I have been a fan of Ann Aguirre since I read the Razorland Trilogy a couple of years ago. That is why I couldn’t wait to read the first book in her new series. Instead of reading the physical copy I listened to the audio book and I think that was a mistake. The voice chosen for this book was a terrible one, it made the character sound like a 40+ year old woman trying to pose as a teenager. I almost DNF’d the book based on the narrator’s voice alone.
This is the story of Edie Kramer, a High School teenager that has been picked on and bullied to the point that she wants to kill herself. She makes the decision to end her life and has everything planned out. Moments before she goes through with it, a mysterious handsome stranger, Kian, approaches Edie and convinces her to simply talk to him. Kian tells Edie that if she chooses, he can give her the means to get back at the bullies at her High School that pushed her to the point of suicide. Edie cannot resist an offer like that so she makes the pact with Kian. She is given three favors, to be used within a specific time period. Her first mission: destroy the popular kids at her school and make them pay. Along the way, Edie finds herself falling for Kian and becoming more and more involved in the seedy and evil goingons that Kian has been involved with. Who knew Edie’s town was actually crawling with darkness and evil?
I had such high hopes for this book. As I mentioned, the narration was horrid. As I pressed on, I realized that the story actually had a ton of holes in it. Ones so big you could drive a truck through them. Throughout the entire story we are reminded that Edie is bright and intelligent but I rarely saw evidence of this. She usually jumped to the easiest conclusion (and it was usually wrong) and she rarely used any logic to figure things out. Almost everything she did was a knee-jerk reaction. I didn’t hate Kain’s character, but he also was not the best either. He had a mission to protect Edie but when she was in danger and weird creatures were all around her, he was nowhere to be found. Isn’t that the complete opposite of the mission?! It felt like there was zero character development. I do not feel that Edie’s character developed into anything more than the bullies that she was trying to teach a lesson to. Edie was still a giant idiot at the end of the story but she was a much bigger B.
The pacing sort of felt like it was all over the place. This story felt as if it went on forever. I was glad when it was over, and not because I enjoyed the story, but because I wouldn’t have to listen to it any longer. The author missed a great opportunity to take the story to a different level but missed so many opportunities. I didn’t like how Edie’s main focus was exacting revenge on the girls in HS that wronged her. WHO CARES. It’s high school. Get over it.
The make-shift romance that developed between Edie and Kian felt fake and forced. I had no warm squishy feelings for those two. It was so much more awkward than anything. *shudder*
I do not think I could openly recommend this book to anyone. My reasons above make me not want to recommend other than to see if I am alone in my observations. I feel a little let down by this book and am not sure if I want to pick up the next book in the series.