Sunday, April 28, 2013

ARC Review: Darkness Bred

Darkness Bred (Chimney Rock #2)

by Stella Cameron 


Ever since shapeshifter Elin escaped to Whidbey Island, danger has stalked her every move. Her human traits, combined with her unique supernatural gifts, make her a prized being to be possessed . . . or destroyed. It is only the passionate attraction she shares with werehound Sean Black that gives her hope for her future-if she can elude the lethal predators who are hot on her scent.
Sean knows that Elin, with her delicate beauty and seductive powers, is his one perfect mate. The woman who can restore his humanity and make him stronger than ever. He'll need that strength and more to protect her from those who wish to destroy him and everything he desires. For Sean carries a secret that binds him to an enemy from the past and to a darker, deadlier force-a malignant evil that is hunting the women of Whidbey Island ...


Darkness Bred was the newest installment in Cameron’s Chimney Rock series and jumps right in where book 1 left off.  I had been looking forward to this for a while mainly because after reading the first book I was hoping this one would improve greatly.  Although I love the Court of Angels series, Chimney Rock has now consistently been a disappointment to me. Overall the story was choppy and jumped around like a jackhammer on metal, and though it did improve greatly about 2/3 of the way through the book, I couldn’t bring myself to say I liked or even enjoyed the story.  The only saving grace was the references to the court  of angels series and the clumsy but interesting dynamics of the H/H.
My main issue with this book is that there was a distinct lack of flow in both plot and dialogue.  One minute they would be discussing the big bad and the next fighting over their relationship and then deciding how they needed to solve the big problems first, all within the same paragraph.  It was very all over the place and made following difficult and ofttimes unbearably exhausting.  There was just too much going on from both a large and small scale in the characters lives.  Also confusing was the ever changing minds of the men.   They were overly suspicious of allies and couldn’t stick with a decision to trust of not.  There was little to no balance of the strength and weakness of characters.
Sean was alpha, but not in the best ways.  He was one of those guys that know it all and refuse to let the little woman free from under his thumb—or paw as the story may well be.  Granted he did have his redeeming moments but they were few and far between.  The sexual interactions with his mate were painful to read and his emotional reactions were not what you would ever expect.  His decisions, even if they affected all those around him, were made on his own with his knowing what the right choice was for everyone.  Granted Elin was definitely TSTL most of the time, using her desire for independence as an excuse to do whatever she wanted even if it put her in danger.  Though she was magically interesting there was never really enough development of her as an individual character, just as a foil for the big bad and Sean’s mate.  Though I will say she had one very cool power, even if she didn’t use it the best advantage in my opinion. 
I never really understood who the big bad really was, what his ultimate goal was, and when the end arrived there was a hugely anticlimactic single page where everything comes to an abrupt end.  There was so much potential with this part of the storyline, but it never developed enough for me to follow and enjoy.  Again there was just too much jumping around to figure out what was really going on.  It was increasingly difficult to understand how the deaths and kidnappings were fitting into the plans of the villain.  When you finally learn who or rather what the guy is you might find yourself scratching your head with a “huh?” expression on your face. 
I wanted so much to enjoy this story like I have previous Cameron novels, but I just couldn’t find enough enjoyment to rate it higher.  I like the little hints of previous series that were slipped in and it was nice to see the good news Leigh had, even if her mate handled it terribly. The passion between Elin and Sean was lost in the craziness of the plot and the choppy dialogue was sadly lacking in what we expect from a great novel.  I didn’t love the first book in this series, but sadly, this one hurt even more to read.  This book was definitely not for me, but I respect the work that went in to it so make sure to check it out for yourself and see what you think.  I continue to hope Cameron will find her stride again and return to the great writing I first encountered, but sadly it just wasn’t to be found in this book.

Rating:  1.5 stars

Rose Rating: 

*eARC provided free by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. 

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