Rapture

Titan Series, #1

Author: Renee Field

Category: Paranormal Romance

As I follow the changes in publishing, I’m making more of an effort discover and read independent/hybrid authors. I want to explore the freedom of independent publishing, look at the business of being an author/publisher (or self-pubbed, though that phrase still carries an unsavory connotation to most writers). Plus, I want new stuff to read.

Normally, I prefer fantasy and sci-fi, adult or YA. But since I’m venturing into the romance arena with my group series, Perfect Coven, I thought I’d be more adventurous in my choices and try to read some independent romances.

I picked Rapture for three reasons:

  • the price was right (free);
  • it’s the first in a series. If I like(d) it, there are more to read; and
  • It’s about mermaids. Who doesn’t love mermaids?

I really love mermaids. So, first thing – not enough mermaid lore! The world building was sketchy; there really is no explanation of how this world is supposed to work. There are mardoms – kingdoms – and our hero is, of course, a prince. But the divisions are never explained, nor why the mardoms are divided they way they are. The magic has no rules. Our heroine just keeps discovering new stuff she can do. We don’t know if other sirens (the term for mermaids) can do these things or if Our Heroine is just special.

Oversexed – yes, this is a romance, but really? The only things sirens are good for (or at) is sex. They all grow super-large breasts and long, long hair – that’s part of the siren magic, but we really don’t know why they need the long hair and super-sized breasts, because they don’t seem to be good for anything except to drive the titans (the mermen) insane. And the titans are slaves to their hormones. They’ll have sex in the middle of a fight, and I don’t mean a domestic dispute, I mean a battle with other titans. In fact, our hero and heroine do that once. Or maybe twice. The sex scenes kind of ran together.

Of course, the over-smexing is explained away by Sokhan, meaning destined lovers or some such. Yeah, they see each other and have no choice but that one person and being near that one person brings on the hormone attacks. Anywhere. Anytime. Even in labor. We want Our Hero and Our Heroine to have sex, of course we do, but we need a reason other than Supernatural Bonding life-soul-mate thingy says we MUST DO IT NOW. And now. And one more time. Proper time, place and reason be damned, this is SUPERNATURAL URGE THAT MUST BE FULFILLED!

The conflict in this one is resolved easily, too easily really. Not a lot of impediments to Our Hero and Our Heroine getting to the good stuff, which, as I said, can occur during a firefight or labor. Titan/Siren hormones must also be super-sized.

On to technical issues I had with this book.

First, Our Heroine begins having impure thoughts about Our Hero immediately. Which, hey, he’s super-duper sexy-hot, so why not? But we were told that Our Heroine is a science-minded, practical, focused type who wants to get her Ph.D. In fact, she spends a lot of her time wanting to work on her thesis. When she’s not hormonal. But she’s ruled by her hormones. Perhaps this is a siren thing, but it isn’t adequately explained as such.

The Ph.D. issue kind of goes away when she “raptures” (turns into a siren) and sexes up Our Hero the first time. Hence my theory that siren hormones are super-sized and siren magic is all sex-based. Which would actually fit with a lot of mermaid mythos, if handled correctly, as in, there needed to be a mythos.

The writing was choppy. The story didn’t flow as it should have. Changes in attitude occurred at a page turn, with little reason for the about-face. Conflicts were resolved easily, and occasionally off-camera. Also, editing. It needed more.

Our Hero and Our Heroine are standard tropes, used in standard ways, and uninteresting. Our Hero is an exiled prince, Our Heroine is a princess who has been raised in obscurity away from the sea and doesn’t know who or what she is.

Though I think the basic idea is interesting, there are problems with this book. There needs to be better world-building, an actual structure. There needs to be a magic system, talents and abilities, and one impacting the other, with a structure as to which applies where. That structure needs to be consistent. Conflicts need to actually impact the characters, cause them to make decisions that lead to actual story not just sex.

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