I can usually find something good to say about a book, but every time I try all I can think of to say is that Reckless could have been great.
They call him reckless.
With a tag line like that how could Reckless be anything but fantastic? I don’t know, but somehow it managed it!
The writing is solid. The setting is complex, beautiful, and dangerous. The premise is intriguing. The actual story, however, left me gaping at the book.
Half of the book was taken up by a "quest" that was negated ten pages after it was finished. Yes, lets put the cursed person to sleep so the curse is suspended! Oops, there's only a hundred pages left. We'd better get this thing moving, so just forget that middle part, we didn't mean it.
But, I will grudgingly admit the quest was a fairly interesting, time wasting device, so truly there was only one thing working against Reckless. It’s a young adult novel, and never should have been. If it hadn’t pulled all those punches to stick to that label, it could have been so much more, gone so much deeper.
The main character, Jacob Reckless, has to be about twenty four and his brother’s girlfriend is a medical student, for crying out loud, but the book still insisted on being Young Adult. Almost all of the themes were adult, but they were toned down to suite a younger demographic. The relationship between Will Reckless and his girlfriend, no strike that his fiancé, was lukewarm because that type of relationship doesn't fit in the Young Adult world. The characters’ relationships and personalities felt insincere, like they were the personalities of adults only diluted.
Exhibit A: Jacob’s sexually driven fairy romance, that didn’t exist! Here is this fairy that we’ve been told over and over is self-centered, sex driven, and uber possessive (perfect themes for the adult fantasy book this should have been) and what does she do with Jacob when she’s got him at her mercy? Sleep with him. As in separate beds, with him on the other side of the room!
Please, if you want to write young adult then write young adult, and if you want to write for adults then write for adults. Don't ruin a perfectly good story by trying to make it something it isn't.