Shadow's Claim and MacRieve by Kresley Cole
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Cannonball Read V: Shadow’s Claim and MacRieve by Kresley Cole

By Mrs. Julien | Book Reviews | December 2, 2013 | Comments ()


I’m out. I just can’t with Kresley Cole for one more second,” I said, and yet here I am with more Fangin’n’Bangin’™. I’m not proud. I am deeply and appropriately shamed by my conduct. Self-recriminations take place on the full and half hours. Rationalizations are on the fifteens and forty-fives. I always promise myself the current Kresley Cole Immortals After Dark paranormal romance will be my last, usually while reading it. It goes like this:

Why am I reading this? Trehan’s an assassin and he lives in a library. That’s pretty cool. I have a degree in English. Why am I reading this? Bettina is in her early twenties and Trehan is 900 years old. What could she possibly have to offer him? Which one is this? Shadow’s Claim. He’s wearing black leather pants. I do so love a good-looking man in black leather pants. I should re-read Their Eyes Were Watching God. Trehan lives in a secret vampire realm. Wait. There’s a third, hitherto secret, vampire group in Cole’s novels? There are the Hoarde, Forbearers, and now Dacians. I bet the Dacians were an afterthought to extend the series. Kresley Cole is a paranormal romance savant. Bettina is a half-sorceress, half-demon, jewelry designer, princess, and heir to her realm, her powers have been stolen, plus she’s a virgin who can’t drive. I would kill for a good historical romance right now. Bettina has agreed to a tournament for her hand in marriage. One of her suitors is a pus demon. Is she having a panic attack? How many of these have I read? Did I just gasp? Cole is really good at the battle scenes. I don’t hate this nearly as much as I should. Bettina is guarded by a Sylph-phantom-thing that inhabits handy objects for want of corporeal form. Is Bettina a Disney princess? The Sylph is watching her bathe and talking about onanism. No on the Disney princess, check mark in the voyeurism column.There is something appealing about how devoted the heroes are. Is it over yet? I wonder if Caspion’s character will get his own book later. Ignore the jejune spelling. Trehan’s wearing a leather trench coat. I have a leather trench coat. Love scene THUNDER SEX™. Won’t all of the pop culture references work against the books over time? Wow, I am actually bored with the love scene THUNDER SEX™. Of course, Bettina’s a virgin. It’s like a 1970s romance novel up in this book.There’s the intense, powerful, older alpha male captivated by a naive, seemingly powerless, immature woman for no reason other than the urgings of his Id and the plot. There’s the Big Misunderstanding that can be cleared up with one simple conversation. Kresley Cole is old school. Lothaire? I read part of that book. It was the same as this part of this book. Who are these people? Is this an epilogue? Oh, it’s a preview. It’s over. Never again.

I read about 50% of MacRieve, but you’ll see why I’m counting the experience as a whole book, maybe two. I think the judges will allow it. I read it to see what could be so bad on the “Kresley Cole Is Atrocious” scale that [Cannonballer] Alexis said it was best left unread. The heroine, Chloe, thinks she is a human, but learns she is actually transforming into an immortal succubus whose sustenance comes from ejaculate. You read those words correctly and in the right order. Chloe is a succubus who feeds on ejaculate. Consumption is non-orifice specific. If the ejaculate comes from an unwilling male, she will sicken and die as it changes into “venom”. She got very sick about two-thirds of the way through the book. It didn’t take me that long.

The werewolf hero, Uilliam, has childhood sexual abuse trauma associated with an exploitative succubus (which is apparently not a redundant statement), so he hates the entire species. Chloe is his fated mate, he is drawn to and disgusted by her simultaneously. He really freaks out whenever she takes his precious bodily fluids. She shows remarkable forbearance and forgiveness. There is a dissertation’s worth of repellent, sexist themes in this book: the ejaculate issue; the transition of a woman into a monster with sexual awakening; a woman sucking the life out of a man, a literal succubus; a man being sexually drawn to, but also reviling the object of his affections because a relationship will imprison him and take his power; forgiveness of male mistreatment because he can’t help it; the saintly, redemptive female; lessons in love that not all succubi (women) are the same, you just need to meet the right one; and so on. Revolting and misogynistic elements masquerading as a love story. How very repugnant, Ms. Cole.

This review is part of the volunteer Cannonball Read 5. Read all about it, and watch for info about Cannonball Read SIX on the group blog, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. For more of Mrs. Julien’s reviews, check out her blog, Mrs. Julien Presents.

(Note: Any revenue generated from purchases made through the affiliate links in this this review will be donated in entirety to the American Cancer Society.)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Mrs. Julien, I was just thinking of you (not of McRieve as I've officially blocked this from memory - it never happened and shall never be spoken of again) as I caved to the siren call of Cyber Monday and bought myself a Kindle this morning. I've been a tried and true paper book lover since time immortal, let's see if the Kindle can bring me to the dark side.

  • Mrs. Julien

    The problem with Kindle is that it enables as it facilitates. So many poor choices, so much privacy!

  • Truth. Shameful covers that I have to explain to my spouse will no longer be a deterrent!

  • bastich

    Excellent review, Mrs. J. I really enjoyed it.

    Thanks to you, I have now made it my personal mission to use "consumption is non-orifice specific" somewhere in my daily conversations.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Does it need more hyphens? It feels like it needs more hyphens. Less hyphens?

  • bastich

    It seems hyphenically perfect to me. :)

    Of course, as a recovering ellipses addict, I may not be the best judge of punctuation use here...........................................................


  • Uriah_Creep

    You do realize you have to give up your 90-day chip now?

  • emmalita
  • Berry

    I understood only about half of what I just read, but I enjoyed every word.

  • BlackRabbit What did he write that gave him to power to get that published?

  • Mrs. Julien

    It's a WOMAN!

  • Stu Rat

    Your indignation speaks of gender pride. Really? For this?

  • Mrs. Julien

    No, it speaks of gender appalled.

  • BlackRabbit

    A woman wrote that book? *Rereads* Oh yes, sorry, I missed the "Ms." at the very end. Geez, I wouldn't want to read her dating profile, much less that stuff.

  • emmalita

    There's no loathing like self loathing.

  • BlackRabbit

    No loathing I know. And I've seen all of Uwe Boll's work.

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