I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Emily A. Duncan
Released: April 2nd 2019
Series: Something Dark and Holy #1
Published by Wednesday Books
“…expectations were high. Then I started to read it and that’s where it all went wrong.”
~ Under the Covers
Do you ever pick up a book really hoping you will like it? You’ve seen all the good reviews and all the beautiful pictures on social media declaring how brilliant it is. That’s how I felt about this book; expectations were high. Then I started to read it and that’s where it all went wrong.
I came really close to DNFing this book, instead I skim read about 60% of this book. Which, still took me far longer than I expected as I had completely lost interest in both the characters and the plot. For me, there were a few glaring issues with this book which prevented me from enjoying it:
The characters – especially the female protagonist
Nadya, was our heroine and the last cleric in her country. She is the only person able to channel the gods power and the only person in history with the ability to channel any of the gods power rather than just one she’s devoted to. She is also one of the three main characters in the book. I think? How can a character fade away in their own POV? For a character with so much potential and so much power she just ended up defaulting to the damsel in distress. She was an insipid hand wringer and completely forgettable. It was so disappointing, especially as half the book was told from her POV.
She was overshadowed by Malachiasz, the boy and the monster. However, Nadya wasn’t the only one, most the characters melted off the page when Malachiasz was on it; you know exactly where the author’s heart lies. However, for me his story line was overwrought. Emily A. Duncan got a mallet and hit you over the head with the boy vs monster battle going on with Malachiasz. It could have been an interesting aspect of the story, but I just got bored of Nadya’s repetitive and vapid commentary about it.
Now, let’s move on to the rest of the characters. They felt like a tick box exercise. Need a person of colour…yup add a brother sister team in the background but give the characters no bearing on the story. Need someone in the LGBT community…plonk in a lesbian best friend and let her take up page space but of course don’t let her effect the actual story. It was so strange. Maybe they will be vital in the next book, but the characters I’m referencing had very little characterisation and you could literally pluck them from the pages of this book and it wouldn’t make a difference.
The pacing and story
I dislike books where you slog through the first 90% as the author sets up the big confrontation and then, when you get to the last 10% where the action happens…it’s all a bit anti climatic. You expect a massive firework display, instead you get a sparkler and a soggy sandwich. Which is exactly what happened here. I already dislike books where nothing happens until the last 50 pages when suddenly all is revealed. A gradual build up of knowledge and action makes for a much better reading experience. It keeps the pace of the book steady rather than the battle through boredom I experienced with Wicked Saints.
Which brings me to the story itself. The blurb sounded really interesting. However, the book didn’t live up to it. I found the magic confusing, the story uninteresting and the climatic scene in the book fell flat.
So, this review turned into more of a rant. However, I know I am in the minority when it comes to this book, when you look there are plenty of people who read Wicked Saints and saw something fantastic. I am not one of those people. I thought it tried too hard to cater to what is currently popular and didn’t focus enough on creating good characters and a well paced and interesting story.
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?