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An Urban Fantasy Review: Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet (Kingmaker Chronicles #2)

Egalley thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca

Synopsis from Goodreads
"Cat" Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what's a girl to do when she knows it's her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom...or not at all.

 Amazon US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository


* * *
Alright, peeps. Let's analyze the train wreck.

I enjoyed Promise of Fire immensely. It had huge potential, snappy comebacks and great action scenes with almost Kate Daniels' flair, so I was understandably looking forward to the second installment in the series.

What the heck happened? It seems that we hit the dreaded second book syndrome.

First of all, Breath of Fire has a lot of sex. A LOT. Usually, I am all up for it, but I've already lamented that the sex in book #1 was badly written and really wished we weren't given any details. So, putting a quickie after every major scene despite the surroundings and circumstances did nothing for the plot or for my already irritated mood. Of course, there are books in the genre with explosive, fabulous sex scenes which are also vital for the plot (Fever series by Karen Marie Moning, anyone? or C.S. Pacat books?) but this wasn't one of them.

Secondly, what happened to Cat herself? In her inner ramblings and in her dialogues she comes off as a spoiled, whiny teenager whose mood swings like a yo-yo. I would have sworn it was a YA if not for sex. She is reckless and practically every decision she makes turns out to be a disaster from which she needs to be saved.

Which brings me to the third point. Plot holes. Every time Cat's harebrained scheme fails there is a "deus ex machina". Some magical trick, intervention or gift from Gods which resolves the problem.

Definition of deus ex machina

  1. 1 :  a god introduced by means of a crane in ancient Greek and Roman drama to decide the final outcome
  2. 2 :  a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty

Ugh, it was driving me mad! All that effort they put into going after Ipotane, and they disappear from the further plot completely. And don't start me on the Games? What was the purpose? Why is this the only way to get into the castle? Why not sneak in instead? It was just so ridiculous... And yet, everyone just went with Cat's another absurd plan. Griffin, who is supposed to be this great warrior, didn't even try to do anything else first. They used brute force and kept their fingers crossed, basically.

Which brings me to the only redeeming point of this book. Action sequences. Amanda Bouchet has a great talent for them. They were vivid and captivating, and were the only reason I didn't DNF this book. They reminded me of Ilona Andrews's style of writing in their raw potential.

Breath of Fire left me at odds. On one hand, I don't want to continue this series. On the other, cut the sex and tighten the plot, and this will be seriously good. As usual, read at your own peril. This is only my opinion and I've seen plenty of five-star reviews to contradict it.

* * *
Ладно, ребята. Давайте разбирать эту катастрофу!

Мне понравилась первая книга серии. В ней я увидела большой потенциал, острые диалоги и замечательные сцены экшн. Единственное, с чем автор напортачила был секс. Ну вот очень неприятно он был написан.

И что я вижу во второй книге?

Правильно, секс. Автор им затыкает каждую дыру *смеясь* ака паузу в повествовании, несмотря на обстоятельства и окружающих Гриффина и Кат людей. Не поймите меня неправильно, хорошему сексу в повествовании, продвигающему сюжет я всегда очень радуюсь. Вспомните сцены Бэрронса и Мак в серии Лихорадка у Карен Мари Монинг? или взрывные, напряжённые сцены у Си Эс Пакат, последняя книга которой была номинирована одной из лучших в Гудридс этого года? Здесь таким восторгами и не пахнет. Ну нет у автора к этому таланта, хоть убей.

Вторая жалоба - это незрелость Кат. Что с нашей героиней случилось? Если убрать секс, я бы сказала, что по её жалобам и брюзжанию, а также постоянно меняющимся эмоциям, она - испорченный подросток. У Гриффина и его команды терпение было как у святых, но меня Каталия жутко раздражала.

Третий пункт - дыры в сюжете. Кат портачила практически в каждой сцене, а спасали её рояли в кустах. Схема была таковой: Кат по-идиотски и по-совершенно нелепому поводу рискует жизнью, её оппонент надирает ей задницу и бац! очередной из богов подбрасывает ей подарок или помощь, и невозможная ситуация волшебным образом разрешается. Тут вам никакой подготовки или стратегии. Она надеется на богов и несётся в опасность, сломя голову. Кроме этого, логика в повествовании была совершенно идиотская. Пол книги потрачено на доставку кентавров в Синтру, во второй половине книге они совершенно забыты. Смысла никакого! А уж про Игры я вообще не говорю? Ну на кой хер надо было в них учавствовать, если можно было в замок врага проникнть незаметно и без титанических усилий...  И Игры мне казалось содраны с Кейт Дэниэлз просто потому, что автору тоже хотелось про них написать.

Единственный плюс книги - это талант автора в описании экшн. Чертовски красиво, живописно и брутально. Только из-за этого книгу эту я дочитала.

Ну есть хороший потенциал, и если отбросить секс и тщательно отточить сюжет, будет здорово... А так, читайте на свой страх и риск, может понравится, тем более, что пятизвёздочных рецензий на эту книгу уже полно.
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