No Rest for the Wicked was almost offensively boring, and when it wasn’t boring, it was offensive. It also has 4.3 stars on Goodreads.
I don’t think this book bothers to take itself seriously, so I won’t give it a serious review. Kresley Cole essentially plagiarizes herself with every novel, so I see no problem with taking plagiarism to its logical end and relying mostly on the work of others to get my point across here. I’m going with RuPaul and her girls as my muses here.
Sebastian (unworthy of the name) is a vampire who hates his afterlife. Kaderin (that is a real name I guess; also this was how I chose to deal with it) is a Valkyrie who hunts vampires because apparently that’s what Valkyries do, but she also has a major chip on her shoulder because her two blood sisters were killed by vampires. They meet-cute, she’s supposed to kill him but he’s too swoony, but she still hates him, but she’s his Bride, they can’t live without each other OR CAN THEY ugh I don’t know I don’t care.
You’ll hear no argument from me that Ihateyou-Iloveyou is a pretty common romance trope, and that a bit of pursuit and wooing can be very romantic if done right. I HATE Kresley Cole’s version of this, though, when it comes to vampires (I can’t speak for her other male immortals because somehow the only ones I’ve read have involved vampires,) which is that since they’re dead, their hearts don’t beat and blood doesn’t circulate. When they meet their Bride, though, they become “blooded,” so they can get an erection. There is only one woman in all of the immortal universe that can do this for them, and she’s their eternal mate.
Noticeably absent from this scenario is, well, let’s see — ANY INPUT FROM THE WOMAN IN QUESTION, WHATSOEVER.
And sure enough, Kaderin would really rather have nothing to do with Sebastian for most of the book. She’s admittedly lusty for him, but she’s really, really clear on the fact that she’d willingly go without acting on that if it meant staying true to her Valkyrie sisters — in particular her blood sisters — but most importantly, to her own feelings of strong hatred and disgust toward vampires. It’s okay to be conflicted, girl. It’s been awhile since you’ve gotten some, but he’s a vampire and there’s bad blood there. You’re just trying to reinforce some boundaries. Which reminds me, Sebastian: she’s just not that into you! When a girl says to leave her alone, do it!
And that’s what really grinds my gears about this book and other books like it. As I conceded above, romantic pursuit can be very flattering and is a fantasy for a lot of women, but Sebastian’s actions toward Kaderin here can be described less accurately as ‘pursuit’ and more accurately as ‘stalking,’ and I just can’t abide that being sold as some kind of romantic ideal. I think it’s gross and more importantly, dangerous. Worse even is that more than once in the book, Sebastian whinges that if it’s what she really wants, he’ll leave her alone, but he’ll be the only vampire in the history of ever to not claim his Bride, which, first, I have something for this —
— but that’s always followed up by some situation in which Kaderin needs Sebastian to rescue her, bringing them back together.
In this world, vampires are essentially the toddlers of the immortals. They’re not as strong or as experienced or as powerful as any of the other immortals. Kaderin, in particular, has a major reputation for being Not The One to f*ck with. And yet Sebastian straight up outwits her or is required to assist her at nearly every turn? Talk about giving your heroines only the most superficial facade of strength, only to completely disempower them when push comes to shove. No wonder Sebastian doesn’t take her seriously when she says she doesn’t need him and can take care of herself — according to Kresley Cole, she does and can’t.
I finally did it after this one: I deleted Kresley Cole from my TBR on Goodreads. There is one book of hers I’ll still read, and (of all things) it’s the conclusion to her YA trilogy. Other than that, I’m done with her lazy, basic, faux girl power detritus.