When 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin - one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin - and his world - forever.
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I REALLY thought I was going to love this one.
Yes. I think the second half of the book is redeeming enough to make it worth the listen.
The first half of the book was a boring 2 stars. The remaining story was a much better 4-5 stars, so I'll settle with a rating of 3.The writing, as mentioned by most readers, is really good. Except for a few things that irked my Inner Nazi. Like the fact that people breathe words throughout the whole book:
"Please," I breathed.
Or the repeated use of strange expressions:
My insides turned watery.
Or lines that make you want to gag and roll your eyes:
"You look lovely," Tamlin murmured, and something in his soft tone made me want to purr.
And the fact that everybody likes to constantly respond with nonchalant shrugs.
Anyways, on to the story...
The beginning started out great, with a kick-butt Katniss--I mean, Feyre, hunting and providing sustenance for her useless father and sisters. She skewers a wolf for its pelt and then a fae beast-man comes to take her to the world of the faeries as payment for it. And then the story goes downhill. Except it rolls down a rather flat hill, and it doesn't pick up until past the midway point.
I don't know if this is intentional or not, but the romance between Tamlin and Feyre takes center stage, leaving the dark, interesting and mysterious fae world doom and gloom curse as a meager subplot. I wouldn't have minded the romance as the main plot if the romance hadn't been so stale. There was zero chemistry between Tamlin and Feyre. Zilch. Nada. And I think that is partly due to Tamlin's blahness. He is a handsomely-masked dude with the hair and build of a model. And he's a beast. A vapid beast, who is oh-so-kind-and-courteous; nothing but a gracious host to our feisty heroine who hates his guts for a few pages. It was really hard to swoon over Tamlin when all he made me think about was Aslan the lion from Narnia.
I was totally robbed of an awesome, bitter Beast who could have warmed up to conflicting feelings of love. But nah. All we get is a Mr. Niceguy who has a temper that only applies to the villains of the story. So yeah, the whole romance thing with these two was a drag to get through. I also didn't like the subtle signs of insta-love from Tamlin, who grits his teeth when he asks Feyre if she is in love with anyone (on her first day at his manor).
Once we get past the lovey-dovey, falling in love phase, things finally start to get interesting. We finally find out what is really going on and the truth of the curse, and things get serious for Feyre as she takes matters into her own hands to save Tamlin and his world of butterflies. This 40 or 30% of the story was SO GOOD! I was hooked all the way to the end. Another great thing about this latter half of the story: We are introduced to Rhysand. Holy Mother of The Cauldron. Now THAT is a character I can swoon over. Here's to hoping Feyre dumps Tamlin's boring tush for this saucy chap in book 2.