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Book Review: “Lone” by Rowan McBride – 2 of 5 stars

September 18, 2010
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I know I’ve been a bad girl, not updating my blog this week, and I’ll give the excuse that I’ve been working my buns off trying to set up a great blog tour for the release of Cast the Cards next month. While you wait for the next true blog post, here’s something to tide you over!

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Book Review for <em>Lone</em> by Rowan McBride – 2 of 5 stars

This story came recommended to me, but as I read, I couldn’t find too much that I really enjoyed in it. Nevertheless, here are a few pros and cons and my general impression of the book.

Pros:

Background of Nightkin – Though I was given peeks instead of full-blown world-building, the Nightkin concept was interesting in that it involved four different creatures that were born instead of ‘made’ or infected in some way to become different than humans. Warlocks, seers, vampires, and werewolves make up the Nightkin, and I liked that they might have their disagreements, but they weren’t truly at war with one another. It was also interesting that their magic interfered with modern technology. I would have liked to have seen that explored to a greater depth. The concept of the Ravager made sense when it was explained and had great potential, though I don’t think the full potential was realized in the melodramatic Seth.

Dorian – A minor character, a vampire with dry wit that had a tendency of reading my mind as I made my way through the book. Dorian always seemed to comment on issues that I was grumbling to myself, which made for an instant connection. Whenever he would show up, I’d perk up and smile a bit while reading. His background was a bit more compelling than the other characters, and he was simply a joy to read about, especially from a dialogue standpoint.

Cons:

Pronoun issues – Perhaps it’s just me, but there was a lot of confusion that came from an overabundance of pronouns in the narrative. There were times when I truly couldn’t tell whose point of view the scene was written in or who was doing what because ‘he’ and ‘his’ and ‘him’ were all used instead of the character’s names. While it might seem small to most, it really bothered me and made the ease of reading plummet to the depths.

Overabundance of angst – Seth’s character seemed to do little more than angst himself to pieces in most scenes. In fact, there were several scenes I felt could have been shortened or cut completely because they felt like gratuitous angst rather than plot advancement or character development.

Sex squicks – There were moments in the sex scenes that were enjoyable, but there were a couple problems that pulled me right out of the action for every single one. First was the lack of proper lubrication. Spit and pre-ejaculate aren’t lubricants, and the thought of Rafe being taken by his beasty lover with nothing to ease the way, especially when we’re given the impression that Rafe has never wanted to bottom in their relationship, just made me cringe. The second was the way Seth in Ravager form forced sex on Rafe. Yes, Rafe consents, but it’s clear he’s terrified at the time and doesn’t see saying ‘no’ as any sort of option. It read like coercion for me, so I didn’t find it in the least bit erotic. Having it described as the best orgasm Rafe ever had with my impression of coercion and the clear lack of lube was too much of a stretch for me.

Overall Impression:

While the world had potential, I felt it wasn’t realized in Seth’s story. I felt this story could have been half the length and been more enjoyable for it. There were moments that were delightful to read, but they tended to gravitate around minor characters like Dorian or Xuan (the little girl on the plane), and that just wasn’t enough to satisfy my desire to see this world come alive on the pages. The romance didn’t engage me.

These are just my opinions, as I know there are other readers who would enjoy the high angst content, and some of my squiks may not apply to others. If some sort of related work comes out featuring Dorian, I would very likely give it a go, since he was truly a lovely character.

2 stars (out of 5)

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