She escaped the arena of death, but trusting him might be the death of her.
Recast, Book 4
Taylor may be the Clash Arena’s most dominant—and only—female gladiator, but today she just can’t catch a break. After winning yet another brutal fight, with the arena inexplicably falling down around her ears, she jumps at the chance to escape the prison of her subterranean pit.
Instead, she finds herself knocked unconscious more times than she can count, and pursued over the edge of a sea cliff by an AI enforcer she can’t shake off her heels.
Walsh has been living a double life, masquerading as a tyrant’s enforcer while hiding his true agenda. When the despicable arena falls, there’s only one thing on his mind—saving the savage blonde who doesn’t trust him as far as she can throw him. Which is a considerable distance.
Once he convinces her he’s not out to kill her but help her survive, they form an uneasy alliance. But Taylor senses he’s keeping a secret, not just from her, but about her. And the truth will show them exactly what it is to be human.
Warning: This book contains some girl-on-girl action, a kick-ass gladiator who takes no crap, an AI who puts it all on the line, a band of misfits who aren’t as merry as they seem, cute tadpoles with sharp teeth, and grip-you-by-the-hair kisses. Strap in, interstellar turbulence is a bitch.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
This book didn’t work for me, I’m sorry to say. Whether it was the heroine, Taylor, who swung between total bitch to too-stupid-to-live (possibly caused by all the whacks to the head) before being struck with a couple of weird overly emotional moments, or the cliché bad guy dialogue, I’m not quite certain. I probably should have paid more attention to the fact that this is the fourth in the series, but beyond the chaos of the destroyed arena that doesn’t really come up much.
Instead Taylor seizes her chance to escape, Walsh stands in her way. There’s a fight, Taylor gets knocked out, and Walsh just leaves her there. I never understood that except that because he stupidly walks off in the middle of the chaos, leaving her alone, she can then run off and get knocked out a few more times, allowing for a bunch of characters from the other books to show up, no doubt combining plots from those same books. While that probably works brilliantly when connected to them, on its own and for this story, it’s stupid and makes both Taylor and Walsh look dumb. Which is not the best place to start from.
After that the plot settles down, but sadly that’s where the characters started to annoy me. How Taylor could miss the blatantly obvious clues smacking her in the face all the time is a complete mystery. I actually quite liked Walsh, but he’s a bit feeble and always following in Taylor’s foolish shadow. The whole scene where Taylor sees the flag and they suddenly realise something about the unmerry band of misfits was just daft. Everything they’ve experienced up until that moment is pointing at that direction – and yet they’re both surprised!
Add in a lot of creepy touching, lascivious leering and bwahaha villain speak and the only reason I finished this story is because it was short. The setting was actually kind of interesting, but the world-building is pretty poor (no doubt it’s better in the other books… at least, I hope so), the characters are annoying and the dialogue was too often reduced to clichés. It’s a quick and easy enough read, I just didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as I’d hoped. If you’ve read and enjoyed others in the series, then you’ll probably like this too. If you’re new and the set up grabs your attention, maybe start from the beginning.
Dash is out May 26th!
Visit Yolanda Sfetsos for more details.