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Book Reviews: I Don’t Kneel for Monsters & Wolf’s Bite, by Atlas Rose

I received this edition of a compilation of two Atlas Rose books in my September Supernatural Book Crate. It contains two first in series, I don’t Kneel for Monsters and Wolf’s Bite. Though some older editions of the latter have Kim Faulks on the cover too. So, I’m assuming she is (or was) a co-writer.

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I don’t Kneel for Monsters:

 I might be chained, but I’m no prisoner.
They won’t let me leave this pack of demonic beasts with their red glowing eyes and their pawing touch. They keep me locked up during the day and surrounded by their heat at night.

They keep me…

Men who are monsters and monsters who look like men. Trading my fear for their sick, demented games. I hate them. Hate it when they make me run. Hate it when they call it a ‘hunt’. But the capture.

The capture is something I can’t stop thinking about.
Fangs and claws. Their hunger is insatiable.
Until the night I saw him.
A man standing in the middle of a labyrinth where we hid.

A man dressed in white.

He’s here to save me. Here to get me away from these monsters. I just know it. I’ll run to him, the first chance I get. I’ll get away from those demonic creatures…I’ll save myself anyway I can.

Or I’ll die trying.

my review

I have to say that I’m just confused by this book. There are so may glaring inconsistencies (both in the plot and in the writing itself) and then the whole thing ends on a cliffhanger without providing the reader any sort of payoff for sticking with the book through all the confusion.

Here are some of the types of inconsistencies I mean. In the beginning 5 wolves break into Arden’s house and kidnap her. However, for the rest of the book there are only 4—Moody, Broody, Cheeky, and Alpha. (She gave them the stupid names to annoy them.) We lost a Hellhound somewhere. Where? No idea. I can’t even be sure when, because most of the time I was uncertain which hellhound was doing what.

I’m pretty sure her heart stopped about six time before she actually ‘died.’ I was never sure if it was creative license and hyperbole or if it was actually stopping. The button on her jeans was popped off twice. She was later wearing panties that had already been ripped off, same with a shirt. Do her clothes heal? So, the kind of stuff a half way attentive beta reader or editor would have caught.

Mostly I won’t be continuing the series though, because (unless its a duology) the next book will I don't kneel for monsters photoprobably provide as little pay off as this one; same for the one after that, etc. I realize indie authors are being told this whole half-a-book to hook readers is what they should be writing. I know it’s a whole thing in the industry. But I cannot express how much I hate it. In fact, the physical copy I have also contains Wolf Bite, as I said. And I’m strongly considering not bothering to read it, even if that leaves the ‘book’ unfinished and I can’t move it from the unread to the read shelf. Simply because I don’t really want to set my self up for another disappointment of a half-written book. Can this trend die yet?

Wolf’s Bite:

I carry his bite mark on my shoulder…and the memory of what I’d done in his bed.

Phantom, the Alpha of Crown City Wolves might think he has a handle on me…
He might think this is more than what it was…

He’s about to find out he’s wrong.

I don’t belong to the Wolves of Crown City. I belong to the FBI.
My sole purpose has been hunting scum who sit in their ivory tower and shatter people’s lives.
I’ve hunted the Costello for years now.
They’re lower than low…they are liars…they’re mobsters.

They’re Mafia.

This is more than a case for me.

This was personal.

The last bullet in my father’s policing career. Ruined because of them.

Only a war erupted. A war which I’m now part of…a war between the beasts that roam my city and the powerful Immortals they answer to.

I replayed that night in slow motion. Fangs. Blood…and Phantom. The Alpha of the Wolves. The one I saved from a rogue Vampire.

And the one who saved me.

my review

I will grant that this book was significantly better than the first in the compilation. But that’s a long way from saying it’s good. It could be a heck of a lot closer though, if Rose hired an editor…or even just enlisted a friend to beta read and keep track of the inconsistencies.

About halfway through this book, I posted a whole Tiktok suggesting some authors need a beta service geared solely toward keeping track of a character’s clothes so that they don’t take bras off twice, etc. I didn’t name her, but Rose was who I was talking about.

@seesadieread how does something like this get consistently missed is my other thought. #authortalk #authortok #books #smexscene #booktalk #booktok #authorserivice #reader #seesadieread #books #editing #youalreadydidthat #monsterromance ♬ original sound – SadieF

I’m generally pretty patient about editing. But Rose’s editing is so consistently shoddy in this department that I started to lose my will to continue, after a while. Oddly, it’s not even typos and the normal sloppy editing. Rose just can’t seem to keep track of the elements of her plot. A wolf approaching someone who is already leaning on him, for example. Clothes that get taken off or ripped up more than once, etc.

Outside of the editing issue, I’m torn. I did like the characters. I especially liked how desperate Phantom and his pack were and how we got to see his POV, even if he showed an alpha a-hole face to the world. I’m interested to know what happens next (if I can tolerate more of the inconsistencies).

wolf's bite photoI wasn’t aware that this is a spin-off series. And there were definitely some elements that made no sense to me. Characters were named that were not in the book, a whole war raged for reasons I didn’t know about, etc. So, I would not recommend reading this without reading Rose’s other series (despite being labeled book one). And it ends on a cliffhanger. I am SO tired of books that don’t end!

All in all, I think I’d continue the series if I came across a free copy. But I don’t think I’d buy another book so poorly edited.

Other Reviews:

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Book Review: Fae’s Torment, by Atlas Rose & Kim Faulks

I received a signed copy of Fae’s Torment, by Atlas Rose and Kim Faulks in a Supernatural book Crate I ordered.

fae's torment rose and faulks

Hate. Retribution. Revenge.

It burns in my veins and keeps me awake at night, hunting Crown City’s streets like the ones who took from me. 

But it’s not these streets where I want to spill blood. It’s over there, across the bridge. Where the shadows of this world cloak their sick, foul secrets…and where they trade magic for mortal lives.

I can’t get across there. Can’t walk in their world. If I could, I’d take this knife and shove it between his ribs.

But I doubt I’d find a heart.

None of them had hearts. Not their leader, Shrike, or Mojin, the one I see the most, or Honor and Ruin, the ones I don’t see. The ones no one sees.

They’re the ones who corrupt. They’re the ones who kill.

They’re the ones who took my brother from me…

Only I found a way to get to them now. This new seductive club the Wolves opened  called Dark City needs mortal women to entrance these beasts and I’m the one they’ll want.

The one who hides the truth behind her smile.

And a knife against her thigh.

Only when I take my chance I’m the one taken instead. But my enemy doesn’t want me dead…they want something else. Something those dark Unseelie eyes promise…and I might never sleep again.

my review

I was reluctant to dive into this book. It does have a note that says, “Each Mafia Monster series can be read as a stand alone in the same world. There is cross over of your favorite characters to help you understand underlying motivations better, but it’s not necessary to read from book one.” The thing is, I don’t always trust authors when they tell me a book can be read as a stand-alone, especially when—like here—it is either book 7 in an over-arching series or book 1 in a new one. In the end, I gave it a read. I’d say it’s just followable. I was really confused in the beginning and, honestly, never had a firm grasp on the world.The struggle is trying to pick apart what I wasn’t understanding because I’d not read the previous books (that the authors say aren’t necessary) and what I didn’t understand because of poor plotting and world-building.

Despite all of that, I was still able to enjoy Izzy and the fae’s insanity. None of it makes much sense, if you think too hard about it. She’s always trying to kill them, for example, but never seems to do more than press a knife to their neck or leg. If you really wanna kill someone, why are you pausing to threaten and not just doing it? Over and over again, I wondered this. And the potent mix of hate and lust that the fae so liked in Izzy would be seriously detrimental to her mental health. Talk about toxic and abusive! But by the end I was invested in the craziness enough to look for the next book (which isn’t out yet).

My only real gripe (besides the thin world) was the utterly unnecessary attempted rape scene. It contributed nothing to the book other than the apparent authorial need to ask, “can a heroine truly be strong unless someone’s at least tried to rape her?” It didn’t even make sense. She suicidally throws herself at groups of immortals but basically does nothing but beg when  a couple human men nab her. Ummm, that’s one seriously inconsistent characterization there.

Outside of that, I did have fun with this one eventually. It’s never going to top my favorite list, but I look forward to book two in a “it’s bonkers but fun” kind of way.