Meet the D'Artigo sisters: half-human, half-faerie, they're savvy-and sexy-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But their mixed-blood heritage short-circuits their talents at all the wrong times. Delilah shapeshifts into a tabby cat whenever she's stressed. Menolly's a vampire who's still trying to get the hang of being undead. And Camille is a wicked-good witch, except her magic's as unpredictable as the weather, as her enemies are about to find out-the hard way.
Blurb at the back of the book:
At the Wayfarer Inn, a portal to Otherworld and the local hangout for humans and beasties alike, a fellow operative, Jocko, has been murdered. Every clue points to Shadow Wing, the soul-munching badass leader of the 'Subterranean Realms'. He's made it clear that he aims to raze humankind to the ground, turning both Earth and Otherworld into his private playground. Our assignment: Keep Shadow Wing and his minions from creeping into Earth via the Wayfarer. The demons figure they're in like Flynn. After all, with only my bumbling sisters and me standing in the way, how can they miss? But we've got a secret for them: Faulty wiring or not, nobody kicks ass like the D'Artigo girls...
First book in the trilogy, Witchling has been an utter disappointment for me T_T I've been anticipating this book every since I've read the synopsis and seen the cover, which was probably at the beginning of the summer 2006. The blurb sounds good, the cover is awesome, unfortunately, the storyline is another story. This trilogy is told in the first-person and the first book features Camille. I won't give a synopsis, because the book blurb basically sums up the story well and because this book was for me a Did Not Finish. Yes, a DNF... I can't even remember when was my last DNF...
So what was wrong? Let starts with the world building. So you have three Realms: the Otherworld which I guess is the Feary world in which you find all kind of paranormal creatures: shiftshapers, witches, sorcerers, fearies, elves, unicorns, gargoyles, vampires and etc. This realm is governed by the Queen; however, the aristo/government is pretty useless as it is corrupted and addicted to opium. There are portals which allow these creatures to go to the Earthside where humans live. The last Realm is the Subterranean Realm where demons and "not very good" creatures live. I thought the fantasy world in this book sucked. First, the Otherworld is so corrupted, it doesn't seem to have order at all... frankly, why would the Sisters miss home when it is soooo mess up? In addition, I don't even know if there's some hierarchy or does every type of paranormal creatures are equal... I mean, the Queen is a Faery, so are Faeries superior to say witch? Are vampires welcomed? How can three sisters who are born from the same parents can be witch, werecat and 'psychic'? By the way, Menolly wasn't born a vampire... she had some acrobatic and climbing powers (?!?), that's why I call her a 'psychic'... although it seems her powers have completey vanished since she became a vampire. Anyway, back to the topic, are the powers inherited genetically or what? But then, maybe it's my limited knowledge of Faeries... Anyhow, I didn't like the Earthside either. Humans are aware of the Faeries (and other paranormal creatures?), some wants to get rid of them and some creates fanclub to worship them. It was totally ridiculous the Faeries Watchers Club! Basically, Faeries are considered as special attraction, ^^;, almost a bit like some celebrities. You get news of them in gossip papers, you have fanclubs which are very possessive and you even get tourists who want their picture. Urgh. So the D'Artigo sisters don't hide the fact that they are Faeries, but they hide the fact that they are Otherworld Intelligence Agency (OIA) agents. To sum it up, I didn't like the world: too many creatures scattered everywhere with no order and not enough explanation of how the worlds were functioning.
Then, the characters... I guess the sisters are supposed to be gutsy and strong, but it came out all wrong. Instead, I felt that the D'Artigo sisters were weak, scared and stupid. I didn't even read a witty reply from any of the characters. It was sad... I mean, as they investigate the murder and learn that it's the work of demons, they get scared at every turn. In fact, think a bit of the Halliwell sisters from 'Charmed,' you know, always scared and nervous. But the worst came when Camille was like: I wish Father was here. What? You're this supernatural creature, surrounded with your two sisters... you three have considerable amount of power, even if you don't have much control over it and you want your Father?!? It said that the D'Artigo sisters kicked ass... I didn't see that at all. At all. As for the male characters, you have basically three: Chase which is a human working also for OIA. He is freaking annoying. You've been working with the OIA for a considerable amount of time already... so much that you've even create a unit that sounds like CSI... but at every turn of the story, you're surprised to learn that X being exists and how the Otherworld functions. Basically, the way he was introduced in the story, he was to be an ass. As an ass, I had every right to dislike him and think he wouldn't really be important... but then, he became Delilah's lover... and that's supposed to make me suddenly like him better? I don't think so, sorreh. Then, you have Trillian which is a Svartan (some sort of Dark Faery) and Camille's lover. It seems that Svartan are known to get bored of their lovers and throw them away... that's why Camille put an end to their relationship. Anyway, Trillian is perhaps the only character that I enjoyed. Only he wasn't really important, except to have sex with Camille... and finally, Morio who is Japanese and a fox-demon... He wasn't bad either, but I also think he doesn't have much purpose in the story than play third-party in Camille's relationship with Trillian.
The romance... urgh. I actually don't think that this book has an ounce of romance... oh actually, yes, a tiny bit that involves Menolly, but that's it. Camille and Trillian's relationship is a heavy dose of lust. LUST, not romance. I don't get Camille: she loves Trillian, but she doesn't like him. Hello? You can't love someone if you don't like him. You love having sex with Trillian, okay. You lusts after Trillian, true, but in any case, you DON'T LOVE HIM. Ever since her break-up with Trillian, she hasn't find a man to be with, well that's not because you LOVE Trillian... it's just that you find the others unsatisfying. There's a HUGE difference between love and lust and I'm astounded that the author is not making it. There's a saying in their world that say: Once you've bedded a Svartan, you'll never go back. But that still only explain the lusting part, not the loving part. Basically, Camille keeps saying that sleeping with Trillian is a mistake, but she keeps going back for more. Anyway, I don't see the love between the two... I don't even see chemistry. Usually, in a romance... making love can be a mistake at first, but then, feelings develop, story develop and at the end, it is no longer a mistake, it's right... well, this is not happening in this book. Worse. Worse. Camille sleeps with Morio. Okay, it was under a spell, but STILL... she goes back for more with Morio. This is just so screwed up! Morio might bethe first guy Camille's been attracted since Trillian... but this doesn't bode well with me at all. You might want to break thing off with Trillian in that case, Camille... oh but no, the author comes up with the terrific idea that: Faeries are not monogamous, so basically, all Trillian has to say is: You can sleep with him as long as it doesn't affect us. Well, it affects me, the reader because I don't like it. I'm old-fashioned... I don't like the H/H to be unfaithful to each other, is that too much asking? This is why I've almost give up on the Stephanie Plum series... this is why I'll never touch LKH books... did the author think that readers actually enjoy this? Not knowing who the heroine would choose? Oh, but there's worse... Delilah and Chase. Delilah's never had sex... at least not in human form. Sorry, but does this mean what I think it means? Because yuck, in that case, I don't want to know more. But what flaggerblast me the most is that Delilah and Camille are in a dangerous situation, with three demons to catch, an artifact to find before Shadow Wing, and saving the world... Camille is discussing the situation with Trillian and Morio, who are at each other's throat for Camille's attention. Delilah comes back... Camille immediately guesses that she'd had sex with Chase, so she drops everything and wants to have a talk with Delilah to see what she thought of it. My jaws dropped at that moment. I swear. I just thought this was the most inappropriate moment!
Anyway, last thing... the tone of the narration. I thought there wasn't much emotion in it... It didn't catch my attention, didn't grip my feelings, didn't even entice me. I thought it was bland, relating what was happening, giving explanations when the author thought it needed some. Not enough opinion/pov from Camille... or at least, no concrete opinion/pov... Yeah, if I had to describe the book, I'd say bland and frustrating. Didn't even crack a smile and that's telling.