Fantasy · YA

Fire and Bone – Rachel A. Marks

2 stars

Here’s the synopsis from the publisher:

Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.

Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.

As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out whom to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing is for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.

No, no, no and no again. Authors and publishers really need to stop writing creepy, stalker characters and wrapping it up in a pretty bow with “my love.”

You know who calls an unwilling woman “my love” despite repeated rejections? Stalkers. Creepers. Sexual harassers. It’s not sexy. It’s not cute. It’s disgusting. I kept reading in hopes the Fire and Bone would pull a Court of Thorns and Roses and flip the script, but nope. It sort of tries, in that Kieran doesn’t end up being QUITE as awful as he seems the first 4/5 of the book, but in the end, not being a totally awful person doesn’t negate KIDNAPPING AND STALKING Sage.

All of the characters are uninspired rehashings of the same YA archetypes we’ve been seeing over and over the last few years. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the archetypes, but they’re not well done.

Sage, the main character is so naive and clueless. She is given the world on a platter. Plied with riches. Rags to riches, boring boring boring. Reading the scenes from her POV was grating.

Faelan is no better. Literal protector, sexually repressed, predictably attracted to Sage. Angry and dark and brooding. Snore.

Kieran, the dark prince, acts disgustingly, as I described above, and then is upset when Sage fails to fall for him, despite calling her “my love” over and over. She doesn’t even know him and he is calling her “my love”… GROSS.

The story finally got somewhat interesting in the last 20 pages, but it wasn’t enough for me to want to read more in the series. I was really disappointed in this one.

I received an eARC from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Fire and Bone comes out on February 20, 2018.