At some point, quite some time ago, I downloaded Sandy L. Rowland‘s book, Conquered, from the Amazon free list.
Description from Goodreads:
Claiming a mate on conquered Earth is driving alien vampire, Rafe, insane…literally.
He’s lost his comrade to madness and has sworn against suffering the same fate. Time is out for the ruler of the western quadrant and any female will do.
Spunky reporter, Pepper Morgan, has lost friends, her mother, and a fiance to the devastating plague that ravished Earth before the vampires subjugated them. Desperate to reunite with her captured father, she throws herself on Rafe’s mercy.
Now, Rafe and Pepper find themselves bound by more than desperation and blood, but also by secrets that have the power to enslave humanity and threaten vampire survival. Can they overcome their inner demons and learn to trust each other, before it’s too late?
Review: **spoiler warning**
We are not amused.
While the mechanical writing and editing in this book were fine, I found almost all aspects of the story, plot, characters and world disappointing. First, we had a Mary Sue who is chosen to mate the über sexy vampire because she was different, a special little snowflake unlike all the other vapid, beautiful women. Arghh, so cliché.
Next, we had a woman who in two weeks goes from not liking the vampire who is consistently an ass to her, to being in love. Then we had her developing a special power out of nowhere and somehow learning to use it in almost no time at all. We had baddies who conveniently leave doors unlocked and chains removed to allow for escape and miraculous recoveries. Not to mention, most of the events in the book came down to avoidable miscommunication or lack of communication. None of this is good, as far as I’m concerned.
But worst of all, the whole premise of the book made no sense to me. Somehow her love was going to keep him from going insane, because at a thousand years old vampires go crazy if he’s not mated. But first they had to be betrothed for exactly a month and if they had sex before that they’d both go crazy. Um, exactly what biological mechanism was keeping track of time and how exactly did his body know she loved him? I mean, what was causing this change. I get the theme, but it made no sense.
Speaking of biology, how exactly does an alien race evolve to need human blood to survive? I mean, what did they do before they came to earth? Seems like that would be an important piece of world-building, but it’s not addressed.
I probably could have just suspended my disbelief and rolled with it if I hadn’t found the style so infuriating. It’s repetitive, the reader is told the same things over and over, and it’s almost all exposition, internal thoughts and mental planning. This means that very, very little actually happened in the book, because the action is CONSTANTLY being stopped for the narrator to explain what the characters are thinking or feeling or planning to do. It really felt like one small step forward, stop and explain, one small step forward, stop and explain, one small step forward, <i>ad infinitum</i>. If you break it all down almost nothing actually happening in this book and what action there is is all in the last 10%.
That last 10% also introduced a new character and the idea that vampires could be made as well as born, which hadn’t been mentioned once the whole book. I mean, if you can make vampire, why is there the chronic lack of females? Why not just make some? This is an unaddressed issue or inconsistency. As is, for example, the fact that somehow the baddie never faced insanity if he didn’t wait the required 30 days before raping his bride.
All in all, it’s an interesting idea, but poorly executed. The author spent far too much time telling us things we should have been shown. There are also a lot of threads left open, I assume for a sequel.
Would like you to review my latest work, “He’s Either Dead or in St. Paul.” Hope you give it a try, thanks. – D. B. Moon
If you’d read the policies and followed the directions, I very much might have. But just tossing out a question on someone else’s review really isn’t a good way to go about it. It’s kinda like walking into someone else’s art exhibit and asking random people to come see yours, with no regard for whether they’d be interested in you or your style of art. Not to mention is shows bloggers that you don’t respect them enough to make even the small effort of reading their one page of information before asking them to read your 273 pages. So, no…and I would strongly suggest you drop this solicitation method from your repertoire.