Review: Anathema – K.A. Tucker

Posted 25 April, 2016 by Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews in Reviews / 15 Comments

Review: Anathema – K.A. TuckerAnathema by K. A. Tucker
Series: The Casual Enchantment #1
Published by Papoti Books on 25 May 2011
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 284
Format: Kindle
Source: Kindle Purchase
Reading Challenges: 2016 HW Challenge
One StarOne StarOne Star

Evangeline has spent her teenage years in obscurity. Her foster parents have the emotional aptitude of robots and her classmates barely acknowledge her existence. About to turn eighteen and feeling like a social pariah, she is desperate to connect with someone. Anyone.
When Evangeline meets Sophie after literally stumbling upon her café, she believes she’s found that connection. Willing to do anything to keep it, she accepts a job as Sofie’s assistant and drops everything to fly to Manhattan, where she is thrust into a luxurious world of Prada, diamonds, and limitless cash.
With such generosity and kindness, it’s easy for Evangeline to dismiss certain oddities... like Sofie’s erratic and sometimes violent behavior, and the monstrous guard dogs. She’s even willing to dismiss her vivid dreams of mob-style murders, beautiful homeless people living in caves, and white-eyed demons that haunt her each night as figments of her imagination—especially when one of those figments is the gorgeous Caden. When she wakes up with bite marks on her neck, the fairy tale quickly turns into a nightmare. She slowly unravels the mystery surrounding Sofie and friends, and the reality of the bites and the “dreams.” What she discovers is far more mysterious and terrible than anything she could have imagined.
In a world where everyone has motive to lie for personal gain, Evangeline must decide which deception is least likely to get her killed.

New Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Anathema is very different from the stories I had already read by Tucker, and while her paranormal story is a bit different, I found the main character, Evangeline, to be very naïve and too trusting.

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Now, I feel the need to say that Anathema was published five years ago, and I think it’s among Tucker’s first book. And I might have enjoyed her take on vampires and witches more if I had read it when it was first released rather than now. The reason for that is all on me – I have read a lot of inventive and original paranormal series, so I am possible a bit blasé when it comes to stories like this one. That being said, the writing is really good, and the pace is, too. I think it was really Evangeline and her trusting personality that got to me. I found myself shaking my head at her and asking her to please think a bit more for herself more than once. Especially because within 24 hours of meeting Sofie, she went across the country with her, only to have a lot of strange things happen as soon as they left for New York.

You know that saying ‘if it seems to be too good to be true, it probably is’? That’s how I felt about what happened to Evangeline. Being offered a job after breaking something, then going on a private plane to New York, and being set up in a luxurious villa on fifth avenue, plus getting a bag full of thousand dollar bills so she could go shopping… definitely too good to be true! And it took a while for Evangeline to question Sofie, Viggo and Mortimer, which made her seem borderline stupid! Why was she in this house? She did’t do any work, and yet, she didn’t act like it was strange that she was set up with beautiful clothes, anything she wanted to eat, and being taken to see Romeo and Juliet in a theater at night.

I did enjoy some aspects of Anathema, though, especially the fact that vampires here couldn’t turn humans anymore after a spell gone wrong. And so, a counterspell had been casted in order to find vampires on another plane – ones who still had their venom intact. Some of the interactions Evangeline had with these other vampires were great, she showed that she had a sense of adventure, even if she didn’t have much of a sense of self-preservation. There is also a big case of insta-love, and while I can get the ‘beautiful, strong, brooding vampire’-thing, I don’t think it furthered the story that Evangeline became so infatuated with Caleb after meeting him only once.

Because how the ending, I’ll definitely continue reading the series, even if I wasn’t completely enchanted, I’m hoping that Evangeline will grow as a character and that she will become a bit more perceptive when it comes to the people she’s with. Written in first person point of view, past tense and with plenty of dialogues, the pace was well done, and the whole story unfolded from Evangeline’s point of view.

Fave Quotes - (un)Conventional Bookviews

The three of them, fawning over me, a socially awkward stranger with no friends, giving me gifts and kindness… I should have known something was not right. I sighed. I wasn’t Nancy Drew – not unless Nancy Drew was blind and deaf.

“As long as there are no more lurking animals, I’m feeling pretty fragile right now.” Fragile, but unbroken, somehow – though by all counts I should have fallen apart. Any normal person would have by now, wouldn’t they?”

Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews
Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

About Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Lexxie is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

15 responses to “Review: Anathema – K.A. Tucker

  1. I was wondering why I hadn’t heard of this before since I love Tucker, then I saw it was already on my GR tbr. D’oh! I think the cover threw me off. Interesting that this is her earliest stuff, because I’ve noticed her writing has gotten better just from when I started reading her books. So I bet there is a real difference.

  2. These books are how I discovered K.A.Tucker. I read this one and I think the second one, not sure I might have even read the third. Back then I liked them. I agree the heroine was wayyyy too trusting! And the instalove thing wasn’t great but it’s YA and that goes with the territory or it did more so back then. I will be interested in how you feel about the second one! Well thought out and honest review!

  3. I know how that goes where a book would’ve been better if you’d read when it was first released. Either the trope is overused now. I’m not a fan of instalove in most cases. There are some cases in some PNR, that if they’re written as fated mates, I can deal with it. Even then, I would prefer a story where they have to work at it a bit. K.A.Tucker is still an author that I want to try.

    I also feel that first books in the series can sometimes be sometimes meh, but still become amazing series.

    • I love KA Tucker, Melanie, but I have to say I think her writing gets better with each book… so since this was one of her first published books…
      You’re right, too, sometimes series starters are kind of meh, because worldbuilding has to be done 🙂

  4. At first, I was excited thinking this was a new KA Tucker, but now I’m a bit wary since I started with her Ten Tiny Breaths series and I thought she improved from those soooo, yeah, earlier stuff might be tough for me.
    But, that said, I do want to read it out of curiosity.
    And even though it was average, hope the second book picks up for you, Lexxie!

  5. Awesome! It’s rare to see a blogger read such ”old” books if they are not extremely hyped or classics. So yay you! I’ve read Ten Tiny Breaths a couple of months ago but, while it was good, I didn’t find it extraordinary an just before that I DNF a contemporary by her. Anyway, great review!!

    • Ha! I love reading and reviewing ‘old’ books, Lola. No pressure in any way, just an author I want to read and then the book and me for a journey 🙂
      I actually loved Ten Tiny Breaths, but maybe Tucker’s stories aren’t for you?
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  6. Huh, I thought this was a newer book. Interesting that it’s not and that it didn’t exactly work for you. I know how much you adore Tucker’s writing. I guess this shows how much she’s improved her craft. I have to admit to being curious about the vampires, Lexxie…you know I love me some vamps! I’ll have to think about whether I can forgive Evangeline’s naivete and just enjoy the story. 🙂
    **BIG HUGS**

    • Yes, it really does sow how much she’s improved her craft. Plus, I think maybe contemporary stories work better for her? I will definitely read the second in this series, though, because there’s a lot going on, and I am curious about what will happen next. *BIG HUGS*

  7. I was considering whether to read this series, I enjoy Tucker her Burying Water series so far, but this one sounds really different. I am glad to hear the pace and the writing is good even though Evangelie her trusting personality bothered you a bit. That also would bother me probably. And yes that saying is usually true, if something seems to good to be true it usually is. So you would think someone in such a situation would at least be a bit more wary or questioning. The vampires do sound a bit original when it comes to how they got into existence and it sounds like a decent read if you’re in the mood for a vampire story. I might still pick it up eventually, but I am not in a hurry. I hope the series will improve and the characters will grow as you continue the series. I am looking forward to hear what you think of the other books in this series. Great review Lexxie!

    • I loved her Burying Water series, too, Lola. And her other NA contemporaries as well. I think that Tucker’s writing just gets better and better, though, which is why I pointed out that this is one of her earlier books.
      I did enjoy the different take on vampires and paranormals, and I will definitely continue with the series 🙂

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