Content Warning: Mental Illness, Smoking, Graphic Sex, Sex in Public, Group Sex, DubCon, Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Degradation, submission, Bondage/Ropes, Choking
I have come to the conclusion dark fantasy is not for me. This is the second dark fantasy series I have struck out on. I’m fine with books having different kinks and such that don’t pertain to my liking, I can see past that, but when it takes center stage in every. Single. Chapter. And is extremely vulgar in language, I can’t do it. The Never King and The Dark One feels like fan fiction that belongs on Wattpad.
- Hook and Tilly
- Quick Read
- No map
- The writing needs editing big time
- Messy plot and plot devices
- No character development
- Could have been merged with The Never King
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
What the fuck did I just read? Yes, the plot was much better in this one compared to the first one, but it was still severely lacking and I have so many questions. Let’s dive into this.
- If Wendy was left in Everland, then how did the Darling line continue unless she already had a kid at this point?
- What about a male Darling? What if instead of a girl, the Darling had a boy? Would Pan come and take him, too?
- Are we not going to talk about how Winnie was groomed into sex work? Or how the “boys” treat her as a sex object instead of a person? I mean, if Winnie wants to do sex work, that’s a-okay, but she literally just turned 18.
- What about Winnie is so special that the boys are instantly all over her? I mean, characters changed motives for her only have a week or so— Kas and getting his wings back; Vane and returning to Darkland.
- Why was Vane painted as the bad guy for fighting back against Winnie when she tried to go down on him? He said no multiple times but Winnie ignored him. She tried to sexually assault him and he defended himself.
- So they have electricity, but we don’t know how the world works? (Even if it is based in Neverland we still need some explaining in a retelling.)
Also, there were so many POVs that it was ridiculous. We do not need to see every single character’s POV. Not to mention that St. Crowe confused Bash and Was in the chapters pertaining to tying Winnie up. One of the chapters was in Kas’s POV but switched to Bash halfway through. Was this book not edited?
My biggest complaint about the book is the poorly timed sex scenes and how they didn’t do anything to aid the plot. Even though Winnie is our main character, if we completely remove her and the sex scenes from the book, we still have the full story. And that is so sad. That’s not what you want for a main character. (I mean the ending will change her influence in the plot, maybe.)
I wish there was more to Winnie besides being an object. The plot is happening around her and she plays no part in furthering that plot. Like I could skip every scene with her in and still get a full story. That’s really sad because I want her to be part of the main plot and push it forward. Not just be on the sidelines only to please the readers with steamy scenes and the Lost Boys.
We know Winnie likes sex (and more power to her!), but what else does she like? Who is she outside of just sex? What are her ambitions? Her fears (besides going mad); her interests? Who was Winnie before the Lost Boys took her?
The Lost Boys
The sex drive of these men is insane and that’s all they think about. (Genuinely— is this normal? Do guys think about sex all the time like this?) The Lost Boys (Pan, Vane, Kas, and Bash) all had some depth to them. They weren’t fully 2-D characters, but they weren’t 3-D either. Definitely feel the whole brotherly vibes with them and their loyalty to one another, which I enjoy seeing. I like the scenes where it’s just the guys and they’re goofing off or handling serious situations.
Cherry, let’s talk about her real quick. She seems much younger than 18. The way she reacts to situations and her line of thinking gives off 15-year-old vibes (because I was totally obsessed with my crush at that age, but not to her extent). Especially when she sees Winnie as a threat and now she is no longer the only girl in the house. Hunny, you were never the only girl around. Cherry should have just set her boundary with Winnie and become friends with her. I would have loved to see something like that play out, instead of Cherry being used as another bargaining chip.
Hook and Tilly seem like decent villains with their own goals and personalities in mind. I didn’t mind their POVs or interactions with the main crew.
Dear lord, the writing in this was rough. There was punctuation missing, confusing plot devices, and too many POVs. There was honestly no need for that many viewpoints. Unlike the first one, I didn’t enjoy the different views this time. They all blended and I found myself going to the beginning of the chapter to see who was narrating.
I also think The Never King, The Dark One, and whatever the third book will be should have been one book. Typically, a book falls into a rhythm of 3— 3 big plot points, with 2 being similar to achieve and the 3 getting a plot twist. And this series so could have pulled that off instead of charging for each third of the full book. (I am a little pissy about this because these books were not cheap).
St. Crowe did provide better descriptions of people, places, and things in this book than in the first one, which I appreciate! I like to know the surroundings, what the characters look like— what color is Pan’s hair? What about the twins’ eyes? What do the rooms and treehouse look like?— otherwise, I feel disconnected and confused.
Overall, this book could have been combined with The Never King. The plot was more interesting this go around, but it lacked so much character development, cohesiveness, and planning. I found myself cringing at a lot of the sex scenes because of the timing of them, and then there was the bizarre act of the washcloth (no thank you!). The ending was very predictable, and anti-climatic, so I don’t plan on reading the third book. I don’t think my mind can take it. I need to drudge all the muck out before I can remotely read anything else.
Let me clarify something real quick, too: if this is up your alley, great! I’m happy you enjoyed the book because if you’re looking for a steamy fanfic this is pretty much dead on! I am not dissing the characters for having sex (more power to them!), I just don’t like the timing of the scenes and how that was all Winnie was based around. There just could have been more substance than sex in the book, and that’s all I wanted.
What did you think of the book? Did you like it or could you have done without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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