November 6, 2013

Review: Autumn Whispers

Autumn Whispers
Autumn Whispers by Yasmine Galenorn

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book was horrendously disappointing.

I say this as someone who considers Yasmine Galenorn to be one of her favorite authors, and the Otherworld series a Buy-On-Sight. But the last book, Haunted Moon, gave me the uneasy feeling that the series had jumped the shark...and this book confirms it.

Where to begin with this? It's a mess. An absolute mess. There are so many plot twists, stuffed in with a seemingly haphazard, incoherent hand, it's a wonder the book's spine isn't bulging. The characters are rushed from crisis to crisis, with no room for them (or the reader) to breathe, think or move. There is a war (more like a holocaust), several heartbreaking deaths, a fire that burns one character's bar to the ground, a missing-persons case, a nest of nasty beasties that has to be destroyed, a new character that is apparently going to be the next (but not the worst, Big Bad--that one is still waiting in the wings), and to top it all off, not one, not two, but three babies are born.

There is enough happening here for three books. It's too much. The pacing is terrible--it's just pedal-to-the-metal all the way through, with no time to slow down and absorb what is taking place. Character development is, out of necessity, given short shrift: as in, there's almost none. Part of the problem with this is something I've complained about before: while the world is wonderful, rich and detailed and marvelously layered, there are simply too many characters. We don't need any more Elder Fae, enemies, lovers or husbands to keep track of. When I have to keep checking the glossary in the back to remember who this person is supposed to be, that's a sign the cast needs to be pared down.

The most maddening thing about this book, though, is the fact that nothing is resolved. There is no proper ending, just a three-page sex scene. While that's not a bad thing in and of itself, it sure as hell doesn't lead to a satisfying reading experience. I reached that chapter and turned the page, expecting something to happen with the zillion other storylines, but no. I wanted to shout: "That's it? You've got to be kidding me."

Unfortunately, the author didn't appear to be joking.

Of course, that means this unholy mess will spill over into the next book, which (according to the series' regular sequence) will feature Menolly, one of my favorite characters. I'm weeping for her already, because this debacle has made me far more wary of buying the next book.

Please, Yasmine. Don't do this. You've got a wonderful world here, and a good story. Don't ruin it.

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