Monday, June 1, 2015

Review: Chaos and Moonlight by A.D. Marrow

Chaos and Moonlight 
by A.D. Marrow
Series:  Order of the Nines #1
Pub. Date:  May 6, 2015
Publisher:  Full Fathom Five Digital
Pages:  268
Format:  eARC
Source:  Netgalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

The Nines, an elite group of vampires, was established to stand as protection for their race. Fractured by centuries of betrayal and loss, the group is now little more than myth, its remaining members scarred and shattered.

Taris, the oldest living vampire, is no stranger to loss and heartbreak. He is all that holds the Nines together as they struggle to save themselves from total extinction.

Enter the beautiful and briliant Dr. Sarah Bridgeman, whose medical research has resulted in a breakthrough for both humans and vampires. Her work may be the salvation this weary band of guardians has been looking for.

Taris needs to reach Sarah and enlist her help—before those aligned against him can act. Can a vampire king convince a stunning young scientist to save a species that isn’t even supposed to exist?

For now, only one thing is certain: no science can explain the explosive chemistry between them.

This story had great potential, but there was waaaaaaay to much going on. Instead of focusing on a central couple, it seems like the series will be following all the characters and their relationships throughout the series. This makes for too many relationships, too many side stories, and too much skipping around. So much so, that it was utterly confusing and I felt like I was reading in fast forward and missing huge chunks of text and dialogue.

Based on the blurb, I thought this book would focus on a main couple, namely Taris and Sarah. Taris is the oldest living vampire and is trying to save his people from extinction, which is where Dr. Sarah Bridgeman comes in. So the couple has their meet-cute, and there is some pretty instant lust and attraction. But it is nothing like the whiplash we get with another couple (names withheld to prevent spoilers), who literally meets one night and is married the next day. I was dumbfounded. Obviously, by the series title, you get the hint that there are probably a group of 9 vampires or people who are working together for some common purpose. Instead of focusing on one couple/pair per book, we are getting random snippets into each group member. Unfortunately, for vampires that are centuries old, they were lacking a level of maturity that you would expect them to have. So the lack of maturity paired with the skipping around with the story prevented me from connecting with any character at all. I stayed aggravated the majority of the time.

As to the warp speed feel of the story, we first had a meeting and marriage within 24 hours. Then a centuries old medical disaster is solved within what seems like an hour or two. People are stolen from beds while vampires sleep and not one single warrior or person in the house woke up? And in some of the action/violence scenes, it seems like some of the villains just sit still and let one of the Order just walk up to them and slit their throat. It all felt very rushed.

I think there was also some editing issues - it seems like big chunks of text were missing. We are not told details of important events and the action scenes are resolved ridiculously fast. Just a small example, this is a quote at around the 79% mark:

Sarah turned to him, tilting her head. "Barely let our pulse calm down from marathon sex last night, and you are already calling me names? What gives?"

He smiled and pulled her in close to him. "It means beautiful." With a quick jerk, she was in his lap, facing him. "Because you are."
I have no idea what they are talking about here. Nowhere in the previous 5 pages does Taris call Sarah any name or use any endearment. And trust me - I looked 3x! Things like this happened several times and just added to the confusion and schizophrenic feeling of the story.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The overall story arc has potential but there needs to be more focus on the individual stories instead of trying to follow around all 9 relationships. Slow things down and don't cram it all down our throats at once.

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