Author: Mathew Ortiz
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Christy Barron
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 11/20/2014
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Duncan Blackthorne carried a heavy burden for one so young. One of the most powerful witches of the Earth Clans, his singular ability to control fire was both blessing and curse. The wallflower of his family, they had no idea of what turbulent waters churned under his calm surface. Never expecting to find love, he trudged through life, expecting nothing. Until the man in his dreams became more real and insistent, Duncan realized his dream lover was so much more than expected. Suddenly he had a real world dominant that rocked his body and a dreaming ghost lover who captured his heart. Now what the hell was witch to do?
Note to my readers: This book contains strong male/male content. It also contains an epilogue, updating characters from previous series, linking my various books.
I wanted this story after reading Book 1. Duncan was such a rich character in the first story and the author made many hints to some great possibilities for his tale. I have to admit I was a bit worried though, with the BDSM element alluded to. And to be honest, I am not sure how I feel about the outcome of the story as a whole. Well that’s not true. I was very disappointed in the way the story unfolded and the way it ended. This is not my definition of a love story and most definitely is not my idea of a satisfying ending.
I want to start with the things I did like. I loved the world. I loved the concepts and the creatures. The structure and the visuals. I loved the way the characters were presented and the way they interacted with the different clans. I really loved the way the author picked up after book 1 and answered many questions while creating more so that I need to read the next book.
I also liked the different facets of Duncan. Outwardly reserved and quiet. Hardheaded and bigoted yes, but intelligent and softer than his brothers. Yet hidden beneath that exterior is something rougher; piercings, tattoos, and a desire to submit and receive pain.
However, I do not like the way the book that was supposed to be about Duncan, was not really about Duncan. This was the story of the Oswald family and Duncan and his story were only one small and underdeveloped part of that. Duncan was not flushed out and was not treated with respect. His BDSM proclivities were an excuse for on page violence and were never fully realized or explained. He vocalized being a submissive, but the D/s relationship was one of pain and force. There was no willing submission explored. It was hinted at in the dreaming but never explored.
I also feel like the poor editing did this story more harm than good. There were info dumps galore. The technical structure, wrong words, missing words, incorrect analogies, the overuse of exclamation points, story inconsistencies, all pulled me out of the text and annoyed me. In addition the pacing was off. Too much time was devoted to the family so that Duncan and his bondmate were extremely rushed and not explored in any kind of meaningful manner. I felt cheated and Duncan deserved better. My only hope is that his story is part of book three and he is redeemed and treated better there.
Once again, there is an odd epilogue that had no meaning for me because it was about characters from another series who had no part in this one. I skimmed it for any connection to this story and stopped reading it when I discovered it had no clear meaning for me at all.
I also need to warn readers that there is on page rape and I am still uncertain of its purpose. It was used to inflict pain and violence but the outcome was never acknowledged. I think a proper beating could have achieved the same result.
I gave this story a 3 star rating because the world is wonderful and there is a lot of potential here. However, I can easily see others rating it lower because the structure feels rudimentary and could have used more development. This story also feels unfinished.
I would like to thank the author 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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