Alright, so first of all, I have news. You know how I always sing the praises of Goodreads Deals and they feature in almost every one of my reviews because I’m obsessed and I have a book problem!? Well, I was surprised to learn that Amazon has decided to merge Goodreads Deals with Kindle Daily Deals, starting October 1st. So, if you’re like me, and you get the daily e-mail from Goodreads, be sure you follow the instructions for how to sign up for the Kindle Daily Deals e-mails that will be the new norm as of October 1st, otherwise, you’ll lose out on what could be awesome deals. And if you don’t have an Amazon account…… who are you and how do you go through life like that? Jk, this is a judgment free zone.
This book came to my attention in one of the Goodreads Deals e-mails that I get daily. I was actually drawn in by the cover because I had been on this “strong female kick-ass heroine” kick for a bit and this cover looked like it would fit the bill. I was even more excited when I went on Amazon and discovered that it was available through Kindle Unlimited. I figured at that point I had to read it or else I would just be spitting in the universe’s face and I don’t like to tempt fate more than I already do.
This was a great little fun read that I started out listening to, and then got in to it somewhere in the middle and had to speed read my way through the rest of it. Layla Cassidy is our protagonist and while I would love to give her the title of “Fiery Female” (which has yet to be bestowed on any character since I’ve started my blog), she was way too whiny for me. I get that your whole perception of the world changed practically overnight, but there were just a few too many temper tantrums for me to think she was capable of greatness. About a quarter of the way through I realized I just wasn’t going to connect to Layla that way I like to connect to the characters that I’m reading about, but the premise and what was happening in the story kept me hanging on.
I don’t know what it is about female characters that are written by male authors – but I just really have a hard time connecting to them. I’ve always wondered if men struggled with the same concept. Like how do male readers react to Cormoran Strike, the male lead written by J.K. Rowling? Is it different from how they connect to Paul Sheldon, a male lead written by Stephen King? If I have any male readers, please chime in, I really am curious. But I digress. So aside from Layla’s tantrums and our disconnect, the action scenes were way too involved and went on way too long. I’m normally pretty adept at picturing and figuring out who is doing what to who and with what weapon, but for each scene I read in this book, I remember wondering if it was ever going to come to an end. I gave up even trying to follow because it just became too much.
I did like the concept of the story enough to finish the book, but not enough to pick up the next one. Now this was my first experience with Steve McHugh, and on Goodreads, his Hellequin Chronicles seems to have rave reviews (consistently around or above a 4 star rating), so it’s very possible that this was just me, but if you’re in to Urban Fantasy, and you like the idea of an X-Men-esque spinoff, but with mythical creatures and magical scrolls versus gene mutations, then this might just be the series for you. At the moment, I’m not planning to pick up Crimes Against Magic, McHugh’s Hellequin series, but I might change my mind later on down the road.
For now, I’ll just leave my rating right here:
and get back to my TBR pile.