Living Violet (The Cambion Chronicles #1)
I initially picked up this book because of the cover. There is a biracial girl on the cover, and in the world of urban fantasy it’s so rare to find any people of colour being written about. So I was pretty excited and optimistic.
The book is about Samara (the biracial girl) who falls for a guy who is a sort of incubus (they call themselves Cambions). He feeds off the emotions, and lust of others. His father is an old power-hungry Cambion who has gone mad since his wife’s death and chooses Samara and her mother to unleash his pain on. I like the idea of the story. It actually got better as it went on, especially towards the end. The dialogue just ruined it for me. I understand that this is a YA novel, so I am not exactly the target audience but I have read many YA’s which I feel can be enjoyed by any age—and didn’t have me constantly rolling my eyes.
While reading this book the words of my journalism teachers kept ringing in my head. Say/write what you mean. Speak to people in a way they will understand, don’t talk over their heads, or use nonsensical mumbo jumbo. Seems simple enough right? Not for Jaime Reed the author of this book. Her goal seems to be to see how many words she can add into one sentence to give a scene “deep meaning.”
Bare with me but here are some examples:
Caleb certainly held an air of enchantment, a shadowy aura that prickled my arms, but never broke the skin. (What does this mean?)
Dejection shadowed his eyes as he battled with some unmet necessity that raged within, a call that he fought to ignore. (Really? You can tell all that by looking at him?)
“Too late for that.” He dragged a hand over my cheek, his eyes half-mast, rejoicing in the smallest of touches. (I guess she can read his mind)
Caleb pushed back and increased the distance between us while his hooded gaze targeted me as helpless prey. (ok)
He seemed to morph before my eyes like some great revelation finally coming to light, a beast of innate sensuality rousing from its sleep. Then there was the way he would look at me, how he could disrobe and deflower me with his eyes yet still look innocent. (disrobe and deflower , wow.)
I sat in the backseat with my legs on his lap. He massaged my calves, enthralled by the texture and earthly material from which they were made. (what!?)
He looked distant, almost complacent, like a servant who had accepted his fate. (He was taking off her sock, and this is what he is supposedly thinking. Really now?)
Surrounded by God’s crayon box, I lay across the marble bench and watched the night make its debut. (The damn sun had set. All she had to say is the sun went down.)
And finally this quote that actually describes my feelings towards this book
I skimmed down the page, singling out random passages. The girl in me giggled over the corny dialogue and profession of undying love.
Problem #2 Unrealistic situations:
Samara’s boyfriend has been a Cambion since birth, and because he can’t stop women from constantly hitting on him she decides he needs to learn how to fight. So he should beat the girls off of him? Hmm. Anyways, she gets him into karate and gets her friends boyfriend Dougie to “teach him to fight” his expertise being scraps with his own girlfriend.
Overall: Like I said the idea was good, the ending actually got me interested in reading the next book but I just couldn’t deal with how this book was written. I have never rolled my eyes or sighed so much in my life.