Friday, May 18, 2012
On Gifts: A Review of a Job From Hell by Jayde Scott
Despite a distinct lack of domestic skill, Amber accepts a job as Aiden's housekeeper and quickly discovers that there's something odd about him. He sleeps all day and never seems to eat and...you know the drill. Amber is Aiden's fated mate, so she's obviously stuck falling in love with him. Then she ends up unwittingly participating in a paranormal race where the prize is a supernatural power that will make her a walking target.
The dialogue and character interactions are actually very clever. At times it might be a little forced, but at least it's amusing. I liked the cast of secondary characters, perhaps more than I liked either main character.
The plot approached interesting, but it did so from a sideways route. I kept thinking that if the author had focused the book on different elements--the prize, the magic book thingy, all of the darker stuff introduced in the world, the book might actually be really good. This actually gave me vague hope that the sequels might be decent, although I have no immediate plans to read them.
Fated mates. Don't like them. End of story.
To be more specific, I do think that fated mates can be a good trope, but you cannot use it in place of relationship development. You still need to have your characters go from meet cute to happy ending via a well paced, logical route. This book doesn't do that. A lot of the emotions, especially on Aiden's end, are "I must be with her because she is my mate." There's nothing specific that makes them work as a couple.
It's just terribly cliched. Aiden is a rich vampire. Amber is a financially struggling human. Come on now, can't we rise above this old gambit? And then there's the "will he or won't he turn her" plot. Boring. Boring. Boring. Nothing new to add, the plot goes exactly where you'd expect it to, and you'll feel like you've wasted hours of your life.
Amber is a flaccid, dull heroine. She surprised me a bit near the end, when she actually became somewhat useful. Otherwise she's incredibly boring. She's an ordinary girl with ordinary goals. She takes a job she's not qualified for. Finds herself in a fish-out-of-water situation when surrounded by rich supernaturals. Reacts to it exactly as you would expect her to. Even her flaws are boring--she's clumsy and she can't cook.
There's nothing wrong with the writing style, and the book wasn't a total disaster. For me, it was mostly just dull. So I'm going to warn you off of it, but gently. If you're a huge vampire fan, for example, this might be a satisfactory book for you. It just wasn't for me. 2 stars.
Buy From Amazon: A Job From Hell (Ancient Legends #1)