Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (07/10)
Lately I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy and paranormal romances, and enjoying them far more than I’ve ever thought possible; so it should come as no surprise that a book talking about “Ancient Norwegian Powers” on its back cover would attract my attention immediately. Although the cover art struck me as rather cheesy, I was excited about diving in and discovering another fantasy world.
Elizabeth Bowman, a typical small-town American girl, has married young and quickly discovered that her beloved was not the knight in a shining armor she took him to be. After the divorce, she has fallen on some hard times, but things started to look up when her dear friends helped her land a great job. She quickly impressed the owner of the company, the stylish and shrewd Vanessa, and everything was going really smoothly until a Norwegian company who has tangled with Vanessa in the past attempted a take-over. A mysterious man from Vanessa’s past, Espen Fossen, and his younger brother, SletteKorbinian, also known as Raven, arrive in the United States to discuss the business at hand, and the world as Elizabeth knows it is about to end.
After having read about half of it, I started to get more and more disappointed. The writing was stiff, the dialogues stilted. The characters were awfully formulaic, the story all too conventional. The “rock bottom” that Elizabeth Bowman hit according to the synopsis on the back cover was, while not the best place to be, truly far from any bottom, rock or otherwise. The descriptions of dealings in the corporate world made me wonder whether the said world really changed so dramatically since I’ve left it, or whether the author was simply not familiar enough with that type of environment. And the “Ancient Norwegian Powers,” while hinted at a few times, simply did not develop into anything tangible enough to make the book more interesting. I kept hoping for some great revelation at some later point, but felt sadly disappointed with the very humdrum ending and lack of any real development of the potentially interesting side story about the “Norwegian Society.”
While there were some nice glimpses of humor and at least one brilliant scene in the book (where Elizabeth’s father is trying to give Raven some money so he could take Elizabeth on a proper date…), overall I felt frustrated and let down. The synopsis of “Unacceptable Destiny” was way better than the book turned out to be, and I was left wanting for… something magical, I guess.