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.
Week 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.
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!