Saturday, 17 March 2012

Sacrifice (Embraced by Darkness Book One)

Title: Sacrifice
Author: Tarah L. Wolff

Series: Embrace by Darkness (Book One)

Succeeded By: Stricken


Score: 1/10
Chart Entry Point: 48
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: I won't be


I started reading this book slightly apprehensively - the title was reminiscent of the vampire romance books that seem to be everywhere these days. But the blurb looked more interesting, and suggested that the book had potential, so I wasn't too worried.

Perhaps I should have been.
From the first chapter I found the narrative confusing, often having to re-read a page several times to understand what was going on. While this happened a lot less in the final two-thirds of the book, it was extremely difficult to read in the beginning. An example of what I mean is when we are in a scene from the viewpoint of Karalay, a healer. At one point in the scene we start to get told what a certain character thinks - except that he isn't there. Even on the first page I was unsure of who's viewpoint the scene was meant to be from - which was really quite off-putting.

The characters themselves didn't rescue the book either, many of them being pretty flat with almost bipolar personalities. Characters that we think are nice and sensible do crazy things, or characters that we see are horrible do nice things for no apparent reason. I didn't feel that I liked, or understood any of the main characters, which made it hard for me to enjoy reading about them.

The third thing that I found put me off the book was the sex. There was a lot of it. It seems that the people in this world just do it all the time, and with anyone. There is normal sex, imagined sex, underage sex, rape, centaur/human coupling... I found it to be just too much gratuitous sex. I can see why some of the scenes were there, but many of them just added to my dislike of the characters - reducing them to their baser instincts. However, there were some quite nice descriptions of various sexual things that I'd not heard before, although most of the acts themselves weren't described in much detail - this is isn't erotica - the descriptions I liked were mainly more original ways of describing women's bodies.

I said at the start of the review that the story had potential. And it does. The underlying plot is an interesting one, fairly complex but not too much so, and one that actually seems fairly original (Except in the naming of the bad guys - Grim and Grim's Reapers). However, the confusing narrative and shallow characters mean that, unfortunately, I cannot recommend this book to anyone.

This was a paid review.

More Information

Main Protagonist(s): 3 females, a few secondary males
Main Antagonist(s): 1 male
Main Relationships: Heterosexual,
Genre: Fantasy
Brief Synopsis:

Join these three women across their land as they fight, they weep and they both fail and rejoice in their accomplishments. They are asked to sacrifice and they are asked to pull those around them back from the wells of death, sometimes to the good, sometimes to epic failure. They know not that across their great land their choices are effecting the lives of the others, not to mention the lives of the last of the Humans. But they do not quail before their choices, they are Wards, they stand and they fight.
ISBN: 9780985022808
Website: Official "Embraced by Darkness" Website
Amazon Link: UK | US
Pages: 411
Published: Jan 2012
Publisher: Self-Published

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