Thursday, June 21, 2012

JA Saare - The Renfield Syndrome

Rhiannon thought facing off against a deranged child vampire was the most dangerous task she would ever have to undertake, but she’s about to discover making a deal with a demon is far, far worse. Sent forward into another reality, one in which vampires are now dominating nearly extinct humans, she realizes the sooner she returns to her vampire lover, Disco, the better.
Unfortunately, time changes a lot of things; including those most trusted around her. When she’s faced with a loss and betrayal unlike any she has ever known, her focus shifts from severing the debt between the demon that wants to kill her, to exacting a revenge that will bring forth consequences she never could have fathomed. By reaching out to the darkness lingering within her, she’ll find the strength to push forward despite the circumstances that would see her dead and buried.
After all, when it’s all said and done, all that she has left to lose is her soul.

Comment (with spoilers included): Although I have previously written a too short comment on this author's first book in the Rhiannon' Law series, I still gave the idea it was a great one, and the following one was promising and I couldn't wait to get it.
Well, I finally did and it took me so long because first the author still had to write it and when it was out (already this year) I couldn't get to it right away.
Still, I hoped it would give a certain idea of what happened because my memories of that 1st book were very few after all this time. When it started I remembered immediately how it ended and I was once again curious to see what would happen. You see, in the end of the other book Rhiannon, the main character, was faced with a demon's trick and after saying a random number the demon sent her to the future, exactly the years she said...and she had picked 101. Of course this was bad and the readers were left with the cliffhanger of how would this be solved.
Now we found out.
In the future, vampires control the population because humans have weak minds and serve as food and amusement. This happened because of the Renfield syndrome, after vampires came out many people took a vaccine produced by this Renfield scientist but the components of the vaccine accelerated death and many key humans died like leaders until there were only left people who hadn't the power to rule. Oh and in the future there are werewolves too and so on... anyway, the world is a very bad place and Rhiannon's plan is to find her vampire friends to try to make out some solution. Most of the book is Rhiannon trying to dodge a pack of werewolves set on protecting her and reaching her friend Ethan and finding out how the actual person in control is a half demon and her bother, someone Rhiannon knew about in the past.

This is all very good, except I didn't like how humans and beings with no defense against vampire and demon control were treated. I know it's part of the image the author wanted to portray, to emphasize the awfulness of things but we didn't have to see it so often, in my opinion. Specially the games where werewolves chained were forced to fight each other or to rape young female werewolves in heat or something. I get it that it made possible for us to see Rhiannon make decisions and that, but I didn't enjoy it.
But this wasn't what bothered me the most.

While in the future, Rhiannon is confronted with the fact her lover Disco was killed in the past, in a very close date to when she was sent away to the future. (Of course in the past no one knew about where she went). Anyway, Disco died and that was when all the changes in the world started. So, in the future, many things happen before Rhiannon finds the solution to go back in time to save her friends and Disco. Which means she does some things that, although understandable I found sad that she did it. Ok I'll say it, spoilers ahead......................she has sex with Disco's best friend, Paine. Apparently he always has had a crush on her for a long time, never did anything because he respected Disco, blah blah, and together with the notion - at the time - that Disco was dead and had crossed to the other side, they have sex, more because of pity on her side, but still. She regrets it, feels guilty, knows Paine is hurt by her attitude, but it still happened.
Plot moves along....suddenly she has the solution and after some more demon deals - didn't someone ever tell her this wouldn't work the way people think? oh well - she goes back in time, does a great kick-a** scene which I found amazing and stops the bad demon of killing Disco.
Then, as many time has passed, he is very happy to see her, she finally admits she loves him and they go home where she plans to tell him everything that happened in the future because it's the right thing to do.

Now for the really worst thing I hated in the book. Disco is a randy vampire after so long without his mate/beloved/whatever and they go for sex as soon as they can, and Rhiannon doesn't try that had because...well, she missed him too. Short side of the story, he smells someone else on her during oral sex (sexy....not). She starts to apologize and explain and somehow he thinks she cheated on him on purpose and rapes her mind. It's one of his powers to read minds, but he doesn't read only her mind, he violates her with force and she screams and he sees everything in her life not just the sex part. In the end he kind of understands but feels bad and she goes away.
What to say..? I think this was awful. Where is the dedicated, devoted, cherished love between them? It's like these two didn't have a good relationship before, what a disappointment. That she cheated fine, but it was due to very special and unexpected conditions, but the way he behaves...I'd have accepted hurt and disdain from him, but rape? I think it was too much and it's like the personalities we cared about in the other book are no longer the same.

Then, the end of the book is Rhiannon avoiding Paine and Disco, we get why, but once again it ends in a way that's supposed to grab you and we get the notion it's important to Rhiannon to pretend she's fine with Disco because of some vampire stuff and we get the feeling she will give in - after he raped her mind. Arghhhhhhhh.
I don't know what annoys me more, that we have to see her give in - she loves him still after all - or we have to wait and then suffer some more.

All this said, it's no surprise I didn't like the book. So many things I didn't enjoy at all. I've read some sentences in her website stating how inspiring the twists in the story were, how juicy the romance was.
Have we read the same book?
Well, taste aren't for discussion, and I respect who thinks so, but I can't agree. I don't think I'll read the next one...I'm afraid of what should come out of it.

1 comment:

  1. I left you something at my blog :-)