Monday, 14 March 2016

Review of Treasure Darkly

24959247Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe… until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead.

A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged, mining tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he.

Sixteen-year-old Amethyst Treasure loathes the idea of spending the summer away from her bustling city life to rot on her father’s ranch, but when a handsome young man shows up claiming to be her secret half-brother, her curiosity is piqued. He’s clever, street smart, and has no qualms jumping into the brawl between the Treasures and Horans. Caught in the middle, Horan kidnaps Amethyst, and all she gets is this lousy bullet through her heart.

When Clark brings her back to life, however, the real action starts, and Amethyst joins him in his fight against the Horan clan—whatever the cost. Defeating the Horans may seem easy at first, but going up against men with the same fighting vengeance as Clark, and a Senator with power he’s obtained by brainwashing the masses?

Well, Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.


I have a lot of mixed feelings about this story by Jordan Elizabeth. There were some really awesome moments following the adventures of Clark, the Treasures, and a western background; there were a lot of good things about the plot. But I found myself wanting more.

I don’t think I could accurately give you a one sentence description of this tale. The one provided on the Goodreads website barely does it justice, appearing to focus on Amethyst and Clark’s ability to work with the dead but I didn’t get that impression. While we absolutely follow Clark as our protagonist, Amethyst plays the role of his doting sidekick and his ability is almost treated as a footnote.

Oh, you got shot? I can fix that. Anyways, wanna go for a bike ride?

There were explicit rules laid out by Clark’s own narrative and yet, I never saw him adhere to those laws, which makes me believe that this book is incomplete. The novel is finished, it’s published; there are other books in the series that I assume help to round out the missing pieces in plot but I wanted more from Clark’s inaugural tale.

I wanted to fear the villain instead of just hearing mention of him once or twice; I wanted to feel the dessert landscape instead of discovering the setting as we move through it, if we’re lucky. I will admit ignorance into the world of steampunk but nothing about the setting lent itself to Victorian fantasy except for the names of things. I think I caught one mention of a metallic horse (was every horse after that metallic? I couldn’t tell you). I thought I was reading an alternative paranormal romantic western. That’s a fine mix of genres; but with the exception of a rather major plot point that is oh, so casually injected into the story, I couldn't get a handle on the steampunk aspect of the plot. 

It’s almost like the writer had a whole bunch of stories she wanted to tell and wove them together into one crazy mashup. If I hadn’t read the description before picking up the book, I would have no idea what kind of world I was getting in to. And even that barely helped.

I think my Random Notes While Reading reflect much the same confusion:
  • These are creepy lyrics
  • I'm loving these expressions
  • I guess you could say it...hertum 
  • Really quick turnaround on the plot, I'm not even settled into this world
  • You really need to stop thinking with your other brain
  • What? I knew it
  • Stop beating me over the head with this
  • I don't mind him, it's her
  • Yes, up until this point it was purely lust, don't pretend otherwise
  • Okay I like them
  • That is such a jump from "special helmet"
  • Did I miss him transferring the magic...again?
  • Oh my god, he's so petty, I want to punch him
  • It's a silencer not a mute button
  • Jesus Christ
  • Ugh, tortured hero cliché
  • Oh my god, shut up. I get it, you're coping, but shut up
  • I am enjoying the familial banter
  • Jerry! What's with the attitude? Seriously, you were fine
  • Hormones
  • Okay, yeah it's still lust
  • Why can't you do anything for him?
  • Well that's randomly depressing
  • Yeah, what happened to her?
  • No. Obviously no. What does that accomplish?
  • You are such a teenager
  • Oh, I get it now
  • Of course
  • I guess she'd be into that
I was so disappointed in this book. There were so many awesome ideas and characters (Eric, Eric is so cool) and they just weren’t followed through to fruition. So many moments were glossed over or rushed through that when something big did happen, I couldn’t bring myself to care because I had no emotional attachment to this story. I have more I'd like to talk about like incest and unresolved magic and what happened to his childhood friend but I also don't want to spoil your experience too much.

I know from past experience that Jordan writes fantastic tales but this one was just not my cup of tea.

I can’t say I hated this book, I just wanted more. But you can make that call for yourself. Get your copy here.

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