Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 374 pages
Date: March 12, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Fangborn series
Source: ARC through Amazon Vine
Rating: 2/5 stars
I got a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program. Thanks to Amazon for providing this book for review. This book sounded like an interesting start to a new urban fantasy series; I mean archeology and werewolves sounds kind of cool! It really wasn’t that great of a book, everything about it was okay but not great.
Zoe has been on the run with her mother for her whole life from her father’s violent people. When her mother dies, Zoe is looking forward to a new start at life. Then her cousin is kidnapped by someone, she thinks her father’s people. As she tried to comply with Danny’s capturs in order to facilitate his release she is drawn into an archeological quest to find the keys to Pandora’s box.
I did not enjoy this book and almost didn’t finish it. The storyline was all over the place, the writing was difficult to read and the characters didn’t have much depth and were hard to engage with. I pretty much struggled through the whole thing.
Zoe is a very strange character. Supposedly she was raised running from place to place with her mother, living carefully and avoiding detection. When her mother dies you would think she would be careful, especially when she is followed by some of her “father’s people” through the city. Soo….what does she do? She leads them right to her family and friends, because you know she spent her whole life hiding….how did she not get caught ages ago if she is this horrible at hiding and sneaking around?
Additionally Zoe’s background feels shallow and contrived. She never thought to question why her and her mom ran around hiding until now…when she is in her mid-20’s; she just kind of accepted it. It seemed like a flimsy back story to me and made Zoe seem very 2D.
Zoe has a love interest that also goes quickly in and out of the story. The scenes between Zoe and William are flat feeling and boring; there’s not a lot of chemistry here and it really didn’t engage me at all.
You would think that Zoe trapsing around to exotic locations and exploring to find hidden artifacts would be cool…it was not. The locations aren’t described well and never really come alive for the reader. A number of characters flit in and out of the story but never really make that big of an impression. The idea is cool and I love that the author explores the mythos of Pandora’s box…but the rest is not so cool.
The world building is incredibly weak. Supposedly vampires and werewolves are called Fangborn. The vampires and werewolves are incredibly bland; the vamps can do some mind control and the werewovles are hot-tempered and stronger than normal. To spice things up vamps actually like the sun in this book, but that is about as creative as this world gets. Outside of the Fangborn this world doesn’t have anything else creative or exciting.
The book ends well enough I guess. I just had a lot of trouble caring. I was not engaged with the story or the characters. While there didn’t seem to be anything technically wrong with the writing, I just had a lot of trouble reading the writing style; it didn’t flow well and I had to constantly go back and re-read things because I felt like I was missing things.
Overall not a great urban fantasy read. The world is boring, Zoe is not a character that has much depth, none of these characters are all that easy to relate to. The concept sounds neat, but the execution left a lot to desired. I definitely don’t recommend this urban fantasy read.