I may have found it – the series that after only one installment it is too terrible to continue. Typically, when I quit a series it’s because I get too involved in other books and I forget about the rest of a particular series. Although when the entire series is good enough, that never happens. But, sometimes, series start to fade away. The installments become stale, the stories have stretched on too long, and the need to read the next fades into a memory and I just never get around to what is next. And sometimes, when a series isn’t very good I read all installments anyway, for various reasons.
But… I may have actually found a series where I just don’t care to read what is next. Which book, which series? Magical Tendencies by Selena Hunter.
“Celeste Woods is happy with her life. But after one swift move by fate, a deliciously gorgeous man saves her from a demon attack and she learns that her life has never been what she had believed.
After finding out that she is the queen of a supernatural realm with remarkable subjects, she wants to run away…and fast. But where would she run to? Into the arms of the incredibly sexy vampire, Solomon Ryker? Or back to the safety of her castle and her ex-husband, the handsome white warlock, Von Edwards? Or is there another choice to be made?
Celeste is torn between the past and the present–literally.
During the twists and turns along the way to making it back to safety, Celeste meets shocking characters that leave their mark on her life. Namely Leonzio Emilio Castillion, the dangerously seductive demon king that has discovered her and now wants her for his own.
What is a girl to do?”
Twists and turns abound. Without really much else. A series of twists and turns does not a story make. A bunch of characters with not the best descriptions isn’t exactly magical. And a story like this, without any real story should be a prequel, e-only, offering. (And that should tell you regular readers how much of a waste I think this is – I am suggesting it be e-book only!)
We have Celeste. Turns out she is a queen, of the Fae. And she doesn’t know it. Ok – I can deal with that. Getting her memories back and finding out that Tish has known all along because she’s involved and she is trying to protect Celeste I can deal with too. Even the story about how she does this repeatedly, that is, she has her memories wiped clean and she lives on the run I can live with. Then, she meets the vampire and the warlock and in the past she gets all her memories back when she kisses one of them. Each claims to be in love with her and each claims to be her destiny.
Then thrown in the mysterious Gabriel Running Wolf guy. And the demon. And all claim to be her destiny and that she will be the mother of their children. So what we have isn’t a love triangle, but a love pentagon? Sorry, that’s just too much to take.
Then, throw in what I hate more than anything in books. Bad time travel. Notice the adjective there. I didn’t say “time travel” but “bad time travel.” See, time travel normally makes my brain hurt. But I can live with it, and the ensuing pain, when it’s done well. And just because an author thinks of a story that involves time travel, doesn’t mean that an author does it well. Here, we have a great example of that.
Celeste all of a sudden starts time traveling. All over. And impacting events without any care or realization that there are paradoxes to worry about when talking about time travel. It comes out of nowhere, isn’t explained (the how or why), and fainting brings it on, maybe? But her body stays in the present because she, to others around her, merely appears to be out cold. So, how does that work? You know what? I don’t care. Because it doesn’t work as far as a plot device, at least not as far as this reader is concerned.
The absurd just gets more absurd. There’s a demon who kidnaps her. And traps her and the vampire. And he’s built some sort of world where a person can’t escape unless he gives permission (what the hell kind of escape happens with permission?) and he doesn’t give his permission, yet because of some other demon’s attack on the prisoners they escape anyway. I can’t figure out how all that happened or what it was about anyway.
There is so much left unanswered. And I don’t mean in a good cliff hanger kind of way. I mean dropping the not subtle at all type of hints. There is the question as to whether the color lavender, with respect to Celeste’s eyes, is important. There’s the fact that Tish seems to have all the answers but after the first few chapters she never graces the pages again. Kissing seems to bring back memories, but who does the kissing is important. So, what is really going on? All we know is that we are told the warlock has been running the kingdom since Celeste went away and everyone seems to be in love. Celeste had a dream/vision where she had a child and that is remarkable because children aren’t all that common (Nicole Peeler influence?) in this world. And everyone wants to be the baby-daddy. And then the end, well, there really is no end. It’s simply that the book has no more pages. We get the introduction to everyone and then the book is over.
So, plot is shaky. Twists and turns in the reveals of who everyone is and all the kidnapping and the vision stuff and the visit by Celeste’s daughter at the end. But in addition to plot, the rest of the writing is really, um, not good. The author has accomplished something that sounds like an oxymoron – she’s over descriptive and underdescriptive simultaneously. She’s never met an adjective that she didn’t love. And really, giving us the exact heights of the men? Really, you can’t let us imagine what tall, dark and sexy looks like – you have to specify that it’s 5’11? And, could you get an editor? Please, please, please?
Let me give an example. Here’s a description of Jack (one of her band-mates and apparently some type of royal guard too): “I snickered at that adorable expression on the 5’11” shaggy-haired musician.” Then, (and I counted to be sure) a mere four paragraphs later: “He’s a bit shaggy for my liking but he’s built like a Mack truck. His body is amazing, having brushed up against him a couple of times… He stands 5’11” and he has gorgeous coppery skin that never seems to get lighter.” How in the world did that not get edited – its duplicative and not helpful the second time around. It needed to be revised or removed. To show how height-happy the author is, we get no less than 4 more exact heights of characters – “Tisha stands about 5’3″ with a tiny little figure and a chest that would make a NFL linebacker beg for his mama, 32D I believe. She has amazingly gorgeous blond hair that flows all the way down her back and touches her butt when she wear it done.” And later, we get another character that is “about 5’11” and relatively short compared to Solomon and Von. But Solomon is 6’2″ – which we are expressly told – and a 3 inch difference isn’t exactly huge. That’s part of the danger with being so exact in height descriptions. Do we need a thesaurus for gorgeous? Is there not another way to describe an attractive person?
Besides all the point-in-time jumping and scene jumping, the writing is choppy. The relationships described are too unbelievable. Celeste kisses everyone, claiming to not like any of them, but is totally attracted to them (based on her shallow judgement of looks alone), yet she kisses everyone anyway. There is a word for women like that, and I don’t like women like that in my PNR or mystery or paranormal what-ever category that this book falls into. And the magic – not so much of it as there is the time traveling. And it all is just not very enjoyable. So, I have decided that Ritual Magic, the second in what is at least a 6-installment (planned as the author says books 5 and 6 are underway), will never be a ritual that I partake in.
For those who are interested anyway, I am not putting a page up for this series, I will just list a few things below, including the titles of the books in the series so far.
Solomon – Vampire. Head of Celeste’s guard because he saved her back when. He loves her. He also built a beach house for her. He seems genuinely like the good guy in the story. Also a king in his own right as he was a prince who’s family died and he survived (being a vampire and all).
Von – Warlock. He ran the kingdom while Celeste was gone. He seems like the power hungry guy as he never before, when she disappeared, did anything but send others to look for her. Celeste’s husband, but apparently they need to renew their vows through some ceremony every so often and they didn’t do it the last time.
Leonzio Emilio Castillion – the demon. Who happens to be Italian too.
Gabriel – His parents and Celeste’s children promised them to each other when they were children. He’a a Native American Indian Chief who says the fates say they belong together. He mentions Celeste’s mother but not father and Tisha thinks this might be important.