Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5
When I was six, my parents died.
When I was sixteen, I was locked away in Rock Point Girls’ Home. Nobody wants to deal with a liar. An addict. A thief.
Nobody except Alle. She is pure, and she’s my friend in spite of all the rotten things I am.
There was once another girl like me—long ago. A cast-off daughter. A lying little beast who left a red stain across the land with her terrible magic. She’s imprisoned now in a maze high up on the cliffs. They say she’s half woman, half bull. They say she dines on human tributes and guards a vast treasure. They say she was born wicked.
But I know her better than the history books or stories do. She and I dream together. Our destinies are twisted up like vines.
Except I’m not going to turn out wicked like she is. I can save myself by destroying her. I’m going to break out of this place, and I’m going to enter the labyrinth and take her heart.
And once I’m redeemed, maybe Alle will love me.
This is the first F/F book I’ve ever read, so when asked if I was interested, I wasn’t sure at first. But I really liked “When All the World Sleeps” by J.A. Rock and Lisa Henry, so I figured I might as well give it a try.
The reason why I really didn’t like this book isn’t that it’s F/F, I didn’t mind that part, though it probably isn’t really for me. No, it was the character of Thera. I couldn’t stand Thera from the start. She’s not an evil woman, or even dangerous. She’s just an angry, whiny teenager, who hates the world. She’s selfish, incredibly annoying and not exactly the brightest out there. She goes off to slay a monster and doesn’t even think about bringing a weapon till it’s too late? Seriously? She lies for absolutely no reason whatsoever, even to Alle, who she’s oh-so-in-love with. Something I didn’t buy, by the way. When Alle doesn’t behave the way Thera wants her to, she’s furious and throws a temper tantrum. And as soon as she gets the opportunity, she cheats on her. What kind of love is that supposed to be?
Then there’s the world building, which was essentially non-existent. It felt like America in the 50s or 60s, except that the girls all wear pants and sweaters. And there’s magic and curses and a monster, of course. Which is the extent of world building we get here. I still don’t know whether this is the only town with magic and such, or if it’s commonplace all over the world. I still don’t know just how the magic works. Or is there even magic at all? I’m not sure. For heaven’s sake: Dear authors all over the world, if you’re going to write FANTASY, PLEASE DO SOME WORLD BUILDING. Seriously, that’s a major pet peeve of mine. And no, it’s absolutely no excuse that this was supposed to focus on the romance. You can do both, romance AND world building.
Apart from the protagonist, who I couldn’t stand, and the world building, which didn’t exist, very, very little happened during the first 60% or so. Then the plot finally started to pick up and was somewhat interesting for about 10%. Then it all went downhill again and I was just fed up with everything. I even skimmed the last 5% or so, since it just wouldn’t end, although there really wasn’t anything left to tell. So, essentially there wasn’t much of a plot here either.
In short, I did not like this book. At all. The protagonist was irritating beyond words, there was absolutely no world building, the romance wasn’t convincing in the least and very little actually happened for more than half of the book. The half star I added is for the basic plot idea, which did sound interesting, and the 10% of somewhat interesting plot
The cover by Imaliea is the best part of this book. It’s what first caught my eye. Though in hindsight, I have no idea why Thera is carrying a sword here.