Released: June 28, 2011
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Marq @ Love to Read for Fun
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
“An eye for an eye is never enough.” Kallie Rivière, a Cajun hoodoo apprentice with a bent for trouble, learned the meaning of those ominous words when hoodoo bogeyman Doctor Heron targeted her family for revenge. Now, while searching for her still-missing bayou pirate cousin, Kallie finds out the hard way that someone is undoing powerful gris gris, which means that working magic has become as unpredictable as rolling a handful of dice. The wards woven to protect the Gulf coast are unraveling, leaving New Orleans and the surrounding bayous vulnerable just as an unnatural storm—the deadliest in a century—is born. As the hurricane powers toward the heart of all she loves, Kallie desperately searches for the cause of the disturbing randomness, only to learn a deeply unsettling truth: the culprit may be herself. To protect her family and friends, including the sexy nomad Layne Vallin, Kallie steps into the jaws of danger . . . and finds a loup garou designed to steal her heart—literally.
Have you ever read a book that failed to keep you interested for about 80% of the time, but you still were determined to finish? That's exactly how I feel about this series...and for that reason, I do not know how to rate this book.
The start did not pull me in like the first book in this series, but I still wanted to continue because I was hoping more of a romance would be developed...too bad it never does, but there is a new love interest. The middle dragged, much like it did for me in BLACK DUST MAMBO. I began skimming certain character scenes because I did not want to listen to the same thing repeated for a new character--which brings me to my biggest complaint: the POV swaps hurt the book more than they helped.
I could understand three POVs tops (like the hero, heroine, and a villain), but I find that anything more detracts from the story and starts to become repetitive--like this series seems to be. It makes me wonder if Phoenix is having commitment issues with her characters, because they all sound the same in all the POV swaps. Instead of developing Kallie and Belladonna further, they are two dimensional, though when together they do add comical relief. I'm not sure if she wants Kallie with Layne, and if she does, she is making it incredibly hard to support the two when McKenna is lurking in the shadows and Layne is feeling guilty.
Instead of maintaining a plot full of action that would keep the reader glued to the pages, BLACK HEART LOA beats its readers over the head with the same few scenes over and over: the memory of Kallie's mother's betrayal, everyone being pissed at Divinity, and everyone wanting to sleep with everyone else. These are the horniest characters I've ever read about, and they all feel like they're the same person talking at times.
Deflections also annoyed me this time around. I think it is high time that Divinity stops pushing off the inevitable explanation and finally fesses up (which she has done...kind of). Either have her fess up, or have the characters accept her actions. At this point, I don't care anymore about her motives...just spit it out already and focus on something new, please, instead of having every character mull over her thoughtless actions.
Saying that is awful... I understand the indignation, but showing three different characters being pissed over the SAME exact thing is distracting me from the story and simply exasperates me because I'm reading the same scene over and over.
I probably sound harsh, and I bet many of you are wondering why I even finished the book if I had this much to complain about. There WERE good points in this story: Baron Samedi was amusing, Belladonna made me laugh my ass off, and our demonic wolf and his sneaky actions has me intrigued. I hope he makes more of an appearance in the next few books. January's announcement about the scratch on Kallie is what made me intrigued with the potential of this series...all over again. Will it get more attention in book three? I really hope so...
Am I hopeful that the third book will feature fewer character POVs, focus more on a plot that keeps me interested for more that 15% of the book, and perhaps delve into more character development...and even a romance? I'm not holding my breath, but I still want to read the next release to see what happens next.
1. Black Dust Mambo (Tori's Review)
2. Black Heart Loa