I like Kelley Armstrong’s books so I was pleased to find a new audiobook from her just when my wife and I had some long drives ahead of us. And it was the start of a new series so it promised something fresh.
At first, the tone surprised me. I hadn’t expected Kelley Armstrong to be headed for Molly Harper Dark Moon Hollow country- stories about supernaturals that aim at a little tension, a lot of humour and a low burn of sexual tension that occasional flames on with obligatory sex scenes – but I thought, ‘Why shouldn’t she try something different? And anyway, this is Kelley Armstrong so it’s bound to be good’.
As the miles went by I started to appreciate just how well Molly Harper does all that light-hearted but sexy stuff. Kelley Armstrong had all the right ingredients but lacked whatever magic it is that makes this kind of cake rise.
There are some good ideas here. A whole new magic system about curse workers and luck workers. A cursed necklace. Kidnapped siblings. A woman and a man forced to work together until their initial antagonism converts into mutual respect and then deep attraction (Yeah, saw that coming but that’s part of the fun) and bad guys who might be good guys but who definitely have something to hide.
But the pacing was uneven. Some of the banter fell flat. The sexual tension felt forced and self-conscious. Some of the bad guys are cardboard cutout villains.
We continued to listen because we were driving and because some of the ideas were good and this was Kelley Armstrong so it was bound to get better.
The book lasted longer than the drive but we came back to it tonight to give it another go. Just before we hit the 75% mark we got a long and clumsy exposition of who some of the good/bad guys were. It should have been a big reveal, instead, it felt like an info dump. That was followed by a reveal of the bad guy behind the kidnappings. Exciting? No. The bad guy had all the threat of a pantomime villain. At that point my wife and I decided to abandon the book. Three more hours of it held no appeal and we didn’t care what happened to any of these people..
If you want to try a sample for yourself, click on the SoundCloud link below.