Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Callie’s body is the perfect hiding place for the magic of the fairy realm. Malia is the perfect guard for her body against the demons determined to have the magic for themselves. Malia can’t resist the magic—it calls to her—and Callie’s body is as close as she can get to it. Surprised to find the body so welcoming, Malia refuses to give it up once she has it.
What can I say about Realm of Passion by Courtney Breazile? First of all, I have never read anything that felt so rushed before – be it short story, novella or novel. The storyline has enough content that you could and should fill at least twice as many pages with it. It is basically a plot worthy of an entire novel pushed into the format of a novella. Scenes that feel like they should be important for character and plot development are only given a quick mention consisting of no more than a couple of sentences. The lore is hastily explained and very standard for a fantasy story. Even though the end takes place in a completely different realm than ours, there is only just the faintest trace of world building and we learn hardly anything about the fairy realm or its inhabitants.
The characters are of course majorly suffering from the hasty writing as well. We get to learn next to nothing but the most superficial information about their personalities, relationships and motivations. They cannot respond to events with the proper amount of emotions or opinions since there is almost no time before jumping to the next scene. In the beginning, for example, Callie loses a patient on the operating table, goes to puke in the bathroom and is already contemplating on treating herself to dinner two paragraphs later – seemingly without any repercussions of just watching a woman die under her hands a few hours earlier! The reader is not nearly given enough time and exposition to become involved with the characters and their actions in any shape or form. Therefore, the characters feel empty and impersonal. The person, who is supposed to be the main villain, receives probably one and a half pages of appearance time in the end and the two supporting characters are apparently killed but it is only mentioned briefly afterwards and no one seems to care anyway.
The worst example for this lack of proper character development is Callie, the main protagonist, whose feelings and decisions make almost no sense whatsoever. She lives a normal life until she finds out that magic is real and demons are coming to hunt her down because she carries magic within her that is needed to save the fairy realm. Oh, and she can now shoot beams of light from her hands that incinerate people. Basically, within a chapter of learning all of this and being kidnapped, she can only seem to think of one thing: hot sex with her fairy kidnapper who, of course, also immediately lusts after Callie in return! The sex scenes are described in greater detail than any other more plot-relevant scenes. That said, while the first sex scene might still be semi-entertaining, the ones that follow are mainly just the same over and over again. When the two protagonists profess their love for each other, you cannot help but cringe and shake your head, since they have barely gotten to know each other at this point nor spent more than maybe two days in each other’s company.
The only reason I gave this novel 1.5 stars is because at least the basic idea for the plot and characters seemed interesting enough which makes it just all the sadder that the material was treated this way. This felt like it should have been the plot outline for a story rather than the actual finished book.
I did like the cover art by Posh Gosh with its comic-like style. However, a pretty cover cannot redeem a story lacking so severely in execution.
ebook, 47 pages
Published April 9, 2012
by Pride Publishing
Edition Language: English