Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Review I: The Mating

I read. A lot. I read a couple of books recently from "unknown" writers and as a writer I wanted to share them (and my thoughts.)

The Mating 

by Nicky Charles

I have a rule when it comes to downloading free Nook books. I will download pretty much anything that doesn't have a half-naked man and/or woman on the cover. This one should have. I think by about page five or maybe ten there was a sex scene, but I liked the concept of the book so I kept reading. Also in this instance I probably should have known better seeing as it was called "The Mating."

The premise is basically that a werewolf gets married to another werewolf in an arranged "Mating" and then goes off to live with his "pack" and has to adjust to life with new people but someone is trying to sabotage her new pack.

What I liked about this book was that I thought the author did some interesting things with the idea of a wolf pack. There was a lot of talk of hierarchy and alpha's, beta's, instincts, etc. I liked this a lot, this juxtaposition of ancient instincts counter balanced in a modern society. For instance when encountering another female there's a lot of talk of displays of strength and dominance to keep people in their place. It reminded me a bit of what Jean Auel did in her books. (Also filled with mis-placed sex-scenes.)

Beyond that though, the book was rather flat and elementary. I tried to imagine it without the gratuitous sex scenes and realized that the book would be about ten pages long. It had some interesting elements but honestly, not enough to carry the story. 

Also the wolf lore didn't seem particularly well researched. Yes, there were some basic fundamentals about wolves but I think you could learn a similar amount about wolf behavior reading Twilight.

There was also a very long scene, which was basically an info dump, where the main villain explains their entire "scheme." First of all, I was frustrated the main character hadn't worked out any of it on her own. I had! And I am assuming the author had as well, so I might have had a bit more respect for the heroine if she had had a conversation with the villain, rather than the villain spelling EVERYTHING out for us. It felt like something I might have written in fifth grade, not to mention the villain's constant self-flattery. It really was like a cartoon where the villain spells everything out while the good guy wriggles out of the rope/handcuffs/etc. Except in this case there was no wriggling (practically the only time in the book) and instead big strong men show up and save her. I mean, she had a broken leg, but still... 

Okay, for fem power she was *almost* a step above Bella. She at least wanted to work and not just live off her rich husband's money. 

I don't know if I hated this book. It almost wasn't terrible. I have her other books downloaded but I don't know if I'll actually read them. As I said, it had some interesting concepts, I just wish the execution had been stronger.

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