My rating: 3 of 5 stars
You can find this review and all of my others over at www.readbookrepeat.wordpress.com
Actual rating of 2.75
Evie is an assassin, she kills Protectors who are sent after her, only to keep her and her charge, a young witch called Hali, safe. She’s been chased her whole life but isn’t quite sure why. She was an orphan and knows nothing of her heritage or her past. So when a group of Protectors show up taking Hali and insisting that Evie goes with them, she has no choice. The Protector’s princesses have been kidnapped and taken into hell, and they want Evie to get them back, unharmed, only then will they release Hali and let them go on their way. With three Protectors in tow, and her demon ex-boyfriend Avi, Evie heads into hell to rescue the damsel in distress.
This is a reverse harem series, though there’s not actually much relationship stuff that happens in this first installment. I found the premise of this book to be interesting, who doesn’t love an orphan who has to fend for themselves, in turn becoming a sarcastic arsehole who can’t trust anyone? I’m being serious here, I actually love a protagonist with a chip on their shoulder. The characters were well written and you get a sense for who they are which is great. I had a little bit of a problem with Evie, and I can’t work out what it is. She’s definitely got a chip on her shoulder and can definitely come across as a sarcastic arsehole, but I found her to be grating at times. I love the inclusion of Hali, and the short explanation around her character that we are told near the end of the book. I’d be interested to see a series about when Hali has grown up to be honest.
The storyline was interesting enough, and I feel like the story was the perfect length, I had a little bit of an issue with the writing though. There was a lot of repeat words in paragraphs which just grated on me, and broke up the flow of the writing.
“There’s a knock on the door, which breaks up the awkward silence, and Connor opens the door. A keeper is standing still outside the door, his hood covering his face, so I can’t see who it is”
There are a lot of sentences and paragraphs that are written like the one above. I just find the style very jolted, with no flow at all. It makes it hard to get into a story, I find, when the writing is stilted like this.
I also had a bit of an issue with the dialogue. Some of the dialogue is written in what I call a formal voice, (ie: no abbreviations such as – wasn’t, hasn’t, don’t, can’t.) Yet in the same paragraph of dialogue the same character then starts using abbreviations and a more relaxed, casual tone. It’s only a small thing, but this also found it sometimes hard to get into a rhythm with character conversations. Mixing of tones is a pet peeve of mine, either your character speaks formal or casual, in my eyes. Not both unless there is a good reason for it which is later revealed.
I also found that Evie accepted a MASSIVE revelation at the end of the book too easily. Another character drops an ABSOLUTE bombshell on Evie while she is lying on the floor, injured, and she just suddenly accepts it as truth? I found this a hard pill to swallow as this is a character that does not trust ANYONE, yet someone she’s never met before drops something huge, that effects her greatly, and she’s like “oh okay, cool” ???? This annoyed me greatly. So did the Epilogue, I found the epilogue a bit unnecessary, and possibly placed wrong? I feel like it should have been at the start of book two, and the epilogue of book one should’ve been something else. That’s just me though.
I did find this story a quick read, and I’m interested in the characters as well as the developing story-line, at this stage, I’m planning on continuing the series and can only hope that the author has matured in writing and has been able to inject more flow into her stories.
If you like a reverse harem, with no insta-love (there is insta-lust), that has a pissed off protagonist who’s whole existence is shrouded in mystery, then this series may be for you.