Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
fun, but not as good as the Fever series
on 16 September 2014
A fun enough read, but not as good as the Fever books that it is a spin off of. Dani is annoyingly oblivious for such a smart girl and some of the ways she rationalises the obvious away is just plain stupid. New side characters are introduced but not fleshed out. (I suspect they are there for future books.) There is a lot more fantasy-like descriptions of stuff. Exploring the library, for example, felt very Harry Potter. The plot seems to drift a bit in the middle and the one major thing left over from the last book, that is hinted at throughout this one, is finally addressed on, literally, the last page and left as a cliffhanger. RUDE.
Mostly however, my issues with the book stem from Dani being 14 years old. Like the previous books this is a dark and at times sexual book, so why have we thrown a 14 year old into the mix? I'm not one of the readers who believes that minors and sex can never cross in a plot. That wouldn't reflect reality and just because a minor has sex in a book doesn't make it automatically pedophiliac. So, her actual age itself isn't the problem. But if an author is going to place a minor (and not a 17 and 359 day old minor, but an innocent, barely 14 year old minor) in a sexually charged plot it needs to be particularly dealt with. It wasn't here. It was carefully dealt with, don't get me wrong, but not in a way that worked for me and it compromised the whole plot. Here's why:
Dani's spunky and bright. That's great. And two dark dangerous men are in love with her. OK. But one of the men is literally turning into an Unseelie prince (what is referred to as a death-by-sex fae), i.e. an elite member of the eviler of the two fae courts. The other has been a mercenary for millenia...you know rape, pillage and murder. So why, why exactly am I supposed to believe that these two men are willing to voluntarily abide by some antiquated and unenforceable (in post-apocoliptic, lawless Dublin) idea of the age of consent?
I might have believed they didn't find underdeveloped females attractive, except that the Unseelie in general appeared to prefer perversions and both men are shown to have physical, sexual responses to her. (They basically walk around with constant hard-ons.) So, they obviously are attracted. What exactly is supposed to have held two morally unfettered men, who generally take what they want, to the moral high ground? The answer should be nothing, which means the very premise of the book, that these two men are staking their claim for the day she turns 18 untenable and unbelievable.
(I should note that in an interview KMM has stated that neither Roydan nor Christopher is supposed to be sexually attracted to Dani. They just have constant erections. Their love of Dani and engorged penises shouldn't necessarily be seen as correlative. It's true that men look at nubile young women all the time, IRL, and don't act on it. In our culture that idolises youth, it's not even considered pedophilia to do so. I appreciate what she's after in writing the book and characters the way she did. I even think it's far more realistic than when people either write only one of two scenarios--one in which minors are either wholly devoid of sexuality and sexual awareness or victimised by it. I just didn't feel these men were the sort to behave in the reserved mature way they do. Some men, maybe even most men would. But would a death-by-sex fae and a man who grew up in an age when 14 year olds wed and bred?)
They're fun series. I'll no doubt read more of them. I've been consistently impressed with the way KMM slips surprisingly erudite social observations into the books, but this new incarnation was a bit disappointing.