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1.11.2010

Review: Queene of Light by Jennifer Armintrout

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Queene of Light (Lightworld/Darkworld #1) by Jennifer Armintrout
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Fae
Mass Market Paperback (MIRA BOOKS, 384 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0778326624
An unimagined destiny an undeniable passion.
In a time not long from now, the veil between fantasy and reality is ripped asunder creatures of myth and fairytale spill into the mortal world. Enchanted yet horrified, humans force the magical beings Underground, to colonize the sewers and abandoned subway tunnels beneath their glittering cities.
But even magic folk cannot dwell in harmony and soon two Worlds emerge: the Lightworld, home to faeries, dragons and dwarves; and the Darkworld, where vampires, werewolves, angels and demons lurk.
Now, in the dank and shadowy place between Lightworld and Darkworld, a transformation is about to begin....
Ayla, a half-faery, half-human assassin is stalked by Malachi, a Death Angel tasked with harvesting mortal souls. They clash. Immortality evaporates, forging a bond neither may survive. And in the face of unbridled ambitions and untested loyalties, an ominous prophecy is revealed that will shake the Worlds.

Author Site:
www.jenniferarmintrout.com

Conceptually good, but poorly executed... (3 stars)

Years after the veil between the human world and the world of the fantastical was split open the creatures of magic and myth have been cast below ground. Carving out an underworld in the sewers and tunnels of an underground labrynth the fae, trolls, dragons and other creatures have kept their own shaky balance. The creatures of the Lightworld stick to their side and the creatures of the Darkworld stay in theirs. Only in a place called The Strip do they mix and mingle, this neutral ground providing all with what is even forbidden amongst the other worlds. But this balance can't last forever. There's the prophecy about the Queene returning the fae to the world above... if only she weren't busy indulging her own petty whims.

Ayla is an assassin vituperated for her mixed blood. Half-human and half-faery she belongs to neither the world above or the world below. It is only by the grace of the faery Queene's brother, Garret, that she is able to survive among the fae. Sent into the Darkworld to slay demons she is stalked by the Death Angel Malachi. Unaware of her human blood his Immortality is stripped when he attempts to harvest her soul. She should kill him while she has the chance but something compels her to spare him. An attraction both violent and dangerous continues to lure them to one another but with court intrigue afoot Ayla may die before she can be with Malachi again.

I wanted to like this book. I really liked the basic concept for the story. The idea of the fae world (and other mythical races) clashing with the human world only to end up below ground sounded really fresh and dark. Unfortunately Armintrout doesn't deliver this plot well at all. So little is explained throughout the book that readers are left guessing as to how it happened. Because this is also a romance one would expect there to be some chemistry between the hero and heroine. Sure, classic fae characters are a bit icy but these are so icy they aren't likable and thus the romance suffers. It's more of an animal attraction and not in the good way.

The book dragged on and on never really making me care for any of the characters or even the outcome of the story threads that were established. Malachi was barely described and what was physically explained about him was cliched and boring. Ayla was seemingly naive but didn't seem to care enough to change that when she realized she was being used. The most interesting character in the book was Keller, the outcast human who helped Malachi recover when he became Mortal but he isn't in the story enough to save it from being a snorefest.

Overall the book just does not deliver a story worth me recommending it. I may eventually read the second book in this series because I do like the concept but I'd have to be pretty bored to bother.

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