Review of Woe for a Faerie: Keepers of New York, by B. Brumley

I picked up Woe For a Faerie, by B. Brumley, from Amazon. I believe it is a perma-freebie.

Description from Goodreads:

Woe for a Faerie 

I never had a choice…
Until I made one and woke up naked in the middle of Central Park.
Wingless.
The cost of retribution gouged between my shoulder blades.
Now I’ve got to choose between Jason, the priest who’s hiding something, and Arún, the off-world Fae that believes I’m his prophesied queen.
Mortality was supposed to be easy.

 Wings Over New York 

I’ve lived in this city for almost a year now, and I’ve happily settled into my wing-free reality.
Lately, my biggest worry is meeting my new in-laws.
When a cop dies and an old foe returns, Jason and Arún join forces to hunt the feathered shifter that’s killing people in Central Park, and I’m sucked into another supernatural tug-of-war.
Only, this time, I’m terrified that I’m going to lose the one I love.

Review:

Slightly spoilerish, but doesn’t give anything away you won’t guess immediately on reading the book.

What the hell did I just read? Part one was all dark and gothic and over-wrought, but in part two the same character turned into a bubbly, happy, pretty-pretty princess who wears bright dresses and worries about her makeup. Seriously, what the hell, is consistency not a thing anymore?

Part two starts with her being in love and married to a ‘man’ that she didn’t even wholly trust at the end of part one. How did that happen? Don’t know, it was off page in an 8 month gap between part one and two. Characters are introduced to die pointlessly. (And I personally believe you shouldn’t kill a title character, so I’m outraged at that too.) At 70%, the side characters finally show up and the team of keepers comes up for the first time. 70% people, that’s far far too late.

I’ve finished the book but still have no idea about the world. Paranormals exist and I think maybe people know about then, but I’m not at all sure. I don’t know a time frame, I don’t know the limits of the world, I don’t know much of anything, really. I don’t know the big players or minor factions. I don’t know the technology level. Despite the existence of angels, I don’t know the religious connection. I don’t know how or why Woe is different to other angels. I don’t know anything.

Then there was the fact that within the first 4% of the book we’re told of 3 females raped. I say females, instead of women, because two of them were children. And they’re 50 years apart, so they aren’t even related events. Is rape really the only thing the author could come up with to show us readers that the world sucks and that the main character is frustrated with it? Really?

In the beginning, despite all the horribly purple writing, Woe (who’s name is never explained) looks like she might turn into something strong and independent. But she happily gives all that up to be a wifey. And you know what? That distinct personality change happens off-page. No idea why or how it happens. It’s in that 8 month gap I mentioned. But it’s a huge change. She does not read as the same character from part one to two. Not at all!

And do you know what all this culminates into? After being an angel, giving it up to be mortal, the book hinting that Woe will be a warrior of some sort, do you know what the big climax is? A freakin’ baby. So, we’re safely back in cliched, established gender expectations. She’s preggers, so she’s a real woman now. Disgustingly disappointing. These gender tropes are littered in the book, everything from the woman (though angels are androgynous, read genderless, she’s apparently still female) longing for a baby she can’t have, to the woman fighting for the right to make her won decisions, to her constant sexuality, to rape, to attempted prostitution, to falling in love with literally the first man she meets, to giving it all up for marriage, to accepting colors in her wardrobe because her husband likes them, to being concerned with her appearance, to finally getting her baby. It’s all too cliched for words.

Mechanically, the writing is pretty good and it’s even fairly well edited. But man, I’m dropping this like it’s hot and running in the other direction.

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