Review: Blade Song by J.C. Daniels

Sunday, August 12, 2012
Title: Blade Song
Genre: supernatural fiction, UF/PNR
Series: The Colbana Files #1
Pages: 261 (Nook ARC edition)
Published: August 2012
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 1/5

Kit Colbana—half breed, assassin, thief, jack of all trades—has a new job: track down the missing ward of one of the local alpha shapeshifters. It should be a piece of cake.

So why is she so nervous? It probably has something to do with the insanity that happens when you deal with shifters—especially sexy ones who come bearing promises of easy jobs and easier money.

Or maybe it’s all the other missing kids that Kit discovers while working the case, or the way her gut keeps screaming she’s gotten in over her head. Or maybe it’s because if she fails—she’s dead.

If she can stay just one step ahead, she should be okay. Maybe she’ll even live long to collect her fee…

No. Just no. Am I reading the same book as everyone else? This was awful across the board. A smattering of a (very) few good ideas, scant worldbuilding (and what is there is very unoriginal), and very poor execution coupled with two unlikeable protagonists make for a very unsatisfied Jessie. This is not going to be pretty. I'm pretty damn disappointed with this novel, as well as being supremely frustrated with it. I had passed this over several times on my frequent go-throughs of NetGalley - PNR/UF is far from my favorite genre as they tend to be predictable and all vaguely alike - and I should've stuck with my initial, quite wary, thoughts. Misled by all the 4 and 5-star reviews I'd then subsequently seen for this, I thought Blade Song might be the exception to my UF/PNR rule... and no. Absolutely not. Not by a long shot. The few, creative things I liked about it in the beginning pages were soon abandoned to the mess that is the rest of this cliched and poorly-executed book.  

What I Liked:
  • new kind of supernatural being - the aneira - warrior women with magical abilities, aka amazons
  • new ideas on typical vampire mythology -lose more and more of their soul as they age, feed on humans for blood, but also emotions they have lost as a result
  • a POC for a love-interest (too bad his actual personality is as nails on a chalkboard. For 250 pages.)

What I Hated Did Not Like:
  • Everything else

Okay, seriously, I'll go through a few of my many, many issues with this book. It made me too angry to go through them all, and I have many other books I'd like to read, so here's the short rundown.

For a novel that started so strongly, Blade Song devolves fairly quickly. A lot of my problems with this first in a series stem from the weak main character of Kitasa herself. She's just so incredibly brainless, thoughtless, heedless. For the ENTIRE NOVEL. Also, for a half-amazon assassin, this is a pretty worthless fighter. She's always fainting, passing out, or just plain needing to be rescued. Where is the strong warrior character I was promised? Cause she for sure never showed up past chapter two. Instead, I got a weak-willed pushover who confuses a controlling asshole for a worthy love interest. Kit is much more a weak-willed damsel in distress waiting for her man to come save her. No. Just.. no. Especially when I was promised an active, capable heroine. Not cool.

Damon is an asshole, and I hated him from start to end. Though spared from his POVs (thank you!), his actions and disalogues with/to Kit show him to be a Bad Idea. Alpha males are far from my favorite type of love interest, and here is no exception. For about 90% of the novel, he's abusive, or controlling,or just plain rude. His abrupt switch from unagreeable aggressor to lovaaah is just too quick, foundation-less, and unbelievable. You don't get to "wring [Kit's] neck" black and blue, and then oh-so-love her a week later, with all forgiven. No. I'm sorry. I don't buy that. You don't spy on her texts and control her actions and then get to be the hero over and over. Bad Damon, very bad.

This was a big miss and a huge disappointment for me; I was prepared to and really wanted to love it, based on the reviews I read from trusted friends. It just wasn't meant to be, for me. The few good ideas were easily and quickly glossed over in favor of typical and standard genre fare - power games, a human(ish) woman caught between a powerful vampire and a powerful weresomething in an human/supernaturally incorporated city - and Blade Song never delivered on its promise of a fun, smart, deadly Amazon assassin. Simplistic, cliched, with flat and unlikeable characters, I won't be continuing this series with Night Blade, the second book due out sometime in the near future.

If you're morbidly curious, the good news is that Blade Song will only set you back about $5 to read. Just be warned: may induce feelings of incredible frustration and severe disappointment.


  1. Wow, I've never heard of this book before but I'm insanely glad about that now. For me, characters always make or break a story and it is evident that they really ruined this tale for you, so I'm sorry you suffered disappointment from a novel you expected to love, Jessie! I hope you can bounce back and find a good novel to read next and thank you for the helpful review! You've definitely saved me a lot of time and pain!

    Ivy Book Bindings

    1. Same here, Keertana, about characters making or breaking a novel. I can forgive a lot if the characters are good, but that is so far from the case here!

      Luckily, I have What's Left of Me up next and I am about 80% sure I will love that one, at least!


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