The prologue starts with Abi taking a shower and immediately jumps into her sexual assault by the figure she calls her imaginary friend. Roman D’Antonio’s initial introduction is that of a being who can freeze time and people at his will. He uses it to violate poor Abi before we even have a chance to meet her. This imagery, now stuck in my head, tarnished my view of Roman and revoked any sympathy I had for his struggle. If you are able to shake the taste of sexual assault from your mouth, the rest of the story offers more consensual if not misplaced sexual interaction for you.
As a rule of thumb I recommend to all writer’s considering including sex scenes in their novels to use caution and judgment. If it does not serve as a vehicle to drive the story forward, by either offering substantial conflict or character development it isn’t entirely necessary. This book’s usage of sex did neither. I actually found it difficult to read at times.
I have the utmost respect for male write’s especially young male authors in a society where men reading is often laughed at. This being said, the level of writing, content and overall story development is on par with the stereotypical expectations of a man writing a “fantasy” novel. The book seems more like the erotic fantasies of a preteen boy who fell asleep watching HBO or Showtime. This could be considered a fan fiction of The Tudors or Game of Thrones. I recommend the author spend more time flushing out the actual story and less time detailing Abi’s sexual escapades.
Professionally, including so many adult scenes takes this book out of market from anyone under the age of 18. Including the prologue’s rape scene may be alienating to women and the rape of a minor may be considered offensive period as Abi was only 16 at the time.
This is an interesting free write, I wouldn’t consider this a working first draft as there are far too many plot holes and character gaps. This particular story could be happening anywhere, nothing about it really grabbed me. The origin story of Brocklehurst the pending feud that followed as well as the purpose of the curse lacked a real explanation. How can the reader be expected to sympathize with a character whose plight is unclear?