Title: Forged by Greed
Author: Angela Orlowski-Peart
Genre: YA, fantasy, romance
Series? Yes, #1 in the Forged Series
Publisher: Indie Inked
Rating: 0/6 – Did not finish it
Synopsis from NetGalley: Two Seattle 16-year-olds, Jatred and Jasmira, are not your typical star-crossed lovers. They are not even your typical Shape Shifters. Sure, they try to live an ordinary life. At least, as ordinary as the Prince and the Princess of the rivaling ancient Races–the Winter wolves and the Summer leopards–can live. But eventually they learn that not much about their existence can be normal. Especially when the Races’ two commanding Goddesses are involved.
One of the Goddesses is on a quest to tilt the scale of power to her side. The other will never let it happen, even if it means kicking Jatred and Jasmira’s love to the curb. Nothing is off limits, including removing Jatred’s memories of Jasmira.
To complicate things even more, there are the Universe’s powers to consider. They are trapped in an ancient Amulet in order to protect the stability of the world. But the Universe has a mind of its own, and when the powers are unleashed, the forces of nature are disturbed; earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions shake the Earth. All Shifters of both Races are summoned by their respective Goddesses to fight in the name of, or against, the normalcy of the world.
My Initial Thoughts/Rambling: So, I really tried with this book. I honestly, truly did. I made it to 39%, which is roughly 120 pages – more than enough to get a good flavor of a book, in my opinion. I’m looking at all the other reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and I can see that I’m clearly in a minority here, so take this review with a grain of salt.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Forged by Greed from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
What did I think about the characters? Okay, first of all – why do the two main characters have A) such weird names, B) names that start with the same letter, and C) they both refer to each other as “J”? All I kept thinking was Hatred and Jasmine – that’s what I read it as half the time. The two were pretty indistinguishable from each other, solely built on their love for each other. There was no other defining factor to their personalities – it was just love, and really obsessive love at that. It was like insta-love in flavor, even though they were a previously established couple. It was like a really bad version of Romeo and Juliet (and I hate that play in the first place).
The rest of the characters were unremarkable. Mostly stock characters, full of stereotypes, tropes, and cliches. There really isn’t much to say about them, other than the fact that they acted as white space for the intervals between Jatred and Jasmina’s – wait, Jasmira (see how little of an impact she made on me?) – love drama…
And the concept and plot? A perfect example of an amazing fantasy plot ruined by the overwhelming romantic issues. The idea of the Shifters is brilliant – and really what drew me to this book in the first place. Winter and Summer embodied by Wolves and Leopards? Tell me where else I can read that!
When I noticed the romance becoming a big issue, I had originally hoped that it would be well balanced with the drama between the two Shifter factions. After the 20% mark, my only wish was that there would be a plot besides the forbidden love. I mean – the Princess of Summer and Prince of Winter fall in love and are forbidden but ignore it anyway – really? I don’t want to read 350+ pages on that! I feel like there was so much potential between the Shifters, but it was rendered completely silent with the romance.
What about the writing style? I think this was my big issue with this book. Even after the basic elements of the Shifters were established (Summer shifters like the heat, Winter shifters can’t stand it, and vice versa with the cold), Orlowski continually reminded me about this pretty simple fact, among others that related to specifically the Shifter mythology. It felt really condescending, like she didn’t believe I could retain that simple concept after the first 10% of the book. Condescension grates on my nerves, so my toleration for the rest of the parts I might have been able to handle otherwise was really low. Ultimately, this was the real reason I couldn’t keep reading it.
Oh and one other thing: is it really necessary to constantly tell me if Jasmina is wearing True Religion or Gucci jeans? 1) It’s pretentious, 2) I really don’t care what brand your pants are as long as your crotch and crack are covered, and 3) It just really doesn’t matter in the span of things, and so much of the word count could have been cut out with just this problem alone.
And does Gucci even make jeans? Is that a thing? I thought they were just uber-expensive purses and glasses.
Anything else you’d like to add? This turned into way more of a rant than I had originally intended. Sorry guys, it just didn’t work for me at all. But like I said – I’m in the minority, so I would say give this one a chance for yourself and let me know if you have a different opinion!
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