Killing Me Slowly

A leopardess who learned how to dance. And read.
SPOILER ALERT!
Promises to Keep - Amelia Atwater-Rhodes I don't even know what to say about this book, if I'm being totally honest. It's not been three days since I've finished it and I've forgotten a great deal. If I were to emphasize anything, it would probably be that - this book, despite having those far-reaching consequences that alter an entire world forever, is just kind of forgettable. I mean, I guess it was interesting enough while I read it, but I'm just entirely ambivalent about it now, and that can't be good, right?

I've had this problem with all of the newer Den books. With the exception of All Just Glass, they've left generally the same non-impression, and I'm running into the same technical issues over and over. The characters are bland or stock, seemingly coming in only three or four variations. They get different names and color palettes and power sets, but they all seem to pull from the same limited bag of personality traits. The voices are downright interchangeable. The pacing is rushed, the story too short, and we get a series of events that happen one after the other with little to no build-up. The goals change too quickly to establish tension, and at any given moment, we don't actually know what the story is supposed to be about. Characters run in and out too quickly to keep track of or get to know, sometimes just for the sake of fan service, it seems, and at this point the world feels too in-joke for a newbie to enjoy, yet we keep getting info-dumps about the world to keep them up to speed, that are obnoxiously redundant for fans. The writing is so very melodramatic, and the whole thing would greatly benefit from a self-serious-ectomy.

Seriously, we need like a fart joke or a pie in the face up in this piece.

UNMARKED SPOILERS ABOUT BEYOND THIS POINT. I AM TOTALLY RUINING LIKE THE ENTIRE BOOK SO READ AT YOUR PERIL K?

I honestly have tried and tried and I just can't hammer out my specific problems into a review that makes any sort of flowing, cohesive sense, so I am going to cheat the shit out of this and do bullet points.

So our semi-co-protagonist is Brina di'Birgetta, the sister of Lord Daryl di'BirAsshole from Midnight Predator, and I had a hard time swallowing her plotline. Brina starts out the book being seriously mentally unstable, and suicidally depressed after the death of her brother, which apparently has happened very recently in-world, despite it being like 4,000 years since that book was published IRL. Anyway, she's sadface and angsty but meets Jay at a party and thinks he's pretty and cheers up I guess, and for some reason he finds her not revolting despite the fact that she is a vampire and he is a vampire-hunting witch, and they become love interests.

But meanwhile Jay finds an injured shapeshifter passed out in the woods and in trying to save her accidentally unleashes a seriously pissy Elemental, who is seriously pissy because her priestess (the shapeshifter) was tortured and broken down and has been serving as a vampire slave for several centuries. And her last owner...was Brina.

So you might see where this could be a problem, yeah? Brina owns slaves. Like currently. She also neglects them to the point that they'd have starved if Jay hadn't poked his nose into her affairs. Not that it would have been better if she'd been feeding them because they'd still be slaves, but for real. Slaves. She owns them. And the book tries to make her a co-protagonist. Wat...

Read full review at You're Killing.Us.

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