“A Hunger like no Other”, Kresley Cole – Review, #abookaweek

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.

15086879_10205769720920743_1987532598_n

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.
Final thoughts
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.
Love,
The Cat Lady
Advertisements

“The Warlord Wants Forever”, Kresley Cole – Review, #abookaweek

And… Here we are.
I’m sorry for the delay, but these last few days have been pretty hectic and my internet connection decided to abandon me – poor wi-fi, it wasn’t exactly its fault that there are some renovations going on in my neighbourhood and the line was in the middle of them.
Anyway, today I’ll post the reviews for both books I read for the first two weeks of #abookaweek challenge, starting with the first one of my list: The Warlord wants Forever by Kresley Cole – yep, that’s me holding my dear e-reader. You can also see part of my pajamas sleeve. Dark green… I love that colour!

15050065_10205769704760339_696688894_n

This book is the first one of a series called “The Immortal after Dark“.
From what I gathered, The Warlord wants Forever is classified as a prequel of sort, a short story – it’s under two-hundred pages – to start the real series.
The story talks about Myst, a beautiful Valkyrie, and Nikolai Wroth, a “ruthless” vampire general that finds in the seductive Valkyrie… his bride – cliché much, uh?
They met in some particular circumstances – she’s a prisoner of another vampire, one of the “bad ones”, when he found her in her cell. The thing is… She wasn’t a real prisoner. She let herself get caught to be able to gather information about these vampires and their faction.
When Nikolai tries to gather info from her, she “re-awakens” him, letting him – and herself in the meantime – know that she is his bride, the one and only able to make his heart beat again.
With a beating heart comes flowing blood, and with blood flowing again… comes morning wood, let’s say?
Nikolai’s sexual appetite is awakened and he has to – he must! – bed her to be finally complete and get rid of that tension – and erection – that will only be sated by having sex with his bride – the lovely Myst, yes.
Little Myst then decides to use this particular to her advantage and when her sisters come to the rescue, she leaves him there with his need not sated.
She escapes and he chases after her for five long years – long because his need can’t be satisfied by anyone else other than his bride and he’s lived those years with a raging erection and no means to make it go away, to reach a climax.
When he finally catches her, he fortuitously find the means to enslave her to his whims – and make her pay for the five years of repressed sexual hunger, and raging erection. Did I tell you about the raging erection? No? Well, the author let us know about it very thoroughly.
Anyway, Nikolai takes her to his nest (ah!) and makes her his – and that part is the tricky one for those not into non-con or dub-con. Myst is forced to be with him, even if it seems that she wants it? I would call it dub-con anyway, because she’s a slave to instincts and magic (you’ll know what I mean when or if you read it. Can’t tell you every little thing, right? What’s the pleasure of a lecture, then?)
At this point, we have reached the last chapters of the book – yes, we have. More then two thirds of the book is gone and we are waiting for all the questions to be answered in less than fifty pages.
From this point on, the book rushes to its end and the happily ever after (?), where we find a Wroth that stupidly decides to let everything go to hell for a misunderstanding – really, Nikolai? – and a Myst that forgives and forgets thanks to what she deems a spectacular sex session. Everything ends with Myst confessing to always have had a crush on him, since he was a human warrior (Wtf, Myst? When did that happen?), and the two bonded together.
Now, this reading was a light one. Started the book before going to bed and finished it in less than a couple of hours.
Nothing much to say apart that this was kind of ridiculous.
Myst is a complex character but not because she’s well depicted or has layers of complex personality, no… but because she’s completely bipolar: first she’s kind of a witch with nothing but contempt and maliciousness, then she’s like a cute kitten, then she’s a witch again and makes a riot with a cry à la Captain America for her freedom, then she’s like a schoolgirl with her first crush – and so on.
The background story is confusing and it doesn’t really give what it should: a background.
Nikolai is pretty linear for the whole book with not many changes, but that’s not a good thing: his psyche and personality are never explained throughout the whole book, personality-wise he has no distinct traits – if not the bossiness and bloody sexism – making him a flat character, and a boring one at that.
The sex, of which people wrote poems of grandeur about it in their reviews, is nothing major – at all. A couple of scenes not really well written and with too much emphasis of how big and juicy the male genitalia was and how much any woman would (should) beg and beg for it (seriously?!).
The other Valkyries are similar to Myst in their bipolarism – they’re wrathful, and crazy, and seriously sociopathic with no basis for them to be.
I hated that the author described one of the most interesting character in Norse mythology like crazy witches with a penchant for blood and war, no matter if the battle is worthy or not.
The bright side? Mmh, you can find the e-book for free on the internet?
Joking aside, I liked the creativity – even if the author ruined many a creature with her creativity. So, maybe, not liked-liked. I should say that I liked the effort of trying to put forth some of her creativity, maybe? Cole put out there a whole pletora of dark creatures that ranges from mythology to folklore, so kudos for the effort.
Do I generally recommend this book? No.
Do I recommend this book for a couple-of-hours-reading when you have nothing more to read and want something light with vampires and a couple of sex scenes? Mmh, maybe, if you don’t have good standards for your books and are fans of a vampiric Mr Grey from the 18th century – and there are better fanfictions out there, guys. Way better.
And now, my dear readers, onto the next great adventure!
What’s the second book from the list? No other than the first novel on the series we talked about in this post: A Hunger like no Other.
I’m giving you another chance, Mrs Cole. Lets’ see what you’ve got and if all the hype about your books  – and name – is really worth the time spent to read them 😉
The Cat Lady