Yikes! This was bad!


A review for Key to Conflict by Talia Gryphon.

I almost never write reviews because the truth is I'll read and love just about anything. This was so bad, I feel like I need to warn people.

First the writing itself was plain old bad. I'm not sure how this ever made it to a publisher. The language the characters use is inconsistent with the narrative descriptions of them, the story doesn't flow together, and it moves back and forth between genres.

Basically it's the story of a psychologist who's also a marine (Gillian). She goes and investigates a vampire in Romania (Alekesi). He's hot. His brother (Tanis) is hot. A ghost she comes in contact with is also hot. When she meets the brother at first there is all of this bickering and physical fighting between them - he even spanks her - and then they sleep together. And there's a good four or five times where their exploits are explicitly drawn out.

Meanwhile Dracula himself is preparing for a war. So they pack up and go to Egypt for like a day to meet Osiris, bring some of his vamps back to Romania and have a lot more sexual tension. Then the brother leaves for a mission and gets kidnapped. Months go by. The hot ghost - who has been seducing Gillian in her sleep - says he knows where the brother is, so she connects with her old marine pals and they speak ELVISH to each other as code and jet off to Finland and then London, run into Jack the Ripper - he's a vampire too - who's murdering people (suprise), rescue Tanis who has miraculously fallen in love with another captive, freeing Gillian to actually now admit that she loves Alekesi since there's been 200 pages of sexual tension without pay off.

And right as you think they'll finally get together, she gets called on another marine mission and the book ends.

SO the first twenty pages or so are legitimate (there's possiblity here) fantasy. Then suddenly it's a romance novel. Then it's an action novel - with way too much action and not enough of what the heck is going on. At least twenty new characters are introduced 2/3s into the book, and then it ends.

I've read bad vampire fiction - it happens. I've read the ones with no real apparent plot and too much sex, not really what I'm interested in, but they're ok. This was a total let down. The plot sucked. The sex started out ok, even if it was unrealistic, and then there's no more of it, just a bunch of crazy humans, elves, werewolves, and vampires running around talking about saving someone and NOT doing it.

If you want something sexy to read - try Sherrilyn Kenyon
If you want vampire/werewolf action - try Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, or Patricia Briggs. Save yourself and DON'T read this one.

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