Cure Bound by M.L. Philpitt
“Forever came sooner than either of us thought. But fate has given me a new forever.
Content warnings: kidnapping and abduction, sexual assault, Stockholm Syndrome
Cure Bound had that promising potential to appeal to my love for dark, sultry romance novels, and even the addition of a forbidden love between vampires and witches into the story – my weakness. But aside from that context and the alluring cover, it just really fell short for me, and I was totally underwhelmed.
The plot itself was pretty straightforward and expected. While it did try to go in the direction of a much more sinister and darker tone, which it did at the beginning, it just started to get confusing as it reaches the ending. Nothing about the story progression really got me excited and looked forward to, and the twists in the story wasn’t really shocking.
The world-building and laying out of the creatures involved in this book was too vague and didn’t really provide any clear explanations or further details. While I pretty much admired how the history of the witches and vampires developed in this book, there wasn’t really anything else to go on with. Both witches and vampires’ descriptions were pretty bland and stereotypical, and I just really wanted something a little bit more. There was also one character that absolutely made no sense for me to be in the story. I know she’s an important figure in it, but it just felt to me that she was an unnecessary addition to the tale, and I could have done much better without.
Harlow and Alec were promising characters in the beginning – especially if taken by themselves – but they just also fell too flat, predictable, and highly threadbare. My brain also hurt a tiny bit at how hot and cold their relationship was, and it felt so superficial. A lot of things could have gone right between them if they just learned how to communicate. I didn’t really got immersed in their relationship, especially with just how toxic it was from the very start. Stockholm Syndrome at its finest, but at a more superficial level. I don’t really mind content warnings about relationships in books, but I do draw the line at rape (or even the possibility of rape).
Over-all, this book was just not for me. There were a few redeeming parts, but mostly it gave me a lot of downsides. I do hope others would like this book more than I did.
Rating: 2/5 🌟
Birds of Paradise by Oliver K. Langmead
“ I can’t sleep. If I sleep, I’ll die, and I’ll wake up dead.”
Birds of Paradise is a refreshing retelling of the Bible’s Adam and Eve story that is likened to American Gods. Together with its summary and gorgeous cover, it made me curious enough to check this book out. Having read and enjoyed American Gods, the similarities between them were definitely present, and it was even uncanny to read how the books’ elements were almost comparable. But of course, Birds of Paradise had its own set of unique twists that made it entirely different from American Gods.
Set in a world wherein the Garden of Eden is real, and Adam has been living many different lives for the past millenniums, he suddenly finds himself in an unexpected journey together the remaining original animals from God’s creation, and restore the Garden of Eden. It definitely took heavy roots from the Biblical story, but it wasn’t overwhelming and overpowering in its religious core.
This beautiful dark book is just full of grief, loss, yet still has smidges of life, hope, loyalty, and friendship woven into it. The themes, tone, and atmosphere of the book were such a match to the story, and the writing style was almost lyrical in a way. There were a handful of times that it felt a bit clunky to me, but it didn’t really stir me further away from the story.
My only critique for this book would probably be the way the pacing of the story was handled, and how I felt like the climax and ending parts were too rushed. I would have really liked if some portions of the book were fleshed out a bit more, and to make it an even more well-rounded story. If that certain scene was nailed a tad bit more, I would have enjoyed it so much.
Nevertheless, this book was a pretty entertaining read, and I would still recommend this to any readers, especially for those who are fans of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.
Rating: 3/5 🌟