Priceless – Review

Rating: 1 Star

The couple in front of me looked like any other parents who’d lost a child – their hands gripping one another, dark circles under their eyes, skin sallow from not enough food, water or sleep – except for the faintest glimmer of a possibility, a scrap of hope that someone had thrown them, by sending them my way.

The Plot

Rylee Adamson is a Tracker: she can sense where people are and how they feel. Haunted by the disappearance of her little sister, she has dedicated her life to finding and bringing back missing children. Children who have been abducted by supernaturals. Her job is made more difficult by stubborn FBI Agent O’Shea, who is convinced she killed her sister and determined to be there when she slips up.

When a girl goes missing in the same location and on the same date as her little sister, Rylee is determined to get her back. But then, nothing goes according to plan.

The Good

Man this book had potential. It had the potential for an amazing female friendship between Rylee and Milly, another woman touched by the supernatural, yearning for a family and a place where she can be herself. But I didn’t feel the friendship. Sure, it was said they were friends but it didn’t seem like that. Instead, Milly seemed like someone who was conveniently there for Rylee. Rylee didn’t seem to have many feelings towards Milly at all.

Milly’s tears dried up. “You can be such a bitch, Rylee.”

“At least I’m not a whore.”

Milly could have been an awesome character. She could have been a sex positive witch, a true friend in need, a badass. Instead she is “in love” with all the men she sleeps with and Rylee calls her a bitch and a whore. Not cool.

I was betting it was anything but love. More like a serious case of the lusting hormones; that was Milly.

Furthermore, she abandons her best friend, the woman she grew up with, for a coven. It comes way too sudden.

She covered her face with her hands. “I can’t have” – she hiccuped another sob – “both. I can’t have the Coven and … you and Giselle. This is hard for me. They offered me this spot a month ago.”

That would explain her absence lately.

This absence? Not really mentioned before. Milly’s decision came totally out of nowhere. And what emotions does that create? Nothing. As so much, it is quickly swept under the rug and then pulled out again when it is convenient.

Then there was Giselle. She is Rylee and Milly’s mentor and her abilities make her slowly lose her mind. I mean, how much potential is there in that? A once strong mentor and now they have to look out for her because she is more and more confused. There would have been so much potential for heartbreaking scenes. Instead, we feel nada and Giselle is shipped off to a hospital for most of the book after she had a useful vision relating to the plot.

I liked Alex. Being bitten by a werewolf making you regress to the mental state of a little kid is a new idea. And he brought a bit of fun into the whole situation. But that was about all he did.

I stepped back, bumping into Alex who peered around my legs. “This is Alex. He’s a werewolf.

Alex, being who he was, lifted one giant paw and flopped it at O’Shea in a loose wave.

The Bad

The characters had so much potential, but unfortunately, nothing was done with it. Reading them, they had the emotional range of a piece of cardboard. Sure, we are told Rylee feels sad or betrayed or whatever but we don’t feel it. Feelings get pulled out of a hat when convenient, just to be mentioned, and then stuffed back, forgotten until needed again.

Here she is, desperately trying to find out more about the missing girl, who is so similar to her vanished little sister, who she still feels terribly guilty about. Then: hunger ex machina.

“Where are you kid?” She didn’t answer, not that I really expected her to. I hated the fact that I couldn’t track a child on the other side of the Veil. My stomach growled suddenly, reminding me I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. Leaving off with the list making, I headed out for something to stave off starvation.

And don’t get me started on Rylee’s specialness. She is immune to magic. She is an amzing fighter. She takes on a whole coven of witches, with no problem at all. She fights a demon and only gets an ominous pinch. She has tricolored eyes.

When you have chocolate eyes laced with gold and emerald green, it either freaks people out or it turns them on.

The biggest flaw of the book was the plot. This book could have used a lot of additional editing. There were so many things that did not make any sense at all.

Things were changed halfway through the book. We are told that Rylee is an Immune and can’t be affected by magic but a few chapters later she is. Why? Because the plot suddenly demands it.

I was only mostly immune to magic. Some of it could stick. Damn, this was not the time to have my immunity fail me.

Problem was, being a supernatural myself, when I did get dome sort of spell on me, I was way more susceptible to it than others. Almost like an allergy. What made O’Shea horny was about to send me over the deep end of whoredom. I was about to make Milly look like the Virgin Mary.

Yes. Sudden plot device to get her with the hot agent. And yes. The big bads used a horny spell on him. Not a killing spell, noooo, why would the big bads kill someone if they could make them horny?

Also, all of a sudden she is not only immune to magic and can sense where people are, she can also do glamour. It was never mentioned before. Why can she suddenly do magic? Because the plot demands it. Ex fricking machina.

This kind of glamour always left me drained. It just wasn’t one of my strong abilities, though at the moment I was glad I at least had this little amount.

Then there’s this whole thing about magic and technology not mixing. Yes, it’s a trope, but I don’t dislike it much. But I like things to be consistent and make sense. But whenever it is convenient for the plot, technology works just fine with Rylee around. Computers, fax machines, nothing happens to them.

He gave me his seat. And I started searching, hoping my proximity to the computer wouldn’t crash it. Today was my lucky day.

Furthermore, it is specifically stated that the reason Rylee uses blades is because guns don’t work well with supernaturals. In fact, they stall or break. Except of course, when the plot demands otherwise, then they work just fine. Then we have a fricking troll (a magical creature!) using a gun, no problem.

The troll snarled and lifted the gun, his finger twitching against the trigger.

Magical objects and plot devices just get pulled out whenever convenient. She has to hide a werewolf? Of course she has a collar that hides his true form. Rogue coven? Milly alone can fight them off, no problem. Magical booby traps? Milly convinces her coven to take them out. Why? Who knows! It doesn’t make any goddamn sense.

“I knew you’d be ahead of us, so I convinced the Coven to disable all the dangers far enough in advance that no unsuspecting human would stumble into them.”

Injuries get ignored. She has a wound so deep it needs stitches and she faints from bloodloss but on the same day she follows her training as if nothing whatsoever happened. She pulls herself up ropes. With stitches on her arm. After fainting.

I had two ropes hanging about five feet apart. I climbed the first one all the way to the top, reached across and slid down the second one. Then repeated the routine three times until my breath hitched in my chest. After that, came the punching bag, where I slid through my Muay Thai training. Then onto weights, then the medicine ball, and finally back to th ropes.

We are told by Rylee that big bad X is such a big bad and she can’t take them on alone, not without Milly or that it is a suicide mission and oh so dangerous. But then, when it comes to the actual fight, all goes smoothly. Demons? Freaky Monster? Harpies? No problem.


The Conclusion

Way too many plot holes and convenient plot devices. So much ex machina it made me groan out loud in frustration. The worldbuilding is generic Urban Fantasy and the characters have the emotional impact of a plastic fork.

It’s the author’s first book so maybe the others in the series get better but after this one I’m not going to read them any time soon.


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