Yamila Abraham, $0.99
Fantasy Romance, 2014
Our heroine, Ashla, is a healer in some fantasy land where she can compare the hero to a cartoon despite the place apparently not having a television, newspaper, or magazine. Hmm. This place has Senators, but there is no sign of any emperor or president. Oh, I know, you are thinking that I’m nitpicking, but it always irks me when authors create a fantasy setting by apparently throwing all kinds of stuff from our world into a “just add magic” mess and call that a brave new world.
The messy world building is actually the least of my problem here. Asha is a healer mistrusted by all, and yet, the Senators take her under their wing because they think her good track record makes them look good as well. Wait, what? These people have cartoons and Senators, but no doctors? A plague has struck the place, and Ashla’s healing skills aren’t working, so in order to stave off the inevitable accusations of her being a witch, she claims that the god Exinious has cursed them all. They decide to send her to go talk to that fellow, who apparently lives in a fortress up a mountain. My, don’t we all wish that our deities are this accessible?
It turns out that Exinious has cursed the place… because he wants Asha to come to him. I guess an invitation card or a telepathic “Yo, come over!” isn’t worthy of a god like him? Our hero then launches into pages after pages of exposition about his plot, the gods, et cetera. My eyes roll up, but I guess the babble turns Asha on like a lightbulb – they have sex because this is one of those stories, and then Exinious subsumes the entire village into his godly domain so that he can have Asha forever and ever.
What is this? A God to Rule Her is supposed to be a romance, but all I see is the god of assholes doing dumb and even cruel things just because he wants his knob to be polished, and our supposedly feisty heroine inexplicably decides to find this fellow worthy of love. Then again, the author is so fixated on making Asha quip and snap like some third-rate Joss Whedon heroine that she doesn’t seem to realize how bratty Asha comes off as. This heroine is a healer, but she displays little concern over the fact that people are dying under her care. She insists that she doesn’t want any man so she makes herself look as ugly as possible, and then whine that people are giving her special treatment.
I don’t think that these two fall in love as much as she just capitulates to whatever the arsehole god wants because, hey, he’s a god and he can do terrible things to everyone if they don’t get down to service him ASAP.
The writing is alright, in the sense that the author can string coherent sentences together, but the approach is too contemporary for the fantasy setting to feel authentic. Even then, she favors information dump and “sassy” quip-a-thons over everything else. The two eye-rolling douchebag characters are just cherry on top. This thing isn’t getting any love from me.