Not all books make you want to write a glowing review or a review panning the book outright. Crimson Wind by Diana Pharaoh Francis is one of those books to me. It’s just a blah book that held a lot of potential.
I blame part of the blahness on the raised expectations that I have in my pet genre (if you don’t read my blog much, that’s the occult/paranormal fiction). Carrie Vaughn, Nancy A. Collins, and Kay Hooper books were so good that I wanted the rest of my books from my Black Bond Books and Borders trip to continue that trend. While the Caitlin Kittredge book did lower the standards some but they are still pretty lofted.
One of my biggest problems was the main character. Max, the alpha/prime shadeblade, could be either a strong alpha character with attitude for miles or the meekness of a teenager trying to find herself. I wish she was stronger but I don’t what her to be an uber-witch. She needed to have faults and a soft side but it was too soft.
I knew that this book was a sequel of some sort since it was part of the Horngate Witches series. But I didn’t read any of the earlier books. But I had a hard time finding my footing in the book without reading Bitter Night (but it would have been nice if the book would have said that BitterNight was in the same series instead of saying it was just by the same author). At times the book felt like it had developed characters and at other times it seemed like they were still being fleshed out. The book probably would have been helped if I read the first book.
I did enjoy the books action and the push/pull relationship between Alex and Max. The actions pace in the book was nice. There was a lot going on. Now I wish parts of it was better written since some of the fight scenes were written a little too quickly. But a real strength of the book was relationship between Alex and Max. It was great. They definitely had issues to work out since they were both primes (when typically there can only be one Prime so Alex had to be careful not to challenge Max). But they also got each other on a level most others couldn’t even come close.
So all in all the book was okay. It’s not stellar but it’s not bad. Definatly worth a read.