Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Brats Guest Review - Katie's Hellion by Lizzy Ford

Book Brats would like everyone to welcome our UK Correspondent Rebecca to the family! Rebecca will be guest blogging some of her finds from across the pond and giving her opinion about books and reading. She's a great addition to the Book Brats family, so make sure to welcome her!

Published May 27th, 2011 by author

Katie’s having the worst day ever: she’s been dragged down to the police station for abandoning her son, a cute kid with big brown eyes. Only Katie doesn’t have a son. She’s never seen the five year old boy in her life, despite the insistence of the police, her doctor, even her own sister. She thinks she’s gone completely crazy until the five year old living in her house tells her his secret: he’s a baby immortal, and his guardians were supposed to wipe her mind so she’d forget he didn’t belong to her and raise him as hers. But Katie is immune to the power of immortals, and they don't react well to this discovery. Katie winds up in Hell, where she meets Rhyn, who recognizes her as an immortal's mate - and his key out of Hell.

Rhyn is a misunderstood immortal, the youngest of the seven Ancients, sentenced to Hell after accidentally almost destroying the world. Katie’s immunity to immortals creates an opportunity for them to escape Hell, so he snatches her and flees. At first, Katie despises the man who treats her like a portable food source, until she finds out he’s the only one willing and able to protect her from the dangers of the immortal world. Rhyn discovers that his little human has heart. With horror, he discovers she’s not destined to be any immortal's mate- she's destined to be his mate. He has no idea how to care for someone else let alone control his power, but he must learn, as his little human is endangered by both good and bad immortals determined to use her to their advantage.

Katie is our 22 year old heroine whose world is changed by the sudden arrival of a five year old who claims to be her son, Toby. Despite being a clearly unfit mother, the ‘authorities’ insist that Katie take the boy home with her. A visit with here psychologist informs her that she was raped five years ago, which caused her amnesia of her son’s existence (a surprisingly well researched account, considering the genre of the book). This is when we discover that Toby is a baby angel, who has been handed through surrogate mothers who have their memories altered for years, while our heroine is apparently immune to the powers of the Ancients. An immunity that, for some reason, makes Katie irresistible to them. The youngest of the Ancients, Rhyn, has been locked up with only Death’s main squeeze to lean on for company and support. The moment he sees Katie, he too lusts for her and decides that she is the mate for him. Yes, it is that kind of book. Throw in a reality/world breaking family feud and some magic and you have the entire plot of Katie’s Hellion.

I’m going to go with eehhh. Let’s be honest here, I got this book for my kindle because it was free. Don’t let that cloud your opinion of it; it’s actually not a bad fantasy novel, so far as self-insert female leads go. I say this, because it is clearly what Katie was written to be, or at least I hope she was; a character that flat can only hope to be a one-size-fits-all girl, especially when coupled with a man for whom she cannot contain her overwhelming lust and vice versa. A staple, so far as I am concerned, in non-Mary Sue popularised fantasy romance novels.

Not that Katie is more of a complex character. I mean, seriously, this chick just stands there and takes everything that is thrown at her and then goes back to the dick that caused it. Fine, go down the Stockholm syndrome explanation if you want to, but Katie’s entire being seems to gravitate around accepting all of the crap the world throws at her while chugging down whiskey, chomping on pills and bitching about it in an inner monologue. Then we come to Rhyn. No, let’s not come to Rhyn. We should focus instead on the side characters, who appear to be more fully developed, despite their relatively short screen time.

Moving away from my severe dislike of the main characters, the dialogue is some places seems forced and I would very much like to know why magical inmates of a multidimensional prison talk like teenagers on an American sitcom where the screenwriters are bouncing off Saved by the Bell. I shall endeavour to ignore them, for the sake of the positives. Lizzy Ford is not an author who wastes description. And I mean that as a compliment; Ford’s descriptions are in fact the saviour of this novel. She deals them out in such Spartan amounts that their appearance is as far from the purple prose that I normally expect to come out of this genre. It is a pleasant surprise.

All in all, I’d giving Katie’s Hellion 3*. It’s not the most well written book out there, but as a bit of escapist fluff, it’s not so bad. While Katie’s Hellion isn’t going to be pushing back any boundaries, you can find much worse in search of a fantasy romance.

VERDICT: A thin plot barely sustains this lackluster addition to the urban fantasy/paranormal genre, especially given the soundly cardboard characters presented.


Thanks, Rebecca!

Look out for more from Rebecca in coming weeks.

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