Sunday, January 22, 2023

Riven by Mindee Arnett - OPTIONAL

Riven by Mindee Arnett, 448 pages. Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins Publishers), 2023. $20.

Language: PG13 (24 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13



Mars has been a merc ever since Una picked him up off the street, but, after his most recent mission, Mars is ready to get out. Ten months away with a normal job and Mars has almost enough to leave Riven. But then Una calls him back, and he has to answer. No matter how much he wants to, Mars cannot say no to this job – but it will be his last.

The premise appealed to me with the offer of mercenaries, backstabbing, action, magic, secrets, et cetera, but I had a hard time wanting to keep reading. I didn’t care about Mars or Fura and their goals, and I couldn’t picture where they were or what they were trying to accomplish. Something changed in chapter twenty-four, and I finally found myself engaged in what was happening. And then my attention drifted again in the last couple chapters. There will be a sequel, and I will not be reading it.

Fura is white, and Una is described as having “pale” skin, but Arnett is ambiguous about most of the characters. The mature content rating is for drug and alcohol use, innuendo, brief nudity, and mention of sex. The violence rating is for gun and other weapon use, battle scenes, blood, and murder.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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