Somewhere in my Twitter timeline Maestra came up, and I saw it being described as the next 50 Shades of Grey, except without the romance, and I thought “Hmmmm, could be interesting” since you know, Shades was such a big phenomenon. And then I read some blurbs that said there were some group sexy times in the book and that the main character was killing men along the way. Okay, slightly more interested. And then I read this from the book jacket:
She’s learned to be a good girl. But when Judith is fired for uncovering a dark secret at the heart of the art world—and her honest efforts at a better life are destroyed—she turns to a long-neglected friend. A friend who kept her chin up and back straight through every slight: Rage.
Sold! Well, it hooked me anyways, so I grabbed it at the library. And of course, it was disappointing.
Judith, the main character, is all over the place. In the beginning, she seems like an earnest but determined young woman just trying to break into the art business. She’s broke, she’s a bit naive, but she’s apparently is a fan of going to house parties (AKA orgies) to get her groove on in some pretty graphic ways. Her boss is an asshole who fires her for looking into something he didn’t want her to, and there her adventure really touches off I guess. Judith seems pretty innocent in the beginning, but by the middle she’s apparently a genius in spying, intrigue, deception, Swiss bank accounts, and planning the perfect murder. She goes from a normal young woman who can be gullible and makes mistakes to a sociopath who has all sorts of knowledge and can do no wrong. It wasn’t even a little believable. There was some hinting that she had a rough past and that her naivete earlier was just the mask she wore, but it didn’t come off that way and eluding to a dark past without giving details was irritating.
Now, I can totally get totally get behind an angry femme fatale character doing shady shit, and based on the book jacket I was expecting a character motivated by rage and maybe revenge. Anger at unfairly losing her job is probably the spark, but she doesn’t go on a sex and murder spree for that. She does it to be rich and set herself up for the fancy life she wants. And that brings me to one of my main annoyances with the book – too much damn designer name dropping. I don’t know anything about art, or fashion, or expensive things. My idea of fancy at this point is shopping at Kohl’s. I couldn’t care less about Chanel. So not only was her desire and affection for these finer things not relatable for me, it was also just tedious. I’m pretty sure the book would’ve been about 25 pages shorter without all that.
As for the sexy times, it’s really not my style. And during some of them, it was hard to know who was doing what… maybe the author intended that, to convey the sense of Judith getting lost in the moment, but it was confusing. If you were thinking about checking this out for that, I’d skip it – the scheming and being on the run for murder stuff takes up much more of the book.
So yeah. I was expecting a thriller with some erotica mixed in, and instead it came off as a poor entitled girl’s daydream of being able to do whatever she wants with no consequences. I’ll pass on the rest of the series.
Sarah Says: 1 star