Top positive review
When Worlds Collide- You've Been Warned (for soooo many reasons)........
Reviewed in the United States on May 25, 2017
I'm not really sure how to review this one as I have pretty mixed feelings (total understatement). This is probably the first book I've ever read that instantly went from one to five stars in a blink. Let me start by saying, the first part left me pissed off and caused irreparable damage to my opinion of the characters. The second part was absolutely riveting and left me wanting more. Not much of a grey area or transitional writing here. Hutchins wasn't kidding around when she warned this book would make you want to "scream at the author" (among other things in her 'side effects' blurb). Because I did. A lot.
I kept reading the neon signs of other reviews flashing: "18+!!!" so obviously my perverse mind is rubbing its grubby little hands together going "oh goody, great sex scenes!"... yeah, that little hope died soon after I realized that along with them there's some pretty detailed gruesome scenes involving rape (mostly threats), lots of people being gutted, flayed, brutalized and all around violent shenanigans. So yeah, WARNING ⚠️ if none of that sits well with you. Well, obviously it shouldn't sit well, but you get my meaning.
It was really difficult for me to get past the first half of the book (it gets better though). I was actually pretty outraged in between wanting to throw my iPad across the room but for some reason I couldn't stop reading. Wow, the description is pretty misleading. There's nothing fun or playful about this book. Make no mistake, this is a Dark Romance. I'm not even sure 'romance ' applies- there's nothing romantic about Syn and Ryder's relationship- just an innate, insane, hate-filled attraction they fight with every fiber of their beings, in between the head games and violence obviously. There's also a pretty consistent theme of being powerless in this one which didn't sit well with me. The people Syn surrounds herself with seem to constantly take away her agency or in Ryder's case, her free will in general and she blames herself even though nothing is as it seems.
Fae have the power to take away your control and are able to rape (their description, not an exaggeration) you and feed off of you while making you beg to be tortured, stripping away your free will and your humanity, leaving you an empty shell. This isn't some: "oh, they have the ability but never use it because they have a conscience" situation, oh no....they revel in it. They use it for power, for leverage, for boredom, for fun. Sex is how they feed. They feed off emotions and essence. They even have a term for this outcome: "FIZ" (Fae Induced Zombie). Granted it's not always to that extent but apparently this is all semi normal and no one but our heroine Syn seems to care and only because she's considered "damaged"... how is any of this normal or ok either way? She witnesses this first hand as a child as they brutalize and destroy her mother and kill her father.
Now she's coerced, threatened and blackmailed on all sides to become the Dark Prince's property under contract as both Ryder and her OWN Guild force her into this contract through threat of harm toward her friends. Why does he need her? You'll have to see. She's not told any of this is for "the greater good" or a worthy cause either. You know, something worth sacrificing someone you care about over? Nope. These people are suppose to be her friends- people she'd give up everything for. All I saw at first were people who generally lied to her, kept her in the dark, tried to convince her not to make "stupid" decisions ( these were generally in protection of herself or others) while patronizing her and people who simply use her. All of them. I just don't get it. Her coven leader is abusing his power, her enemy now owns her and all the while everyone is slowly urging her into a corner of alienation and submission and she lets them. And see, here's the confusing part for me... She has the power to stop all this, and take control back but she just rolls with it because she has some sort of misguided trust in the people around her. How? Not a single person's intentions have been for her own well being or given her a genuine reason to trust them or so it seems at first. Why the hell is she still with any of these people? She lets them in because she has no one else.
And Ryder -seriously? She has this insane attraction to this guy when 99% of the time, he is literally threatening to rape her (he never does, surprisingly and thankfully), demonstrating his ability to remove her free will to just prove her insignificance, or generally just trying to eff with her head (and not in a playful cat and mouse kind of way either)....Oh, but he's just so handsome, with such sexy lips....Get a grip! I truly wanted to pop right on in and punch her...if I didn't already feel sorry for this girl. Their relationship develops as each tries to fight the other's nature and their own. Except he's so much more than he pretends to be. I can't really say more because they're still not "together" by the time this ends. These two seriously need counseling!!
Somehow (not really sure how or when) the story takes a 180 and all of a sudden, her friends are there for her, Ryder's not really such a bad guy after all(err maybe even worse)- they're actually perfect together (never thought I'd think that...ever) and the book starts to pick up with this insanely riveting developing story and ensuing relationships how it SHOULD have been since the beginning imo. I calmed down a bit after this drastic change in 'schitzo character development land' and realized something HUGE was going on but jeez! SOME of their behavior can be attributed to the events that follow once the thread starts to unravel and more is revealed but certainly not all. Just makes my head spin and can't detract from first impressions. But by the end, my traitorous conscience had abandoned me completely because it was so soooo epically good! Pretty sure this book is turning me into a masochist....
And on that note....now I want to read the next one asap.
The writing itself: the world and character building are excellent (even if I don't always agree with said characters) and moves at a fast-clipped pace. What I can't stand: short, succinct paragraphs-If you can call them that- Note: a paragraph has 5 sentences or more at a MINIMUM. Double spaced separation of short blurbs in a full length novel really just disrupts the flow. I couldn't get use to it even after 400+ pages.