ARC Review: Quiver of Cobras by Helen Harper
Quiver of Cobras
Author: Helen Harper
Series: The Fractured Faery #2
Genre: YA, Fae, Paranormal, Romance, Magic Fae, Urban Fantasy
Pub Date: July 15th 2018
Page Number: 263 pages
One wondrous faery with stupendous magical skills and a superior mind (not to mention incredible modesty). One drop dead gorgeous, green eyed stud muffin and his evil Fey brother. And the end of the world. Maybe. Madrona might still not remember anything about her past, and she might be more of an evil villain than a fabulous super hero, but that doesn't mean she can't also be a super spy. With Rubus desperately searching for the magical dragon sphere which can return the faeries back to their homeland - and cause the apocalypse in this land - she doesn't have much choice. Someone with wit, intelligence and strength has to step up and save the world ... and if that person happens to look super sexy while doing it then that's just an added bonus.
I received a free copy for an honest review. I have several problems with this book. One of the most prominent ones is our main character, Madrona. Again, the heroine possessed the classic witty “arrogant” (but in a funny way) narration that is usually fun to read and extremely common in indie books. However, I feel like Harper this time took it too far with Madrona. Madrona’s “attitude” included moments where she took too so far that it had just become annoying instead of funny. Madrona is a “misunderstood villain”, so she does have a lot of character depth for discovery and growth. She’s also (supposed) to be a very humorous character. But because she apparently doesn’t have the normal human sense to know when and when not to crack a joke, it deprived any potential humorous factor of the jokes. It wasn’t even this bad with the first book, but as I spent more time with her, it’s really starting to wear on me. However, I’m very happy to say that say that at least to this point, by book 2, it’s very clear that this book is not an instant love. It does have a decent slow-burning pace, which is a HUGE redeeming factor in this book for me (<3 Morgan forever). I also want to talk about Rubris. I’m quite disappointed with his portrayal. As such a legendary villainous character from the first book, his attitude, characteristics, lack of intimidation, immature, annoying, and just being a completely unredeemable character was such a letdown. From his character’s reputation to the general villain potential he had, he could’ve EASILY become the next Darkling - a character evil enough that even the readers have to admit despite loving him because of how lovable, ship-able, and villainous he was. However, I have to applause Harper for that ending. It was a perfect twist that was done so well, it kind of redeemed Rubris for me despite all his problems. This means A LOT because of how disappointed I was with Rubris as a character. The twist was not weak at all - it was strong. Very strong. The evidence and hints that were subtly scattered throughout the entire book as well as how evenly they were managed really impressed me. If the story quality originally was 7.5 or of 10, the ending itself can bump it to an 8 out of 10. Damn Rubris. Damn.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time although she still fits in creative writing workshops with schools along with volunteering to teach reading to a group of young Myanmar refugees. That’s not to mention the procession of stray cats which seem to find their way to her door!
Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.
The growth of urban fantasy fascinated her - the mix of reality and fantasy along with strong heroic female characters appealed from the very beginning, and inspired her to write her own. No-one is more astonished or thrilled than her that her characters have found an audience and that her books have achieved average reviews of 4 to 5 stars on Amazon and GoodReads.
Helen currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere!