Author: Karin Tabke
Series: Chimera Files #1
Lana, a wayward senator’s daughter and dark angel in the making, must earn her freedom and her wings. Law, the underworld lord of a secret clan, captures her and gives her the space to battle her demons. But once she spreads her wings, will he set her free?
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Such a short blurb for such a long book. I mean loooong book. Sorry, this is more accurate: loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong book. Writing the first book of a saga is never easy. You need to put on the table enough data to build the world without forgetting the story and the characters. That is if you want to do it right. If you don’t care, just follow the steps of Rule of Law…
Lana is a runaway who staged her death to get away from her family. Her plan was utterly flawed and ended working as a stripper in exchange for the next dosis to relieve her drug addiction. Lana’s trouble forced her to accept being sold to the supervillain of the tale, just to be kidnapped by a less villanous individual: Law. That guy is a mastermind of crime who has plans of his own for Lana. Perfect setting for a love story, am I right? Nothing says “I love you” like being hold against your will…
The book has an amazing start point with several great first chapters: the kidnapping of Lana, the first attempt to escape, the getting the drugs out of her system… How many chapters is that? Three or four? That “overwhelming” number of pages is the sheer amount of the book that is salvagable. The rest, you can make a tidy ball of paper with it and throw it into the closest paper bin you have. I am so disappointed with the lack of story. A waste of really great ingredients that should have been cooked into something much more satiating. Most of the book happens in the same room. A very unremarkable room for the story. The book should have been about Lana’s plan to get away from Chimera, as it was hinted. The plan was formulated, but ignored over and over again. For such an unwilling member of Law’s menagerie, she looks pretty comfortable most of the time.
OK, so zero interest about that part of the story (it never happened…). Law’s side of the plot doesn’t hold any weight, either. We know he has plans for Lana. Super secret plans. Even more secret than the one of the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica. Throw as a bone now and then to keep us engaged, please. There is only so much tantrums and muscle descriptions I can stomach in a book. All the rest are just conversations to remind us that whatever Law is doing is the best kept secret in the history of storytelling. And what is finally unveiled about the famous secret plan I can only define as lackluster. I do not mind cliffhangers. I usually love them. But not when the first book is just a long prologue and everything else is pushed to the second one. If you have story for just one book, don’t write two (or more).
The characters are not that bad. They just do whatever they can in that boring setting. We only get to follow the so-called story from the point of view of Lana (even though is not told from a first person perpective), so she is the character that we really get to know. She has a very interesting past, but sadly the story is not properly built on top of it. Law is way more underdeveloped. We only know that he is extremely hot, a mastermind criminal, bossy and a womanizer (or not… that last bit is still unclear). He even makes crime look cool, which is stupid. Apart from that, a couple of details of his past and nothing else. Nothing that makes him a good or bad character. Just an OK-ish one.
The romance between those two is the other big issue I have with this book. Mafia and kidnapping are not my cups of tea for the genre, but I was willing to try and enjoy it. It has been worse than expected. The game of seduction when one of the participants can’t escape the place is just wrong. Yes, the author took good care to avoid any kind of physical raping, but she wasn’t that good about avoiding the verbal one. So many veiled threads. So many comments about Law owning Lana as if she were little more than a toy. So many angry exchanges between the two of them. When the sex happens it feels wrong and awkward. Not a pleasant experience for the reader.
I don’t feel like reading the second book when is out. Yes, I’m curious about how all ends, but I’m also scared that the story will be unnecessary dragged once more.
Before picking the word to keep, I wanted to rant a little bit about a strange concept I have learnt thanks to this book: artisanal water. What the hell is that? Is there a person selecting the best water molecules one by one or what? Human arrogance at its best… Don’t be fooled or conned. Mother Nature has been producing artisanal water since the dawn of time…
Leaving crazy expensive water aside, let’s present the new English word I have selected from the bunch I gathered:
hoity-toity: behaving as if you are better or more important than other people
I love how it sounds, but I won’t use it. It seems it is one of those words that could be considered too rude by hoity-toity people…