Fantasy/romance writer Mona Hanna. I like kittens.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Fearscape. It was exciting, well paced, the characters were great and it had a great, strong ending. It was a really great book and had a lot of tension. I enjoyed it a lot.
I didn't like the sequel nearly as much unfortunately, although it had good parts. I found this book didn't have the same sense of tension, the same brisk pace, and although it was exciting in some places it seemed to drag sometimes. I'm not usually a huge fan of a book being set in one place for its entirety, so maybe this book wasn't a good match for me. It seemed to be one similar scene after another for a while in the middle, so I didn't enjoy the middle that much.
The biggest problem for me, however, was the illogical behavior of the characters. There's a reason for the behavior of the "white team," which is revealed later, and it's good. But I don't understand why Val and her friends, the "black team," acted the way they did.
I don't understand why Val and the others didn't recognize Gavin straight away. He grew is hair and wasn't wearing glasses anymore, however that isn't really enough to make someone unrecognizable after just a few years. Given that he was creepy and obsessed with Val, shouldn't it have been obvious straight away who he was?
I didn't understand why Val and her friends kept wanting to play the game. They didn't have the incentive of the white team, so, given they weren't having fun, why not just all leave? Or at least try to? I know Gavin wouldn't have let them just go, but why didn't they try? I get that the book would be over fast if they just up and left, but WHY NOT TRY? I couldn't understand it.
I could see what the author was trying to do, and others may find this book great. But the problems I had with the characters' behavior made it difficult for me to enjoy. Had it moved at a brisker pace, had people tried to leave but an obvious threat was presented earlier, then I would have liked it more.
But the good parts - Gavin was deliciously evil and I hated him and loved hating him. The way he spoke to Val was so delicious, his threatening behavior and the way he looked - he's an amazing villain, and the author did very well. Such a great villain! I liked that people died. I liked that there was murder and Gavin went over the edge. I liked the extra punch the murders added to the story, and that everyone didn't just walk away. The story needed blood and guts at that point, and it was delivered. Great.. I thought the ending was good. Satisfying. I liked that Val had a sexual attraction to Gavin, but she knew he was evil, and she hated feeling that way. I like that she always saw him for who he was.
So all in all, not a bad read, I had to finish it so it was interesting. Other people may love it. I'll still likely read more by this author, as I've enjoyed her other books very much.