I have a lot of feelings about this one, guise. Sorry in advance.
Okay, maybe just a lot of nagging.
I’m putting three stars…but it’s really 2.5. I’m rounding up because there were some parts of this I truly liked, but there were not enough of those shiny bits to make me ~love this book. And I wanted to love this book, I really did. It took me almost a month to finish, which is rare for me, but it just didn’t hold my attention for the long stretches of time needed to finish it quickly.
Writing: First off, the random POV switching between first and third person was so jarring. Stop that!
Anyway. I’m a fan of books that move from one scene to the next with as few words as absolutely possible—if you like your books dense, then, hey, this is for you. I do not. The lack of show in regards to the abundance of tell here was teeth-grindingly annoying.
There was so much focus on the love aspect of this that the rest just got buried. Not that that’s a bad thing sometimes, but I wanted the plot more. And it wasn’t visible; it was buried under everything else, and there were so many twists and turns and new conflicts introduced, with no resolution, that I still don’t quite understand what the hell I just read.
Matthew and Diana were very sweet with each other, though. Really. I like the whole ‘witches shouldn’t be with vampires, but we love each other despite other creatures looking down on us’ aspect of their story. ILYs were a bit rushed, maybe, and still a lot more tell than show to get to that point, but they’re cute together.
The details. Ho-leee hell. For example: not only was it a blue shirt, but I learned about its collar and sleeves and cuffs and what fabric it was and how it fit and ay yi yi. And this was repeated all. the. time. ENOUGH. I now know every aspect of these characters day to day lives—the food they like or dislike, the food she cooks, the wine they drink, the clothes they wear, rowing and running and yoga and horseback riding…annoying in a review, no? Well, it’s doubly annoying in a book that could have been so much tighter without the extraneous details.
For a plot that was already hard to follow, and at times barely existent, that’s just…too much.
Characters: I have a hard time when a main female character, who was originally presented as a smart, do-it-for-herself type, peters off into someone who needs others to tell her what to do, how to act, and how to react. At the beginning she’s adamant about telling her aunts no, but that’s the only time we truly see her stand her ground. It was a letdown.
And, good grief, can she have one more amazing power? Time-walking, flying, throwing fire, and a slew of others—is she the most awesome X-Men character ever or a damn witch? Because I am confused.
The male lead was overbearing, however, given his age and the time he was originally born, that didn't bother me as much as it might have. I know he’s pretty, though. And tall. And he wears a lot of dark colors. The author told me so. A lot. But I like his whole backstory and him in general. He’s very interesting.
At this point, I’m used to authors making vampires follow any sort of canon they want, to hell with the normal rules, so that was…whatever for me. I don’t mind seeing things presented in different ways so it didn’t add or detract from the character. He can eat and drink blood? Fine, but I don’t need to read every meal word for word. Go out in the sunlight? Well, at least he doesn’t sparkle. Sleep when it’s convenient to the plot that he be asleep so Diana can get herself kidnapped? That’s a little TOO convenient…
Lastly, there were so many secondary and throwaway characters intro’d that I started a notepad just to keep them straight. I think I counted 4, maybe 5 bad guys, and two of those were thrown in so suddenly and disposed of just as quickly that I got whiplash.
Good stuff: I sure did like the supporting characters—Matthew’s mother and her housekeeper, the aunts, and the others who were kept around for more than one scene. The dialogue, however, was a stand out. I LIKED the way they talked to each other, and would have liked more of it in place of the tiring internal ‘round and ‘round. I have hopes that some of the more interesting stuff that was brought up will be the main focus in the next book. The alchemy was cool and I’d like some more of it, please and thank you.
The ending: I hate, hate, hate books that end on a cliffhanger. I’ll read the next one because I’d like to find out what happens next, if the writer gets any stronger in her storytelling, and to see the loose threads tied up, but I’ll for sure be borrowing it from the library. And I’ll probably wait until I have a month of free time to devote to a single flipping book…or if I’m planning on taking a slow boat to Antarctica.