|Series: In the Heart of the Mountains #1||Rating: DNF at 42%|
|Date of Publishing: October 10th 2017||Genre: fantasy, grimdark, epic fantasy|
|Publisher: self-published||Available: Amazon|
|Number of pages: 340||Author’s website: http://www.rosalynkelly.co.uk|
Quote of the Book
“He doesn’t judge me, he accepts me. He has witnessed my anger, my greatest fault, yet continues to love me.”
Legendary warrior Ramya has successfully ruled as Melokai for longer than most. Prosperous, peaceful, and happy, her people love her. Or so she thinks. Ramya’s time is up. Bracing herself for the gruesome sentence imposed on all Melokais who have served their purpose, she hears instead a shocking prophecy. Is the abrupt appearance of a mysterious, eastern cave creature the prophesied danger? Or is it something darker, more evil? And what of the wolves? Will the ferocious war with their kind oust her from power? Suddenly Ramya must fight threats from all sides to save her mountain realm. But while her back is turned, a conspiracy within her inner circle is festering. Ramya and her female warriors must crush an epic rebellion before it can destroy her and devastate her beloved nation. She thinks it’s the end, but it’s just the beginning...
I’ve got a copy from the author through TBRIndr in exchange of an honest review.
This is going to be a mini review as I decided to pull a DNF at 42%. Since I have no knowledge about how the book finishes, I’ll only focus on that part I actually read.
Melokai starts out pretty well. We get to know Ramya, the leader of a kingdom surrounded by mountains. Every ten years, a new Melokai is being announced by the prophetess, Sybilia – can we stop naming every prophetess some version of Cassandra and/or Sibylla, please? Ramya has been a leader for twelve years now and dreads every week when she goes to receive her dismissal. But that never comes. Instead, a new prophecy is being told, and suddenly the peaceful, prosperous life seems at an end. But was it really that perfect as it looked?
Now, I think most of you know by now that I generally don’t like female characters much, although it’s not rare that they grow in me despite my refusal. Here we get a whole society ruled by women, where men are degraded and are only used as slaves – whether they do manual jobs or pleasuring or anything else. They are not even called men just peen. The way they are treated are mostly shown trough on of the pleasure givers, the Melokai’s favorite. He will play a prominent role in later events I reckon, as he is turned down by his loved Ramya when a mysterious creature appears in the court. Not going to say more because spoilers.
My main problem with Melokai was the usually pointless use of sex scenes, meant to add to the “shock value” but not really succeeding. After I came across one of the more exposed scenes, I knew I probably not going to finish. The final nail in this coffin was the friendly banter between two female warrior/friend where they used “cockface” and “seed sacks” as insult. While I have nothing against swearing or crude language – I’m a Hungarian, no one swears like we do. Hell, I even applaud creative swearing, I kind of found this offending. Yes, I get that in this world men are inferior and are treated like trash, but this is nothing less insulting than if it would be a men’s world and women would be treated the same. I also found offending the way the same characters made comments about Ramya’s lover. Just nope.
Language and pointless sex scenes aside, the other problem I found with this book is the writing. While the world building is interesting and has quite a potential – different cultures associated with different animals were one of them -, it kind of falls apart with the constant change of POVs, getting introduced new and new ones, sometimes not making much sense. We are not being eased into these plotlines, they just happen out of nothing and honestly, I couldn’t find in myself to care about any of them. Even Ramya. She goes through such a change in a short time, that would take normally a whole book. Again, I get the intent and what the author wanted to convey, but found the transition unbelievable as well as some of the characters’ reactions to it.
I really wished I could like Melokai given some of my friends did, but I just couldn’t. I gave it a fair chance, but at the end of the day, I just had to give up forcing myself to go on.