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Book Review: Something Darker, by S.A. Price

I purchased a copy of S.A. Price‘s Something Darker from a local Indie bookstore called Spine.
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The one thing Syrus Alcot, the God of Death Osiris in the Egyptian Pantheon, wants in all the worlds is the woman he loved and lost returned to him. When he gave up his powers, and freedom for a life of service he was promised her return. That was over one thousand years ago. A member of a team of dark gods charged with keeping humanity safe, he leads a loveless existence in New York City, searching for the one thing that could bring his wife back to him, a lapis scarab that was lost to him ages before.

Gwen Stapleton, a mild mannered librarian, is unaware that she holds the key to not only Syrus’ happiness, but her own. Seemingly stuck in a hopeless relationship with a man she doesn’t love, she has no idea that a chance meeting in Alphabet City will start a landslide to her heart’s content. Because Gwen is the keeper of the scarab, and is everything Syrus has ever wanted… and hes not the only one.

An Ancient evil is waking, and its servants will stop at nothing to see it seize its rightful place as the new pantheon of earth. And in order for Syrus and his team to save the world, Gwen is going to have to accept him, and show that love does make all the difference.

my review
This was a total flop for me. I didn’t think to check the publication date before I bought it (it was published in 2012). Otherwise I would have passed on it. I know, from experience, that paranormal romances 10+ old or older are not a good match for me and Something Darker is a stellar example of why.

The norms, standards, and expectations of the romance genres have changed in the past decade. So, I am trying very hard to keep that in mind when writing this review. But there is just no way around how very much I did not enjoy this book, even if it’s style and content were the norm 10 years ago.

As I age, I am becoming less and less tolerant of women being treated as objects and walking sex dolls in my PNR. I cringe and sneer my way through scenes of faceless women panting to give head to men as they treat them like shit. Or sitting through scene after scene after scene of rape threats, or women being given to the henchmen to be gang raped. Or villains having rough sex with women they are actively disparaging, while she is shown to be getting off despite the abuse. Or the ‘heros’ (the ostensibly good guys) talking about all the pieces of ass, or flavor of the night, or treats, or presents, or other diminishing titles when talking about the nameless and unimportant women they are going to fuck and toss aside throughout the book, etc, etc, etc.

Generally, the heroine is the only woman shown to be worthy of respect. In fact, you can often tell that she’s the hero’s ‘One,’ because she’s the exception to the women are worthless objects (read garbage) rule and the only one seen or shown as truly human in the whole book.

And so, so, so, so, so much of Something Darker is all of the above. And I just slowly lost my will to continue. In fact, I skimmed the last several chapters just to get it finished.

Add to all of that, that the book really needed another round of edits and everything and everyone was underdeveloped and I was just ready to toss the book on the DNF pile. I finished it, but just barely and not happily. I will not be continuing the series.

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