Thursday, 1 September 2016

Review: Starstruck Shifter by Kim Fox

2 stars
I received a free copy of this book from the author. My opinion is my own. 

Starstruck Shifter by Kim Fox was a very light, quick read. Although I'm not the biggest shifter romance reader, I liked the premise. The execution of it started out okay, but then it ran into some pretty big bumps.

The hero, Mason Maloney, is an ageing movie star with a fading career. On the set of the fourth instalment in his action franchise, he meets quirky intern Joni, who's fresh out of film school. His bear shifter - the reason he doesn't live the hard-partying, urban life that Hollywood requires - bonds with her as his mate, and for him there's only a matter of convincing Joni. Joni can't believe she's working on a movie starring her childhood crush, and when Mason takes an interest in her, she's thrilled. But the movie's having teething problems, and Mason and Joni have a vested interest in ensuring it gets off the ground.

I've kept my synopsis-writing formula of writing a vague line at the end that hints at the troubles to come, but, to be honest, it was difficult to come up with something for this one. Starstruck Shifter was running a bit short on conflict. There was enough external conflict, but without much discernible romantic conflict (except for one incident very early in the piece when Joni thinks Mason is dating his co-star), it still felt lacklustre. 

I probably wouldn't have been so attuned to the lack of romantic conflict, except that I wanted romantic conflict because Joni was an idiot, one of those cases where you don't know how they've made it this far in life because they're such a hot mess. In Joni's case, she is clumsy, lacking filter and not great at rational decision-making, instead going off the cuff after giving herself some weird pep talk. 

In essence, she was immature, and she never gets past her idol-worship of Mason, which is essential when using this trope. In fact, in many ways, the breaking down about expectations surrounding this should BE the romantic conflict: heroine realises he's just a normal bloke, and lets go of her childhood crush for the love of the man beneath (I'm looking at you, Kulti). Except that Joni was still googling gossip on Mason and (metaphorically, although only just) doodling 'Joni Maloney' on her binders the whole way through the book. 

It might have been comic for the first ten pages, but after that it wasn't cute and the whole story suffered because of her ill characterisation. It also made me acutely aware of the age difference between them, which I probably wouldn't have blinked an eye at if Joni had seemed like she could actually adult. At all. In any way. In the absence of any evidence of adulting, I found it hard to believe that Joni had apparently written this amazing screenplay, especially since the book itself was so poorly edited. 

Typos and grammar errors abounded, and while I could shrug off most of them, my reading comprehension and enjoyment was impeded by the severe lack of commas throughout. 

Also, one final gripe: the only apparent point of the shifter element is to bind the two them together (which doesn't negate actually showing us why they should be together), to make it clear that Mason isn't like other Hollywood stars, and to allow him to heal when Joni accidentally shot him in the stomach with a crossbow. 

Honestly, after that scene, I knew there was no coming back for this one. It's getting 2 stars for the premise and Mason, who was underutilised in favour of Joni-the-twelve-year-old. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...