Monday, February 20, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: THE ABIDING BY B.C. MORIN


The Abiding
B.C. Morin

Published: 2017 by B.C. Morin (Self Published)

Genres: New Adult, Vampires, Romance, Sexual Scenes, Drama, Fantasy, Mild Steampunk, Historical (Victorian Era), Europe (England), Paranormal, Werewolves, Nephilim, Murder, Assassinations

Rating: 4.3 stars

Purchased at: File given for honest review

Note: With detailed sex scenes, I'd rate this as New Adult verses Young Adult. The main characters are over 18 as well, lending to the NA categorization.

Overview:
Opening the door to her farmhouse after hunting for dinner, Emeline Huntley finds the one thing she never expected in their quiet countryside- her entire family murdered.

In Victorian London, plans have been put into motion to create the ultimate weapons. William Rathbone and his group of scientists have managed to isolate the strengths of three creatures that have lived under society’s nose for centuries. Armed with his new tonic, Rathbone heeds to a prophesy that a certain group of children born, will be able to transform into this new breed of humans.

Controlled by clockwork collars with hidden blades sharp enough to cut through bone, The Abiding must follow their new master and his vindictive desires, or pay with their own lives.

While one other prisoner seeks to only protect her, another will stop at nothing to prove to Emeline that she must join him, if they are ever to leave the grasp of their creator. Now Emeline must decide whether she can see through her master's plan of revenge, in the hopes he will someday free her, Nathaniel and the others or join Alexander and rid herself of the very man who killed her family and turned her into a monster.
 


Review:
When B.C. asked me if I'd read her new novel with vampires, werewolves and a bit of nephilim, I said, "YES PLEASE!" Yum, yum, yum...



The book starts off with Emeline finding her family murdered and her dying sister telling her to run because the attackers were after her. So she takes off for the woods. B.C. draws a vivid and emotional picture of her shock, anger and confusion. 



 Enter Nathaniel. Swoon. I love you Nathaniel. Loooooovvvvvveeee you, my precious......


He was everything you'd want in a protagonist. Strong, caring, determined, handsome, selfless. He had been through the same terror and horror at finding his family dead and is immediately taking charge and seeing to her needs first. Then, when they are imprisioned and going through the painful mutation process, he's caring for her, encouraging her and motivating her to hang on. Fang girl moment.


The best part of the book for me was when they were in the dungeons. I liked Emeline and loved the rest of the characters. Yes, it was probably the most morbid, terrifying and angering part of the whole story, but to me.... it was the most emotionally connecting. It was the best writing in the book. The tension and emotions were running high. When they finally make it through the process, they find they have been given the modified blood of a vampire, a werewolf and a nephilim for a nefarious purpose. Rathborne wants to use them as assassins as well as take over the world. They had all the powers, with none of the hindrances. Emeline had always had some fighting and knife skills, but she turned into a ninja. She would have been an awesome Navy Seal...


The pacing slows down considerably at this point in the story. As they trained, her relationship with Nathaniel started to grow. But something happened 
(I can't give you any spoilers) and as she changed her relationships, all I could think was, "What is your problem?" 


I felt sympathy for her, and cried with her. Then she flipped her feelings like a switch and any and all connection I had with her went up in smoke. Her actions throughout the rest of the book confused me and left me wondering if she thought of anyone other than herself, despite her words. How she treated the others, how she just went along with good old Rathborne, it just made me roll my eyes.


She was forced to use her beauty in acquiring her targets, forcing her to be sexually assaulted. Rathborne and another Doctor sexually molested her, and she would immediately turned to her current love and talk sexual innuendos? That set my hair on fire.


As someone who has been sexually molested, that did not sit well with me. You aren't going to smirk and talk sex with your boyfriend IMMEDIATELY after being molested by someone else. Unless you are an unhinged person. It was the most unrealistic part of the whole book (and yes, I know that it IS a paranormal book). 

The other aspect of the book that confused me was the steampunk aspect. It wasn't clearly defined as other steampunk novels I've read. The clothing in particular was disorienting to me.

I enjoyed the interactions with the original werewolf and vampire. It would have been nice to have that aspect of the book enriched and expanded. I felt that would have lent more meat and depth to the overall story. The Nephilim aspect could have been further developed.

There was a scene during the last pages of the book that left me wailing like Gollum after loosing his "Precious".... 


I can't say what it was, because... spoilers... What I can say was it slayed me. As for Emeline, she continued to display this odd, disturbing emotional imbalance. I would have been racked with guilt, loss, and self recriminations. She was like, "Oh, too bad... you ready to go, babe?" It's like she regrets nothing. I was completely disconnected from her at that point.


Really. I was thinking, "What?!?" Then, the final scenes left me further detached. I can't explain further without leaving major spoilers. It just left me confused.


Though I had major problems with the main character, with the steampunk aspect and the pacing, I found the overall story fascinating. I was left with a lot of questions that has me asking for a sequel. There are so many loose ends, other characters to learn more about and to follow what happens to them. The concept of the story is solid and organic.
I just could not like Emeline. But, given the strong feelings I had, that means it was good writing if it could invoke that strong of feelings one way or another. 

B.C. Morin developed a fascinating take on the popular genres of vampires and werewolves. If you love those topics, you will really enjoy this book.