I've been reading a lot lately, and I've been trying to really soak in a lot of different books in the big bubble of my chosen writing genre, both to study to improve my writing and know the market and to just enjoy myself. So I'm reading contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance, both on the adult and YA side of the spectrum.
A writer friend recced this book because it dealt with a lot of mythology, in particular Pandora's Box and Greek myth. I thought, hey that sounds good! And the premise is good. You have all these guys and gals who were created to guard the Box, but a bunch of them became angry when one person was favored over them all. So they opened the Box. This released the demons into the world. As their punishment, they were then each bound to a demon. So one person would be bound to Death and another to Pestilence, so on and so forth.
This book was about the man bound to Violence.
If you read my rant on Dead Until Dark, you know where I'm going with this.
What could have been an interesting book about man's propensity for violence and how to tame those dark urges in order to truly love instead became a book that highlighted how sexy and exhilarating violence in the bedroom can be.
Once again, you have all these people who just get so horny at the sight of their chosen person--I suppose because destiny is the only excuse I can find for it--that they forget that, oh, their captives or crazy guy who keeps pushing you around is well, crazy guy who keeps pushing you around.
This book was a lot like Dead Until Dark, actually. The heroine, Ashlyn, could read people's thoughts and desperately wanted to find some peace and silence. When she discovered Maddox could provide for her, she clung to him. Literally. Sookie Stackhouse is like Xena compared to this chick. Maddox shuns female companionship because he barely is able to control his demon, Violence. Plus, he has a death-curse at night which means every night his buddies, possessed by Pain and Death, come to him, kill him, and his soul goes to Hell. Then he comes back next morning.
I forget a lot of what happens because I read it about a month ago, but I remember widdle Ashlyn kept getting in trouble or hurt and Maddox would come to her rescue. She was poisoned at some point, when he was keeping her captive because he wanted to seduce her and she went along with it because he gave her mind silence, and when she was sick he held her hair and let her puke and all that fun stuff. They kept forgetting they were in a middle of a crisis for sexy times, too. The poor idiot kept getting verbal abused and knocked around, but I had a hard time caring.
I was far more interested in the guy possessed by Pain who kept cutting himself and the girl he liked, who was attracted to him but could care less about him. Even if that didn't make sense half the time either.
There were some good parts. The male characters were really funny and had some great banter and chemistry. The background and the overall plot were pretty good, too. And I could tell the writer was trying to have the characters pause and think, wow I shouldn't like this, etc., but it didn't work for me personally.
I heard a lot of people really liked this series. I guess if you like the big strong man takes care of the small woman trope, you might enjoy it. Heck, believe it or not I sort of dig the knight in shining armor bit, depending on how it's used and how capable the heroine is. I adore Superman, for cryin' out loud. But I don't know. I had series issues with the mix of sex and violence. Serious serious issues. This book rubbed me wrong so many ways that I'm a bit terrified of paranormal romance now.
I won't be reading the others in the series and I can't recommend it to anyone.
Soon, I'll be sharing some thoughts on Fool Moon by Jim Butcher, a lovely and fun series by Rosemary Clement-Moore about Buffy-ish character, and American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which I just started today.