Thursday, September 28, 2017

GA Aiken - Bring the Heat

I, Aidan the Divine, am . . . well, divine. My name was given to me by the Dragon Queen herself! I’m a delight! Cheerful. Charming. And a mighty warrior who is extremely handsome, with a very large and well-hidden hoard of gold. I am also royal-born, despite the fact that most in my family are horrendous beings who don’t deserve to live. And yet, Branwen the Awful—a low-born, no less—either tells me to shut up or, worse, ignores me completely.
I’ll admit, I ignore Aidan the Divine because it annoys him. A lot. But we have so much to do right now, I can’t worry about why he keeps staring at me, or why he always sits so close, or why he keeps looking at me like he’s thinking about kissing me. We have our nations to save and no time for such bloody foolishness . . . no matter how good Aidan looks or how long his spiked tail is. Because if we’re going to win this war before it destroys everything we love, we’ll have to face our enemies together, side by side and without distractions. But if we make it out alive, who knows what the future will hold . . .

Comment: This is the 9th installment in the Dragon Kin series by author GA Aiken. I think this is probably the one I've disliked the most simply because I didn't feel much connection between everything that was happening.

In this book we have a story mostly focused on Aidan and Branwen, two recurrent characters from the series. They are brought together due to a mission but soon see themselves in all sorts of adventures trying to help Keita (Branwen's cousin and a protagonist of a previous book) reaching a certain point although her task isn't always clear.
I think that, no matter how easily one might read this, it's not advisable to read out of order. The plot is too mixed up with what happened previously in other books that a newcomer might feel this makes no sense.

What made me addicted to this series was how, in the first book, despite the differences between humans and dragons, Annwyl and Fearghus still fell n love and proved they could be together. Then his closest brothers were part of the story and they too had their own romances with human women. Then we had stories featuring dragons as key characters but always the bonds between humans and dragons was there. Then new characters were introduced, new "species" if one can say that...and with time and each new installment, things progressed to a point I no longer recognize these books as romances.

In this specific book I just think there no other factors or details to make think differently or that let me switch my attention from that idea, that things aren't as balanced and connected as before.
I don't usually mind multi plots, having information about several characters, as a sort of status report to see what they are doing. The most recent books have showed this a lot.
What now truly bothers me and why I graded this story less than all the others is the lack of caring and compassion, feelings the first books had. Were they mostly weird characters? Always. But they expressed themselves in a way I could empathize and accept.

Now I just feel everyone is as crazy, violent and uncaring as possible, both in their personal romantic relationships and in treating others. I've always known and accepted family members play with one another, treat each other with some mocking but deep down they love one another and that showed somehow. Now, however, it seems the point is to just be as fun and crazy as possible. Every scene seems to be as violent as the characters can be and they show no remorse unless a close family member is in danger. I just miss the -let me use this word - more "human" side of these characters, their softer emotions, that almost vulnerability to one another the first books showed.
So, no, I don't mind the craziness nor the multi POVs but... it seems the stories are no longer focused on the romance nor the relationships and it just feels sad.

As for plot purposes, it was nice to see many situations solved. There are still some secrets but if no other book came, I'd feel happy anyway with the way things ended.
I know this is not meant to be a serious book but when comparing, I just feel the first one was the best ever and I miss the feeling.
Grade: 6/10

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