Review: Betrayal by Mayandree Michel

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Title: Betrayal
Genre: mythic fiction, young-adult
Series: The Descendants #1
Published: April 2011
Pages: 662
Rating: 1/5

I struggled mightily with this book. I liked the idea for the story (descendants of the Olympian Gods have a hidden, secret Empire in present day and also vampires, werewolves, etc). However, it was a good idea poorly executed in many parts of this looong book.

Coming in at 662 pages, this is far from the longest book I've read this year. However, I feel like I was counting every single one of those six hundred odd pages; it literally sapped my strength to finish this book. Why? Well, my first issue was the pacing. Incredibly, ridiculously slow and filled with little real content. The beginning suffers the most from the meandering pace, and thus made it hard for me to connect to the characters or to be invested in the outcomes for Delia, Evan, Beth, Niko and Victor.

Additionally, the writing itself seemed very awkward and stilted at times. It simply didn't flow the way a novel should; there were abrupt transitions and awkward dialogue and exposition many times in the pages. Also, THE GRAMMAR. Abysmal. Truly, truly abysmal. I am aware this is a self-published author so she may not have the same resources, but it was truly egregious. "There" for "their/they're" many, many times, "here" instead of "hear", not correctly using quotation marks, or not even using them at all, among other offenses. The amount of editing errors were very distracting from the story and also just plain aggravating after a while.

Delia is the main character of Betrayal, a descendant of Zeus and soon-to-be Empress of the gods remaining Empire. She is not original, there is very little to differentiate Cordelia from thousands of teenage protagonists in YA paranormal fiction. Delia is a distant and aloof character, both with the remaining cast and with the reader. She's hard to sympathize/empathize with, and tends to keep everyone in the book at arms length. She is more likable as the novel progresses, but continued to be a source of frustration for me. She's meekly accepting when she should be demanding and questioning. She relies on others to protect her constantly, never once taking an imitative to defend herself, and often flouts the protection that is extended to her.

 I know the author was striving to make Delia appear independent and determined, but she ends up more careless and self-centered. She has genuine chemistry with her love interest, Evander the descendant of Poseidon, and therefore, the second most powerful descendant besides herself. Evan himself and the centaur Nikolas are probably the only characters I came to care about throughout the course of the novel. However, Evan does seem a bit too perfect at times. However, that is one minor complaint in the face of all the others.
Evan's younger sister, Bethany, was one of my least favorite characters this year in any novel. She's a very unfriendly character and fails to connect with anyone in the book besides her brother and her lover. I found her actions and attitude toward her "best friend" Delia to be completely perplexing and rude. She was a veeeery grating character; demanding when she should be helping, controlling instead of supportive. She's ridiculously inconstant and secretive, only showing a softer side to her love, Niko.
Michel does have some talent and it shows occasionally. Passages in the book were exciting and hard-to-put-down. They are just sadly few and far between in the hundreds of pages. There is a sequel, Sacrifice, scheduled to come out in December and so far I'm on the fence about reading it.  This was only $.99, so I didn't expect a masterpiece but I wish it had excelled instead of merely being average.

All in all, this was a very mixed effort. I really, really wanted to love this book and in the end, all I feel is underwhelmed and relief that I managed to finish.


  1. Loved this review -- I appreciate your observations about Delia because they're the sort of things I would have noticed! Isn't it depressing when bad books get a million pages to tell their boring story and great books seem too brief?!

  2. Yes! It seems that the ones that would be worth the time to enjoy over days and days are over in hours, and others.. linger. I want smart, believable heroines, not spoiled brats!


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