First thing's first! I want to say a big thank you to Janet for recommending this book to me. :D We usually swim in the same waters. :D
Imagine it's 7:45am on a dull Monday morning, and you are waiting in line at your local coffee shop to get your hands on the much needed black elixir of life. You shuffle along tiredly, offering only a nod of commiseration to the poor bastards in the line that share your fate. The weekend is gone and you have a whole new week ahead of you, but you can't even think about that right now. You just want your coffee.
But then the front door slams open and a cheerleader bursts in. The hair is too big, the eyes are too wide, the fake smile stretches her lips almost to the tips of her ears. She waves her pompom toting hands and yells, “'Cmon, guys! It's time to go! Woohoo!” And it's simply too much.
“Shiv Crew” would have been so much better, if the author wasn't trying so damned hard. Take this for an example. Rune brings two men that she knew for a whole of five minutes to a practice yard, to determine their fighting skill. They win against her crew. Before they even clear the mats, she notices them animatedly talking about something. One of the boys lifts his hand to quiet the other one. This is what Rune has to say about it.
“She frowned. Secrets were allowed, but if those secrets could hurt the crew they were best dragged out of the dark and destroyed before they became a problem.”
Very dramatic, and completely unnecessary. They could have been arguing about a high kick or witch technique could have been used for a better result, at least that's what one might expect them to talk about, when you take the entire situation in account. Yet the author wants us to focus on some 'dark secret'. More then once I wanted to say to Laken Cane, “Whoa girl, slow down, you have plenty of time to get where you're going.”
The plot was good, and has potential to develop, but the execution was bad, very bad. It dragged the whole thing down. The plot holes were too deep and common to ensure a smooth ride. That's one of the reasons that Rune came off as a rough character that was often condescending. If you are in her good graces, most likely you are a hot sexy guy. If Rune doesn't like you then you are a bastard, asshole, fucking asshole, blowhard, pompous ass, and so forth.
I firmly believe that the novel itself would have been so much better if the author wasn't in such a rush all the time, or tried to find a very specific, truly unique trait to describe each and every supporting character. Let's face it, life doesn't happen that way, not everybody can be drop dead gorgeous, an ultimate fighter or have the X factor aura. Truth is that approximately 98% of people one deals with throughout the course of their life are plain and unremarkable, and it's because of that the uniqueness of certain individuals shines trough so much brighter.
To some people reading this review it might come off as negative, but it's not. If I didn't think it was worth talking about, the review would have been a few sentences long. I loved the general idea, but as it stands, in my eyes it's a rough cut, unpolished. I am actually torn. I feel grateful to the author for coming up with a storyline I would love to follow, as it's right up my alley. On the other hand I am kinda annoyed with her for ruining it with such classic PNR mistakes.