Starling by Lesley Livingston
Summary: Mason Starling is in the middle of fencing practice when a freak storm rolls in. Monsters crash through the windows of her gym, startling her teammates. Mason is backed into a corner when a mysterious man shows up, armed with a sword and killer fighting skills. He calls himself the Fennrys Wolf, and though he clearly has a purpose, his memory has been wiped clean.
My thoughts: Starling is a mish-mash of a story. It’s part paranormal romance, part amnesiac mystery, and part Norse myth. Yet these elements do not blend together effortlessly. Rather, the story feels thrown together, and the reader has no idea what to expect. It’s this uncertainty that will keep you reading: despite the seemingly unorganized storyline, you just need to know where Livingston is taking her protagonist. The mythology is initially rough and under-explained, but you keep reading in hopes that Livingston will eventually flesh it out (she does, though in the last few chapters). That’s the odd thing about Starling: I couldn’t put it down, but I didn’t love it (usually un-put-downable books fall into the “love” category!).
Mason is a rather unremarkable protagonist, aside from her unique skill: fencing. The story begins to expose Mason’s personality during the first few chapters of the book, but everything halts when Fennrys turns up. Thus begins one of the most disappointing aspects of Starling: the love interest trumps the protagonist. Fennrys’ presence exposes Mason’s weaknesses, and he plays the role of overprotective hero very well. Fennrys shifts into Mason’s spotlight, his mysterious memory problems becoming Mason’s ultimate concern.
I’m tired of heroes upstaging the heroines in paranormal romance, so this choice by the author was a big part of why I didn’t enjoy Starling as much as I could have.
These are just my opinions, of course: I’m sure readers, especially those fond of paranormal romance, will enjoy Starling. If the mythology and overall concept had been more clearly defined, and the heroine had been more dynamic, I would have felt differently about Starling.
For those who like: Norse mythology, paranormal romance
Find the author at LesleyLivingston.com.
Comment question: Have you read Starling? If so, what did you think? If not, have you ever read a book that you didn’t really like, but had trouble putting down anyway?