Review: Scarred by J.M. Snyder

scarredRating: 2.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

In a violence-based society, Dae runs his diner with one thing on his mind—keeping his sister and their ward out of the regulators’ grasp. The regulators—especially McBane’s crew—rule his street. When McBane shows up, Dae has to be at his beck and call. And the next day Dae usually finds himself bruised, broken, and bloody. Then another group of regulators rolls up to his diner on their loud motorcycles and Dae feels stuck in a world where he’ll never be able to choose for himself again.

When the leader, Coby, wants to stay the night, Dae agrees—not that he has a choice—thinking it will be like it is with McBane. But it’s not. It’s sweet and intimate the way Coby sleeps with him. Just sleeps. The next morning Coby leaves with promises of returning. And he does. Dae’s sister, Delia, is against any further association with Coby or McBane, but there is not much they can do about it. Plus she doesn’t understand Dae’s connection with Coby. Dae doesn’t much understand it either.

After spending his nights with Coby, Dae is beginning to believe life might not be as dark and scary as he’d thought. Then McBane shows up, chasing his delusions away and threatening to take away the tiny bit of safety and security Dae has only begun to find with Cody.

challenge monthWeek two of the Reading Challenge has to do with my TBR mountain. As I mentioned last week, my TBR mountain is… vast. So I had quite a bit to choose from. And this one book has been on my shelves for a bit. I have a thing for bad boys—especially of the motorcycle club variety—and for urban fantasy. Scarred leans heavy on the dystopian fantasy scale with extra badness. I liked it for the creativity and originality, but I also had some issues.

I didn’t feel like the world was drawn very well. It actually took me a bit to realize the world was dystopian and that the regulators (read: badass bikers) pretty much ruled things. Cool. But the war that ravaged everything was a conundrum as was the reasoning behind the regulators taking over. So the basis of the world, while interesting, is vague and mostly left for the reader to piece together on his or her own.

Also Dae. The poor guy. For the most part, I liked him well enough, if for nothing else than he is his sister’s sole source of protection and he takes that seriously. I just didn’t connect to him very well. It stems from his disgust of regulators and practically swearing there was no way he’d ever willingly involve himself with a regulator, but then Coby pretty much only has to smile at him and cuddle him and Dae is melted in a pile of whatever-you-want before Coby. He felt awfully inconsistent.

Coby himself was probably the most consistent character, along with Delia. Coby knows what he wants and takes it. But he’s not a jerk about it. In a world of bad guys, he’s the good one. Eventually, I even liked the guys that travelled with him. As for Delia, I felt her hatred and anger through the entire story, and her independence up to the very end—even when she was forced to face her misled illusions of the regulators.

The story, while crazy violent, was good. I didn’t hate it, it just seemed to droll on. This writing style was not for me even a little. While it was third person, present tense, that wasn’t my issue. I’ve warmed to the style even though it’s not my favorite. The issue I had was that it read so monotonous. Had I not been reading it for review, I probably would have put it down and not picked it back up. As it was, it took me a while to read because I couldn’t focus for the tone.

Overall, the story wasn’t bad. It’s everything else that detracted from the story. This isn’t one I can see myself reading again any time soon. So there we go—one TBR book down, fifteen hundred to go.

Happy Reading!

This review is part of our September Reading Challenge Month for TBR Pile Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win this week’s fabulous prize of a loaded iPad Mini sponsored by Dreamspinner Press, as well as our amazing grand prize sponsored by Riptide Publishing. You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on TBR Pile week here. And be sure to check out our prize post for more about the awesome prizes! 

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  1. It sounds rather intense for me anyway, so I’m sorry the world-building didn’t hold up.

  2. Only 1500 to go? I fear I have about 2000 books on my Kindle and then there are three shelves of unread paperbacks in the house! Thanks for providing this review. The idea of motorcycle gangs ruling in a post-apocalyptic world sounds interesting but isn’t really my thing. I think I’ll pass on this title.

  3. Thanks for the review!  While I generally like dystopian stories, based on your issues, though, this one does not sound like it’s for me.  Appreciate your time to share your thoughts.

  4. Completely off topic, but really? 1500 in your TBR pile? My TBR pile is big-ish, but not like that. Sometimes I suggest to myself that I should start buying books only when I intend to read them right away, and not buying another until the previous one is finished, instead of spending money on deals, or filling my Kindle with freebies. Well, that wasn’t what the review was about, but what I came to think of when reading it. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like it, and that you had to keep going just because you needed to review it. I would have just expelled it to the Kindle cloud,  long before the end had it been me.

  5. What a pity, Crissy! It really sounds like a good story only with a poor execution. But the world you describe appeals my imagination (dark fantasy and dystopian are two of my favourite topics) J.M Snyder is new to me as a writer (I know about JMS Books, though). Have you read any other book by this writer? Are they worth it? I’m considering adding some of them to my TBR list. Any recommendation?

    Thank you for the great review!

  6. Jillian Too says:

    It sounds like too much violence for me.

  7. I like dystopian UF but based on your issues, I believe I’ll give this one a pass. Thanks for the review!

  8. waxapplelover says:

    I’m not really a fan of dystopia or violence, so I’ll probably give this a miss, but it does sound interesting, especially the regulators. Thanks for the review.

  9. J.M. Snyder is one of my favorite authors.  Since dystopian/fantasy is not one of my preferred genres I’m not surprised I missed this one.  While this is one I probably will skip (thanks for the review), I  do recommend Snyder’s short stories and contemporary M/M books.

  10. Dystopian books usually have violence and they’re usually a little too  dark and depressing for me, but add a little romance and that really helps. This one just doesn’t really sound like a good way to use my reading time. Thanks for the review. 🙂

  11. Thanks for making it to the end for us, Crissy! Or at least for the review’s sake. 😉 I have found J.M. Snyder to be inconsistent with more that haven’t satisfied than have. There’s just enough good ideas that I occasionally get drawn in to them. So, I go in heavily weighed on the side of having to be proven worthy before spending more money. Still, there’s a couple that I can think on fondly.

  12. I enjoy dystopian books if the world is clearly drawn, but this doesn’t seem the case in this book. I’m not sure if I want to read it.

  13. It sounds like a fun read but with dystopian stories I usually look forward to the world building too. I haven’t read a JM Snyder book yet so this might be a god one for me to start with. Thank you for the review.

  14. Thanks for your review! Dystopian stories aren’t usually my thing so I’m not sure I’ll give this one a try.

  15. I like a well-built dystopia, but it’s hard to get invested in a setting where it’s hard to tell the difference between our world and the one in the story. If it doesn’t have solid world-building it needs to have a really strong story and characters, and this sounds a bit lacking to me.

  16. Thank you for the review! This year I have read several books featuring characters in motorcycle clubs and really enjoyed them. The setting in this one looks like it would be a pass for me. I agree with another commenter, Carolyn, and find this author to be inconsistent. Maybe it’s just a matter of writing to try appeal to a larger variety of audiences.

  17. Your TBR pile sounds like mine. But it looks like this is one book I probably won’t add  to it. Thanks for the review.

  18. Elizabeth Gray says:

    Very different type of story. I don’t think I would read this one. Almost sounds like a torture scenario. 

  19. Thanks for the review. I also have a wide variety of stories on my TBR and sometimes what I bought then doesn’t work for my tastes now. I used to read *a lot* of very saccharine stories, I devoured them, but now many of my old favs are almost boring because I just crave angst!

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