Monday, April 15, 2013

REVIEW: Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron

Seven Kinds of Hell (Fangborn, #1) Seven Kinds of Hell by Dana Cameron
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A typical thriller dressed as an urban fantasy, Seven Kinds of Hell had several kinds of issues. The heroine was inconsistently characterized. Because of that, at least two crucial events that could have been avoided were not, which I blamed the heroine for. Last but not least, the plot was chaotic.

+ the heroine

The beginning was slow and dense with exposition and flashbacks, some of which could have been saved for later in the story. However, what I minded more was the great discrepancy between the heroine’s actions and her past, specifically how she was raised.

Zoe was supposed to skedaddle out of the city the moment the people who she and her mother had been hiding from since forever discovered her. Instead, Zoe stayed in the city and led them to her loved ones who predictably got hurt along the way, not once but multiple fucking times. I knew one of them was going to be kidnapped because the blurb said it beforehand, but I didn’t realize it was going to happen as an avoidable event. Yup, I blamed Danny’s kidnapping on Zoe.

For the first couple chapters, Zoe forced me to be a backseat driver. “Zoe, why are you still in the city.” “Zoe, don’t lead the supernatural bad guys to your human friends.” “Zoe, why are you ignoring everything your mother has you taught you?” “Zoe, FFS, get your dumb ass self out of the city and run away! Stop with the delay, already!” Thankfully, I didn’t get as mad at Zoe as I could have been because I had to waddle through the exposition and flashbacks, which to reiterate was another issue.

+ the plot

After a couple of chapters, the plot finally hit thriller speed. The heroine hopped from one country to another and discovered artifacts. Sometimes she fled, sometimes she fought. Think Indiana Jones. Zoe still made mistakes but they were the kinds that couldn’t be helped. Zoe was finally acting like a decent heroine, and I stopped having issues with her — for the most part. However, I still couldn’t enjoy the book.

The biggest issue I had with the book was its excessive bedlam. I liked that plot was moving fast, but it didn’t give me any rest. Too many supporting characters were dropping in and out of the story that by the middle of the book I simply stopped caring. Too many sides were switched; one scene they’re enemies, the next they’re allies, then they’re enemies again... maybe? I don’t know. Oh hey look, there’s Zoe’s ex-boyfriend, Will, all the sudden. Wait, what? Is he friend or foe?

On one hand, the plot was unpredictable and action-packed. On the other hand, I got tired and gradually divested from the story. Towards the end I only got the gist of what was happening because too much had happened to fully digest and I couldn’t give a fuck. On the silver lining side, I was grateful that the story was told in 1st person POV from the protagonist’s side, my preferred POV, because it limited the bedlam.

+ the ending

I didn’t care for the ending. A loved one of Zoe died at the climax, and it could have been avoided. It could have been avoided way back in the middle of the book. I could not believe Zoe had the nerve to ditch that person who eventually died after discovering what was happening to him. Did Zoe think Danny was the only loved one that was in danger? People do not have to be physically held hostage to be a hostage. That dude who died was held hostage in another way. I got to say it again; I could not believe Zoe ditched him. Zoe was on a crazy-ass mission to save a loved one only to ditch another loved one in the middle of the story instead of saving him too. In short, Zoe broke character... Again.

Beyond the climax was the issue of the resolution. The resolution was half-assed. The book could have ended on a satisfactory note, but instead chose to extend for a few more scenes to set up for the next book by introducing a new conflict. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

+ the world building

I liked that it revolved around the Pandora’s Box myth because I rarely encounter it in my reading. Other than that, the world building as a whole was bland. I didn’t expect originality, but dang. These vampires and werewolves were some of the blandest I have read about. Hell, Twilight’s world building was more interesting.

Also, why is the US Senator always the bad guy? Anyway, the urban fantasy part of the book was underwhelming. It didn’t do much to push the story towards epicness. Revelations were weak in impact. The conspiracy was one dimensional. I yawned.

In Conclusion

I rate Seven Kinds of Hell 2-stars for it was okay. The book was plot-driven and pretty entertaining. However, it had too many flaws similar to a typical action movie. If you don’t mind reading a book that is like a typical action movie, then try it out.

Goodreads | Amazon

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