Author: J.C. Mells
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance, New Adult, Urban
Rating: 1 Star
Imagine the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Betty Crocker.
That’s Pierce in a nutshell.
Pierce has been on the run for two years from the man who held her captive in a vampire compound for almost a decade. Life on the run would be a lot simpler if she didn’t suffer from several social disorders and ‘quirks’, have a ten-year-old brat in tow, as well as have two characters from a 1945 classic film living in her head and guiding her at every turn.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I hate giving 1-star reviews, so understand going into this review that I didn’t come to my rating for this book lightly. Pierced by J.C. Mells is one of those books that was given to me directly from the author/publisher that sounded interesting… but ended up sitting on my To-Be-Read list for well over a year because I just wasn’t the right audience for it.
Going into this book I knew the story was purportedly a Paranormal Urban Romance… which generally is right up my alley as far as books go. I knew vampires were involved, and I knew the main character was a bit odd. So going into reading this review, understand that what this book actually was vs. my expectations of the book, were vastly different. I wanted to like this book. I read about 30% in before I looked up one day and realized I had no idea what I was reading. I set it down, I picked it back up, and eventually I started over from the very beginning, hoping that the second time around, I’d get farther in. I ended up dropping the book the second time at about 10% in.
Pierced is the somewhat tragic story of Pierce. From an early age, Pierce isn’t like other little girls. She lives in a one bedroom apartment with her drug/alcohol addicted mother, and from very early on, she realizes she’s different. She has some physic abilities, a photographic memory, OCD, and some odd personality quirks that fall under the umbrellas of Asperger’s and Schizophrenia. That’s a whole lot of problems for a little girl, and unfortunately, the first several pages of the story are exclusively dedicated to the explanation of what these symptoms are. It was an info dump. The pace was incredibly slow and the narrative was written in a very clinical-manner that made it unenjoyable to read. In addition, the editing was lacking. There were numerous punctuation errors (particularly with commas) that made it a bit of a slog to read through for someone like me who copyedits and reviews books professionally. I just wanted to get to the meat of the story.
The author then introduced the main bit of drama… a vampire that for unknown reasons, wants to possess Pierce. To be honest, the story was a bit busy. Between all her mental issues, her drug addicted mother, the vampire that was stalking her and the smart-mouthed ten-year-old that Pierce dragged around with her, I got lost. There were so many bits and pieces to the story that I had a really hard time following what was going on and who the various characters were. When I hit the 30% mark, I sat back and realized that I didn’t understand what I was reading. I read back a few pages, I read it again… and I just couldn’t follow. There was just too much stuff.
Between the busy plot, the lack of proper punctuation, the dry, clinical narrative voice and the author’s predisposition towards large dumps of explanations… I was bored and confused. Up to the point I stopped reading, there was absolutely no hint of a romance (as I’d been expecting). I didn’t enjoy it. Overall, I don’t think the book was awful. The writing wasn’t horrible, just dryer than I like. The characters were interesting—just complicated. In the end, this book just wasn’t for me. I didn’t enjoy it, and I didn’t want to keep reading it. I’m sure there’s lots of readers out there that will thoroughly enjoy this book (and the series)… but that reader isn’t me. I think readers with a predisposition towards dark, gritty paranormal urban stories will enjoy it much more than I did. I generally like my paranormal urban romances to be a bit lighter. If you’re into those sorts of books, I’d suggest you give it a try.