So when I read the premise of this book I was interested instantly. Starting out it was a solid read, the writing style is easy to get through, no convoluted sentences.
Unfortunately, the more I read, the less I liked the characters.
Evie, our main character, is naïve and annoying. She claims to want things but doesn’t want to take the required risks to attain them. She lives in her aunt’s brothel. At 18, which she will be in 3 months, she has to either work or get out. She made a promise to take care of her until she turned that age.
Evie is constantly talking about how she could never work in a brothel, never be a mistress. The author wrote a “I’m not like other girls” character because she doesn’t want those options and reads. That’s what makes her different.
She reads. She acts almost like a brat about it as well.
She’s part of a rebellion. Her country of Morra was taken over by a neighboring country and the king has been instilling strict laws that follow his country’s religion.
Y’know, colonizing 101.
In this world we have light classes, dark classes and half classes although that isn’t really a true class. Light class is light-skinned. Dark is dark-skinned. Half class is easy to figure out from there.
Evie is too light for the dark class and too dark for the light class.
I will say that singular aspect about her was relatable and will be for a lot of mixed race readers.
Evie ends up needing to “date” Cass, the prince, for the rebellion. And she starts falling for him.
She has a light class friend named Luke and Luke is in love with her.
He’s also disgusting. At first I just thought he’d be the typical unrequited love character.
The he grabbed Evie and wouldn’t let her go when she demanded it and plotted in ways to make sure she knew she was his.
So I’ll put a trigger warning for abusive and stalker behavior.
All of the characters are frustrating at points and I just stopped caring about them.
I appreciate that the book is dealing with issues like race and the way those with a dark complexion are treated as less than because of any number of ridiculous reasons. The author has potential and the story does too.
But I can’t stand the characters. I couldn’t root for Evie because she was just…annoying.
I’m giving this book a 2 out of 5.
I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.