Sunday, December 29, 2013

Review: Broken Dove by Kristen Ashley


Title: Broken Dove
Series: Fantasyland #4
Author: Kristen Ashley
Release Date: 27th December, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Cliffhanger: No

Far too young, Apollo Ulfr lost Ilsa, his wife, the love of his life and the mother of his two children. The grief of her loss does not settle in his soul, it solders to it. But when he discovers there is a parallel universe where his wife may have a twin, he feels there's hope and sets about bringing her to his world so he can have her back.

But Ilsa Ulfr of our world is married to the parallel universe's twin, Pol, who is not a good man. Not in any way. She's on the run from him and the last thing she wants is to be transported to a fantastical world and be forced to take his side as his wife, even if he is not Pol. And Apollo finds the broken, bitter Ilsa nothing like his beloved and he further wants nothing to do with her.

But darkness is looming and evil is amassing. Apollo must protect his land and keep his family safe, including the new Ilsa.

I was very thrilled to read another book in Fantasyland series, series that is not only extremely romantic and sensual but also magical. Every previous book was unique, spectacular and fairy-tale like, yet it wasn’t too sugarcoated. Unfortunately, this time I was left unsatisfied and disappointed. I craved way much more than I was given, which made me bitter and mad.

In the fourth installment of Fantasyland, previous main characters are getting ready for war with Baldur and she-god Minerva. In the dark times that came to the parallel universe the love between three couples we already met only grows stronger.

At the same time when they are living theirs happily ever after, Apollo Ulfr is still nursing his bleeding heart. After his wife died almost five years ago, living him and the children, Apollo can’t come back to live. When he learned about parallel universe, where twin of his dead wife still lives, Apollo wanted to get her to Notherlands. No matter the price.

But Ilsa of the other world is completely different that his beloved, departed wife. After years of living in constant fear, she is not the woman Apollo craves. Ilsa after being repeatedly abused by her husband Pol (Apollo’s twin) has problems with trust and opening her heart again.

Broken Dove was too long. As first book in this series, Wildest Dreams, Kristen Ashley went a little bit crazy with page count. In consequence, the novel started to be boring and very much similar to other books in the series. I was under impression that there was nothing new happening between Apollo and Ilsa that would make Broken Dove refreshing and impressive. Some situations were the exact same as in previous novels. Maybe it’s because I’ve recently read them, but I just couldn’t close my eyes and pretended it didn’t happen earlier.

When the action completely slowed down or died, author started throwing in pages about how perfect Frey and Finnie’s, Lahn and Circe’s and Tor and Cora’s life was. Showing the men with children, women with children, other people with their babies and how sweet and cute every one of them was, started to irritate me. At the beginning, I was of course swooning with Ilsa, but after some time I wanted to yell ‘enough of this already’.

What else was frustrating was the countless times author highlighted how perfect Ilsa was. How men looked at her. How she almost ‘floated’. How many of them fell in love with her. In my opinion, Ilsa was the most boring and unimpressive of the girls. She was a great example of Pollyanna.

I won’t be beating around the bush. I wanted, no I expected fireworks. I wanted to swoon, laugh, cry and be turn on, and while these things still happened, I wasn’t satisfied with frequency of them. And that is a definite shame.

Overall, Broken Dove isn’t the prettiest gem in Fantasyland series. As much as I liked this book, I didn’t love it. Not like the previous books. I wished for more, and my expectations weren’t met. Still, I will be waiting like a love sick puppy for the next part in this completely mesmerizing tale.

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