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The Golden Darter

My Life Through Books

 

Middle School was a weird mix of classics and Star Wars. I was obsessed with The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux to the point of the book falling apart. I also discovered that while I love Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters can go hang. As for Star Wars... I've read almost every meta-verse book that was published up until the New Order cannon. I can still go into detail and recite storylines of a few beloved books. Hence, my nerd life began.

 

High school was very paranormal, vampire, scifi, etc. I would literally go online and search for book series that concerned vampires and read everything on the list. We are talking Anita Blake, Charline Harris, Anne Rice, Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Tanya Huff, Steven King, etc. This was before they sparkled, ya'll. Early college was philosophical and political theory for school, and mainstream fiction in my personal time. Wicked, Life of Pi, Memoirs of a Geisha. These are the 3 books that pushed me into my next phase, mostly because of how ambiguous I felt about them, and their questionable endings.

 

Late-mid college I was introduced to LaVyrle Spencer by way of Hummingbird courtesy of a gripe session with my Mom about how depressing the books I had been reading lately were. I've never looked back and have been hooked on the romance genre ever since. I've read and loved a ton of LaVyrle Spencer (who is a little hit and miss), Judith McNaught (of the rapetastic 80s era of romance), and Georgette Heyer (who writes in the vein of Austen). More recently I've discovered the joys of contemporary authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

 

Lately I've been trying to read more non-fiction. I really do enjoy learning about subjects that interest me, but non-fiction can feel like work sometimes. So I fall back to romance. You just can't go wrong with knowing that there will almost always be a happy ending.

Currently reading

Playing Dirty
Jennifer Echols
Searching for Someday
Jennifer Probst
Mara TP
Ming Doyle
The Quest
Susan Kearney
Play by Play (Play Makers #1)
Kate Donovan
Mrs Ronnie The Society Hostess Who Collected Kings
Sian Evans
One Great Year - Tamara Veitch, Rene DeFazio Triggers: Rape, torture, and other violence is present in this book. Not to mention lots of other terrible things happening to Marcus and Theron, in particular. I would stay away if these are issues for you.

This was a hard book to rate for me. I liked it up to a certain point... And then I just really didn't. The ending was what killed the entire almost-400-page book for me. Armageddon happens. Literally. Complete with spiritual ascension of the good, the bad being left behind, and the middle-grounders being given a second chance. After spending the entire book exploring alternate ideas of spirituality, I felt duped at the end with this very Christian end-of-times rendering.

I would argue that this book is less about the characters and more about the authors spiritual worldview. There were definitely times where I felt like I was reading a treatise on spirituality more than a fictional narrative. This comes through especially with the gaping plot holes involving the three main characters relationships and emotions towards one another. We are just told that Theron and Marcus love each other (and, oh, do they like to wax poetic about it), but we never see why. Helgul is given a motivation to like Theron and dislike Marcus, but I never understood his actions directly prior to the fall of the Golden Age. What gave him a motivation to become that evil? And speaking of Helgul, his totally out-of-the-blue declaration at the very end wasn't given near enough explanation considering how major it was.

All that being said, this was a very well written and researched book. Having already read much of the writings we still have of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, and Pythagoras it made that particular time period more interesting to me. If you like political and spiritual philosophy, this is an very interesting read. And I will also say that I am now researching this idea of the "Great Year". So interesting! But I will not be reading any more of this series. The ending of this particular book just killed the whole concept for me, I'm afraid.

ARC courtesy of Greenleaf Book Group, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.