an editor of any kind involved in the creation of this? If so, he/she/they need to be fired.

Now if you'll allow me, I would like to purge my reader rage with a rant (this will contain several spoilers, so continue reading at your own risk).

Why is it that seemingly everyone in this book is suffering from a nearly debilitating case of Derp? It began in Secrets and Shadows, and my review of that book will reflect what I think of the beginning stages of Derp. It would appear that none of the characters in this series ever learn from their mistakes. After nearly getting Jessie killed by keeping information from her and leaving her alone and unguarded on numerous occasions, the clan is a little too willing, in this book, to leave Amy alone for a few days while she is still avoiding her psychotic ex-boyfriend. Big fucking surprise when the poor girl ends up beaten and raped! Derp Epidemic.

/end rant

Despite all of this (or perhaps in spite of it..?) I'll read the fourth book. Hopefully it gets better.

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