27 June 2011

ARC - Warriors of the Cross by T. R. Graves + Giveaway

Allison La Crosse, beginning a challenging family medicine residency, leaves the protection of her family. With the transfer, her worst nightmares come true. Her closely guarded mystical talents – those which seldom appeared before the move – unleash themselves from her confinement and reveal their presence with very little provocation.

Allison’s most terrifying power is her compulsion to cure the dying with her touch. Given her career, this gift would be valuable if she were not drawn like a magnet to the ailing person's every symptom. Some of which are fatal.

At the hospital and surrounded by life-and-death emergencies, Allison’s inability to manage her impulse turns deadly. When it does, her mentor, Brody, rescues her from her own demise. His resuscitation ignites an exciting and tempestuous bond between them.

Desperate for a cure, they join forces and embark upon a journey to uncover the origins of Allison’s lethal curse. In the midst of their adventure, Allison exposes a secret pursued by many…known by few.

Book was received in exchange for an honest review.

Not exactly my cup of tea.  Maybe it was the idea or the execution of said idea or the characters, but more than likely it was a combination of all three.  There was something lacking in the structure and presentation that made the characters, and story inaccessible.

The major problem I had with this book was the main character, Allie.  Starting with the character itself and not her circumstances, I was disappointed with how shallow she seemed.  Even the description of her family background didn’t give me any interest.  I didn’t feel any inclination to cheer for her victories or mourn her losses. 

Allie’s circumstances once she reached Galveston were so convenient that it was unbelievable.  Her instant connection with her gorgeous tenant and this fabulous house that she wasn’t “accustomed” to, etc.  Then, the whole situation surrounding Brody just annoyed me further.  This instant physical connection, unexplainable background, mysterious attitude been done dozens—thousands!—of times and it’s almost become a default with paranormal books nowadays.  I would like to believe it possible that there are supernatural heroes that aren’t drop dead gorgeous and are capable of being a dork.

There’s an article in the July/August issue of Writer’s Digest that speaks very well on the subject of giving flat characters dimension.  The author of this article, Steven James (The Bishop), elaborates on four points that give a character complex dimension and one of the points is status.  It’s the difference between being dominant and being submissive and how to vary your character’s status to make them believable.1  Likeable heroes are rarely submissive, and thus lies my problem with Allie.  She didn’t have drive.  I wanted to read about a character that had her own personal conflict besides the main external struggle and how she was going to deal with this personal conflict.

Of course, all those elements—the spectacular living arrangements, the hot romantic interest—can be pulled off effectively, and even feature characters that don’t have a lot of sass but the writing made reading almost unbearable.  It was written so distantly that it had the same effect of a third person omniscient narrator. The dialogue was awkward and sounded like it was excerpted from a manual.

Overall, I couldn’t stand Allie’s seemingly na├»ve attitude and Brody’s brooding hotness.  Nothing was clicking for me.

Book Info:

  • pages – paperback, 431
  • published – January 2011
  • publisher – self-published
  • genre – adult paranormal romance
  • received via – author
  • rating – 2/5
  • sequel – Guardians of the Cross

1 = James, Steven “Raise Your Characters Above The Status Quo.” Writer’s Digest (2011): 25-28. Print.

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