Author: Angelique Voisen
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Havoc’s Crew, 1
No one can hold a candle to Blaze. He’s the only pyromancer in Havoc’s Crew, and everyone knows Havoc’s Crew is the best magic outfit in Lyon city. When an accident leaves Blaze disfigured, all he wants to do is disappear. When a wave of zombies threaten the city it’s up to him and bear-shifter Levi Black to clean the mess up, but the shifter seems more interested in him than the mission.
Blaze isn’t the kind of man Levi would normally take on any of his runs, but he doesn’t have a choice. The conceited pyromancer is supposedly the best, but the last thing he expects is a broken shell of man able to bring his protective animalistic instincts to the surface. Getting rid of the undead is the easy bit. The hard part is convincing Blaze he loves him even with his scars.
This was my first experience with both this particular author and this particular publishing company. I have to say, I was not impressed with either, though I am going to give both another try before I make up my mind. In addition, I have another book on my review list from this same author, but with a different publisher. I will be reading that one shortly to determine the extent to which a publisher has an effect on a particular author.
With that said, I will tell you why I have made such a bold statement. Blazing Glory is book 1 in a series about Havoc’s crew; a demolition crew made up of elementalists, a less commonly used name for elementals. After reading the blurb I was very excited because this was presented as a hurt/comfort story in the frame of some action and magic. However, what I got felt underdeveloped and forced.
The first thing I noticed, right from the very first sentence, was awkward phrasing and disjointed sentence structures. I actually had to read the first paragraph twice before my brain could fix on the writing style of this author. However, once I established that I was going to have to slow down and work a bit harder at reading this one, I was pulled in and ready to go! Chapter one set things up nicely. The chapter was interesting and tense and the author introduced the characters and their abilities within the events of the story. I was no longer worried about the writing style being a bit difficult, the story was so promising at this point, I eagerly moved forward into chapter two.
Chapter 2 continued to introduce more of Havoc’s crew and kept me interested. The author used character evasiveness to build mystery over Blaze and keep the reader guessing as to what was coming next. I still noticed more editing/proofreading errors, but the story was more important to me. But Chapter 3 is where is all started to fall apart.
In Chapter 3, we get to see Blaze again after his disfigurement. He is described as bitter and cranky. And he comes across as such. Until Levi suddenly initiates their mating. I say suddenly because it did not flow. It was just stuck into the story because the author decided they needed to mate, and they were going to mate. OK, here is where my nerves took over and I just could not handle it anymore. This mating/sex scene was the most drawn out and un-sexy scene I have ever encountered. In the midst of the mating, the author paused the sexual activity to interject introspection and conversation between the men. She meant for it to give insight into the characters, but there was so much of it, I was pulled out of the moment. I was no longer able to keep track of which character was aroused, flagging, aroused again, who was on top/bottom, who was doing what in this mating. I honestly didn’t care. This was messy and needed a good beta/content editor to tell the author to tighten things up.
I also could no longer ignore the sheer volume of proofreading and editing errors. There were misspelled words, wrong words, awkward phrases, repeated words/phrases/sentences/ideas, and inconsistent character personalities. I felt myself cringing more often that I would like and at this point I no longer felt any desire to invest in what could have been a promising story. Every flaw, every unrealistic event just made me roll my eyes and want to put this one down. I mean when a naked Blaze climbed on a shifted Levi’s back to run the gauntlet of flesh eating zombies, I gave up and started skimming.
This entire story felt rushed. There was a fundamental lack of development due to the race to the finish. The characters alternated from acting as if they had been a couple forever, to playing 20 questions to get to know one another. It was as if the author realized she was not giving the reader the development they needed to fully connect with these men, but did not know how to include that in the story organically. There was also the big, bad biter who was very reminiscent to a Disney villain spouting about foolish mortals and how he is going to burn the city to the ground. It was just so overdramatic and cheesy.
I kept reading because I wanted to give this author the benefit of the doubt. There was just enough compassion in me to keep going in spite of the writing to see if this story could be redeemed. It could not and I really believe this was because the story could not overcome the writing flaws. The ending did set things up nicely for book 2, but I do not like Volt and his treatment of Heath so I am already predisposed to not like him or his HEA in book 2.
I gave this story 1 star for potential and 1 star for the lovely cover. I believe the publisher did not do this author justice. The editing of this manuscript was horrendous, if there was any editing at all. I am not great with grammar, so comma splices and the like slip past me routinely, but there were so many glaringly obvious content/proofreading/word choice errors that this story never had a chance to shine. Others may be able to overlook these issues, but I could not and cannot recommend this story to anyone as it stands.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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