Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The League of Illusion:Legacy by Vivi Anna

Synopsis: London, 1851 Former thief Jovan Davenport is the black sheep in a family of powerful sorcerers. But when his dying father—head of the League of Illusion—reaches out for help, Jovan has no choice but to accept. He must find his missing brother Sebastian and stop the power-hungry Hawthorne family from taking control of the council. If only they'd appointed someone other than Skylar Vanguard to help him in his quest. Skylar, a druid and accomplished tracker, has spent three years trying to forget her past, especially Jovan Davenport. Once in love, she left Jovan when she discovered his betrayal. She wants nothing to do with him or his family, but must obey the council's will by accompanying Jovan and reporting back on his progress. Forced to work alongside each other, neither of them expects their passion to return so quickly. But as the conspiracy deepens in a steam-powered world of dirigibles and mechanical golems, will their secrets stand in the way of their mission…and their love?

My Thoughts: Good ideas. Not enough pages to fulfill them all.

My biggest disappointment in this book, by far, was the romance.  This could be, in part, due to my personal peeve of the reunited lovers storyline. I prefer to read about that first meeting and the build up of love and romance. With this book you have two characters with a painful breakup past thrown together to thwart evil by finding the lost brother. In some cases it works but I'm not sure it did here. There was so much rehashing of the past I'm surprised they fell in love again. It's hard to move towards the future when you are stuck in the past.

In addition to the romance aspect, the characters fell flat for me. They were not underdeveloped just inconsistent. Jovan starts the book out with an "I'll do what I want. I'm magic Baby. That's how I roll!" attitude about his abilities but by the end (which is only a few short days) he does a total 180 and he's so smitten with Skylar he's ready to accept consequences for all of his actions over the years. In addition as much as this is Jovan and Skylar's story it was his brother who seemed to be more of a hero.

The mystery aspect of the book as a whole also falls short as the entire storyline is left dangling for further exploration in future books. The bad guys sail off into the sunset and the good guys end up on trial for their past. None of which screams HEA to me.

The book is really short (more of a novella) and many of these plot threads could have been fleshed out more and had more conclusions if it were longer but what action it had was good. Skylar had an interesting tracking ability (although it could have been utilized more) and Jovan's remaining brother is intriguing.

I might have rated this book higher if not for the last scene in the book which was a sex scene between the bad guy and his woman. It was not romantic and frankly it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I enjoy a good sex scene in my romances but it has to be well written and appropriate to the book and to the timing. This one did nothing to enhance the book other than to potentially meet a sex scene quota (I don't know if there is such a thing but it's the only logical conclusion I can come up with.) The scene could have been cut. It would have only helped the book in the long run.

With all that said I will read more by Vivi Anna. Her writing style was pleasant to read and her ideas are good. This book just didn't do it for me.
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