Top critical review
ACOTAR is nothing more than erotica
Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2018
So here I sit, having gone through the OMG ACOTAR SERIES IS AMAZING phase, and out the other end, I can sit back and think "What the actual hell?"
I'm a HUGE Maas fan, so when I found out she was writing another series, I had to have it. For the first time in a long time, my library actually got the book within a month of its release, so I checked out ACOTAR and read it in a single day. I loved it.
Books two came out, and while I was super disappointed in the pointless sex thrown in every so often and whole chapters dedicated to this nonsense, I continued reading because the story was compelling enough. And then ACOWAR emerged, and everything changed.
This was a series I read numerous times before ACOWAR came out, and I saw things that genuinely bothered me, but I ignored them (I don't even know why) until I just couldn't stand it anymore.
ACOTAR is nothing more than erotica. I feel like the series as a whole started out with plans of being some sort of "story" porn that has a kick-ass plot with "hot" scenes thrown in for whatever reason, and then it got to ACOWAR and decided it wanted to be The Bachelor or a soap opera instead.
The relationship between Tamlin and Feyre GREATLY disturbs me. She's taking care of her family and he swoops in after she accidentally kills a fae (who was disguised as a wolf int he woods where hunters hunt...) and takes her away, claiming she's going to be in trouble and damned and blah blah. No, she's pampered and given servants and pretty clothes and good food. Tamlin dresses her up like a doll and makes snide remarks when she falls short of his goals (fae goals, mind you).
Feyre is a HUMAN. Tamlin is fae. He acts like her humanity is a curse or something to hold against her, and he constantly makes remarks about how she's too fragile, too uneducated, too plain, etc. Instead of "fixing" these issues, Tamlin does nothing other than tell her what to do and not do.
He sexually assaults her after Calanmai, and in the book Feyre shows how much she does not want his advances, and he shoves her against the wall and BITES her, then tells her not to ever go against him again. How is this OK? If my husband ever did this to me, I'd kick him in the crotch and leave. This is not OK. This is not a relationship. This is abuse, which is why it disgusts me that people go on and on about Tamlin.
The fact that Feyre and Tamlin have sex at a later time after he did this makes it worse. why, Feyre, are you going to throw yourself at a man who A) Doesn't care about you based off his degrading comments and B) threatens you. Not only that, he basically blames her for a near-rape experience when he literally did nothing to look out for her and/or stop the guys who were going to attack her?
That being said, I have a lot of issues with Feyre. She gets off too easy on everything, and it's like her brain is only wired to care if the dude is hot. You take care of your family, but then you walk into Tamlin's embrace after the things he has said and done. I understand she has been abused by this, but at the same time, she could have said no. Death is a lot better than basically being a sex slave or punching bag to an immortal person determined to imprison you until you die.
She's never punished for killing a fae. Lucien and Tamlin tell her about magical creatures that could give her what she wants, and the next day she walks out and finds them...the elusive creatures...that are hard for fae to find?
Lucien is about the only well developed character, and he's too sexualized sometimes for me to take me seriously. If you keep pointing out the abs, tanned skin, or whatever on the dude, you're turning them into a slab of meat. All of the males, and truthfully the females as well, in ACOTAR are "perfect" in the idea of what today's society thinks is beauty, sexy, and amazing at everything. This is sexist on every account. Your characters become nothing more than fantasies--which is why I say this is nothing more than porn/erotica.
Sure, you can get some great messages out of this series, but is it worth all of the dung in the way? Specifically with the later books, there's too much sex at some points for it to even be OK. Please, go try to have sex that many times or for days on end and tell me how that is. if you can do that, I'm sorry, but you're either a whore or you're just kinda crazy, because that's too much.
Why I ever read this book and like it, I truthfully don't know, but I'm done with this series. I'm done with this fandom, and I'm fed up with seeing people "swoon" or make comments or even draw/like at that nude art about LITERARY CHARACTERS. Guys, seriously? This is not a book for young girls, but when I went to the first (and last) Maas event, most of the audience there were between the ages of 14-20 (predominately 15-17 years of age) and SCREAMED when Maas was mentioning SEX SCENES. I'm not going to continue to support a series that is encouraging young teens and young women to have unrealistic ideas of men as well as sexual fantasies, especially the married women who I've seen act this same way. if I were your husband, I wouldn't be able to deal with that. I wouldn't want those books in my house.
About the only good thing I have to say for ACOTAR was that there actually was a plot in this book, and it was good, if insanely slow to get rolling, and the amount of sex was fairly minimal.