Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis

Title: Bitter Night
Author: Diana Pharaoh Francis
Series: Horngate Witches series book 1
Genre: Urban fantasy (Shadowblade, Sunblade, Faery, Witch, Angels)

Max, a Prime Shadowblade, has only one wish in life, to kill her ex-friend and witch-master, Giselle. After being manipulated to leave her normal life for a life of pain, danger and darkness, Max would endure all the pain and torture just so she could get her revenge. After saving the Hag and feeding her blood in a mission, she was given a hailstone which would grant her a single wish. Max longed for her freedom. However, everything is about to change for Max. The Guardians are starting a war and they are recruiting the witches. Horngate, her home, is being threatened and it seems that the only thing that could save her home and friends is the stone. Will Max give up her freedom for Horngate?

Alexander, a Prime Shadowblade, doesn't have a life other than serving his witch. However, everything is about to change when he was given off after losing a challenge. He knows that he would experience a life of pain and torture on the hands of his new witch but he was wrong. His new Prime saved his life and gave him the chance to choose between freedom and being a part of her Shadowblade. Alexander could not believe what was happening. He also could not understand his new Prime. He owed his life to his new Prime which is why he would serve her until he dies.  

I'm quite disappointed with this book. I was seriously excited to read this one because of the plot but, as what said, I was disappointed. The problem with this book is that it has all the components of a good story, great characters, great plot, great ideas, but the author just doesn't know what to do with it. She just threw everything out the window. The first few chapters were in seriously bad condition. She was struggling with her writing, like writing her first book. I could feel the amateur way of writing of this author. It is way too naive and predictable. It's totally like the time when I tried writing but it all went down hill (Note: I'm a seriously bad writer). The scenes were jumpy and incoherent. It was like the story is moving too slow and too fast all at the same time.


The book is written in the third person point of view in both the perspective of Max and Alexander. I think if the author just made the narrative into first person with both the perspective of Max and Alexander, it would have been more effective and less confusing. There are times that you just don't know which one is the focus.

Next are the characters. What I hate the most is that when an author doesn't know how to use his/her own characters, which is totally the case for this book. The introduction of characters were excellent. There is a sense of mystery in both Alexander and Max. However, the author messed it up. Rather than maintaining their mysteriousness, most especially for Alexander, she crushed it with her feet.

I'll go to Max first. Max is supposed to be this kick-ass leader that secretly cares about the people around her. I see the caring, which is quite irritating because she already cried in the first scene, but I don't see the kick ass part. The author keeps on pushing the idea that Max is super powerful and skillful, with the use of Alexander's perspective, which is totally not the case. Max didn't even show how good she is in the book. The action part was dull and boring; it only ended with Max near dead. Also, I'm seriously having trouble grasping Max's characteristics. The author is insisting on giving her the sense of mystery but she is only confusing her readers.

Next is Alexander. Alexander was also portrayed as this bad-ass Prime but all that end after the challenge. I seriously don't know how Alexander became a Prime. He is weak and stupid. He just keeps on being shocked by the "greatness" of Max. I think the author lost her grip on Alexander because she gave all her attention to Max's "mysterious" side.

The only great thing about this book is the last few chapters. The author managed to save a little bit of her book. Like what I said, the ideas were really great by the end. Though, the writing didn't really improve that much. I'm still giving this series a chance which is why I'm going to start on the second book. I do hope that it will be better.

Rating: 2/5

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