Friday, July 4, 2014

Supernatural Kisses: Review of Kissed by Kimberly Loth

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

That cover and synopsis had me intrigued to read this book. Supernatural power being awakened by stolen midnight kisses? Sounds romantic, and intriguing, and definitely not something I've read about in a fantasy novel. And though I really enjoyed the story, I had a few problems with it.

Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Books have to be balanced. If you're writing a fantasy, then it should be fantastical. But if you have subplots of romance and mystery and action, you should have a good dose of all of them. Not too much to overpower the actual story-line, though. Or too little. It has to be balanced pretty much perfectly.

Kissed didn't get the memo.

The book starts out in Arkansas, I think (there was, at one point, an Alabama thrown in there). It's told in the POV of Naomi Aren, a good girl who doesn't rock the boat for fear her father and the Master will punish her. The church she goes to is a misogynistic, White supremacist cult. Her father is abusive, she's treated like nothing more than an inferior woman who has to do what she's told or suffer the consequences. It's a hard life for her, and Naomi wants out. But she's never before let herself dream of a life away from her parents, a life that she wants. Not until she's visited in the night by a stranger who gives her kisses and promises to free her.

Naomi is a very interesting character. She's quiet and contemplative, has courage that falters when it comes to her parents and how hard it is for her to just let go of her old life. I thought her character development was believable, but I also felt that the love triangle made her overreact to some situations and distracted her from the real problems.

And that brings me to the annoying, overplayed drama of the love triangle. And there is one, because both guys fell in love, and she with them, so she had a choice to make. However, the development of the two relationships Naomi had with them (if you can call the one with Kai a "relationship") were weak and didn't move the story further along but halted it. To me, the love triangle wasn't needed. But since it was there, I should have felt more with it. I should have felt the emotions between the characters, but I didn't. Because the thing is, the supernatural powers that the boys have makes it quite clear that the feelings could be fake. And it all just moved so very fast that I didn't believe that any of them had fallen in love with each other. 

I liked the secondary characters a lot! Ginny, Alejandro, Puck, and even Rikki. They all brought something different to the story, and the way they interacted gave me a warm feeling. They made up for the fact that Naomi's parents were cold, indifferent, and cruel to their only daughter.

Oh, but the plot and I had some issues with each other. Because the love triangle overbalanced pretty much everything, I felt that the supernatural aspect was extremely underplayed. And I wasn't totally wowed with the mystery behind Kai and the people like him. Guardians are trying to keep balance in the world while Destroyers start rebelling and saying Fuck You to the age-old truce that's been keeping them at an uneasy peace with each other? Right. So, what exactly do they do? I'm not entirely sure. There wasn't much action in this story, which would have made the whole good vs. evil thing much more intense.

I'm still not totally sold on the supernatural aspect of the story, but I'm excited to find out more about these characters. I had more than my share of problems with Kissed, but I really enjoyed the story.