I wouldn't call this book a disappointment, but it didn't leave up to my expectations or the bars that were set up by Aleatha's previous books. It tried but somehow failed to excited, intrigue or engage me.
This is more of an all out thriller with romantic imbibed in parts rather than being a romantic suspense. Though the author tried to bring in sex and romance, it comes out forced rather than seeing natural and feels out of place in what could have been a taut and fast paced thriller with some sprinkling of a taboo attraction? But because of the forced romance, the mystery or thriller aspect tends to take a back set in certain places, ruining the pace and overall structure of the story. It left me confused on what the story was all about and where the actual focus is on - Laurel and Kader's romance? Her medical research about get drug? Kader's mysterious past? Or the bad guys who want her dead and plan on stealing or stopping the research? That's the primary issue - There are way too many plot elements and not all of them get the due attention, which makes it kind of a mess. There is lot of potential in the plot, and even the premise is also very promising but my problem is the style of story telling and how it all plays out.
And none of the characters were fleshed out enough for me to be invested in them. Laurel was the main female protagonist but I could barely connect with her or understand her. she was very confused on whom to trust and blissfully unaware of the potential dangers of her drug. She seemed way too naive and 'horny' for me to like her. I understand sexual attraction even in a dangerous predicament but her actions were kind of little too extreme. Kader was a far more interesting character but we learn too little about him to truly care and it's still hard for me to figure out what he does and whether he is a bad guy or more like an anti-hero? But it's not necessarily bad. There is enough mystery surrounding him to keep me interested for the second book. Then we also have characters like Russel - her research partner, Stephanie and Dr Owen but though there are was essential to the plot, their characters are hardly explored and just left hanging. There is also a lack of coherence in how the events played and it left me to confused. Too many unknown factors to get a clear picture on what's happening and what all is at stake. But I do like the attention given to all the small details.
I want to reserve my judgement until I read at least the second book in the series. Though the first didn't end in a cliffhanger it was kind of like a shocker but I had seen that coming. Hopefully the next book will fetch me more answers.
3 Twisted Stars.