Friday, August 19, 2016

Lyn Benedict - Sins and Shadows

Sylvie Lightner is no ordinary P.I. She specializes in cases involving the unusual, in a world where magic is real-and where death isn't the worst thing that can happen to you.
But when an employee is murdered in front of her, Sylvie has had enough. After years of confounding the dark forces of the Magicus Mundi, she's closing up shop-until a man claiming to be the God of Justice wants Sylvie to find his lost lover.
And he won't take no for an answer.

Comment: This is another of the many books I've collected through the years, mostly PNRs and UFs because I had this notion most books within these genres would offer adventures along with amazing romances filled with tension and emotions. I keep hoping the next book is my next big finding in terms of series I an be in love with. Apparently, this was still not it.

This is the story of Sylvie Lightner, a PI who specializes in the paranormal and the weird in a world where magic exists and different types of beings walk among humans.
Sylvie's problems begin when a god asks her help to find his missing lover. Sylvie was on the verge of closing down her business after the death of an employee but the apparent new god of justice has strong arguments to push Sylvie into accepting. From that moment on, is enemy after enemy, death after death and Sylvie knows she might not be on time to help and demand payment...

After pushing through the more than 300 pages of this story, I need to say I agree with any other reviewers who said this is too depressing. Is UF a synonym of anger and/or anguish? I suppose conflicts and imagination matter in books labeled UF but does everything need to be dark and negative? I can understand why this tone would work for the story presented, as does for many others, but it gets tiring after a while to see things go wrong, to see things become sad or close to hopeless and then the end can't justify all the invested time either. 

If only the characters were so amazing one could overlook that, but sadly I also think Sylvie was more annoying than strong and decided.
I didn't particularly like her. Sylvie was determined yes, but most of her choices and actions were things I couldn't simply defend or share. I'm not saying she should be a defenseless but lucky heroine but nothing in her personality made me feel happy she would succeed or sad she went through so many strikes against her. 

The plot was interesting, the world interesting but again, too sad and dark. Is life only about tones of dark? I can understand this but the characters had personal lives, didn't they have good moments, something to makes us feel more in tune with them? I think the story misses out without more positive things to balance all the rest. The way things were presented, despite the intriguing elements such as the magical rituals, the different gods and types of people and what they could do, I still got the feeling I should worry about Sylvie but I was irritated each time she was the focus (which was a lot of time, obviously) and only looked at how many more pages I had to go through.

I think this book has interesting elements yes, but to me the execution wasn't what I expected. I really thought I'd get much more realistic emotional development but it was all about anger and hurt and justice and payback... nothing wrong with that but it's not the sort of things I want all the time. Again, to me there's no balance.
The end was so so. I get it but at the same time why couldn't things be easier or have hints of happiness? Is it only to make us read more to find out? If so, for me it's one less series because just the idea of having to go through all this again..

All in all, an interesting book, interesting elements and details but the characters were so annoying it got more and more tiring to keep reading. I was curious about certain things but for the most part what happened in the book got me more annoyed than glad I read it. One less series o worry about.
Grade: 5/10

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