[474]: Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout

DSC_0807GOODREADS SUMMARY | Self-Published | Paperback, 371 pages | Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


Refried beans.

Have you ever heard of refried beans? I gotta tell you, the first time I’d seen it on a menu, I had to try and hide the grimace on my face. I mean, who wants to eat leftover beans that had been recycled to make it more palatable? It seems suspect to me.  When it arrived on my plate, however, it didn’t look nearly as bad as I’d first imagined it. In fact, it was actually quite tasty.

At the risk of sounding like an asshole, it’s as close as I can describe how I feel whenever I hear the frantic buzz of a new JLA book. I have a predisposition to judge it based on previous experiences with her books.

She’s one of those authors who’d found her specific writing niche. So comfortable in fact, that she’s become stagnant, in my opinion. I don’t care whichever way you sell her characters. To me, they’re cut from the same cloth. And this is what I mean when I compare her books to refried beans. But after Wicked, I can at least admit it to myself that maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge until I actually had a “taste” for them, eh?

Confession:

I had a bit of a bad personal experience with JLA’s publisher that I’d rather not share. Needless to say, I’ve been so stupidly using that as a fodder for not reading her books. Call it maturity, but I think I’m ready to forget, and give them another go.

I’ve read the initial books to a couple of her popular series and have loved them. I couldn’t, however, garner up enough motivation to continue on. I attempted to read the sequels, but after a few chapters, I gave up on them. To me, the maddening He-Men that so many of her fans have loved lent for a teeth-gnashing, stressful reading experience.

The alpha-male has left the building.

I think one of the reasons why I relatively enjoyed this one is because the over-aggressive love interest was absent. Ren is the opposite of every guy that I’ve known from her books. He’s not moody; he doesn’t sulk when he doesn’t get what he wants. Nor does he tell Ivy what to do. In other words, he’s not an asshole. That being said, Ren didn’t really incite heart palpitations. And before you tell me to make up my mind, I’ll have you know that men who tell their women what to do annoy me to no end. So Ren being the anti-JLA hero is not the reason why he didn’t make my heart sing. He was just…unremarkable.

They’re all the same to me.

I can’t say there is anything remotely original about the paranormal elements in this book. If you’re a regular reader of books that feature fae creatures, I say you’re already quite versed with the world JLA has created. It’s the usual thing: an elite, covert group of humans trained to kill all encroaching fae is suddenly faced with their biggest challenge yet. One by one, their kind is being hunted, bludgeoned and killed in a way that suggest all their training is no longer sufficient if they ever have any hope in hell in protecting the world from these creatures. There was fae royalty; a gateway they need to close. Even the twist was predictable, as is the conflict in the romance aspect of the book.

However,

that’s not to say the book wasn’t interesting. I still found it enjoyable, and engrossing. Though, that probably has to do with me being an occasional reader of this sub-genre. Regardless of how I felt about this book, I am curious enough to see where the author is going to take her readers. And as predictable as it may seem, I’m keeping hope that she’ll manage to wow me in the end.