Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Audiobook Review: Hidden Blade by P. DaCosta

Series:     Soul Eater #1
Pub. Date:Oct 11, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Paul Woodson
Length:4 hrs 49 min
Source:Publisher

I am a huge urban fantasy fan, and have run through the majority of urban fantasy authors on my TBR. So I have been trying to branch out and find a new one. Pippa DaCosta writes several different urban fantasies so I have tried a couple of hers... but so far none have grabbed me.  

This story had good potential as I don't feel the mythology aspect with the Egyptian deities has been overdone as a trope/subject. Unfortunately, this story didn't work for me either. I didn't feel like there was any world building. Everyone is just somewhat plopped down into New York with occasional trips to the Underworld. Why are the Egyptian deities in NYC? I wanted an explanation of the world, how they came to be in New York, descriptions of the setting (particularly the Underworld), an explanation of the relationship dynamics between characters, etc. Instead, there was a lot of telling and not enough showing.

Ace Dante is the nameless one, kicked out of the Underworld for some reason. I don't think we were ever told why he was ousted... if we were, I must have been zoned out. Ace is a cursed souleater with mommy issues, and now drama with the ex-wife. I usually dig the broody alpha male characters, but I didn't care much for Ace. He did have a little depth and some conflicted emotions, but I didn't connect to his character at all. I did like Ace's ex-wife, Bastet, Queen of Cats, and Goddess of Warfare. Her followers are being killed all over Manhattan, and she has asked for Ace's help. This has really divided Ace's attention between Osiris' machinations and Bastet's demands for assistance. I would have liked to see more cohesion between these two plotlines as I don't feel like either one was developed fully.

Osiris and Isis are definitely interesting characters with lots of mythological meat to dig into. However their mythological history didn't seem to be tied into the story. They were portrayed as callous, megalomaniac, depraved gods without any contribution to society or the world in general. I would have liked to see more of the deities' legendary characteristics woven into the story. With the shallow caricatures they played, you could have changed the names to Hades and Menthe and I don't feel like the story would be that different. 

The story does end abruptly, I suppose with an eye toward developing further as the series progresses. I don't think I will be continuing with this one. My enthusiasm for the story never rose to the level of "meh" and the story of under 5 hours seemed to drag on forever. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this audiobook that I received from the publisher, Tantor Audio.