A nice surprise in some ways, but kind of underwhelming in others.
Recommended: For plane rides and beach days
Because you won’t care to re-read it, or to hold on to it once you finish it. Fairly generic paranormal fae-based story, with a few unique twists.
Olivia is an orphan fae, endlessly hunted by the incarnations of Death in the human world after all of Fae crossed over to escape Death. She’s got no powers, except for when she and her crew realize she is actually Life incarnate, and the only one who can possibly stop the incarnations of Death. With a little help from a rude attorney, aka the Benevolent Grim Reaper, she’ll try to avenge her whole world by killing all the Death in the world.
The first chapter was nearly enough to make me put it down, when Bill the Secret Gargoyle loses his human facade because a woman in the office forces her tongue down his throat. 1. ew, and 2. THAT’S how this is going to work? I like sex and all, but having the key to their secrecy be undone by sexy stuff is… underwhelming at best. By the end, what really sunk it for me was the third time that Olivia is about to die or in some other kind of peril and then it just cuts to a new chapter where she’s waking up, sans peril, because someone else dealt with it for her. Very frustrating and breaks immersion to just skip over the tough parts of how to escape when escape is impossible. Just black out and deal with it later! Nah.
That said, I actually really enjoyed the writing style. I loved the analogies, the self-awareness of Olivia, and how even pretty mundane moments were spiced up with very particular word choice (“thrust” and “throb” come to mind). Although it was surprising that despite how much sexual tension was written throughout it, there were maybe 2 moments that actually embraced it outright. Maybe a good thing for some people, bad thing for others.
And unspoiler-y plot question: is killing all forms of Death actually a good idea? Things need to die! What is this!
Some moments felt too forced, in a very deliberate attempt to be unexpected or delightfully rebellious. For me, this failed and even backfired by making me roll my eyes and groan. They were just small filler moments, but brought it down for me. Examples:
1. Old lady randomly making out with an old man, including some hardcore junk-fondling. At least a few paragraphs dedicated to this moment.
2. Repeated emphasis on MC Olivia loving to wear pink, like that was somehow a crime. You can be badass and wear pink, no one’s questioning it
3. That beginning scene, where Gargoyle appears due to a wild Wanton Woman
A common enough story line with some unique details. Well written, with moments of very realistic humor, but overall, eh. It’s enough to keep you reading when you need something chill to do, or to kill some time, but not really worth picking up outside those circumstances. It’s a familiar enough story, and others do it better.
Thanks to NetGalley and Cecy Robson for a free copy in exchange for a review!