Thursday, February 7, 2013

Review Feb 7, 2013

SavagerySavagery by Emma MacKenzie
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

3.5 of 5 Stars

Cherine is a French peasant, unhappy and living in poverty. When Vikings attack her village, she is kept alive by one of the raiders, Erik, who is mildly infatuated with her beauty and spirit when he first encounters her. The leader of the Viking raiders, Rolf, soon takes an interest in Cherine as well and he uses his position to place a claim on her, taking her from Erik and creating a rift between them. Cherine falls for the mysterious Erik, but is helpless to change her situation as Rolf’s property.

I had to think about this book for a few days after finishing before I really knew how I felt about it. Taking it too seriously? Yes I know. It’s just that I wanted to write a fair review and I think that what I personally wanted from the book, and didn’t get, was clouding my judgment with regard to the overall quality of the writing. In the end I guess all reviews are essentially a statement of personal taste, so I have to go with 3 and ½ stars, because of my disappointments.

What worked…
The writing and style was great. I had no problems following along or understanding anything. The story was excellent at creating expectations of things to come. The characters were interesting even if they weren’t especially likable. It was a page turner, and I kept reading, fully engrossed, waiting for what was next.

What didn’t work…
However, the things I was waiting to have happen, never arrived and the story that came out, was disappointing to me.


Early in the story, Rolf and Erik were supposed to be very old friends, growing up together and living side by side, but their closeness never materialized. Suddenly, Rolf treated Erik like a servant and Erik resented Rolf and allowed Rolf to dominate and bully him. There was an awkward sex scene involving them in a 2 on 1 and it was very odd between them, like a deliberate attempt on the part of Rolf to punish or humiliate Erik.

Staying on the topic of sex for a moment (and some of it was pretty steamy, so a good thing)… A perfect example of what I was waiting for and what I got was, after all that they go through to be together, I wanted just one sweet, loving, sensual encounter between Erik and Cherine. What I got was a bang on a boat with a bunch of horny Vikings looking on. Not so sweet, really.

The ending was sad, which didn’t bother me really, but I was unhappy with the way things were left with Rolf, a lot of uncertainty. I felt like the conclusion with Erik was also unexpected and unsatisfying.

Overall, I was drawn in, turning pages, waiting for I’m not sure what, exactly, and then ultimately ended up a little disappointed.

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