Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
What is worse: Being so broke you can barely afford food, getting hired for dangerous missions way out of your league, suffocating under mountains of unanswered questions—or wanting to sexually dominate someone who can kill you without lifting a finger?
Lu Delong is a mercenary who evaluates antiques most of the time and deals with the paranormal on rare occasions—even though it’s supposed to be the other way around. When he joins a dangerous quest for an ancient artifact, he meets and becomes strongly attracted to a mysterious and powerful immortal named Cangji. Despite his friends’ warnings and Cangji’s icy, unsociable demeanor, Delong is unable to resist befriending him. However, Cangji is deeply involved in a matter beyond mortals, and Delong is drawn into a chaotic struggle by both visible and invisible forces.
Always the pacifist who wanted to live a simple human life, Delong never imagined he’d end up involved in a conflict that will affect everything from the lowest insects on earth to the highest gods in heaven.
I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. I mean, dragons, gods AND Asian fantasy? That just had to be awesome. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed.
First off, the author’s style really didn’t work for me. It felt awkward and a little clumsy. It didn’t really fit the setting of the story. The way Delong talked felt way too modern.
Then, there were the MCs themselves. Delong soon got annoying. He was very whiney and extremely naïve. He seemed to fail at everything and followed Cangji like a dog. He got jealous over the most ridiculous things, like a dog-like demon creature. He didn’t behave like a grown man. At times, he actually read more like a three-year-old throwing a temper tantrum.
We didn’t really get to know Cangji. He’s the silent, mysterious type. He has some terrible secrets, but we never really find out what those are.
Overall, these two felt like the stereotypical seme/uke pairing you’ll find in most yaois. The only difference is that Delong wants to be the dominant part in the bedroom.
There are lots of minor characters, that seem important at first but they quickly disappear after they’ve served their purpose, never to be heard of again.
The love story didn’t work for me at all. I really couldn’t understand why Delong would fall in love with Cangji. Cangji seems more annoyed by Delong than anything else. Delong mostly gets ignored or glared at. And yet there’s insta-love on Delong’s part. Why? I have no idea. Cangji doesn’t get his own POV, so I don’t know how he truly felt about Delong.
Somehow, the plot moved too fast and yet didn’t seem to go anywhere either. There was mission after mission, Delong gets hurt, Cangji grumbles and rescues him, every minor character is evil. Honestly, I was rather bored at times and seriously considered skimming great parts of the story. It didn’t feel like I’d miss anything important if I were to just read the beginning and the end.
There was also a lot of mythology mixed in. Usually I love that and I like to think that I’m not completely clueless about the topic. But here I felt like I would have needed a degree in Chinese mythology to get all those references. There was a glossary at the end of the book, but I think the author should have explained at least the basics during the story itself.
And before I forget, the blurb is missing a warning about some dub-con kink. Oh, and it does get rather violent at times.
Long story short, I was sorely disappointed by this book. It had great potential but didn’t live up to it.
Cover: The cover by Reese Dante is absolutely gorgeous, just like most DSP covers. I love that dragon.
Series: Part 1 of the Between Heaven and Earth series
ebook, 350 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by DSP Publications
Original TitleThe Relics of Gods
SeriesBetween Heaven and Earth #1