Spell checked? I think not.
I have no idea where to start with this review. I somewhat enjoyed the book, but there were so many things “wrong” with it, it’s actually quite sad. The one thing I can say with certainty, is that a good editor would’ve made a world of difference. But instead of droning on and on about the things which brings down the value of this book, I’ll give you a quick run-through of the points that bugged me. Just humor me and let me have my little rant here, about a book that has so much potential to be a bestseller if the author is willing to make a few changes to it.
Let’s start with the first major point which I found quite annoying: the author’s fear of using the apostrophe in all the right places. Do not; has not; was not and are not, contributed to throwing the rhythm of the book off balance. Once I started reading it as don’t, hasn’t, wasn’t and aren’t, the story read smoother and suited its characters and setting much better.
The second issue I had was the grammar errors. It wasn’t overwhelming, but it was noticeable.
The whole book is written in such a way as to make it an easy read suitable for young adults, but time and again the intimate scenes between the characters ended up being pure erotica with unexpected crude language at inappropriate intervals - thus making it unsuitable for younger readers. It also succeeded in creating the impression that the author wasn’t sure whether it should be a young adult novel, or a read suitable for more mature readers.
Magic was used as a scapegoat to fix every situation to which the author couldn’t figure out a solution. Abracadabra and the characters got out of sticky situations in a jiffy.
There was no point to the plot and not an ounce of suspense. No, really! The blurb hinted at some action and danger for the main character, but nothing happened. Mae - the main character - was trained throughout the book to use her magical gifts to protect herself and others from harm; creating the impression that she is preparing for a big battle scene or something similar. All she ended up using her magical gifts for were to heal one or two characters and to knock her lover off his feet while they were chasing after each other naked down the passages in their mansion. It was such a disappointment!
The characters were somewhat flawed, in an effort to make them believable, but it was still hard to identify with them when all the difficulties they faced were easily solved with truckloads of money and magic, thus making it hard to feel any sympathy for them whenever they went through rough patches.
As this is the first book in this series, I’ll rather believe that it served as a very (unnecessary) long introduction to the characters who will be the main role-players in the next books in the series. But other than that, there was really no point to this story other than character development.
So why am I recommending this book with 3 stars? Because despite everything I found “wrong” with this book, I couldn’t put it down. There’s definitely something in the author’s writing that is captivating enough to grab the reader’s attention and keep it until the end of the book. This alone is testimony that CG Powell is a talented author who knows how to engage her readers, but just has to find the right rhythm for her writing style and some good advice (or a better editor) on how to add that extra “oomph” to this book. She certainly impressed me with her knowledge on technology and she has an imagination that can charm readers out of their socks! Now if only she can find a way to apply it in a more-showing, less-telling manner...
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)