Review of Born to Darkness (Fighting Destiny #1), by Suzanne Brockmann

Born to DarknessI checked Born to Darkness (by Suzanne Brockmann) out from the library.

Description from Goodreads:
In the not-too-distant future, the Obermeyer Institute (OI) has made a revolutionary discovery: with special training, humans can tap into the brain’s hidden powers. The training is strenuous, though, and it works only for those with natural potential. Tough girl Mac has that potential, and she’s a devoted member of the OI.

Review:
I seriously almost loved this. Brockman can write. I liked the characters and the plot is an interesting one. But the fact that kept me from loving it and, in fact, coming to really resent large chunks of it is unfortunately so common in modern fiction it’s hardly worth commenting on…except that we should all be commenting on it all the time.

The whole book hinges on cliched female terror. Almost every single female in this book, adult and child, is either raped or threatened with rape at some point in this book. This is used as character development shorthand. Want a villain to seem especially vile? Make him a serial rapist, better yet a serial child rapist or a knife wielding sadistic rapist. Want a woman to be especially pitiable? Make her relive the memory of her rape over and over. What her to be notably strong? Make her over come her rape. Want a girl to be especially terrorized? Make her witness another girl get raped or threaten her with rape. Want your heroes to be especially good guys? Have them overlook the besmirchment of the women they love and, unlike everyone else, not judge them for getting raped. Better yet, have them also save them from the after-effects of their rapes. Either teaching them how to not remain stuck on the memory or convince them it wasn’t their fault. All of these are in this book. Every single one of them and more. It’s common, trope-based characterization shorthand and it’s LAZY writing! I expected so much more from this book.

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