A Free Dreamer Review: The Little Crow (Heart of Darkness #1) by Caitlin Ricci

Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

the-little-crowDetective Jamison Landry’s job isn’t easy. He’s dealt with the worst criminals imaginable and believes in his work and the community he serves. But he’s never met someone quite like Mal before.

The mysterious man, rescued from a basement in which he was chained by cultists, keeps Jamison guessing. He both confuses and excites him, and Jamison isn’t sure how he feels about that. Plus, things turn from unusual to downright strange when people start insisting Mal isn’t quite human. And Jamison’s creepy dreams of crows and graveyards don’t make things any better for him.

Will Mal stay around long enough for Jamison to figure out his secrets, or will this stranger leave him aching for more?

This is my third book by Caitlin Ricci, and the first fantasy book I read by her. Since I really liked the first two contemporary books, I figured this was a safe bet. Well, unfortunately “The Little Crow” left me rather disappointed.

I never understood the attraction between Jamison and Mal. Mal is annoying and stalkerish and Jamison repeatedly tells him to get lost – which Mal ignores. At one point, Mal is forced to do some pretty awful things to Jamison. Jamison is understandably pissed and feels betrayed. Mal does feel guilty, but instead of explaining why he did what he did and giving a proper apology for it, he was just annoyed that Jamison was once again telling him to stay away. The apology that came eventually was too late and too little for me to believe Jamison’s forgiveness.

Jamison was difficult to connect to. I just don’t know what to think of him. He seemed oddly naïve and innocent for a policeman. Mal repeatedly says, “You shouldn’t have freed me.” And Jamison never wonders why. I could never quite get a handle on his emotions. He was very difficult to read, even when I was reading his POV.

Mal was much easier to read. I didn’t necessarily like him, but he was simple. He had some funny ideas how to deal with people he didn’t like and he was extremely protective of Jamison.

The plot felt very unfinished. All we learned was that Mal is a weird guy. Subplots are introduced and then left hanging, going nowhere. This is only part 1 of the series, but it still felt rather unfinished.

The general idea was interesting and certainly had potential, which the author sadly never quite fully realized. The world was rather lacking, too.

The one thing I found truly fascinating was Mal’s second form, the crow. I wish there’d been more about that.

All in all, this book just wasn’t for me. Too little everything, really. I won’t continue this series.

Cover: The cover by Natasha Snow is absolutely gorgeous. That crow looks amazing and the background colours are perfect.

Sales Links

NineStar Press


Book details:

Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Published September 12th 2016 by NineStar Press (first published November 29th 2012)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHeart of Darkness #1

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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