The Feathered Lover

Book Review of Tabitha Levin’s The Feathered Lover

The Feathered Lover

I picked up a copy of Tabitha Levin‘s The Feathered Lover for free from the Smashword’s seasonal sale. It will be free using code SW100 until the end of July. 

Description from Goodreads:
It’s 1943 and Ruby Kelly just saw one of the wild men with wings for the first time in her life. He’d been captured, tied up, and was now being held in the stables at the same Inn she was staying.

She had to get a closer look. She crept downstairs toward the stable window. His chest was smooth and bare, and it glistened with sweat from his recent struggle. Butterflies erupted in her stomach when he looked her way. Did he see her?

Now she had two options, free him and risk the wrath of the thugs who caught him, or pretend she never saw him at all.

Neither would be easy.

This was an all right read, I suppose. I can’t say it did much for me though. The whole thing just felt wrong. (If that makes any sense.) Starting with Zan. He felt very child-like to me. Everything from his insta-love which reminded me of a kid’s tendency to become obsessed with anything new, to the language divide that left him speaking like a halting toddler for much of the book, to Ruby’s tendency to compare him to a pet, to his occasional tears. As a result I had a really hard time seeing him as the sexy male lead he was supposed to be. That’s a real problem in a book with as much sex as The Feathered Lover. There was a lot of it. I don’t have any real issue with this much of the time, but here it started to clutter up the plot. Everywhere they went–endangered, held hostage, trying to have a conversation was apparently appropriate for a quickie before moving on.

I did like Ruby. She had a stubborn streak a mile long and I appreciated that. She prattled on a bit, having long one-sided soliloquies regularly. I had a little trouble understanding her insta-love with Zan though. She crossed the species/social/legal divide with him based on nothing but one meeting in which she didn’t think him capable of intelligible speech and possibly dangerous. She’d been taught Voltane were wild animals after-all. So what does she do? Well, seamlessly give her virginity up to it of course. What else?

I had to wonder why exactly it was illegal to be in the presence of the Voltage to start with. Was this a species or environmental protection, basic xenophobia or racism, etc. I didn’t understand the social intention, so I had a little trouble understanding the implications of Ruby’s actions. Plus, for being feared and held separate Ruby and Zan seemed to find a lot of sympathisers with almost no effort. I get that this was meant to infer that the society was ripe for social change, but it also felt very convenient to the plot. I also thought that trying to situate the whole thing in an alternation 1943 complicated matters. I didn’t see the relevance.

The writing was fairly simple, but it was clean, perfectly readable and only had a few editorial mishaps. In the end I was left wondering what I had just read, but I imagine that the book will really appeal to some. It was a pleasant change to encounter a hero who wasn’t a bulging alpha with an alarming tendency to aggress on questionably willing heroines. Props to Levin for being willing to move away from the canned PNR.

2 thoughts on “Book Review of Tabitha Levin’s The Feathered Lover

  1. Tabitha

    Hi Sadie,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to review The Feathered Lover. I was thrilled when I saw your review today everywhere! It’s such a buzz to know people read your work. 🙂

    All the best,

    P.S. I made a coupon for you or your readers if they wanted to pick up the second book in the series ‘Feathered Bliss’ for free, too. We see more of Zan’s POV in that one. Use the coupon XD26W at Smashwords, it’s good for the next seven days. There’s no obligation of course, just as a thank you. 🙂


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