Dear Ms. Moore,
I had high hopes for this book as the premise was interesting. Unfortunately, I found that there were inconsistencies in the world building and characterization all through the book. Plus when you’re reading a first person POV story and you spend almost the whole book wanting to smack down that person, it’s really hard to like the book. Dunleavy is one of the most whiney, unpleasant, and prejudiced characters I’ve read about in ages. She’s heard all kinds of things about the Source with whom she’s bonded and instead of either getting to know him, or just observing how he really is, she insists on believing everything long past when she should have opened her stupid eyes and seen how he really is. She bitches and complains about everything, she judges everything by how it will affect her personally and is always willing to jump to the worst conclusions about everyone else. And her poor Source is stuck with her for life. They can’t leave their jobs and if one dies, the other dies. I felt so sorry for Karish and would have suggested he gut her like a fish if only it wouldn’t have killed him too.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Almost everyone else on this planet is almost as unpleasant to read about as Dunleavy. Nasty, cruel, pompous, vitriolic, sour, smirking…just pick one of these adjectives and it should fit someone.
I will give you credit for trying to come up with a different world trying to carry it through. If only you had worked harder on having it make sense and stay consistent. For instance, you spend plenty of time telling us how the pairs have no control over whom they bond with. How such care has to be taken to ensure that no one accidentally bonds with someone not in this organization. Then later, you have them all taking about how the Sources choose their Shields. WTF? The lives of everyone on the planet are dependent on how the Sources and Shields work to control these natural forces. But then Karish inherits an aristocratic title and Dunleavy whines about how the organization will say that this is far more important than him carrying on with his job of protecting the populace. She bitches about how once he becomes the Duke, she’ll have no job since she’s bonded for life to a Source who won’t be working and then when he tells her he’s thinking of giving up the title, Dunleavy is depressed. Huh? There were just so many times that I was stopped short while reading this book. So many times I said, “what the f*ck!?” or “but wait a minute…!”
I read 175 pages, skipped 50 because I just couldn’t stand to read them, went to the end just to find out what happened and finally finished it. I’m sorry but with all these problems, I can’t give it higher than a D.