Books Magic Monsters Urban Fantasy

Black Blade Blues – Very mixed bag, some good, quite a lot not so good

Black Blade BluesBlack Blade Blues (Sarah Beauhall, #1) by J.A. Pitts
My rating: 4 out of 10 stars

Sarah Beauhall has more on her plate than most twenty-somethings: day job as a blacksmith, night job as a props manager for low-budget movies, and her free time is spent fighting in a medieval re-enactment group.

The lead actor breaks Sarah’s favorite one-of-a-kind sword, and to avoid reshooting scenes, Sarah agrees to repair the blade. One of the extras, who claims to be a dwarf, offers to help. And that’s when things start to get weird. Could the sword really be magic, as the “dwarf” claims? Are dragons really living among us as shapeshifters? 

And as if things weren’t surreal enough, Sarah’s girlfriend Katie breaks out the dreaded phrase… “I love you.”  As her life begins to fall apart, first her relationship with Katie, then her job at the movie studio, and finally her blacksmithing career, Sarah hits rock bottom. It is at this moment, when she has lost everything she has prized, that one of the dragons makes their move.

And suddenly what was unthinkable becomes all too real…and Sarah will have to decide if she can reject what is safe and become the heroine who is needed to save her world.

This book had some real promise. Magic, fantasy creatures and a young woman discovering not only that these things are for real but also that she is part of the legends into which she are about to step. Sounded quite okay to me. Okay, when reading the existing reviews there were some warning lights that went up but I decided to have a go at this book anyway. What I found was a very mixed bag.

There were some good bits in it for sure. Sarah experiencing more and more mysterious events and gradually getting to understand the truth is parts of the book that I like. There is some action closer to the end of the book which is quite enjoyable as well. Nothing fantastic but enjoyable. It was a bit weird with giants crammed into hummers and choppers but then it was supposed to be urban fantasy so I’m okay with that. Other enjoyable parts of the book are when we get “behind the scenes” glimpses of the secret world of the dragons, witches etc. and their lives.

These parts of the book are, unfortunately, only minor parts. A huge part of the book is spent on Sarah’s messy life. I have no problem with her sexual preferences. I have no problem that she is in somewhat of a turmoil. What I do have a problem with though I that a good two thirds of the book painfully and slowly takes us through her crying about it and pitying herself. Sarah is generally acting stupidly and childish most of the time engaging in one self-destructive act after another. Even when she knows the right thing to do she just puts her foot in it anyway. The author also seems obsessed with sex. Nothing wrong with a little sex in a book but the main focus should still be on the main subject at hand for Christ sake! In the middle of fighting a dragon with people dead all over the place, Sarah casts one glance at another beautiful woman and she gets all gooey and has to drag herself back into the action. Okay, okay, it was a Valkyrie but…what the heck?

There is just too much of this nonsense and this really overshadows the good parts of the book. I am really hesitant whether or not I will pick up the next book just to see where the story goes or just call it quits on this book series after this first one. I have put the next one on my to-read list for now but…

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