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Zen and the Art of Vampires; by Katie MacAlister
Topic Started: Dec 11 2008, 03:41 AM (411 Views)
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Epic Saga
Book 6 in the Dark Ones series if you are a BFL (big-f’ing-liar) RRLiar


White picket fences can be dangerous to vampires.
Sometimes a woman's gotta choose...
Pia Thomason doesn't have a typical life, but she wants one. The husband, the kids, the house in the suburbs...With her fortieth birthday looming, she decides to do something drastic, and takes off on a singles' tour through romantic Europe. But the few guys on the trip leave much to be desired - unlike the two men Pia sees in a small Icelandic town. Handsome, mysterious, and very dangerous…Just the sight of them puts her in a dither. When their paths cross again, Pia knows one thing for certain: Where vampires are concerned, love isn't the only thing at stake.

I read this book last week and I made myself wait to write the review on it to save my head from exploding. Seriously if I had sat down and actually put the time into thinking about how god-awful this book was after just reading it, well I would have given up on reading. jsthngn 4EVER!

Let me start by saying I have read and enjoyed the other five (full-length because I can rarely make myself read an anthology) Dark Ones books. They are first person which isn’t normally my cuppa but for these it works. MacAlister’s Heroines are usually ultra-normal, older (35+), neurotic, and funny. The Dark Ones series was almost like a funny parody of Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series. A lot of the earlier novels mirror some of the stuff in Feehan’s books but present them in a more comical way (instead of the super-seriousness of the Carpathian variety.)

So now that you know that I will commence with the review of a book I hated with a fiery passion and has caused me to vow never to buy another book by MacAlister ever (ever, ever, ever) again! rspbrry (And I will try to keep this in a review like format but be warned there is a 99.9% chance this will turn into one long rant RRRant )

The Characters:

Pia – First off I did not like her name, I kept seeing Pita and getting hungry. pokpok She’s a moron, completely and utterly stupid. teenyviolin She’s on a singles trip and currently in Iceland, she’s “big-boned” and moans about that through like the entire book. I have my own weight-angst to listen to on a daily basis in my own head; I SO did not need to be hit over the head with hers on a page-by-page basis. RRBang She’s looking for Mr. Right and has yet to find him. Enter a mysterious “book mark” that allows her to see dead people. RRHide I kid you not. So while collecting ghosts that have yet to move on and trying to explain to them that she is not The One (who can help them move on), she stumbles upon a crazy cult group that wants her to marry some random dude so he can die in her arms and be reborn or something close to that. She runs off (the only smart move she makes in the entire book RRSigh ) after unsuccessfully trying to convince the crazy cult group that she is not The One. She then runs into a hot guy who she lip-locks frnchkss with in order to hide from the crazy cult group trying to find her. He realizes she is The One (not his "the One" but the cults "the One" - if that makes sense... elctrc ) and immediately starts man-handling her and being a world class jack-ass. Beatupr She sleeps with the jack-asses friend who is good natured and completely shallow. crp Then after finding a dead woman in her bathroom who she had met the night before (who had been looking for the book that stupid Pia had bought that held the “book mark”) Pia is now The One because she promises the dying woman she will take her place, even though Pia has no idea what it means to be The One or what exactly she will have to do as The One and also not knowing who killed the “real” The One and why. Yep fantastic idea. rrlzr Then comes more of her and the jack-ass together, them sleeping together, etc etc. givehoot

Kristoff – aka “the jackass” and the “Hero” of the story. A Dark One (really just a not so fancy name for a Vamp) The man has some major anger issues. catfight He hates anyone and everyone even remotely connected with the crazy cult people. Even hating those that accidentally (because they are a moron) fall in with that crowd and are desperately trying to figure out how to handle it all. hairpull He is a punk, such a mean, angry punk. His “mate” and I’m using that term begrudgingly here because she wasn’t his Beloved (which is a Dark One’s soul mate) nope she’s just his girlfriend, anyway she was killed by someone who has powers like Pia will get once she completes The One crap she has to go through. rbhead So Pia is like his mortal enemy who he can’t keep his hands off. shthpp

Their relationship:

If you really want to call it that is basically her running around being TSTL and him being an a-hole. Even at the end of the book he doesn’t trust Pia to do the right thing. OMG I wanted to kill them both. plzdy

The other characters:

The ghosts: I have no idea why MacAlister has to have a cast of quirky and usually pretty annoying characters that follow the Heroine around. But in this case they were the best part of the book so I guess she deserves a thank you for that (although she really shouldn’t hold her breath at this point.)

Alec – This is the Dark One our lovely Pia sleeps with in the beginning of the book. RRNOO Right there I know that will be a wall-banger for many a romance reader. He is SO shallow, is randomly “in love” with Pia although for the life of me I have no idea when or how he fell in love with her in the span of a few hours (not to mention WHY!?) shrg

The badguys – Okay here’s the thing they aren’t REALLY bad more like misguided. They don’t understand the Dark Ones so they think they have to kill them all instead of trying to get to know a few. Yeah you’ve read it before and I’m sure this won’t be the last book with this same “theme”. jsthngn

The Conflict:

Oh God I don’t even know if I want to go into it. So the Dark Ones want to kill all the cult people and the cult people want to kill all the Dark Ones and neither side will look in the mirror and see that they are turning into what they think they are “protecting” the world from. And you have stupid Pia in the middle who seems to be the only one able to see that you can’t just wipe out an entire group of people without at least trying to get to know them and figure out their true motives. And you know, if Pia is the intelligent one in that bunch then the rest of the characters have to be dumber than dirt. RRDuh

My rant:

This book ends with Kristoff refusing to be with his Beloved (Pia). That’s right. NO HEA!
Holy crapola I literally threw this book at the wall!!

Now personally I can’t really blame Kristoff for not wanting to be with Pia and IMO Pia is better off without Kristoff. yeahthat Those two really just don’t suit. At all.

But now I have to read AN ENTIRELY different book about two characters that THIS book made severely unlikable just to get my HEA. Um not just no. But HELL NO! gtcha

Now I try not to make it personal when I do a review on a book but in this case I think it’s understandable that I am majorly annoyed with Ms. MacAlister. This book was marketed (on her website) as the 6th Dark One book and I did not see anything on there warning her readers that it was the start of a new series? Or a two book thingie? Hell I still don’t know because she hasn’t stated anything on there. AND I get her stinkin’ newsletter and don’t remember her saying anything about that (and I’m 99.9% sure I would have remember something like that) When KMM started her Fever series she was VERY upfront about how different it was from the Highlander books even though you could consider it a spin-off of the Highlander books. And by knowing that I was able to give the Fever series a chance (and fell in love with it excluding the last few pages of the last book… yeah I’m still annoyed about THAT too.)

If MacAlister had done the same thing (hello warn your readers!) I would have no doubt still picked this book up because I do like the Dark Ones series. And I would have been able to read it knowing the HEA was not at the end of this book but a future book. But since I got a surprise attack (that will teach me not to check the last page of EVERY book from now on – even if it’s in a series that has ALWAYS had a HEA at EVERY single end.) I am now taking it personally and will therefore ban her books from To Buy list.
*deep breath*

Just imagine how mad I was when I had finished this book… RRthud

So yeah no HEA. Unlikable characters. Lots and lots of angst about stupid stuff. The Heroine sleeps with someone other than the Hero. The annoying side characters are the best part of the book.

Hmm wonder what my grade for this book would be!??! fairydust

Yeah it gets a 1 chairbeat out of 5 for false advertisement and damage to my emotional psyche.

And seriously if this had ended with a HEA, the personal conflict between the H/H had been resolved, and it had ended in a freaking HEA. I would have given a 3. Just sayin’. curst
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Krista ...so you didn't like this book then ;) ..LOL...I'd never have guessed !...This is not an author that I have enjoyed reading and have really clicked with ...however your reviews I could read again and again !..fantastic review ! RRthumb
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crycry Bummer! I have that in my TBR pile executioner

I liked the first 3 books in the Dark One series but than it went a little down hill for me after that. But this one sounds like a big no-no to me pku
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This book is being addied as a PNR?

God I hate liars (Glad you warned us off of it!) Sounds like pure crap.
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I looked through this book at the store...then put it back. After reading your review, Krista, I'm glad I did. :blink:

I've picked up enough bummers lately. Hpyno

Thanks for suffering through it so you could give a review. TankU

(And that you waited a week to review it...although a review at that time might have been pretty interesting! RRlaugh )
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Wow, that was hilarious!! I wonder what the review would have looked like if Krista hadn't waited too RRlaugh

Yeah, I'm behind the times.... But I don't think I will be picking this one up :)
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