Thursday, July 16, 2015

Review: Matronly Duties by Melissa Kendall

Book Blurb:

After an Asteroid slams into Earth sending it into a new ice age, what remains of the human race survives in underground sanctuaries.

Two Hundred years in the future, Bethanie Greene’s life has been planned out for her since the age of thirteen. Beautiful and intelligent, she’s spent the last twelve years training to become the next leader of the underground nation of Oceania. And in just six weeks, all of her hard work and dedication will come to fruition.

Howard James’ life has been the polar opposite of Bethanie’s struggling to survive in a world where those in power wished he didn’t exist. He never asked to be the leader of those, outcast from society, but he will do the job to the best of his ability. He never expects to find himself attracted to the pretty blonde woman who is next in line for Matron of Oceania or to have to rescue her from his own men.

When Bethanie is kidnapped by rogue extremists just six weeks shy of taking office, her world is turned upside down, and not just by the handsome stranger who rescues her. Together with his unconventional family, Howard shows her a life she never knew was possible, while at the same time opening her eyes the injustices perpetrated upon the citizens of Oceania by the government she is meant to lead.

But can she trust him? And can a few days change everything she believes? Against all odds, Bethanie must decide if love and duty can coexist.

My Review:

2 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Survival--

In preparation for a large meteor to strike the earth and cause a deadly ice age, a few bunkers across the world were created to house the survivors. Some were selected by skills and potential contribution to society and others by random lottery. As the people tried to make a go of this new way of life, they realized that they needed a woman, or Matron, to be in charge to take care of things men could not see. With that in mind, girls were tested and sent to live in a training school where they could be prepped to one day take over ruling their nation. Bethanie is one of those girls.

I love dystopian stories and am willing to give almost any of them a try. The concept of this story was intriguing and I was excited to read it. Unfortunately this book was just not for me. I don’t like being negative, but there were some things I could not shake off while I was reading this book. Firstly, I found the writing style to be incredibly simple, with short sentences that got to the point. That was ok when I was reading the prologue for the background, but not ok as the book progressed. The world itself had the potential to be vast and complex, but the way it was conveyed by the author made it seem very simple.

Also, I love me some well developed complex characters who you learn more about as the story progresses, but that did not happen either. The characters were one dimensional, what you see is what you get for the most part. Bethany was adult (at least she should have been at 25) yet she was na├»ve and overall described in a way that made her seem like a child. I don’t know if this was done on purpose or not, I could not tell, but it made me feel sorry for her that she could not see what was really going on around her. She at times just parroted the party phrases and seemed to be content with no power, even when she was being groomed to take over the region. There was a scene in the book where basically a stranger is educating the main character Bethanie about the differences between “fornication”, “making love” and conception and everything about the scene made me question the book. Here is an educated woman who is being told about intimate details by a strange woman, and it is being applied in the context of said woman’s son. If that had been me, I would have been so uncomfortable with everything about this talk I would have blushed or squirmed, yet Bethanie takes it in as if they discussed the weather (which was odd for such a sheltered girl). And if she is so against such ideas, wouldn’t she have had more of a strong reaction to what she heard, instead of just a hmmm. She calls people out for their outrageous lies/ideas, and then after they give a reason she turns a 180 on the view. At times, it felt like the people were just robots with no motivations for the actions, more like the reader is an observer of a third party instead of inside the characters head like I want with a book.

And did I mention this was a romance? Yeah, well I will be the first to admit that I do enjoy some romance with my books, be it dystopian, paranormal, mystery or horror, but this was a romance with hints of a dystopian society in the background. Ok fine, I can deal with that, but I can’t deal with insta-love! I hate insta-love. Bethanie knows Howard for a day, and blames him, lusts after him, fights with him and can’t live without him in that time span. No! Just no. She has more bad experiences with him and is lied to by him, yet her feelings are strong and determined. Also he is 23 and she is 25, but he is so much more of an adult than she is with her head in the sand.

Overall I was let down by the book. I am sure others will really enjoy it, but it was not for me. I received this title form the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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