Friday, February 1, 2013

REVIEW: Paul's Dream by Rowan McBride

Paul's Dream Paul's Dream by Rowan McBride
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I didn't enjoy this book. I thought at the least I could enjoy the smutty parts, but the kooky dream scenes got in the way.

+ the dream scenes
The plot had many dream scenes. Some of them I liked such as when Paul helped a little girl find her stuffed animal, but most of them I found frustrating and boring. I didn’t like how long it took for someone to say to Paul, “hey, dude, you’re a dreamwalker, and magic is real.” I really hate it when the protagonist is kept in the dark about their abilities and the reality of the world. I hate it more when there is no strong reason to do so like in this book.

When Paul finally was told so, I didn’t like it when Paul actively practiced dreamwalking and Kian helped, sex and sexually charged talking were involved. I found it inappropriate and unhelpful because Paul had powerful magic and it shouldn’t have been treated as a light matter. People could get hurt, Paul could hurt himself, and he did. Magic training and sexy times should not be mixed.

+ the world building
Paul is a powerful dreamwalker. I understood the abilities of a dreamwalker and why Paul was important, but I didn’t understand what role dreamwalkers play in the magical world. I had no problem imagining the lawyer-y non-magical setting, but the magical world eluded my grasp. The book threw details here and there, but nothing stuck and connected to make decent world building. I found the world building ambiguous.

+ the characters
The story was largely told from Kian and Paul's sides in 1st person POV. I couldn't connect with either character. I tired of Paul's indecisiveness, i.e. “I want Kian, I don't want Kian”, “Kian loves me, Kian loves me not.” Kian was rather pathetic and spineless; I expected more out of Kian when Asher confronted him, especially when it’s a serious matter of true love. I found the characterization of the couple shaky for a big part of the book, specifically the middle. Moreover, the couple’s dialogue was cheesy; usually, I don’t mind cheesiness, but frustrated by the couple, I did. The romance ran hot and cold too many times for my patience, and honestly, I wasn’t fully convinced the two suited each other.

+ my least favorite part of the story
I was frustrated by the many missed opportunities to preemptively end the villain. It could have been entirely avoided if Kian killed the dude in the first place at the beginning of the book, or near the end of the book if Kian went to Asher for help before meeting the villain. Kian knew full well was that the villain was never going to let things rest; the villain was a villain for goodness sake.

I also blamed Asher because if he had done his job as guardian of the city he would have known what the villain was up to and squashed his evil scheme before anyone got hurt. Most of the scenes Asher was in or mentioned in, there was a lot of talk about how powerful he was, how smart he was, his legacy, his position, blah blah etc. I couldn’t believe the villain managed to pull off his evil scheme off of Asher’s radar. There was no excuse for it.

+ my 2nd least favorite part of the story
After so much shit had happened with the villain, I couldn’t believe the romance ran cold again. Really, Paul? The fuck is wrong with you? It’s not everyday someone risked, admittedly in an avoidable conflict, his life for you, loves you, and came back from a soul-breaking-and-imprisonment evil magic for you. Where was the logic? This was one of the examples of the shaky characterization; logical lawyer Paul was not acting logical and lawyer-y.

In Conclusion

I rate Paul’s Dream 2-stars for it was okay. I’m disappointed by many issues that stood in the way of what should have been a decent smutty read since the story was a sexual awakening.

Goodreads | Amazon

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