Have you ever loved something about a series in the early books and then eventually found that it has taken over to such a degree that you no longer enjoy it as much? That has happened to me with this series, I’m sorry to say. I used to love getting to see little glimpses of different POVs, usually offering us hints about the coming events as we build toward the Psy war, but lately those little glimpses have become huge sections. But more on that later. First, let’s talk about the romance.
I found the relationship between Adria and Riaz pretty boring. In the interest of being completely honest, I have to admit that I didn’t have much interest in them when we met them earlier in the series, either, but I just couldn’t get into their relationship here. I never disliked them as characters, which was a relief because I was pretty iffy on Adria when I met her in Play of Passion, and I never disliked them together, but I was never drawn into their emotion for each other. My lack of interest in them was a huge issue when taken in context with the setup of their relationship.
We knew going into this book that Riaz had already found his mate and was devastated to find that she was already married and in love with another. So I was a bit confused as to how his relationship with Adria would play out. I really like that the author took the time to explore the ‘what-if’ in regards to what would happen if mates didn’t end up together, but I was not impressed by the execution of it. This couple just didn’t have enough chemistry to carry it off. If I’m supposed to be convinced that what they have is not second fiddle to a mate-bond that every other Changeling seems to crave, then I need to feel more than the tepid emotion that Adria and Riaz had between them. They didn’t like each other much in beginning and were a bit angry about their attraction to each other, which I liked, but the initial tension and passion seemed to fizzle out and leave me bored quickly. I’m all for internal struggle and insecurities, but I never felt that we got out of their heads long enough for them to truly click together as more than just a friendship and balm against their past pain.
Of course, I might have believed in their relationship more if we had actually spent more time with them. That leads me back to my initial complaint about huge sections of the more recent books in this series being devoted to other POVs. Now, I won’t lie, I love the sections about Kaleb and the other Arrows, Vasic and Aden especially. I find them really interesting and that is an arc that has been building for quite a while. (I have been dying for a book about Kaleb and am feeling quite, quite hopeful that his will be next after the developments that occurred in the book. ) But the POVs that deal with the build toward the war, while important to the overall series arc, take enough time away from the main romance. Did we really have to have so much time spent with Sienna and Hawke, too? This book was as much theirs as it was Adria and Riaz’s!
I know that this information is making some of you squeal with delight, but it pissed me off. Hawke and Sienna have already had their book. And I had the same complaints about other POVs in their book, too! If their relationship needed more time devoted to it, as it apparently does since we spent so much time focusing on it here, then some of the extra POVs in their own book should have been cut so that their relationship could have been covered fully there. I don’t begrudge spending time with past characters, especially when it serves the plot (as we saw here with Sascha and Ashaya—I can’t wait to see what comes of that development!), but I do feel bitter when the current relationship suffers for it.
Now, I know I sound rather ranty, but that doesn’t mean that I disliked the book as a whole. I was bored by all the Riaz/Adria and Sienna/Hawke parts, yes, but I was still into all the sections devoted to the series arc. The parts with the Arrows were especially interesting. We get more insight into Aden and Vasic and the “are they good or are they bad?” question that has been up in the air about certain characters is starting to become clear.
”Jellyfish,” Riaz said, after considering the other inhabitants of the sea. “Seriously, there cannot be jellyfish changelings.”
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