Amanda's Reviews > Once Burned

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
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Jun 29, 2012

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Read from June 27 to 30, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Book #39 of 2012

Marking with the "spoiler" tag so I can talk about the plot a bit...
I wanted to like this book. I really really did. But, ultimately, I just didn't find Vlad all that sympathetic of a character. I liked him in the Night Huntress novels he's appeared in. But in his own book, I thought he was an ass! He never had to chase after Leila, never had to do anything out of the ordinary to get the girl. Sure, he said he let her talk back to him etc and that he never let anyone do that, but... it didn't read as being true or enough for me. Plus, he's just... sadistic. When one of his people "fails" to protect Leila, Vlad decides to stake him (yes, in that way). But he doesn't do it right away in anger, no. He waits a day or two, and then it is all, "Cheerio, mate, lets go put you on a stake" (although Vlad is not British and would never say "Cheerio, mate"). And not just that, but this person did not deliberately disobey Vlad, he thought Leila had been taken and ran after who he thought took her. So, what is the point of the punishment? It doesn't TEACH anything, and it is not done immediately after the incident. So I'm left with the punishment is just Vlad being sadistic.

The other problem I had with the book was that I felt like I was in Leila's head ALL. THE. TIME. I don't mind first person narration, but with some action so it is not just all, "oh, Vlad is so sexy, but oops, he can hear me, guess he just heard that!" I think Vlad's mind reading contributed to this claustrophobic feeling as he would just suddenly respond to something she was thinking. And really, for someone who sees the kinds of things she sees, you would think she'd know how to block her thoughts by now, if only from herself, but it takes Bones to tell her how to keep Vlad from hearing her thoughts, and she doesn't even utilize that advice often enough in my opinion. (I'd be so pissed if someone was reading my every thought and you'd better believe I'd try to block as much as possible!)

The only thing that saved this book from being 2 stars was the ending, where there is finally some action and Leila finally shows herself to be a take-charge kind of gal. I'll read the next book, because it IS Jeaniene Frost and I love her world, but this book doesn't even come close to the Cat and Bones Night Huntress series for me!
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Reading Progress

06/29/2012 page 242
69.0% "Really want to like this book but all I can think right now is that Vlad is a total ass and not the sarcastic/funny vamp of before as well as why won't Leila just SHUT UP with the internal monologue?"
06/29/2012 page 255
72.0% "And why the hell does he bite her and then not heal her??"

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