Thursday, July 27, 2017

Review: A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess

I tried so hard to like this book. But it simply wasn't meant to be. I somewhat enjoyed book one, and felt curious about this sequel, and hoped that I would like it a lot. But I didn't. Not at all. Giving it two stars, which even feels like too much. But I did like parts of the plot. I felt like it could have been so, so much more, though.

I don't even know where to begin. I had so many issues with this book. The only parts I really liked were the last few pages. And even those weren't perfect. I'm going to spoil some things, with the romance, and some other obvious stuff. Nothing too big, but not writing it feels like it might kill me. Must get rid of my feelings.

I will start with the writing. Which I'm sorry to say that I hated beyond words. I have no way to describe how much I hated it. It was simply so awful. I couldn't connect to anything or any of the characters. I felt nothing for the main girl, Henrietta. I felt like she cared about nothing at all. She felt so so false to me. The writing was also very different from book one. With how she's thinking and such. She keeps cursing in her head all the time. Normally I don't mind this at all, but in this book, it made no sense, and it was highly annoying. One thing I noticed was that in book one it's mentioned many times that her skin is dark. In this book, it wasn't mentioned a single time. Which seemed odd to me. Well, all of the writing was odd to me, to be honest. Disappointing.

This book takes place two months after the end of the first one. I sadly knew right away that I wouldn't like this one. Sigh. Noticed how I didn't like the writing pretty fast, and I just couldn't make myself care about the characters at all. Henrietta is just so boring. Claims to love people. Didn't see that at all. Claims to feel guilty about things, yet continues to make stupid decisions. Not the chosen one, yet still acting like it, and she's the one figuring everything out and doing everything the best. So so unreal. She was not amazing.

Then there were a few other things that I disliked a lot too. How everything was so very obvious, yet none of them saw any of it. Like who the father of Henrietta really is. I saw that coming early on in book one. Yet she didn't get it at all. And when the prophecy girl showed up, there were tons of big clues that she was the one, yet none of them understood that either. And Henrietta did not see that Blackwood was in love with her, which was beyond obvious. Ugh. Stuff like that annoyed me to pieces. It was the worst.

Shall mention the plot a little bit. I liked it a lot in book one, but it felt a bit awkward and silly in this one. A lot of people die. Horrible deaths. Yet they don't really seem to care at all. I felt nothing. And the monsters even felt silly to me. The way they were written wasn't really good at all. Sigh. I am not sure what else to say about it. Just that I was disappointed. Had hoped for more. Still, two stars, because I did like some of the plot. And Blackwood. But for the most part, this book pretty much sucked. It could have been so good.

I have to mention that the summary is full of lies. First of all, there is barely any romance at all in this book. It isn't seductive at all. It isn't monstrously romantic. Not even close. There are a few kisses, but they are tame and I felt nothing from them. The romance isn't a focus. Not really. And this book doesn't focus at all on Henrietta trying to save Rook. Because she isn't really trying at all. And Magnus. That story line was pathetic, to be honest. Seems like he is in love with Henrietta. Yet he's just there, doing nothing.

And hah. The rest of the romance. I can't even mention it all. Henrietta claimed in all of book one that she was in love with Rook, her childhood friend. Yet she spent zero time with him. And she's still claiming now that she's in love with him. And he loves her too. And so they kiss. Yet once again they spend about zero time together. She barely thinks about him at all. I have seen zero reasons for why they should love each other as well. It is the most awful romance I have read about. Just, well, silly and did not feel real at all.

And then there was Blackwood. Sigh. I still love this boy the most, but even his story line is starting to annoy me. He's seventeen years old. Yet the author is trying to make him seem like he's seventy, with how much he knows, and how serious he is all the time. It got to be highly annoying. And I hated the way that Henrietta seemed to always be judging him for smallish things. He was an interesting character, but nothing amazing. I shipped him with Henrietta, though, and I liked their ending. But nothing special. Aw.

I'm not going to say much more about this book. Just that I'm really disappointed by all of it. I thought there would be a lot of romance, like the summary is claiming. This wasn't true. I had hoped there would be amazing fighting and magic and friendships. But it all just felt silly to me. I liked the new characters; Maria was pretty amazing. But it wasn't nearly enough to make me like this book. Even reading about the monsters were boring, considering how they were written. Bad writing can truly ruin a book for me. Sigh.

I'm a bit heartbroken over how much I just about hated this book. I disliked it so much. It could have been so good. But it wasn't. I'm sort of glad that I gave this series a try, but also disappointed to have wasted my time on them. Sigh. I think I will read book three, simply to see how it ends, and with the romance too. A bit curious. But not invested at all. Sadly wouldn't recommend A Poison Dark and Drowning to anyone. Sigh. Still, thank you so, so much to Penguin Random House International for this stunning review copy.



  1. The cover of this one is super cute! ^.^

    - El @ El's Book Reviews

  2. Oh dear. I'm going to steer clear of this one then! I'm not a major fan of fantasy as it is, but if you're really unimpressed by it -- yeesh! Nope. Nope. Thanks for the review, Carina! :D

    Cass @ Words on Paper

  3. Oh no, I just started this book! I'm so sad to hear that you didn't like it. Classic case of second book syndrome ;( Great review though!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books


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