Sunday, April 5, 2015

Review: Treasure, Darkly by Jordan Elizabeth

Title: Treasure, Darkly
Author: Jordan Elizabeth
Series: Treasure Chronicles, Book 1
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Published Date: 16 February 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository

I received this book through NetGalley from Curiosity Quills Press for review.

Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe… until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead.

A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged, mining tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he.

Sixteen-year-old Amethyst Treasure loathes the idea of spending the summer away from her bustling city life to rot on her father’s ranch, but when a handsome young man shows up claiming to be her secret half-brother, her curiosity is piqued. He’s clever, street smart, and has no qualms jumping into the brawl between the Treasures and Horans. Caught in the middle, Horan kidnaps Amethyst, and all she gets is this lousy bullet through her heart.

When Clark brings her back to life, however, the real action starts, and Amethyst joins him in his fight against the Horan clan—whatever the cost. Defeating the Horans may seem easy at first, but going up against men with the same fighting vengeance as Clark, and a Senator with power he’s obtained by brainwashing the masses?

Well, Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.
(summary from Goodreads)

Treasure, Darkly has an interesting premise with potential to be a good read, but unlikable characters and poor story continuity make this book one to miss.

Treasure, Darkly has a pretty strong start. We're thrown right into an intriguing world, a sort of alternate wild west with touches of steampunk. Immediately Treasure, Darkly's supernatural elements are introduced with Clark's transformation and ability to bring back the dead. And what a power - another life must replace that of the one brought back. So what Elizabeth almost had here is Pushing Daisies meets Wild, Wild West. I say almost, however, because after the first chapter Treasure, Darkly loses the plot. Clark's powers are never developed further than bringing the dead back with a touch and seeing spirits - despite mentioning the whole 'must kill another' thing, Clark never actually does so. It's kind of senseless. 

Plus, we meet Amethyst. Amethyst has to be the most pathetic, snotty, childish, and annoying character to grace the pages of a book. There is no redeeming Amethyst, more's the pity. She's definitely one of the biggest faults of this book. The incestuous overtones are another. Granted, it's pretty obvious what the twist is and it's revealed early on, but the way Amethyst and Clark lust after each other despite being half-siblings is quite uncomfortable. Even putting that aside, Treasure, Darkly lacks a well developed romance to hook readers anyway. Clark's pandering to Amethyst is boring and just as irritating as Amethyst herself, so what appeal he has is quickly lost. 

Elizabeth has some good descriptive prose, however; building tension and constructing a fascinating world. As the story continues and Clark begins his hunt for the inventions Senator Horan intends to use for villainous purposes, Treasure, Darkly almost becomes a good read. There's definitely potential. But then Elizabeth does a complete 180 plot wise, having Clark and Amethyst abandon the search to instead have party's and go camping with their family. The villains are barely mentioned again! The last half of the book becomes pointless, to be honest, and I can't help but wonder if Elizabeth simply decided to drag the story out in order to try and create a series. Treasure, Darkly would benefit from a more solid plot, that's for sure. And less Amethyst. Did I mention my dislike for her?

Despite it's interesting world and promise of an intriguing story, Treasure, Darkly simply does not deliver. I was much too happy for it to finally be over!



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