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DNF Review: Initiation + Excerpt

my thoughts in a few sentences: Despite the fun setting of a boarding school chockfull of paranormals roaming about, and the one romantic interest that intrigued the hell out of me, I couldn't endure a heroine who pretty much posed as a nuisance at every turn and continue with the confusingly plotted story line, in which we are thrust into the story with little introduction and background information, wholly expected to understand what's going on with very little clues to work with. Even if that were all, there is only one character in the story that pulled any interest out of me and the rest fell flat to my estimation, striking me with slight interest, a mild curiosity that wasn't enough to propel my reading pace.

hooking first line:"Trust No One. The wooden plaque hanging over the bed couldn't be any more in-your-face. "

Rating: Did Not Finish | Self-Published • Blog Tour • Paranormal Romance • 12/25/11 • $14.99

Note: This will not a be a full-length review given that I'm simply discussing my reasons for giving up on the story.

Welcome to Bonfire Academy!

Set in the foothills of the alpine mountains in St.Moritz, this exclusive private school caters to a special kind of student. Enter at your own risk... but if you are human, you may not want to enter at all.
I really wanted to like Initiation by Imogen Rose. Gleaning from the surface, Initiation has everything I like in a paranormal read: amazing cover, tough heroine, boarding school setting, and a wide variety of paranormal creatures. And because the latter really stuck out, I lasted longer than I thought I would (stopped at 200 pgs) despite the irritatingly puzzling opening and my almost on-first-sight dislike of the main character, Cordelia.

Cordelia is quite the puzzle, and not the enjoyable kind. For instance, one moment she'll be thinking about how much she adores her boyfriend of a couple of years and the next thing, she's suddenly making out with another guy. However sexy the guy (a faery named Jagger! *swoon*), I just couldn't dig that quality in her. Rose tried to explain this based on a synchronization process, an instantaneous and unexpected blending of hearts. At first, I thought, GREAT. When Cordelia proceeds to go on with her boyfriend as if nothing happened, though, then entertains fantasies of wanting to undress our very hot, agressive faery and, at a few points, manages to live out those fantasies with him, going behind her boyfriend's back, free from guilt or remorse... That's just not an attractive quality, a facet of a main character that didn't shine anywhere else. There's an explicit difference between a smart, wrenching love triangle and a two-timing relationship with both guys. It just didn't sit right in my stomach.

As we proceed with the plot, it becomes difficult to accept this new reality we've been pulled into. Suddenly, we find ourselves in a random boarding school for paranormals in Switzerland with basically no real basis of understanding. Because Cordelia is a returning to student, we're living in her perspective, encountering people she already knows and places she's already visited, and are expected to comprehend and accept the loose and lacking explanations of everything that is happening. It's tiring to have to untangle what the heck is going on and attempt to process events as they're happening the entire time we're reading. I myself actually glanced back at the title page and so forth to double check I was reading the first book in the series.

More over, the characters held little interest. They tipped precariously between unrealistic and dull, giving me yet another reason to refuse to go on with Initiation, as it continued to fail at impressing me. The paranormal aspects are the best part, of which I was eager to learn more about, but, unfortunately, not eager enough to want to keep up with the rest of the story.

“Well, Cordelia, are you glad to be back?”
“Yes. Why did you ask for me?”
“Ah, straight to the point.” His eyes narrowed into slits. “Very plucky. Most would have the sense to be more fearful and not ask questions,” he growled softly.
I held my breath, controlling my instincts. A snarl was always a signal for me to transform. But, I held back, on full alert.
“I was told that about you. And that’s one of the reasons you’re here. You’ve been appointed as a mentor.”
It was my turn to smirk. I got to my feet. “I can’t be appointed anything. Thanks for thinking of me, though. I guess it’s some kind of honor. But, no thanks.” I made my way to the door.
And crashed right into Jagger’s chest. I should have anticipated his move; lightning-fast location transfer was something covered in the first semester. I clumsily stepped back, then met his darkened gaze.
He lowered his head, brushing his nose along my neckline, breathing me in. I stood dead still, letting my fingers fuse. I shivered as his lips found my right ear, his every breath forming icicles against my skin. Then, he touched my fused fingers.
“Easy, demon princess. Relax.”
I boiled over with anger. Who the fuck did he think I was? Some silly human girl who’d melt under his pathetic attempt at intimidation? Not so.
“Step back, and I will.” My words were supposed to come out in a firm demonic growl, but instead, they slithered out in an unfortunate raspy whisper.
He chuckled under his breath and took a half step back. He needed to be taught not to mess with demons. Slapping the smirk off his face would be too much of a cliché. My mischievous demon instincts took over.
As the corners of his lips curled into a leer, I jerked up my arm and swiftly wrapped my fingers around the back of his neck, pulling his face down to mine. His eyes widened in surprise, but he made no move to resist as I stood on tiptoes and roughly parted his lips with mine. I kept my eyes wide open, gazing into his, as I explored his mouth, drinking him in. He yielded under my touch. The kiss became more and more fervent, until a surge of hot and cold, of terror and excitement, zapped through me–and him, by the surprise on his face–leaving us shocked and unable to move. Our eyes remained locked together as we stood suspended in time.
Jagger looked as dazed as I felt. His eyes searched mine, but I had nothing to offer, no explanation. Then, it hit me. Dad had mentioned the extremely rare phenomenon. I raked through my mind, trying to remember what he had said.
Listen for his heartbeat, synch with it.


Natalie @ Mindful Musings said...

Good characterization is a must for me, so I'm not sure whether I'll be picking this one up or not. Also, I'm not sure if I could ever get the song "Moves Like Jagger" out of my head if I was reading this book! Lol. :)

Asher_Knight said...

Same goes, and it killed me to try reading through less than interesting ones. *LOL* I didn't even think of that, but I can see that sticking in someone's head, like you. :D

Hrose2931 said...

If it's called Initiation, shouldn't she be new to the school? Or I guess she's being initiated into something you didn't read far enough to find out about. What is she kissing right now? That's not the fairy is it? So a third guyish thing? She gets around.  The cover makes this one look really good. I saw it on the bottom of your page and thought I'd look into it. But flat characters I cannot overlook and cheating girls with no conscience does nothing for me. Glad I read your review.


Asher_Knight said...

 Well, she isn't the newbie, but she's a mentor to this demon princess who IS new to the school, an Initiate. She's with her boyfriend who is a fellow a demon, and the guy she's not sure she should be with, though she finds herself drawn to making out with him, is a faery. The cover is gorgeous! I'm a total character girl, so this one didn't work for me for that reason.

Sam @ Realm of Fiction said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I'm unsure about this but it's interesting to hear what you think of it. There is only so much confusion I can tolerate in a book before losing focus and becoming completely lost. But I do like the premise for this book - a boarding school full of paranormals sounds like my type of thing. 

rogier said...

bummr it was a dnf
the covr is okish
i 'll pass

Natalie @ Mindful Musings said...

It was totally in my head for like an hour after I read this post! Lol.

Asher_Knight said...

I really like the cover. But this story was totally not for me. :(

Asher_Knight said...

 EXACTLY. I was so confused, for so long. I couldn't stay concentrated for long. The premise is what initially pulled me in, but it wasn't enough to sustain my interest. :(

Mimi Valentine said...

Aww! I hate it when you really want to like a book but can't force yourself too, and I'm really sorry that this was one of those DNF books for you. :( This book sounds like it had a lot of potential, but when I dislike the main character, it always ruins a book for me too! A likable main character can make up for an okay storyline, but it doesn't work the other way around haha. x)

Still, even though you couldn't finish this book,. you still wrote an amazing honest review for it, so thank you so much for that, Asher! :) <3

Asher_Knight said...

Yeah, that's like the worst feeling ever. I wanted to keep going, really, but it was just NOT working for me. And it did have potential but, after a while, my face was mostly like:


Rebecca (Kindle Fever) said...

Oh no! That's quite disappointing you couldn't finish it; it definitely sounds quite awesome! Characters holding little interesting doesn't sound promising, but I admit I'm still curious. Perhaps even more, for some unknown reason! I hope I can pick it up soon for a try myself. Great review.

Alexis said...

The book is amazing. I think it is absurd to publish a review without finishing a book.

Alexis said...

The book is incredible. Not confusing!

Asher Knight said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it. A DNF review for me, which I've now retitled to a DNF Explanation, is a post to tell my readers why I couldn't and didn't finish the book. So it's not EXACTLY a review. And keep in mind that not everyone has the same opinions as you. ;D