*I received an ecopy of this book via YA Bound Book Tours. This has in no way influenced my review.*
I was drawn to this book by the gorgeous cover, but unfortunately the writing inside the book didn’t live up to it for me. I’ll just make some lists.
Things I Disliked:
– The characters were kind of flat and extreme. Christian and Lilith were both super straight-laced and good without much personality other than that.
– There was too much description of minutiae, like every little step of the characters’ mornings (stepping out of the shower, wrapping a towel around their body, walking to the closet, putting on underwear, looking at their clothes, choosing this shirt and these pants, looking in the mirror), every article of clothing in every outfit that every character wore, the appearance of characters (which would’ve been great if only described once, but it kept being repeated)… I feel like most of the book consisted of those kinds of trivial things.
– There was a lot of repetition of ideas. Like, “She loved this store. This was her favorite store. She really enjoyed shopping in this store.” (That was not an actual quote, just me making up an example.)
– Dialogue was often stilted, unrealistic, and also repetitive. And the bad guy was supposed to sound old-timey, using words like thou and hath, but it just sounded like a few archaic words were thrown into otherwise modern speech.
– There were unnecessary POVs, and all the POVs sounded the same. They were in third person, but I subscribe to the belief that even third person POVs should sound a little different.
– The Science Division, the place where they develop the weapons/technology, was ridiculous. It didn’t impact the story, and maybe it was supposed to be ridiculous, but it still bothered me. Christian walked in there just to get some weapons, and one scientist exploded when whatever he was working went wrong, another injected himself with something and then his vein exploded while he screamed in agony, others were tied down with chains because of the side effect of rage from the drugs they were testing on themselves, and no one was phased by any of it because apparently violent death and agony are just your average day in the Science Division. That’s… that’s definitely not how scientists work.
– I didn’t like how women were portrayed. Almost every woman was so jealous of Lilith’s beauty that they were either flat-out mean, or they were polite but still disliked her. Even the cashier at the cafe couldn’t speak to her without a strained smile.
– Don’t even get me started on the complete lack of understanding (or maybe purposeful exaggeration) of the way women’s bodies work.
Things I Liked:
– Tristin was the most interesting thing, in a creepy, mentally unhinged sort of way, because of his “fascination” (I’d call it obsession and delusion) with Christian. Ok, mentally unhinged might be a bit harsh, but I wasn’t sure if I should be worried for Christian or just feel bad for Tristin that the person he thought was his best friend really didn’t like him.
– Despite Christian being kind of extreme, he was a little better written than Lilith at least. He was so used to being a loner and spending all his time killing monsters that sometimes he was just blunt or awkward or easily annoyed. I can’t say I blame Tristin for finding it fun to aggravate Christian on purpose. I’d probably do the same ;-)
– The story itself wasn’t bad, just bogged down by all the things I disliked.
Other Things Worth Mentioning:
– There were lots of fight scenes, and the descriptions of some of the violence and gore was pretty graphic.
– There was a bit of a cliffhanger in that the story for Book 1 felt complete, but certain questions were dangled in front of the reader and not yet answered.
A lot of other reviewers have said this book is kind of like manga/anime. And the characters in the book loved reading light novels (I had to look it up, it’s like a novel form of manga, from my understanding). And this author’s previous work is either manga or light novels, according to Goodreads. So maybe this book was supposed to be like that too, or maybe it was just a byproduct of that being the author’s usual, but anyone who does like those things might like this book more than I did since I’ve never read those types of books. As it was, I had too many issues, and it just wasn’t for me.
Possibly fans of manga/anime/light novels and urban fantasy.
Christian is the Catholic Church’s best executioner. Dedicated. Devout. Deadly. Ever since the Church saved him from the decimated ruins of his hometown, his commitment to their cause has been unshakable.
Then he’s sent to execute Lilith, who lives in Seal Beach, California. He’s baffled. Lilith is afraid of men. The Church believes she’s a succubus, but he just can’t see it. Yet the way men—both human and monster alike—act as if they’ve been possessed whenever she’s near is disturbing.
With lustful men attacking Lilith and monsters attacking him for being near Lilith, Christian must uncover what’s really going on, and soon, or innocent blood will run through the streets—as will his own.
Love. It can kill a man.
Book Author: Brandon Varnell
Publisher: Self Published
Series: The Executioner
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
My Book Rating: 2
Series/Standalone: Part of a Series
Setting Location: California, USA