Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review of Descent by Kallie Ross

I received a copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

*sigh* Where do I start with this novel? And no, that sigh isn't a good one. In fact, it's bad. Very bad. This book was vague, vague, vague. The characters were one-dimensional, and there weren't enough details about them or about the tribe. And I was so bored I wanted to stop reading numerous times.

Rating: 2 Stars!
I was so disappointed that I didn't like this book. Like I said, I wanted to stop reading so many times. But I knew this had to be read and reviewed. It was entertaining, but not much happened. Not even the characters' sometimes funny dialogue was enough to make it better.

I had a problem with the main character, Ollie. She didn't have much of a personality. In fact, I know next-to-nothing about her. The book starts off when Ollie has just come from a long trip in South America. What was she doing there to begin with? I have no clue. She's seemingly still depressed about her ex-boyfriend cheating on her, though you wouldn't know it by how she describes it. She didn't have much introspection, which I think was needed. And when she described things, especially when it came to her ex, Mateo, and her parents, I didn't feel anything from her character. How does she feel about her parents? Was she angry about the cheating? Was she still bitter and sad about her dad leaving them? Was she nervous about seeing Mateo again? Was she worried about never making it home? Was she excited about the underground tribe and what it meant for her? Was she happy with her life? There was no feeling to the way she described her life and her relationships with everyone. And there weren't many details given about her character.

Things I know about Olive:
  1. Her dad left her and her mom.
  2. She wants to go to college to be an Environmental Specialist.
  3. She doesn't know what she should feel toward Mateo and Gabriel. Love triangle, yo.
  4. She thinks her best friend is stupid, air-headed, and only thinks about guys. Because, obviously, Alexis is shallow and has no deeper thoughts and feelings. (that's only what I got out of the way Ollie talked to and about her).
  5. She eludes to feeling like this place underground is familiar to her but has no clue why. She doesn't even try to figure it out.
  6. Her ex-boyfriend cheated on her. And she shut everyone out of her life when she was in South America.
  7. She's a terrible friend.
Ollie just had no real depth as a character, no true personality. All she thought about was Mateo and Gabriel and how she wanted to go home. Her voice lacked an emotional quality. I couldn't connect with her at all.

The relationships between her and the secondary characters didn't have depth either. Maybe except for the one with Mateo, because it was the most important to her. There was no background on the secondary characters, either. It, along with the lack of depth in the story-line, gave them a one-dimensional feeling. Alexis was my favorite. She seemed genuine, real, incredibly funny, even if a little superficial. But she was also just made out to be a stereotypical blonde cheerleader who loves boys, fashion, and texting. A girl no one takes seriously. I hated how Ollie treated her and how she described her. I mean, this is even how Ollie responds when Alexis truly needs her:
When did I turn into a priest? The last thing I need is for Alexis to confess all her deep, dark secrets to me.
What the fuck? Your best friend is leaning on you for support, and this is how you really feel? Ollie wasn't just a poor friend to Alexis, but also Mateo too. She dropped all of her friends off the face of the earth when she found out her boyfriend cheated on her. And then she comes back home, never truly understanding how deeply they were affected by her decision to cut them out of her life. She doesn't understand why Mateo is so angry at her, but I would be too! I've actually had this happen to me before, where friends stop talking to me, so I get where he's coming from in all of this. It doesn't take him long to forgive her, of course, but Ollie didn't seem truly that sorry about all of it.

Also. When did she meet Alexis and why are they best friends? How did growing up next to the Vargas brothers change into lifelong friendships? What did they do as friends? How did they feel toward each other? When did Ollie start falling in love with Mateo? What was life growing up with separated parents? What's her mom like, besides just telling the readers her job? What are Ollie's hobbies and interests, besides the environment? Lack of details and background really aggravated me. Like I said, this never went deep. It was all surface information.

And all surface feelings. Like the fucking "love triangle." Gabriel is so entranced with Ollie when he meets her (why, I have no clue, since she's nothing more than her appearance and her take-charge attitude, which I did like about her). I like Mateo, and I like Gabriel. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses (and actual personalities). However, I don't think this was needed. If anything, it just made Ollie seem even more shallow as a character. Because it's all she could focus on, and she ignored the most obvious clues ever when it came to her ancestry. And, um hello, survival instincts? They flew out the fucking window. Because Gabriel is hot and kind, and obviously he wouldn't harm her or her friends.

And the plot was vague, vague, vague! The author skirted around the history of this tribe living underground. All I know is that this dude named Dan "traveled into a cave to protect his family." That's the tribe's history?! Aside from that, all we learn is that they believe it's God's will that they remain separate from the surface people. How the hell did these people move underground in the first place? Was it magic? I know that in one scene of the book, it alluded to some magic and sorcery. But that's it. There was a lot of telling and not enough showing when it came to these people and their history. Sure, it was detailed. Colors, surfaces, how the people dressed and how they spoke. BUT THE CHARACTERS DIDN'T QUESTION ANYTHING! Yes, let's just follow this random fucking stranger to his underground village and bathe with them! UM, WHAT?! At least Mateo had the good sense to ask questions when they first met Gabriel, but other than that, these characters went along with everything like it was all normal!

The writing was simple and underwhelming, the dialogue a little funny but most often just annoying fodder to fill in the time they spent underground. The pacing was soooo slooooow that I felt like I was just dragged along. Nothing exciting happened. Other than a hilarious scene where Mateo and Jesse got high, and a death, nothing else happened that blew me away. Nothing that made my heart race with dread and anticipation.

Descent sounded amazing, if a little weird. That synopsis is so vague and unassuming. I just wish the actual book had been exciting.

6 comments:

  1. I actually did a blitz for this book. I'm happy I decided to not review! 2 stars is not enticing at all. Great Review!
    Jazmen@ThisGirlReadsAlot

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    1. Thanks! Yeah.. I just did not like this book at all. It was entertaining, for the most part. But that's it.

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  2. Oh, darn! I thought that this book sounded really good (and I love that cover). Too bad it didn't live up to your expectations! :-(

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. I was really excited for this one! Unfortunately, I didn't like it and wouldn't recommend it.

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  3. Don't you hate it when you get stuck pushing through a book you don't like? I so can't stand poor world building and undeveloped characters, I would have been skimming this. Oh and add in a love triangle, no thanks.

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    1. Gah, and I hate it when it's review books too, because then I can't DNF.

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