This is not technically a review since I did not finish Indigo Eyes, a dark fantasy novel by Fel Kian. It is the author’s first novel, and as far as I know, it is a stand alone.
I always feel kind of badly about writing posts about books I liked so little I didn’t even finish them, but I try to write them anyway since I find these types of posts useful when other people write them. After all, not everyone shares the same likes and dislikes when it comes to books. My personal stance on the matter is that there’s nothing wrong with stating one didn’t finish a book and writing about why. If you don’t find these types of posts helpful, feel free to skip it. In this particular case, I really feel like I should write about this book since several people expressed interest in it when I first mentioned it, and I can’t recommend it based on what I read.
Since I only read 113 out of 337 pages, I’m going to use the standard book description instead of writing a plot description. I will not be avoiding potential spoilers for those first 113 pages.
While I will not be rating this book, I did use the usual layout for finding more information on other sites since I always encourage others to read numerous opinions on books they are interested in reading. (There aren’t that many reviews on any of these sites right now, but I decided to leave it up there in case more show up. In fact, I only saw one review on Goodreads, but it is positive unlike my opinion of what I read.)
Warning: There will be discussion of rape in this post.
With that out of the way, the description of the book and my thoughts follow.
The Empress Lylithe, with the aid of a succubus and incubus and the holy sickle of Kronos, is hunting seven of the fallen – angels who donned incarnate form and hid in the human world. The world where Saraquinn Morrigan chose to live, rejecting her dark past and faerie ancestry, in order to create a normal future for herself and her son Peter. The world where a fiery, outlandish, twentyish urbanite Adriana Malkov-Severina to her friends-living in downtown Ligeia, must see her dying father one last time. A world they are all forced to leave behind, each tale a thread, weaving wonderment and horror…
Peter is beguiled across a faerie portal by a winged woman bearing a keen resemblance to his mother Saraquinn, who vanished six years prior, on the eve of his tenth birthday, without trace or explanation…
Severina, in mourning, discovers a horizon beyond the pale, where love is to be found enslaved within a glass jar…
Their lot: a dangerously playful Undine, outcast dwarves, Ash Mares, androgynous seers and a monstrous Ammit. Ultimately they must face Lylithe, and learn that the veil between worlds is as fragile as gossamer, as brittle as the divide between sex and gender, love and hate, flesh and blood…
I wanted to read Indigo Eyes for two reasons:
- I love dark fantasy and really liked the sound of the book from its description.
- It was published through Immanion Press, a publisher founded by Storm Constantine (whose Wraeththu books are among my favorites).
The reasons I did not finish it after reading about a third of it are both that it was not that interesting to me and that it was too over-the-top gratuitous for my taste. In general, I like dark fantasy and don’t mind dark scenes, but the ones in this book were a bit much for me, especially since I also found many of the characters’ actions to be unbelievable. This book made me stop and go “WTF?” many times before I quit reading.
There are two main characters who are followed in what I read of this book, as well as the occasional “Interlude” focused on Lylithe. The first of the main characters, Peter, is the one whose storyline had the most promise. It starts when he is a young boy on a day when he went to the cinema with his mother, Saraquinn, who is quite mysterious and has some intriguing answers to some of Peter’s questions. When they are walking home that night, a man tries to mug them and grabs Peter. Saraquinn quite easily fends him off and adds to her mystique by how she does so. As the book progresses, Peter grows older and has to deal with life with just his father since Saraquinn disappeared when he was still very young. While I did find Peter’s storyline rather slow and dull, I did like the precocious boy and was curious about his mother’s true origins and powers.
The second main character, Adriana, is someone I found very unlikable because she is so angry. Like Peter, much of her story I read is about her relationship with her parents and I also found her story rather dull. In the last chapter I read containing her, she suddenly finds herself in a magical world where she meets a dwarf and is attacked by a water creature. She defeats the creature with the aid of a trowel given to her by the dwarf, and then pretends to be more hurt than she is and asks him to help her up. While he is helping her, she grabs his testicles, squeezes them, and threatens to castrate him if he doesn’t call out the others who must be lying in wait to gangbang her. (There aren’t any.) After injuring the dwarf and accusing him of being part of a hidden gang of rapists, Adriana panics when he starts to just quietly leave to go home to put ointment on his sore balls. She is filled with remorse as she realizes he didn’t actually do anything other than try to help her. She apologizes and convinces him to help her since she has nowhere else to go – and he forgives her quite easily and allows her to follow him home. It was at this point I stopped reading, especially after seeing the next section was another one of the Interludes.
The Interludes showed Lylithe, the incubus, and the succubus hunting the fallen and described their horrific acts in a lot of detail. The very first scene involved them raping then killing one of these fallen, who is into BDSM and aroused by his own rape. The way he ended up in this situation is quite preposterous. This fallen-disguised-as-man got a message from his regular (paid) BDSM partner telling him to meet him in a warehouse. Someone else tied him up where he waited for her, only to have Lylithe and her helpers show up instead, and what they do to him is told in very graphic detail as well as his reaction to it. The other interlude I read has Lylithe and the others killing another one of the fallen and then cutting off his privates. This is a very uncomfortable scene because it is told from the perspective of the murdered fallen’s twelve-year-old daughter, who is often molested by him and is waiting for him to come into her room and do so again.
Between the overly graphic detail of the interludes, which I found more gratuitous and over-the-top than dark or creepy, and Adriana’s interaction with the dwarf, I decided I just couldn’t force myself to finish this one. If I disliked it as much as I did after reading over 100 pages, I didn’t see how reading 200 more pages could possibly redeem it.
My Rating: N/A – Didn’t finish
Where I got my reading copy: Review copy from the author.