Rose Montague’s Jade, published November 2013 (see guest post by the author: No one reads lesbian fiction anyway, so who cares?), is narrated by Jade, a part-witch/vampire/shifter/fae with an expertise in martial arts, and a strict diet of coffee, wine, chocolate and – if necessary – blood. She has her eyes set on a man, but fate has other ideas for her.
It feels like the author has picked cool ideas from a range of urban fantasies and wrapped them up elegantly into a neat package. There are elements of romance, but the primary focus is always on the urban fantasy storyline.
I really enjoyed the first half, until the point of revelation about who Jade is. On the one hand this is quite cleverly done; on the other – but I’ll come back to that. I mostly enjoyed the rest, up to the end of Chapter 26. If the book had stopped there, this would have been a four-star review despite my various niggling complaints. It’s not that the last five chapters are bad, it’s just that they feel unnecessary, not part of the main story, more suitable really for Book 2 in the series perhaps; and since a whole cast of new characters is introduced, there’s a lot of exposition.
So, what are my gripes. Mainly the sheer awesomeness of the main character. We’re verging on Mary Sue territory here. She out-witches the witches, out-shifts the shifters, etc., etc. She’s kick-ass, she’s beautiful, and she’s ultra-rich. Basically she’s a superhero whose fatal weakness is… a need for coffee and chocolate. Oh cruel world.
Also, Jade has never been kissed, never been truly in love, and suddenly she has been, and she is – and perhaps she’s blood-bonded too. She should be wildly emotional, and yet we don’t get to see her passion, we don’t feel the electricity. I’m not arguing for lots of romance to be stirred into the writing, but I do think the impact of falling in love needs to be revealed to the reader.
Finally, there are quite a few grammatical errors. They don’t really get in the way of reading, but they are a persistent distraction.