22. Dark Magic, by Cheyenne McCray (292 pages)
So full of bad romance tropes. And not just sex but badly written sex. Juices and obsession with tasting said juices, wut? I had to give up finally on page 292, when I realized I was rolling my eyes and hate-reading. I stopped mid-chapter, went to bed, and realized I had no interest in picking it back up.
Jake: Leader type. Grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks” and is bitter about it. Presumably white since there’s no mention of race. Veteran who made a mistake in a leadership position, got his men killed, and is haunted by it. Can’t emotionally commit to a relationship. Attitude problem. But abruptly head over heels committed to Cassia who will HEAL him after he confesses, OOC, his inner demons. Oh, right, and apparently he goes from not feeling he can fully trust Cassia to constantly having a hard-on and losing control to the extent that he sexually assaults her. Not sexy.
Cassia: Elf, of course. 425 year old virgin who somehow has no idea of sexual relations despite living with humans for 400 of those years. Naive as fuck with no excuse. Has to come into her power as a sort of goddess figure by having vaginal intercourse with an elf. Only it turns out it can be anyone but she might accidentally kill them. If she doesn’t she dies. There’s an arbitrary time limit for the breaking of the maiden head or death ensues. Super into Jake, but not for any developed reason aside from pure carnal attraction.
And then the villain figures, a demon and a war-god who suddenly off screen start falling in love with each other instead of it just being all about sex. Don't know why I'm supposed to care. And a betrayer to the good guys who is basically totes obsessed with having sex with war-god and the presumed size of his penis. Random chapters devoted to the POV of minor characters.
Oh right plot in the background. San Francisco has been put under siege and the only defenders are the National Guard in charge of keeping curfew and nothing else, and a rag-tag group of marines, drow, witches, and a few supernatural creatures. They’ve been trying to defeat war-god for basically months and even though war-god has also recently absorbed more power he can’t defeat them even with his betrayer blah blah.
San Francisco is not a developed place. There's a warehouse on the waterfront (which doesn't make sense since Mystwalkers don't like salt water, but one goes there anyway), the Giants stadium, and one mention of hills. There's an attempt to include world-building including species in the Alliance, but it's half-hazard at best. The witch coven is supposedly important and they've been together for a while, but the character development isn't there. The number of them is meant to get us to wonder who the betrayer is but I don't GAF. All of the characters, including Jake and Cassia, are caricatures at best.
Meanwhile male character and elf-goddess-girl have to go back to elf-land and get it on so she can not-die and get awesome new powers from sexual magic. And that's when I stopped caring.
Basically I felt like I was reading a draft, and like anything that might develop setting, plot, or character was replaced with bad sex scenes. So, yeah. Didn't finish, and won't.
Maybe some of this was developed in previous novels, but the order in the front pages indicated this was the first. Literally the entire book made it seem like this was the first in a series, so the publisher did a poor job with that. A lot of the urban fantasy I read start with a major moment mid-action, so that wasn't a clue.
April pages: 292
Pages to date: 7,644
April 2018 comics/manga reading:
69. Invader Zim: Book 1, by Jhonen Vásquez (140 pages)
70. Ghostbusters: Volume 7, by Erik Burnham (104 pages)
71. Lumberjanes: Volume 6, by Shannon Watters (112 pages)
72. Y The Last Man: Volume 8, by Brian K. Vaughan (144 pages)
73. Gravel: Volume 2, by Warren Ellis (176 pages)
74. The Mighty Thor: Volume 1, by Jason Aaron (146 pages)
75. DC Bombshells: Volume 5, by Marguerite Bennett (176 pages)
76. Bleach: Volume 69, by Tite Kubo (192 pages)
77. The Wonder Woman Chronicles: Volume 1, by William Moulton Marston (192 pages)
78. Star Trek, The New Adventures: Volume 1, by Mike Johnson (300 pages)
79. Kuma Miko: Volume 2, by Masume Yoshimoto (140 pages)
80. Video Girl Ai: Volume 7, by Masakazu Katsura (192 pages)
81. Black Butler: Volume 25, by Yana Toboso (178 pages)
82. Case Closed: Volume 65, by Gosho Aoyama (192 pages)
83. Afterschool Charisma: Volume 4, by Kumiko Suekane (208 pages)
84. Library Wars, Love & War: Volume 13, by Kiiro Yumi (192 pages)
85. Moon Knight: Volume 1, by Warren Ellis (136 pages)
86. Twin Spica: Volume 9, by Kou Yaginuma (200 pages)
April pages: 3,120
Pages to date: 15,060