Sunday, 6 October 2013

Book Review: Released by Mia Fox

 The discovery of an ancient bottle unleashes a Genie - and the wrath of the Demon Gypsies chasing her...

When Suzette (“Suki”) is released from her bottle by two teen girls, she is more than a bit surprised that a Genie of her calibre is beholden to two average high school students. After dealing with dignitaries and noblemen, however, she believes this will be a welcome break.

Until she discovers the teens’ hidden powers and that one will come to possess the Amulet of Pollox, a necklace that contains the secrets from some of the greatest minds throughout history. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one who notices. The Amulet draws the attention of the two powerful and vengeful Demon Gypsies who have pursued Suki through time and will stop at nothing to snatch the girls and the Amulet.

Suddenly, Suki is not just helping the girls navigate high school crushes, she’s safeguarding them from danger unlike anything they’ve ever known. To make matters more complicated, she must also fight her attraction to James - her protector through the ages - whose sudden arrival threatens her resolve and her heart. 

A time-traveling Genie and her unrequited love...

Demon Gypsies with an insatiable quest for power...

And the teen girls whose existence threatens them all.


My review:
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Suki is a Genie and is released from her bottle by two teenage girls just as her oldest enemy arrives in town seeking to destroy the three of them before they can fulfil an ancient prophecy.

I wanted to like this book because I loved the idea of it and I don't see too many Genie or Djinn novels around, so I wanted to read this. Sadly it fell way below expectations on too many levels and it was a struggle to finish it. It was not badly written-by that I mean the author is not terrible, I just didn't like the way it was all presented.

Firstly, I did not like the style of the book or the way the story was being told. It was full of huge info dumps in the form of stories told by Suki, Phin and James, some of which were totally unconnected to the point of the story. If the plot centres around the two girls releasing her, why do we care if she helped Jack Nicholson get the role in Easy Rider or if she slept with Christopher Columbus or the guy who painted American Gothic? The plot seemed to be more about Suki's great historical adventures and her sex life through the ages than the advertised story that I wanted to read. When we were following other characters the POV got screwed up. Phin was in his car driving so we are seeing what he is thinking about a future with Charlotte, then halfway through the next sentence, Suki is narrating his thoughts! Here is the passage:

'..but the way she looked at him gave him hope in himself. He knew that I must have warned her off..'

Sorry but two narrators in one sentence does not work for me. If we are following Phin here, he should be referring to Suki by name. If Suki was so clever that she could narrate his mind then she would have known his intentions towards Charlotte and Raven's evil plans and would be one step ahead of them. So, no, doesn't work!

There was too much telling instead of showing which is annoying and slows down the book. There is also too much chat and repetition. Raven and Phin keep talking about their master plan every few chapters but don't seem to do anything about it. Raven constantly has the same conversation about her jealousy evey chapter but it's not moving the story on because we know how she feels already. The constant history lessons, Suki and James seducing each other, Raven seducing Phin, Phin seducing Charlotte, Ryan and Josh chasing both girls...it was all so slow and took the story away from the so called main plot of why these girls were picked to release Suki. That was remembered for the very end of the book where it was squeezed into a small section to set up the cliffhanger for book 2. By that time I was disengaged from the book and wasn't really caring what happened to anyone.

I liked Samantha but she was vastly underused in this book as the author was too busy promoting Charlotte and the adventures of Suki and James. Suki as a Genie did not seem to possess much power or common sense. Leaving the girls unprotected so she could keep seeing James was hardly the actions of a great protector. The way she kept saying that Phin and Raven were siblings bugged me as well. That would hardly put Charlotte off! She should have been telling Charlotte that the two were lovers from the start and nipping it in the bud! Charlotte was also pretty dumb with her obsession with Phin despite his demon gypsy roots and the warnings from Suki and Samantha.

This book had great potential story wise but I feel that the author deviated too much from this plot for other less interesting things. I would not be interested in reading the next book in the series and can only give this 2 stars.
star rating photo: Two Star Rating 2stars.png

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