Review: Death of Innocence (The Foxworth Coven #1) by Kayden McLeod
Wrongly spurned and turned out into the streets by her family, Canya is taken in by Gregory, heir to a successful shipping business and a respected gentleman around town. Death of Innocence is the saga of Canya and Gregory’s journey from that first fateful meeting to their ascention to the leadership of the Foxworth Coven. This story is filled with love, drama, angst, despair, and violence, and no one is spared the wrath of the antagonist.
- Title: Death of Innocence
- Series: The Foxworth Coven – book #1
- Author: Kayden McLeod
- Prominent Characters: Canya & Gregory
- Recommended reader age: 16+
- Sexual content level: moderate
Told from double first person, switching back and forth between the hero and heroine, Death of Innocence is a disconcerting read. The dialect is somewhat proper, resembling period English, but isn’t stuffy. The wording is sometimes a little awkward and confusing, but the pace of the story is solid and the plot is starts out engaging and promising. The opening chapters of the book set the scene well and the characters are initially likable, but then are cast in a less than positive light as the story unfolds. I found it difficult to remain attached to the characters, even though I knew they weren’t going to die since the story is written as a recollection, when they and their loved ones are constantly being duped and put in unnecessary mortal peril.
Not much mention is made of Canya’s transition into a vampire, how she feels about it, or any noobie vampire questions she might have had. I understand that this is partially a result of this portion of the story being told in first person from Gregory’s point of view, but I still expected some sort of questioning or teaching dialogue. Anything besides blithely going about life as usual.
Part of what drew me to this book as a review candidate was its classification as “erotic paranormal romance”. I’m not sure why, other than the use of a few explicit terms, it’s been classified as “erotica”, but for me it was anything but. The story does not revolve around the sex and there’s not that much of it anyway. The sex scenes that do exist are relatively short and, while fairly well-written, somewhat out of character with what we see from Canya and Gregory during the other parts of the story. It’s jarring to see Gregory go from a formal 19th century gentleman to using erotica slang and having lewd and dirty thoughts. Not bad necessarily, just unexpected.
The grammar is also inconsistent at times and the plot is confusing, if not contradictory. Someones soul has been stolen, now it lingers happily? They’ve lost enough of their soul to be handicapped, yet they linger for years in a state where they can communicate successfully. Either the definition of what a ghost is and can do needs to be better defined, or the references to the “partial” soul losses needs to be reconsidered. The pacing started out as a little bit slow while still promising, but seriously suffers around the halfway point. That’s when the plot takes a nasty turn and becomes frustrating.
The antics of the antagonist are annoyingly repetitive, making me feel frustrated at the lack of intelligence of the main characters. I felt resigned to repeating the same cycle of violence over and again, leading the story to come across as long and drawn out. I felt emotionally drained after reading it and, while previously interested in possibly reading the next book in the series, definitely needed a break from this family and their harrowing history. Even though the story is solid and the world is interesting, I often had a love-hate relationship with the starring couple and their decisions and antics. On the strength of the impact of some of the scenes, I’d like to give this book a rating of 3.5 “worth a look”, but there’s just too much emotional and time investment involved to do so in good conscience. Two days after finishing it, I still feel annoyed and frustrated by the characters and circumstances, so I have to honestly rate this as 3/5: Eh, whatever.
Rating: Death of Innocence
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