Saturday, November 10, 2012

{Review} Fade by A.K. Morgen

Title: Fade
Author: A.K. Morgen
Format: NetGalley e-book ARC
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release date: September 7, 2012
Date Read: September 12, 2012 - September 25, 2012

What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?
When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.
When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don't understand what's happening to them or why, and they're running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.
Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.

ARC supplied by NetGalley and Curiosity Quills Press in exchange for an snarky honest review.

*cue piano music*

"There was once a girl named Arionna... she was left alone after a death... then possessive Mace Dace came into her life... and she turned into a crazy, annoying bitch."

Yeah... no. Did you actually think I'd write a song for you guys about this frightening book? I'd just humiliate myself.

I opened my file of FADE (oh, how the times have changed) with hopeful anticipation. The blurb sounded amazing, the cover was gorgeous, and the reviews were mostly positive. I was really rather excited - and Norse mythology! How interesting!

10% into FADE and I knew I wasn't going to like this. 40% and I felt like burning my shitty Nook to melted plastic. 70% and I was begging for the end to come.

No, no. FADE did not go well for me.

I'm sorry to get off topic, but I'm an epic Hetalia fan, so... AMERICAAAA!!! <3

FADE begins with Arionna, our heroine and main character. She's average enough. Nothing special. Boring. "Relatable", according to most authors, but not all of us are plain as a brick, you know. Her mother has just died and Arionna is completely lost without her, especially when her first year at college starts. She meets some friends - triplets and another girl, and lo and behold... Dace makes his appearance.

It was also the most confusing scene I've ever read in a book. Arionna sees Dace on campus, and suddenly Dace is growling in her head that she's his, Arionna's crying out like-you-know-what, and saying that she belongs to this mysterious guy more than she belongs to herself.

I was left wondering if anyone saw Arionna, who was totally withering and moaning when she saw him. I mean, seriously!

Doesn't anyone see her doing this? Awkward.

Arionna opens her eyes and realizes he's gone. Over the next few days, she develops an unhealthy obsession with him. Where have I heard this before?

Arionna actually talks to Dace for the first time while she's being the ultimate rebel (sitting on a wall in the forest. What a stubborn little firecracker!), and these are his first words:

"What the hell are you doing up there?"

Mmm. Sexy.
Now, keep in mind he's saying this in a voice of 'soft, dark velvet' and scowling at her furiously.

The readers are supposed to feel that Arionna is being a brave, feisty heroine when she comes out with the most mature answer ever: "that's none of your business!"

Haha, no. Sweetie, you give him the middle finger and tell the douchebag to piss of, 'cause he sure as hell ain't your guardian angel. You don't even know his name. Of course, Arionna forgives him.

The second time they meet (again, in the forest, pg. 52) Dace shoves her up against a tree, sticks his knee in between her legs, and starts dry-humping her before randomly jumping away, panting, and claiming he can't control himself around her.

If this wasn't a cliché young-adult novel, that would be considered assault. But of course, Arionna wanted it, so... nope.

Arionna doesn't even question why the hell she can hear Dace's thoughts in her head - because by then, she belongs to Dace (she's his property), so why should it matter? The insta-love is unbelievable. The pain of her mother's death 'fades' whenever he's with her, but there is nothing - nothing! - good about Dace.

Most of FADE is simply make-out sessions. Literally, 3/4 of the book is just them:
• humping on tables!
• humping on trees!
• humping on couches!
• (humping anywhere, really.)
• Dace sending her dark stares!
• Dace growling that Arionna is his!
• Dace getting angry at her because she distracts him!
• Arionna worshipping Dace and saying she belongs to him!

Wait, I forgot. Dace is a dog. Ah, that explains it. He tries to bang everything in sight.

FADE really had no plot until the ending, and that's what really annoyed me. We have nothing except kissing scenes and a few snippets of information, like the fact that Dace is a shifter. Then Morgen tries to make up for it in the last few pages, cramming in so many confusing names and so much weird action, you're left wondering:

Morgen should've gradually introduced us to the Norse myths and everything we needed to know instead of making it so needlessly confusing. Basically, if you didn't know about Norse mythology before FADE, you are absolutely and one-hundred percent screwed.

Because the plot (or lack of plot) was so unclear, my synopsis of the plot contains some spoilers:

Dace and Arionna are actually Freki and Geri, Odin's two wolf companions reincarnated into humans that can turn into wolves. Hati and Sköll, two other wolves that chase the moon and the sky, sent by their father, Fenir, are hunting Dace and Arionna so they can complete the prophecy of Ragnarök - that an apocalypse will rain over Earth, and when it's over, the world with be fresh, new, and shiny-clean, with two humans replacing the population. Apparently Dace and Arionna are these two humans, and that's just not acceptable.


Now, we learn this, and more (about triple goddess and sacrifices and more mind-paining information) in such few pages, you cannot register what's going on.

I'd like to take a large portion of my review and talk about Dace.


This guy.

Now, Dace is an 'old soul', and 'very wise':

"I wanted to let him slip his bonds so we can both have you. Both possess you. I wanted to throw you to the ground and bury us inside you until you're screaming for us to stop." 

"I wanted to claim you right there, whether you wanted it or not, and regardless of the fact that you were in no such condition."

OhmygodwhatthefuckamIreading. And yeah, I can totally tell how mature he is. Dace is just a horny dog. Because, well, he is.

Dace is also a controlling, possessive dickface, and he doesn't care about what Arionna has to say. He blames Arionna constantly and gets angry at her she tries to 'help'. He completely brushes her off and always thinks that whatever she says is easily dismissible and funny:

It was important," Dace said, shrugging one shoulder... "I know that. He seemed faintly amused again..."
"...keeping me prisoner. He was so angry, and I didn't understand why. Did he blame me for this?"        "Don't. Do not touch me," he growled in warning."
"I didn't do anything," I whispered back. "Ah, but you did... I was so, very, very angry with you... You belong to me."

No, she is not a piece of property. Perhaps her heart is yours, but Arionna herself is not.

Last time I checked, wolves do not see a she-wolf and instantly claim her. Sure - wolves are extremely protective of their mate, but they let them LIVE THEIR EFFING LIFE. Dace would keep Arionna locked up in a white padded room forever if he could.

I don't think I've ever, ever, EVER encountered a male love interest I've despised so much. EVER.

And Arionna is not a whole lot better. I'm definitely not one to slut-shame, but... listen to this and tell me that there's nothing wrong with our little protagonist. This takes place around page 168 and less than two weeks after they've met each other. She's pondering one of their humping sessions on a picnic table.

Now, please. Read this:

"I'd never had a desire to be rid of my virginity, but thinking back over our encounter, the way Dace gently held me prisoner and the way feeling my pleasure and his combined... well, had the wolf not been so eager, I wasn't sure I'd still be a virgin. I didn't want him to stop. Knowing what he felt because of me was arousing, and so was his dominance.

She then proceeds to defend herself by saying that being screwed on a picnic table in the middle of the forest is better than in the back seat of a car.


Oh, god, EWWWWW.

Arionna also happens to be a genius when it comes to words. Want to see her reaction when a friend is found brutally murdered?

"The entire thing sucks.""Why her? Why now? It all... sucks.""The entire situation did suck."

She's brilliant, isn't she?

All the characters were flat and one-dimensional, and there's nothing that I found remotely interesting in FADE.

Actually, there was one thing. After my attention-grabbing snarky status updates (I was thrilled with all the likes. Thanks, guys!) the genre for FADE changed to New Adult, not YA. Sort of like Beautiful Disaster.

The sneaky bastards. I took a screenshot so in case someone poked through the book and was shocked by the content, I had proof that it was YA and totally not my fault I had picked up soft porn.


But anyway. Ugh. This book, guys. I just can't deal with it.

One out of five stars. One of my least favorite books of 2012, but hilariously entertaining.

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.