Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Destructive Gods (A Luxe Novel)

Destructive Gods (A Luxe Novel) by H.Q. Frost

What happens when you put two beautiful people together and their godly like persona is nothing like their id?  
Opting for reclusiveness has left Her inexperienced in love. . . and sex . . . and friendship . . . and, you get it. She wasn’t born with the fear to exploit life; thank the abandonment of Her mother at a young age for that. Especially because it's left Her with self-destructive torments.  
She has a lot to discover, and so does He for that matter.  
The sociable business owner never intended on meeting the girl He considers a Goddess, but their paths cross and He gets hooked, but He’s not willing to lose everything; like His self-destructing girlfriend. 
His life has an already content paved out future with another woman, and Her life is safer on the recluse side with another man. Neither are ready when their infidelity goes beyond sexual release. She will start deconstructing Her placid life because of Him, and He will begin to rebuild His opulent life around Her. Their lives become quite the affair. . . . Literally. 
Ian Jacks and Lilith Tudor are too smart and beautiful to be so unhinged, and how long can they keep their immoral secrets?


1.0 out of 5 stars Just ... No.January 20, 2015
This review is from: Destructive Gods (A Luxe Novel) (Kindle Edition)
**Reviewed for EBooks Galore**
I read hundreds of books a year. Most for pleasure, many for review, all because I love 
getting lost in a well-told story (bonus if it has sexy times). Destructive Gods is a violation 
of everything I enjoy in a book. I will detail my displeasures below, but let me say at the 
start that I do not believe this book to be irredeemable, if allowed to spend time with competent 
editors, copy editors, and several drastic revisions.

Destructive Gods follows Lilith, a passive, waif of a girl living under the thumb of an overbearing 
older man who treats her like a child. My first issue is with the boyfriend, Sloan. There is NO 
reason for Lilith to be with him, since he is without a single positive characteristic. I'm so 
unsympathetic to him due to the author's heavy-handed painting of him as a villain that it 
affects my feelings towards Lilith as well. What's wrong with her that she stays with this guy?

Very early on, Lilith meets Ian in an elevator. Ian's girlfriend lives on he 14th floor, Lilith on the 
18th. This is important because between the lobby and floor 18 of their very first meeting, Ian 
and Lilith have sex. Yep. Both cheat on their significant others in the what, two minute elevator 
ride? It's ridiculous, unbelievable, and frankly, it pissed me off. There's fiction, and then there's 
completely unbelievable. Based on the way the author painted Lilith, it was just frustratingly 
forced. The (first) sex happens 2% into the story.

In addition to the crazy sex, the beginning of the book is littered with strange vocabulary. I'm a 
certified high school English teacher and several of the words were unfamiliar to me (not even 
my kindle knew what they were). In the first quarter of the book, I highlighted more than two 
dozen words that were unnecessarily rare. Example: "She was his cacoethes, and he needed to 
hear he was her gluttonous requisite." Cacoethes? Really? I'm all for using a strong vocabulary 
instead of repeating words, but this sounded like the author simply replaced words using an 
online dictionary of synonyms. It was jarring.

When the vocabulary isn't enough to put you off, the overuse of adverbs is. Stephen King once 
said that adverbs should be used only when absolutely necessary; he cited an overuse of 
adverbs as one of his biggest pet peeves with regards to JK Rowling's Harry Potter series. 
Destructive Gods is littered with them. For example: "You always do," she giggled humorlessly, 
unknowingly to him. A good editor can point these out to an author, let him or her know there 
are better ways to explain action and emotion.

Every chapter has a word title - Ein, Tveir, Prir, etc - I assume those are chapter numbers in a 
different language, but they are never explained. It was a distraction, but one I could dismiss 
after a while. What I couldn't dismiss as easily were the boldface headers over sections of the 
book: "What He can't describe is what He craves" "It's better than She ever knew" He and She 
are continuously capitalized, but I couldn't see what the headers had to do with the content of 
the section. They didn't prep me for what was coming, and just frustrated me each time I came 
across one. And they happen a LOT. The only thing they and the oft- used *LUXE* header do are 
make me aware of a shift in point of view. The book goes back and forth from first person (both 
Lilith and Ian) to third person. If not for the headers it would be more abrupt, but it still took a 
paragraph or two for me to figure out who was speaking and why the shift was happening. The 
book would have been much stronger had it stayed in one person's point of view OR in the third 
person. The constant shifting was dizzying.

At 25%, I nearly quit. I nearly marked the book as DNF and moved on with my life. But I 
persevered, mainly because I was given the book to review. Thankfully, the vocabulary settled 
down after that and the adverbs, while still happening too often, occasionally gave way to 
stronger language.

At the heart of this story is a couple (Lilith and Ian) who try to navigate the messiness of having 
an affair. Neither of them want to leave their over-the-top horrible significant others (while Sloan
 is overbearing, old, and rigid, Ian's girlfriend Karen is of the "leave me and I'll kill myself" type). Events conspire to free Lilith from her relationship first, which leads her down ever widening yellow brick roads. Alcohol. Pot. 
Lesbianism. One night stands. Cocaine. On and on and on. While I love when a character grows 
as a person through his or her journey, every thing Lilith did made me like her less. She was 
completely unlikeable. Ian was no better, as he flat out refuses to leave his girlfriend, even 
when she is hospitalized for her craziness. "There was something about Karen he needed and 
Lilith didn't know what it was." I kept expecting there to be a point in the story where Ian makes 
the choice to be with Lilith, but it never happens. He just convinces her that he can be with them 
both, without Karen being any the wiser.

Ultimately, despite the issues I have with the quality of the writing, it was the relationship 
between Ian and Lilith that gave this book one star. They are dishonest with each other, they
 make almost no effort to turn their affair into any kind of real relationship, and they allow their
 lust-fueled behavior to hurt almost everyone around them. They are impossible to like or root 
for. I can't say I feel bad for Sloan or Karen, either, though, so really there wasn't a single 
person I could identify with in the entire novel. And really - isn't that the point of reading a book?

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