Review of Amaranth (The Resistance Trilogy #1), by Rachael Wade

I apparently downloaded Rachel Wade’s Amaranth in 2013. It was a freebie and, as it’s still free, I can only assume it’s a perma-freebie.

Description from Goodreds:
Hoodoo-influenced Southern Louisiana seems like the perfect place for Camille to escape her abusive past and dysfunctional family. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with the handsome Gavin Devereaux and plummet into the world of Amaranth, a place of exile for reformed vampires.

Wrestling to escape a deadly ex-boyfriend while giving Gavin a chance, Camille is confronted with decisions that threaten not only her life, but the lives of her inhuman friends she has come to love. Entangled in her friends’ quest for freedom, she dives into their realm and faces the threats of Amaranth’s ruler—the mother of all vampires—and her own inner demons.

Now Camille must decide whether she will derail her life and make the ultimate sacrifice for the monsters that interrupted her bumpy path back to sanity—what she still wants so desperately—or escape with Gavin before it’s too late for both of them.

This might have had a good idea in it somewhere but it’s not written well enough for me to tell. Several times I was simply lost and didn’t know what was happening. For example, the book starts in Paris, with Camille talking about leaving her abusive boyfriend in Seattle. Next chapter, she’s in Louisiana talking about leaving her abusive boyfriend, but not the same abusive boyfriend. No idea what happened to the first one or how she ended up with this second one or when she moved to Louisiana. But more to the point, it took quite a while to figure out what was going on. It was jarring.

I marked several passages in which I literally couldn’t figure out what was actually supposed to be happening. Sometimes the writing was just unclear. The pacing is odd and I was often uncertain about time frames. There are several inconsistencies and also a lot of presumed knowledge. I felt like, as a reader, I’d been left out of some essential planning meeting and everyone around me was just going on as if I knew something I didn’t. The characters were one-dimensional and the writing flat.

Gavin and Camille’s relationship is practically insta-love and we’re told how amazing it is, but never shown anything. I never felt any chemistry between them. Then there is Gabe and Audrey. They fall in love off-page and apparently she’s turned into a vampire and let in on all the vampire knowledge that Camille isn’t. Camille introduced her to the vampires and somehow she’s allowed in on all the secrets but the main character isn’t? Yeah, that’s how this book rolled and you sure to feel it.

Worst of all Camille was spineless for most of the book, despite readers being told she’s strong and then she runs off and does something amazingly too stupid to live. Seriously, unbelievably stupid!

Honestly, I just think this needed a lot more work.

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