Lauren's Reviews > The God Eaters

The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek
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Dec 09, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: m-m-romance, fantasy
Read from December 09 to 11, 2011 — I own a copy

I almost gave this book 1 star, but the last hundred pages picked up enough that I decided to bump up the score a little. Honestly, I'm kind of shocked that this book has such a high rating considering how poorly it's written, how little world building was involved, and how bland and uninspired the plot is.

To give a quick summary: Nineteen-year-old native Kieren Trevarde acts like he's a lot older than his years. His parents died when he was young, he grew up on the streets, battled addictions, and got swept into the world of crime. Ashleigh Trine is an intelligent eighteen-year-old who has gotten involved in a rebellion against the theocracy currently ruling his nation. Though they come from drastically different backgrounds, when they're both caught by police, they're thrown together in the same prison cell. Furthermore, the prison they've been brought to is one that has been specially constructed for persons with rogue Talents, a type of magical ability. Despite their confinement and the horrible circumstances they find themselves falling for each other. Now the only obstacle to their love is very place that brought them together.

The first 150 pages of this book were horrible. The only reason I kept reading was because I had bought it, and I couldn't bear to think that I'd just spent $10 for nothing. By far my biggest two issues about this book were the poor writing and the lack of background and world-building.

The God Eaters reads like it's fan fiction, throwing two characters together for no reason just so that they can unrealistically pine for one another in an angsty-teenager type of way. I'm assuming this is the author's first book for the writing is very amateurish. There were two instances in particular where the author actually used the wrong word - "substance" instead of "subsistence" and "font" instead of "fount". Not only were incorrect words used, but sentences didn't make grammatical sense. Like this one: "They wouldn't hear it even if they heard it." I read that three times before giving up trying to understand.

Bad writing aside, the plot and world-building were terrible. The God Eaters is set in a fantasy world. There's magic in the form of Talents. And there's an evil theocratic government that is trying to repress other gods and the people who follow these gods. It sounds like the basics for an awesome story. However, Hajicek gives us no more than a few lines to explain the motivation of the villains, who come across as stereotypical faceless evil figures that are bad for the sake of being bad. Furthermore, we learn almost nothing about the magic system that functions in this world even though our two main characters are imprisoned in part because of their magical ability. Lastly, the world seems to have an old west kind of feel to it with talk of train robberies, bank heists, gun-slinging and shootouts at bordellos. However, the reader is never given enough information about the history of this world to be able to tell whether or not we should imagine a technologically sophisticated society or one that's only just begun a scientific revolution.

More than anything though, I wanted history about our two main characters. Hajicek gives us a fly-by introduction to all the bad things that happened to Kieren in the prologue, and begins the story with his arrest. Thus, when Ash suddenly goes all fangirl on him, I have no idea why this guy is a likable character except that the author tells me so. But at least Hajicek gives us something about Kieren. Ash gets no background story at all. He has an aunt, he was a rebel, he wrote inflammatory papers. That's it. Never once do we get any sense of why he joined a rebellion. We never know what kinds of papers he writes or what motivates him at all. Furthermore, in the first 200 pages of the book, Ash is so cowardly and whiny that I couldn't believe he'd have the courage to even join a rebellion. This book would have gained so much if the author had just spent an extra 50 - 100 pages at the beginning fleshing out her characters, showing them in the worlds they inhabited before they were put in prison so that we could understand them better and understand their reactions to one another better. After all, prison does not seem the mostly likely place to find true love, particularly when the prison officials benefit from pitting people against one another. All in all, I had the worst time trying to figure out where and when the story was taking place, what the rules were of this universe, and how the characters were important in the scheme of the world.

Lastly, even though the book gets a lot better by the end, it leaves you with just as many questions as you started with. Ash, for instance, makes a deal with another character in exchange for help. However, he never holds up his side of the bargain, and there's never any mention of him planning to do so sometime in the future. He also just abandons his aunt to her fate, and never shows any intention of trying to find her again, even though she's the woman who raised him. It was as though the author just took a snapshot of these people's lives but never gave us any context. Personally, I think this could have been a three book series - the first book could have been about how these characters became they way are and how they got caught by the police, the second could have been The God Eaters, and the third could have been about tying up all the loose ends that were left.

On the positive side, if you're looking for very light reading, a cute and sappy m-m romance, and two generally likable characters, then this is the book for you.
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Reading Progress

12/09/2011 page 54
12.0% "This is the first time I've experienced buyer's remorse over a book. It got good ratings and had positive reviews, but the writing is so amateurish, it reads like fan fiction, and the relationship btwn the characters is so unrealistic and is moving way too quickly. On top of that, the world-building is so non-existent that the plot feels entirely superficial and just an excuse to get the two characters together."
06/19/2016 marked as: read

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