Friday, 18 September 2015

Dragon Fall

Dragon Fall

by Katie MacAlister

2 out of 5


For Aoife Dakar, seeing is believing—and she's seen some extraordinary things. It's too bad no one else believes that she witnessed a supernatural murder at an outdoor fair. Returning to the scene for proof, Aoife encounters a wise-cracking demon dog—and a gloriously naked man who can shift into a dragon and kiss like a god. Now thrust into a fantastical world that's both exhilarating and terrifying, Aoife is about to learn just how hot a dragon's fire burns.


Kostya has no time for a human woman with endless questions, no matter how gorgeous or tempting she is. He must break the curse that has splintered the dragon clans before more of his kind die. But his powerful attraction to Aoife runs much deeper than the physical—and there may be more to her than even his sharp dragon eyes can see. To survive the coming battle for the fate of his race, he needs a mate of true heart and soul . . .

Aoife is thrown into a Swedish insane asylum after claiming to witness a man's murder, and the murderer disappearing in a puff of smoke. Two years later, things are back to normal. Until she meets a talking dog and a dragon in one night.

I won this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway, and I was really keen to get started. It has dragons and demons, a little bit of romance and a funny bit with a dog.
I like Fantasy (obviously). I especially like the ones that don't take themselves too seriously, and know how to add humour into the mix.
My own sense of humour is very dry and annoys the buggery out of people.

So something must be very wrong when the humour in a book annoys me.

At first, it made me smirk when Aoife and talking-demon-dog Jim were seeing who could out-sarcasm and out-humourify the other. But talk about repetition! That was it, that's all we got. Sure, Jim had a couple of actual funny bits later on (and he's the character that gets the 2 stars), but I felt like I wanted to tone it all down.

And it wasn't just that. It seemed to be a running theme in this book that the characters could only have one personality trait and that trait HAD TO BE DEAFENING.
Bloody hell, I don't know whether the author was trying too hard to make it obvious; or she had run out of nuances, as I believe this is a spin-off to another series.
But Aoife was kinda dumb and obsessed with narrating everything. ALL THE TIME.
Kostya was furious and quick to judge. ALL THE TIME.
Jim was obsessed with noogies and food. ALL THE TIME.

The plot started off on a bad note for me.
Seriously, this very average, mortal, could-be-Sue-from-down-the-road girl is on a FIRST DATE with a guy she bumped into at a Gothfaire in Sweden. They are surrounding by stalls of people offering fortune tellings and the like, but she doesn't believe in all that, and is only there to stave off the boredom. Because living in Sweden is a very boring thing (but she doesn't do anything like, you know, move).
Then the guy, Terrin, that she has known for an hour or so, tells her all about the dragons that are walking around in human form. That all the dragons would go crazy if they knew what he had - a magic ring. Which he proceeds to give to Aoife.
That is not first date talk. Why the hell is he disclosing this to a mortal? And why the hell isn't she freaking out and trying to get rid of this weirdo?

But you know what, I thought I would just suspend my disbelief and go with it. Because surely it would get explained later on; surely Terrin would come back and there would be a reason he gave Aoife the ring.
He gets temporarily killed, then is seen walking around the faire a few hours later. THEN HE IS NEVER SEEN OR HEARD AGAIN.

And worse than that, nobody seems the slightest bit concerned with how or why Aoife got the ring. Sure, the ring has a consciousness of its own, and it chose Aoife. But the others show no interest - what if it was someone tied to the bad guy? What if it was a trap of some kind? Nope, let's just make out instead.

There was a moment in the second half of the book where I almost gave up. They make a big deal about the curse, that means that Kostya cannot understand any written or verbal conversation with his brother, and is unable to see him without being overtaken by a fierce rage. This is countered by Aoife and Aisling (Kostya's sister-in-law) acting the go-between.
I thought this was brilliant, a really nice touch.
But then it had to be ruined by the rules suddenly being flipped. With no explanation, suddenly Aoife can't talk to Aisling any more, and has to converse through a third party. WHAT???

Anyway, moving along to one of the final scenes. I guess it was supposed to be the climax. Instead of actually doing anything to get rid of the Big Bad - Prince Asmodeus, they go trespass in a club.
((Spoiler)) Where Aoife summons an even Bigger Bad - Bael. But don't worry, there's no rush to interrogate Aoife over what she's done, or to try and get rid of Bael. No, it's obviously the perfect time to chat with Aisling about the amazing men in their lives.

*Sigh* I'll not be continuing with this series.

Goodreads link

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