I'm quite surprised that I wasn't in love with this book.
I'll applaud Mrs. Bast's world building and plot, even though at the beginning, I found the influx of information to be a little overwhelming. Reading Wicked Enchantment
taught me a bit about myself as a reader in the fact that I'm more of a purist in terms of fantasy themes. I love plots that revolve around the fey and I do my best to inhale them like a crazy woman during Girl Scout cookie season. However, if you're going to incorporate contemporary aspects and conventions such as brand names or shopping malls, the setting has to coincide with that. For example, in Karen Marie Moning's Fever
series, she blends fey themes with the modern day, but the kingdoms and faerie realms themselves are free from human influence. In the human parts of the world such as notable cities and countries, fey do exist but since they are in a human-touched area, those influences are to be expected. Am I making sense? I don't want to hear references to a Valentino gown while attending a ball in the Seelie Court. It just breaks my suspension of belief.
The main part of the book that truly irked me was the characters. Both the hero, Gabriel, and heroine, Aislinn, just felt flat to me. I never connected with Aislinn or her relationship to Gabriel. I felt she was undeserving of the awesomeness bestowed upon her and, at the end of the day; I still had a tiresome question. Did she really do
anything? The conflicts she faced with Gabriel as well as with her abilities seemed solved without much of a struggle. No blood, sweat, or tears. The problems in their own right were like mountains and most people would probably feel terribly pressured and stressed at trying to achieve a positive outcome. But in my opinion, Aislinn somehow managed to make them into molehills and the journey it took to solve each dilemma was too easy for me.
Despite my letdown, the brief glimpse into the next book centering on Emmaline and Aeric grabbed my intention immediately. I sincerely hope it's better than its predecessor, but I'm going to do my best not to count my chickens before they hatch, so to speak.