Review: Rebel by Zoe Archer (Blades of the Rose #3)

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Zebra/Kensington
Pub Date: November 2010
FTC: Purchased myself

I loved the first two installments of Zoe Archer's Blades of the Rose series. But this one was...boring. I hate to say it so baldly, but I just wasn't engaged at all with  Rebel.  I liked the characters, but I wasn't pulled into the story as I was with the other two books. And the worst part? I can't pinpoint exactly WHY I didn't like it. I definitely expected to. Wanted to like it...

I think part of it is the mythology aspect. I'm not a huge Native American mythology fan. It tends to bore me. I know...very un-PC of me, but it's the truth. I know quite a few creation myths from various cultures in the US (although no Canadian ones). Know a bit more about Southwestern Pueblo myths. Still don't find it engaging in the same way I find nearly every other religion or mythology. It just doesn't "click" with me. I don't really know how else to explain it. And since so much of this story uses those myths and those traditions, I think it created a bit of distance between me and the narrative.

My other problem, I think, is with our heroine: Astrid. I loved that she was a bit older. I thought she was an interesting choice, given how emotionally scarred she was. How closed off from friends and family. And how horribly alone. But given how intense her pain was, it seemed a bit unbelievable that she would fall for someone so quickly after beginning to come alive again. I just didn't buy it. At all. Maybe it's the pace of that recovery I objected to. Maybe, given how badly she must have hurt to close herself off from all of her friends, it's because I didn't think she *could* recover from her loss. Either way, I didn't find it believable OR compelling.

As for pacing, I liked the beginning. The middle 100-150 pages were so slow. I didn't truly enjoy the book until we got more Catullus Graves in it. Because he rocks! I honestly kept reading for the scenes where he appeared.  I can't wait to read his story, Stranger, which was just published.

Of the three Blades of the Rose I have read so far, this is by far my least favorite. It may work well for those not bugged by the mythology or the pace. For me, it was just...dull.

My Grade: C

Rebel is available at The Book Depository as well as other book retailers.

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