As I explained to my sister, it was a nice one-off. You know, spend an afternoon reading it but you're not gonna pre-order the next one; you're not emotionally invested in it; you're not gonna weep bitter tears over, quite frankly, anything.
My main issue was Vane. Not only is his name utterly ridiculous and completely laughable when thought of in correlation with the story, but he is a teenage boy. This, in above itself, is not a bad thing(though that could be debated) but we are made painfully aware that he is, in fact, a teenage boy by the many quotes like this:
"The only temptation I'm feeling is to run my hands along the sliver of midriff peeking from the bottom of her tank top. Now that would motivate me to stay grounded."
Anytime I read something like this in a YA:
"I move toward her, trapping her against the wall."
No. Just no.
"Doesn't she feel the way the sparks jolt between us? Now that's intense."
*snort* He sounds like a twelve-year old.
And then there's the constant "she's so sexy". Yeah, yeah, we get it. We got it the first 20 times you mentioned it.
But then there are these scenes:
"I wanted to lean in and kiss her so badly I thought my body might explode from the pent-up pressure-but I fought the urge.
Not because I think it's wrong. Not because I'm scared of her army. Shoot-if I'm their future king, then I'm the one with the power. Now way I'll let them charge Audra with treason.
But Audra's too...broken.
It's like something shattered inside her years ago, and until she fixes it, she'll just keep shoving me away. I have to wait until she's ready."
Better. Much better. (I think why this scene got to me is partially because the wording and the situation reminded me of one of my favorite couples ever: Dane and Aerin.)
I sit on my hands and lean back.
I'm not going to force her-even if everything in me is screaming to screw caution...It has to be her choice.
She leans closer. Our noses touch. I stop myself from closing the distance.
It has to be her."
As you can see, it was a like-hate relationship between me and Vane. He's annoying and pretty much all his POVs are good for are commenting on Audra's wardrobe and how sexy she is with the occasional worthwhile action/comment.
Audra's characterization confused me. You see, she is a strong and decently badass girl and occasionally there was scene that portrayed that and you believed what you were being told about her. The rest of the time, there was too much telling and not enough showing. Or she felt like a Mary Sue and fell a little flat.
The story was decent and I wasn't 100% sure of the twist coming, so that was nice. Writing was fine, when it wasn't a bit cheesy. Characters were so-so, as stated above. The story as a whole
has potential but this first installment is nothing to write home about.