Here I am with the review of the second book of the #abookaweek challenge list: A Hunger like no Other by Kresley Cole, the first true novel of the series “Immortal after Dark”.
We talked about this series and this author in the previous post, in which I didn’t sing the praise of either.
I decided to give Mrs Cole’s series another chance and read what is the real first volume, a novel about a warewolf king and his half-valkyrie/half-vampire little mate.
The book is just shy of four-hundred pages (384, to be precise) and, like the first one I read – the prequel of sort, The Warlord wants Forever, whose review you can find here – it concentrates much of the plot and action in the last hundred pages (to be generous).
In “A Hunger like no Other” we follow the vicissitudes of Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, and Emmaline Troy, the daughter of a famous Valkyrie, Helen, and a vampire – yeah, her father? Not much of a mystery even at the beginning.
Anyway, our werewolf with the golden stare and massive physique – and massive other things, if you know what I mean. Do you find a recurrent theme in Cole’s writing? Yep, we’re in the presence (again) of big genitalia. Seriously, Kresley. No normal guys for you, uh? Must be nice to have encountered only gifted men – has been kept prisoner and tortured for the past one hundred and fifty years by the King of the Vampires – that he hates with a burning passion and swears revenge upon.
He, the warewolf, finds the strenght to free himself – after trying with no succes for one-freaking-hundred-and-fifty years – when he catches a whiff (ha!) of her other half walking down the street above his place of torture.
He escapes and scares the living daylights out of Emmaline when he almost – not almost, he does – attacks her – and licks her, but who’s noticing.
He kidnaps and forces her to stay with him in his trip home, even if he constantly berates her for being a vampire, his mortal enemy.
While treating her like crap, he also tries to bed her and forces her to have showers with him and sleep next to him – again with the dub-con, another trait of Mrs Cole writing.
He spent more than half of the book not knowing a thing about her and treating her like scum, while trying to have sex with her to restore himself and his power, and claim her as his – all of this with no word to Emma.
So, after treating her like an… easy lady, let’s say, for the whole book, he finally manages to understand that a) she’s half valkyrie and half vampire, not a full vampire, b) she’s a bloody virgin, c) she’s a baby in terms of supernatural age and d) her aunts, the Valkyrie, will kick his arse at the first chance for putting his paws on her.
So, we have the two almost-lovers trying to understand themselves in connection to the other, Emmaline trying to understand if she is or she is not Lachlain’s mate, and all the while the whole vampire faction is looking for the girl.
They almost catch her, but Lachlain saves the day – only good things he does in most of the freaking book – and, when they try again, Emmaline lets herself get captured to have the possibility of meeting her father after putting the pieces together and getting the whole picture, understanding that’s probably him who’s looking for her.
In a few pages we have the epic (?) battle and a self-rescuing princess (that I liked) that kicked arse and then asked questions (even if that happened backwards, with questions first, kicking arse later).
The book ends with… A happily ever after kind of, with Lachlain grudgingly accepted by the Valkyries, a cameo of Nikolai from the first book, and an Emma finally feeling powerful for once in her life.
Now, what I did like and didn’t like.
I liked that Emmaline finally grew a pair, decided what had to be done and did it with no ifs and buts, gave her aunts a piece of her mind at the end and generally grew out of her emo-teen phase.
I dind’t like how her aunts were portraited, how the one with psychic powers first tried to get her back home and generally put a spanner in the works and then gave her no real help when she really needed it, leaving her out for the wolves – ha! – to be chewed on. I didn’t like how once the Valkyries were all for killing everything that moves and tried to off Lachlain just because they could, then let their youngerst fight the most vicious battle and forbid him to help her when she’s almost dying and the only one able to restore her is him. I didn’t like how they never acted like family and always treated her like a leper, or an enemy, or someone they had to take in but are not happy with.
I also didn’t like the main sex scene, the one in which Lachlain and Emma shared their first night together and her first time: first, it was more unrealistic than a virgin Ana Steel accepting Mr Grey offer written black on white (seriously, someone who’s never even touched second base just decided that being hung on a cross on the ceiling, naked, with a man she doesn’t know all that well and that as a penchant for being in control and likes hurting others physically is okay?), second it was animalistic but in the bad sense of the term: Lachlain never, not even once, thought about Emma’s pleasure if not only to power up his ego, and he never thought of her comfort, or the fact that that was her first time. She was under the influence of the moon thanks to Lachlain’s blood and he didn’t think she could be out of it?
It was badly written, and with no logical sense at all – especially after three hundred pages of growing sexual tension. It all resolved rather pathetically.
No, this book wasn’t a good one.
While the plot could have been interesting if well developed, the author didn’t do a good joob and turned the whole book into a parody of a romance in the supernatural world.
The author doesn’t know what erotism is, nor what a good writing is.
She doesn’t understand that when a girl says that she dreams to be swept off her feet, she doesn’t mean being kidnapped and forced to bond with a crazy stranger; that is not romance: that is an excuse to write bad sex scenes and sing praise to the manliness of the other half of the people living on this heart.
I really, really didn’t like her usual sexism and aggressiveness of the male part, how Cole’s portrayed the role of a woman, how much male chauvinism she puts in the story.
She is one of the few people able to objectify men while writing with such premises of chauvinism; and the male part is objectified just as much as the female counterpart making the whole point of the romance null and void, thanks to the dubious consent that underlines the whole book.
The Valkyries are even more weird here than in the previous book: they’re full of rage and vengeance, even misplaced, and don’t have an ounce of sensitivity, using everything and everyone to get what they want.
The bipolarism is still high, and the psychotic behaviour only got worse.
All in all, this book was another waste of time.
I’m sorry, because it seems that anyone else is loving it/has loved it.
I just can’t find anything of the thing it promised:
Romance? Not a paragraph – and if this is romance, now I get why people are losing their hope of finding their other half.
Erotism? What’s this you’re talking about?
Creatures of the night well-written and a whole world with a good backstory? Yeah, sure – sarcasm mode on.
So, do I recommend it? I’ll answer with the same answer I used in the previous post: read it only if you have low standard in the sense of books plots and writing and if you’re fans of a supernatural, even more weird and bipolar, possessive, aggressive and never happy Mr Grey. It took me a day to read it, so it’s not even a great waste of time literally speaking – I read it while going to and coming back from work (a one-hour trip by train each) and during the evening after dinner.
I’m sorry, but for me, Kresley Cole’s has failed – this city! – the world of paranormal romance – really, why all this labels? A book with supernatural creatures, with dark and gothic settings is a G O T H I C one. Why not calling it a new gothic romance, or a contemporary gothic romance?
It’s new, because not written during the period of birth and prosperity of (The) Gothic (Movement) – that means from Walpole’s “Castle of Otranto” in 1764 to Stoker’s “Dracula” in 1897. And it’s contemporary because written from the past three decades till now.
It’s gothic because it has the settings typical of gothic romances – dark places, castles, faraway and remote European regions etc. – there’s a hero, a heroine, an anti-hero and a villain, there are dark/supernatural creatures from the lore.
It’s a romance because there’s a love story, a love affair as part of the plot.
So stop creating new labels for something as simple as a gothic novel: add the romance part if they talk about love, and put before gothic the historic period if you want to, but let’s stop with labels that are just invented/said to be cool.
Now, I’m feeling much better after venting – and ranting, sorry – a little.
Anyhow, we’re at the end of the Kresley Cole’s period – yes, no more “Immortal after Dark” for me for a long, long time.
The next book, that I started earlier today, is completely different from the first two of the #abookaweek list: it’s a romantic comedy called “Love… From both sides” by Nick Spalding.
I read astounding reviews about this book, but I have to admit that I bought it because it caught my eyes and I liked the short synopsis inside the cover.
It seems a funny, light-hearted book. One of those books to read curled up on the sofa, with a cup of hot chocolate warming your hands and a little smile on your lips.
And you, have you read it? What’s your reading list for this cold, november days?
Read ya on Sunday, dears!
Have a good week at work, school or uni/college. And have a fun week-end, too.
The Cat Lady