Review: Treasure Darkly

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Treasure Darkly by Jordan Elizabeth

Published February 16, 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press
Genre: Fantasy, Science fiction, Steampunk
Rating: 1 Star
Reviewed on March 5, 2015


Book Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe…until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead. A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he.

And he is not alone. His new-found sister, Amethyst, thinks that's rather dashing, until Horan kidnaps her, and all she gets is a bullet through her heart. When Clark brings her back to life, she realizes he's more than just street-smart - and he's not really a Treasure. Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.


 
 

Review

It appears I'm the black sheep here . . .

Alright, let's start!

Treasure Darkly is my first western steampunk novel. It’s an original read, though the obvious plot twists are rather too obvious and unexciting. Therefore, I might as well spoil the story in ways that can’t be considered “spoiling” when it won’t even ruin the book for you. Read at your own expense.



The story opens with the 15-year-old protagonist stealing a vial of some sort from one of his mother’s clients. His mother is a prostitute and Clark lives with her at the saloon. He hopes to earn enough money from his job at the mines so they can move out of their mining town and to a pleasant farmhouse.

His hopes, however, are destroyed.

Stealing and drinking from the vile has deadly consequences.

Two years later, we discover he’s been on the run, keeping his ability to resurrect the dead a secret. The army's search isn't ending any time soon and they intend to use him as a government weapon. He seeks refuge at Treasure Ranch, where he is surprisingly and warmly welcomed by his father, Garth Treasure, and his wife. Only the children have a hard time adjusting to their half-brother.

I won’t give too much away. You’ll have to read the book in order to find out more about Clark’s ability and what happens with him during those two years on the run. At first, I found Clark to be an intriguing character. He’s underestimated and shunned by people, but he has the survival skills set, determination, and devotion to prove them wrong. My problem with him: Having a gift/curse to raise the dead doesn't make you oh-so-special in my eyes. He gets less and less interesting and impressive as the story goes on and I didn't give a rat's ass about what happened to him anymore.

Amethyst, his half-sister, rubs off as a snobby and self-absorbed spoiled brat just because she wears the Treasure’s name. (I’m positive the author intends for readers to dislike her.) The Treasure family is one of the most powerful families in the kingdom and she is used to being idolized. She’s a city girl; not a ranch girl and hates having to move back. She happens to return home on the same day Clark arrives and announces himself as Garth’s bastard. What I really find repulsive about Amethyst is she flaunts herself at Clark, even when she reminds herself that they’re siblings. I can’t blame Clark for his attraction, but the girl doesn’t have to encourage it.

Another reason for me to detest her character: When she’s kidnapped, do you want to know what goes through her mind while she is held captive? She doesn’t fear death and worry about what her captors can do to her— rape, torture. Oh, no, all she thinks about is making headlines in the newspaper, about the people who will sympathize and send her gifts, about how this little episode will convince her father to send her back to the beloved city. Even after she’s rescued, it’s like nothing happened. She seriously thinks she’s untouchable, which only serves her right that she dies later on for running her mouth off.

But then Clark resurrects her and things go on from there. (I’ll talk more about this later.)

The building romance— or love, if you want to call it that— is absolutely boring.



I wasn’t reading for the romance and expected this story to be straight-up badass and awesome. And what did I get? Two horny teenagers. How do you expect me to care about a relationship between Clark and Amethyst when Clark’s attraction to her is mind-numbing and Amethyst is a shallow human being? I tried. I really tried not to hold Amethyst’s privileged lifestyle against her, but she’s an awfully dull and annoying character. I especially don’t find “naivety” and “tenacity” attractive, which I guess it’s why Clark likes her because she’s from a whole different world.

And because the allure of a forbidden romance between brother and sister.



Eventually, Clark learns they aren’t blood siblings.



Good for you, Clark. You don’t have to feel dirty about wanting to touch your “sister” anymore. Now tell me why should I give a fuck?

What bothers me the most is I find it hard to believe how Clark can trust Amethyst so effortlessly just because he thinks he knows her nature. I can understand that he needs an explanation after bringing her back from the dead, but he easily confides in her and spills out everything.

And you know what else is unbelievable?

When the readers are let into Amethyst’s thoughts, do we see she’s troubled by the fact that the entire terrifying army is after him?

Let’s see . . .


“What would he look like with that shirt off, his skin tanned and glistening with the sweat of the hot day?”

“She’d wondered why she found him so irresistible when her parents claimed he was her half-sibling. Staying at the ranch wouldn’t be dull at her. He spoke to ghosts, for steam’s sake.”

“She wondered if he’d eaten watercress before. She could introduce him to a new plate of tastes and textures. How exciting!”

“His throat worked with each swallow . . . how would he taste if she licked those muscles?”

“Clark wiped his mouth on his linen napkin. What manners for being a street urchin!”



Uhhh, no.

On the occasions when the author peers into Amethyst’s mind, does anything she has to say useful to readers?

No.

Right again!

The established trust and chemistry (or lack of chemistry) between Amethyst and Clark feels forced and is still gross to me.



And did I mention she has a boyfriend— a boy toy— back in the city? A boy who she just happens to forget about when she had contemplated marrying him in the beginning?

Yeah.

You know that saying that goes something like “your book is only as good as your villian”? Well, I’m applying it to Treasure Darkly. Even with the bad guys, the danger is nonexistent and the adventurous drama is plain boring. (How many times have I repeated boring by now?) Funny how Amethyst is the damsel in distress who’s always getting kidnapped and coming close to death when Clark is truly the one with a price on his head. Throughout the book (and what felt like forever), they spend their time traveling, kissing, tumbling in bed, visiting the city, shopping, dining out, dodging death, being pursued, etc, etc, whatever rich lustful teenagers do. They end up falling in love, getting married, and more crap happens. You read correctly: They got married. And this is all within one book!



I think this pretty much sums up the story. The only outcome I can appreciate about their relationship is Amethyst soon realizes what a naïve and selfish person she is and wants to change for the better. The downside: And it’s all because of Clark. All because of a fucking boy and hundreds of near-death experiences.


Overall: I know all I talked about was the romance, but this is more of a romance book than anything else and that’s why I didn’t enjoy it. I’m not impressed one bit and don’t plan to continue the series. It is not fantasy. It’s a fucking love story.

I have to give Treasure Darkly a one star and it's not out of hate. It's out of a deep scorching disappointment in the book . . . and in myself for being fooled by the cool and badass misleading cover. Never again. What a book cover fraud. It is nothing like I pictured.

Anyways, don’t let my review discourage you, readers! You may enjoy the book more than I did and you should definitely form your own opinions instead of adopting mine.

ARC was given through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  
 
 
  

Rating

Nancy Her

Blogger/Reviewer

Cee named The Mistress Case after Sherlock (BBC with Benedict) and Supernatural (Dean, baby). She writes mainly book reviews. On occasions, movies and TV shows. She reads and reviews in many genres, including fantasy, historical, contemporary, romance, erotica, mystery, etc. She personally rains more love on fantasy and historical romance and hopes you won't hold it against her. Caoi.

2 comments:

  1. Lol, I don't know why but I find this book funny. Funny to the point of ludicrous. Romance between a potential brother and sister? Gosh! Of course, they are not brother and sister after all. Where will the fun be if it turns out that way, right? Gah, I hate damsel in distress. How any more worse can this book be? The book cover is totally misleading. From the cover, I expect a hardcore heroine but it turns out to be the opposite. Much disappointed.
    By the way, I love the Sam gif, as always! :D
    Azee @ UnderCover Critique

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! I expected a super awesome heroine, but hell no, the cover has nothing to do with the book. And I still can't grasp the setting -.- In my opinion, I don't necessarily think it's a bad book but neither is it a good book. So far, the book has been receiving glowing reviews and it turns out I'm the black sheep and the first person to write a bad review. Mehhh, I have the right to be disappointed.

      All the supernatural gifs are awesome XD

      Thanks for stopping by (:

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