October 8th, 2013

Book with cat 4

2013 books: Sekret, Dark Lover

Sekret by Lindsay Smith.
(Book received for free for review from Macmillan Publishing Group.)

This may sound looking gift horse in the mouth-ish, but when a publisher offers a book for review, I wish they'd include what format it's in.

Sekret sounded like a really interesting book. The summary:

Yulia's father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive the harsh realities of Soviet Russia. But when she's captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she's thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power. Yulia quickly realizes she can trust no one--not her KGB superiors or the other operatives vying for her attention--and must rely on her own wits and skills to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.

I've become more and more interested in Russian things (100% of the thanks/blame for that goes to loupnoir :) ). Set in Russia, and lack of trust should have made for interesting character interactions. The psychic element could be hit or miss, but I was interested enough to give this book a try.

Unfortunately it came in .acsm format. .acsm is Adobe Digital Edition, which means you can only open it in a controlled Adobe program -- only on your computer, not on your ereader. That's a problem for me as I do not read books on my computer. I sit at my computer all day at work, I sit at it all evening doing other stuff. Reading is my time to get away from my desk. If I had known its format, I would have respectfully turned the book down.

But, like I said, it sounded like an interesting plot and I did agree to review it, so I tried. I massaged it as best I could, then moved it onto my iPad. The results were basically unreadable.

A bad page and a "good" page:

What I could read of it seemed good; I'll happily buy it once it's available as an ebook. I had to give up in the second chapter, it was just too hard to read, so it'll be new-to-me when I purchase it.

Book #41: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

This book. Oh this book. So bad, yet so very good. There was so much wrong with the book (most of it mentioned in my previous post about it), but I loved it. I have no idea how that works. I'm ashamed of myself for enjoying it as much as I did.

The problems were so many. Names were perhaps the biggest one. The vampire names were awful (Rhage, Zsadist, Dhestroyer, Vishous, and Phury), but the bad guy's name was worse. Mr. X. Okay, so all the bad guys get letter names, and the main character JUST HAPPENS to get X, the best "Mr. (letter)" name to be. (Edit: Wait, no, Mr. T would be even better!) I would have respected the author so much more if he had been Mr. I, Mr. B, Mr. Y, Mr. U -- any not-so-cool letter.

There were other big issues, like that it was the men (or "males" as the book annoyingly called them) who did everything, and the women ("females") just cowered in hidden away places and wore nice dresses and were there for their males to feed off of (literally, the males sucked their blood to live) and/or have sex with them. When the males weren't having sex with human females.

So how in the world did I enjoy it? I have no idea. I think the author stumbled upon some secret formula, because somehow she made me love these characters. I even got used to the god awful stupid names.

I just can't explain it. I thought of the story all the time. At work, driving, all I wanted to do was get home so I could read. And I swear, I grinned nonstop as I read, from cover to cover I grinned, interspaced with giggles and toe-curlings. I think something must be wrong with me. Send help! Just don't send it too soon, I'm about to start the second book...