Hi! My name is Anna, "You'd really like me if you got to know me. I've known me for years and I love me."
Word count: about 104 000
Rating: I can’t put enough quotation marks around the word “story” so I won’t even try.
• 3,5 stars, and just because of my love for Drew and the series as a whole. No way in hell that book could stand on its own.
That is how it felt. I trusted you! You may not have been a chosen one, but still...
I’ve finished it two days ago and the only thing I remember is my endless frustration with Indigo. Not a good sign.
To be fair, first I must admit I’ve had too much PR in recent weeks. I really need a break (Scott Lynch, I’m looking at you). That might have fuelled my cacoethes carpendi. Something to keep in mind while reading this review.
Female lead: Indigo
Annoyed the living daylights out of me. She ‘knew’ what she wanted and absolutely refused to even consider having a relationship outside of those parameters. Her head was so far up her ass… ARGH! HEAR MY RAGE! She refused, flat out REFUSED to even look at her own feelings. Her ability to ignore reality was so thorough it was almost a pity to disturb it. That state of affairs has been maintained more or less throughout the whole book. I understand her doubt (given how unhappy her aunt was), but seriously bitch. PROGRESS?! Have you heard about it? Same thing over and over and over again aint cute, I’m telling you.
Male lead: Drew
*swoons* Ah, Drew! I love you. He was totally wasted on Indigo. Seriously. Guy is funny, caring, strong, good in bed, romantic, sexy as hell… What more could you possibly want? I know we women love the dark, brooding type, but in real life it’s a guy like Drew that I’d want to spend my life with. He was relentless in his pursuit of that Indy bitch who was set on vastly underestimating him, because it’s so much more convenient to view him as a younger, weaker male; as something less (Indigo,” Away! Thou'rt poison to my blood.”) You stupid hog, stop projecting! He’s not the same as your aunt’s husband. Gee. How many times does he have to prove it? Drew NEVER gives up on her. He forces her to see that there is something between them and to at least give it a try.
I do understand that the whole concept was “she has to get over fear and take a leap of faith” but it was taken too far. (view spoiler)
Wait what? Plot? There was one? I have to really strain my memory to remember. Not enough attention given to the plot. Not enough attention given to the world-building. Not enough attention given to the action (those few moments came and went in a blink of an eye). That is the greatest weakness of that book. “Plot” is so simple I could sum it up in like 3 points. Here, let me do that for you (view spoiler)
See? WTF? If the story wasn’t set in the series where we have a bigger picture it would be laughable (worthy of 2 stars maybe). That is a plot of a short novella, not a full fucking book! It matters in the big scheme of things. It sets up the scene for the next book, but on its own it’s not enough. That “story” didn’t even have direction for the most part! Only later things started to
come together go somewhere ( to have things come together you need “things” – PLURAL. There were bare two choppy scraps of events. I wouldn't call that a plot. You shouldn’t either). ARGH!
So what do we have here?
1. An annoying heroine stubborn as a mule unable to make progress
2. Lack of world development (we learn so little its negligible)
3. Absolute focus on the pair (yes, the rest of the world is just a cardboard background for their luv)
4. Lack of plot that could stand on its own.
What was good?
1. Sex scenes– awesome and varied. Not the same thing over and over again.
2. Drew – he was a cool character.
3. … ??? Hmmm… You know. There was also… That… Nah, I can’t remember. Only little crumbs thrown our way – and those were the best part of the book!!! Like Hawke? YES! Sascha? PURE AWESOME! But they were few and far between. We don’t see much of council’s dealings behind the scenes, or ghost, or our old friends from previous books.
If the plot didn’t get ignored I’d love that book (despite Indigo’s issues). It could be build up to satisfy. The foundation was there. I can’t believe the same person wrote Branded by Fire. Play of Passion had a huge potential and fell short. Reading it was a rather frustrating experience. The romance kept on going in circles for ages; we really don’t feel them ‘click’ for a loooooong time.
” You are not worth another word, else I'd call you knave.”