Would have been three stars due to the decent writing, but the characters and the devolving plot took away from the end result.
This book had so much to offer.
Bad Ass MC: Lila, Check.
Sexy Men: Yep.
Sexy times: Thumbs up.
Interesting Premise: Woman being hunted by mysterious, sexy guy for unknown reasons. Intriguing!
Unique implications & Setting: Dystopian, fae-centered throne war. Sounds fun!
But then Lila let me down. Let me down hard
I love tough chick MCs. Hello, Mac.
Hello, Early!Anita Blake.
I like sassy, smart-mouthed women who stand up for themselves, their beliefs and can occasionally be wrong. (Not often, you hear?)
What I don't like was how much Lila made me want to chuck my Kindle (I don't appreciate the prospect, but I can now clearly empathize with Reviewers who have felt the same way).
Lila was in no way rational. At all. And had that been explained as or related to being on her own for the majority of seven years (Yes, isolated people do react differently to rational thought and situations! Humans are an interactive, social species!) I would have been okay with it. But it wasn't. Her mouth just ran away from her mind, and coherent decision-making time after time.
She made dumb, dumb, dumb decisions. I do not mind a tough character having weak moments, and wallowing in pity on the rare occasion, but when she ran out of the Seelie court crying "I can't do this!" I just wanted to give up on her. I wanted to put her out of her misery. I enjoy defining moments where resolve is found through a character's darkest moments. Where a character is built again from the ground up. Hardened, yet smarter, but that was not the case. Not at all. It took a two minute pep talk to change her mind. She's too fickle for my taste.
The secondary characters also irritated me to no end. Some of them couldn't fight their way out of a box. Case in point, Garret. Also, Liam. I did not have one HINT of remorse for Garret and Liam when they were caught--AGAIN!, nor when Garret died. It was an idiotic, terribly thought out plan. Can bullheaded, blind charging even be called a plan?
There were so many times when Lila's thoughts/actions were NOT EQUAL TO the actual circumstances, nor the outcomes she wanted to produce. In that sense, the story & plotting felt haphazardly strung together.
The plot moved too quickly for me, and felt rushed and jerky at times. I know a huge complaint is normally the opposite, so I feel safe to assume I'm in the minority in that opinion, and it does not bother me. It's all preference. To me, it was so quick that we, as readers, couldn't fully engage with the situations, characters and sentiments being exchanged at any one moment. I didn't empathize with anything because it always seemed thrust upon the reader... Like Liam's impromptu "I Love you." Like his betrayal. He controls the way she reacts to other fae/other people."Tunes" her to his mojo only. Ridiculous! I believe it is a massive understatement when I say Un-freaking-believable. And, overall, I had actually liked Liam despite previous flaws I had been noticing (and conveniently brushing aside--UNTIL HE TRIED TO CONTROL HER). Lila is headstrong the entire novel, but she won't push him to get back her ONLY means of defense? Are you serious? She's supposed to be a survivor. The Lila we're introduced to should have put a knife to his neck, and said, "Give me my Light back, or I will gut your with the dull end."
A final complaint:...the Scooby Doo villains (with sexually deviant tendencies...). I found them cheesy, and I felt like their quips and pseudo-banter could have been lifted from any B-movie script.
In Adams' defense, of which there will be a little below, she can write quite a steamy love scene. It lacked in some areas to be sure, but it also didn't feel detrimental to the plot as some sex scenes can be, so I thoroughly enjoyed each of them!
Obviously, this book did something right because I would not feel this strongly about it had I not seen enormous potential from both the story and the author. In my head, I just kept thinking, "You're better than this, Jocelyn Adams!" and I meant it. She's better than this first offering. At least, I hope so.
Sadly, it didn't live up to my expectations, and I doubt I'll go on with this series. I will, however, check on the reviews of the 2nd book to see what fellow reviewers have to say.