Friday, 21 March 2014

Review: This Wicked Game

This Wicked Game

Publication Date: November 14th 2013      
Publisher: Dial         



Claire Kincaid’s family has been in business for over fifty years.

The voodoo business.

Part of the International Guild of High Priests and Priestesses, a secret society that have practiced voodoo for generations, the Kincaid’s run an underground supply house for authentic voodoo supplies. Claire plays along, filling orders for powders, oils and other bizarre ingredients in the family store, but she has a secret.

She doesn’t believe.

Struggling to reconcile her modern sensibilities with a completely unscientific craft based on suspicion, Claire can’t wait to escape New Orleans – and voodoo – when she goes to college, a desire that creates almost constant conflict in her secret affair with Xander Toussaint, son of the Guild’s powerful founding family.

But when a mysterious customer places an order for a deadly ingredient, Claire begins to realize that there’s more to voodoo – and the families that make up the Guild – than meets the eye.

Including her own.

As she bands together with the other firstborns of the Guild, she comes face to face with a deadly enemy – and the disbelief that may very well kill her.

*Some spoilers ahead, since it's impossible to explain without them.

I can't believe I'm saying this but this wasn't good. I know,  it's about Voodoo, and darkness and curses and voodoo dolls and all those wonderful stuff that is just right up my alley. I love reading about it. And since it's set in New Orleans, the same as Darkness Becomes Her by , that though is more Greek Mythology than Voodoo, it's kind of a mixed one that I loved. I so wanted to love this one just the same...and didn't.

I have no clue where I'm even going to start on this. I was beyond disappointed, and there were so many little things that could have made it better if other little things hadn't annoyed me so much. If I love it, I have so much to say, if I hate it, I have so much to say.
This is middle ground and I hate middle ground. It wouldn't have been if some elements had brought it back, but I'm defeated because I was so disappointed with This Wicked Game, that I'd even go as far to say it is my most disappointed book of last year. There, I said it.
Written in third person, it focuses on Claire and my problem with the writing was not in fact the perspective or person, but the fact that it didn't have a voice, that style of writing still has a voice, when it's done well. Like in Antigoddess by , Cassandra and Athena had different voices while being written into third, you could tell them apart, and they both had their own flare. Claire, however does not. Or if she does, she's pretty bland. So maybe it's not the writing at all but the fact that Claire's a bore? I don't know, but the constant use of names when talking, annoyed me. Also, you knew Claire was speaking, who she was speaking to, so why do we need a repeat? Maybe I'm just being picky...but it was also after they say they're going to do something, and then you're told, Claire and Xander walked down the road and Xander took Claires hand, blah blah (that was made up, by the way, but you get the idea.) There wasn't much she or he to break it up, but then he and she can get annoying too, so you have to have balance, and there was no balance.
It's also pretty stop and start, it doesn't flow through sentences to the next, and even the interactions between characters, even one Claire's supposed to be in love with and dating, Xander, their words and actions are stiff and awkward, not the familiarity or comfort you'd think you'd get from them.
The first half was a bunch of talking and no action, and within that talking and messing around there was too much description on movements, who was where in a car, and a bunch of useless information that you didn't really need, and considering the book is 350 pages, only two thirds of it is probably an actual story. Or didn't include yoga (totally exaggerating). This is supposed to be about Voodoo, and I wanted to learn about Voodoo, so why are we reading about Claire going to Yoga, more than once? I wanted to learn about the Craft,  but you know what I learnt? Nothing.  In fact, the voodoo side of things was pretty vague, there wasn't enough to make it believable, we had ingredients and some information on certain incantations etc, but since its in third person, it had a great opportunity to use that. I know Claire's a non-believer, and she doesn't know and doesn't want to know about the Craft, but it wasn't in first person.
Claire herself, as I said above, is bland, and kind of a bitch, don't get me wrong, she could have been a lot worse, but she pretty much automatically disliked some of the other characters because she didn't know them...and she didn't want to really get to know them, basically, and anything to do with Voodoo. She has all these morals about it, yet when she needs to find out about something, what does she do? She practices! Yup. Morals out the door, ladies and gentleman. Oh, and Xander, the guy she dating? She's been dating him a year in secret, and doesn't want to tell anybody about them, even though Xander does, and she loves him. In the end, it wasn't really a secret anyway because basically everybody knew, tada! And Rock Paper and Scissors have more chemistry than these two.
The whole plot was predictable. No, for real. The only one that didn't know was Claire herself, which literally wanted me to hit her with the damn book. Right in front of your eyes, I mean, I know she's supposed to be kept in the dark, but uh, when *a bit of a spoiler* she's a direct descendant of the all powerful, and a key ingredient to the Cold Blood spell is a special kind of blood, uh, hello?
I mean, even the other characters got it before her, and nice to clue her in about it guys, really.
This Wicked Game was disappointing, tiring, and while the topic was entirely fascinating, there wasn't enough it knead the rest of it out.

Rating: 1.5/5