Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Flight - Alyssa Rose Ivy (Crescent City Chronicles #1)

Flight (The Crescent Chronicles, #1)Young adult paranormal romances have this thing about having "heros" who are really bad bad bad news and who girls with any sense should not get involved with.  This one is no different.  Combined with the myriad of other problems in this book, I'm glad I didn't pay for it (it's currently free on Amazon) because I would have been very, very disappointed if I had.  The main character is the only one with any semblance of dimension; the supporting characters might as well not even be there, because their interactions with the heroine only serve as filler; the plot is nonexistent until 70% of the book is already done; the worldbuilding is seriously lacking in believability; and then there's the aforementioned problem with the hero, who is a lying, manipulative sonofabitch but who we're supposed to like anyway???  Why does this always happen?!  I think it's an example of something I read about recently called "the likeable misogynist," who is a male prototype in which misogyny is used to make him "not perfect" because wink-wink, nudge-nudge, he loves the girl, he's just kind of a jerk about it, but it's no big deal, amiright?  WRONG.

So, the hot mess starts when Allie and her best friend Jess go to New Orleans to work at Allie's Dad's hotel for the summer.  Of course, later the hotel turns out to be the center of a ton of paranormal activity, which of course Allie's dad doesn't seem to know about at all, and yet the giant, rich conglomerate that runs all of the paranormal activity in New Orleans just let this random guy from New York buy it anyway... Sure.  Yeah.  That makes sense.  Totally.  (I'm being sarcastic.  It doesn't.  None of this makes sense.)  Allie has sworn of men but immediately lays eyes on a Total Hottie and that's it for that vow.  Now, Allie is allowed to be attracted to people--of course she is.  Everyone is.  But she kind of sets herself up as all "high and might, I'm not into men, blahblahblah" and then loses her resolve in about two seconds.  It's called willpower, girl!  Jess, the friend, stays around for about two seconds before leaving and is never seen again.  No character development.  No purpose.  Nada.  Why was she there in the first place?  Allie could have literally gone to New Orleans on her own and the story would not have been any different.  This goes for most of the side characters who show up.  They have no purpose and the narrative would have been exactly the same if they had never appeared.  Every single piece of your book needs to have a purpose that all build up to the main plot and enrich it; that is not the case here.  At all.

The Hottie in question, Levi, of course turns out to have wings, which he reveals after about two days of knowing Allie because...reasons.  (He likes her, but that seems like a terrible reason to reveal your secret species to someone you just met who could bring the freakin' X Files down on your head if she were so inclined.)  Allie thinks this is cool.  Allie insists she likes biology and is good at it, and she's going to Princeton in the fall, but all things considered, I think Allie thinking this is cool and not finding it all very creepy speak to her lack of intelligence or at least lack of self-preservation.  A human getting mixed up with non-humans...there cannot possibly be any problems there, right?

Wrong.  Obviously.  Though you wouldn't know it for a long time because Allie spends all of her days shopping or eating ice cream or clubbing (apparently there is no minimum drinking age in this version of New Orleans; I understand that underage kids do get alcohol, but Allie is drinking at every single meal, including out with her parents) doing exactly two things before she goes back to bed, and doing remarkably little work into the bargain considering that's the reason she was in New Orleans to begin with.  This could very easily be just a "slice of life" book about a girl about to go to college, because the plot for the vast majority is completely lacking.  People keep popping up knowing things that they shouldn't know (one character assumes that Allie is Pteron, the same "species" as Levi and his friends, and then 2.5 seconds later knows she's human without anything changing to indicate that) and people not telling Allie things that she should know even though she demands answers more than once.

And then, of course, everything goes into hell in a handbasket, 70% of the way through; the action here lasts about 15 pages and then ends, going back to just a lot of talking, though at least now we know that something is going on in the larger scope.

Levi is, of course, an asshole.  He is the main person who will not give her answers even though he apparently thinks he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.  He does not tell her things that will have a huge impact on her life.  He will not leave her alone even though she tells him no, repeatedly and very loudly.  He pretty much stalks her, terrifies her, humiliates her in front of her coworkers and parents.  When he puts her life in danger, he says it's her fault--because obviously she shouldn't have had any objections to the way he was treating her and should have acted the way he wanted her to even though she had no logical basis to do so.  Does Allie stand for all of this?  Well...yes and no.  She gets pretty pissed off at him on a regular basis, so the girl has some expectation of respect, but she also forgives him super easily, so apparently that expectation isn't a very large one.

Other issues with this book: Ivy uses the threat of rape as a plot device just for the shock factor of it; there is not actual "plot" worth to it and no character dimension.  Shame.  Rape is a serious, serious thing and shouldn't be used so lightly.  The book doesn't read like a first draft, but it does read like a draft that has been edited for typos and major grammar errors and then put up without any plot or character refinements.  The hierarchy of the paranormal world doesn't really make sense; you seriously want me to believe that crows are at the top of the food chain?  Not so much.  Oh, and the cover looks like the characters don't have legs, but that's minor in the grand scheme of things.

I will absolutely not be reading the sequel to Flight.  This book was enough of a train wreck; I feel no need to see how Ivy can make it worse.

1.5 stars, mainly because the book is set in New Orleans, which is cool.  The rest is not.

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