Palefire by MK Reed

I really wanted to like this book.  It’s been floating around for a couple of months and whenever I happen to spot it on the shelves I think, “I really need to read that.”  I seem to remember reading some great reviews of it.

I did not like this book.  I wanted more.  More story, more layers, more character development.  More.  Spoilers coming.

The art wasn’t my style.  I’m not saying that it was bad but it wasn’t anything that I enjoyed.  A couple of frames were beautiful and perfect but I would consider it about 15% of the book.  I can’t even really explain why I didn’t like it.  This is purely a taste thing.

The characters were completely and utterly two dimensional which led to a number of things that I found problematic about the story.  Alison, the MC, has a crush on a bad boy, Darren, even though we have no idea why.  I mean, he actually probably says the nicest thing to her in the whole damn book so I guess that I DO know why.  The other guys are grossly stereotypical.  They all seem to be “Nice Guys,” the kind of guys who think that being nice to a girl means that she should date you seriously for a few years.  Casey, the stoner, has a douchey masculinity attack and threatens to rip Alison’s crush’s nuts off.  Tim is “boring” but I bet he’s just shy.  Then there’s Paul who you know is “supposed” to be with Alison the second they start talking about him because he’s “so nice” even though when he “saves Alison” he’s kind of a dick about it and makes a point to tell her she’s stupid and that he understands that “girls love assholes.”  Hey!  Thanks for being a Nice Guy.

Also, can we please talk about this “saving Alison” bullshit?  Basically, after Darren, an accused arsonist, says one of the swoon worthiest things in the whole to her and then takes her out to a field and sets her name int he middle of a heart on fire because “he’s not good with words.”  Then here come Paul with his volunteer EMT sirens to scare Darren off and “save Alison” from a pretty under control situation.  (I’m from the middle of nowhere.  Darren’s fire amounts to a bonfire for me.)  I’m not going to say that Darren’s reaction is great but neither is Alison’s.  Then Paul is all like, “Oh!  I saved you!  I know girls don’t like nice guys!”  Sigh.

I actually like this one even less now that I’ve written about it.


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