Asher (Inked Brotherhood #1)
By Jo Raven
2 stars – SPOILER ALERT
MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
**This book was given to Books on Fire Review and Edits as an Advance Copy Read.**
I read this book in one sitting; however, I skimmed most of it. At first, I was caught off guard when I agreed to read this for the team because I didn’t realize that it was part of a series titled the Inked Brotherhood. Jay Crownover had an amazing, original idea and I can’t help but notice that all the titles in the series are guys names. Rule Archer (Marked Men #1) v. Asher Devlin. What are the similarities? Not much! They both sport tattoos and a bad history of debauchery. So I was glad to read on.
The style in this novel is what I like to call “text message” writing. The POV style is taken to a new level of incomplete sentences and starting off sentences with subordinating conjunctions. This can be very effective if it is used occasionally. In “Asher”, sentences that began with “and”, “but” and “though” were so overused that it was choppy. Overall, it took away flow and affects it had on the story line.
The characters were introduced to the reader only by the devastating events that they were either suffering through or recovering from. I admired Dylan for sticking up for Audrey but then he was gone. Where did he go? I didn’t understand Zane’s story and half way through the book, the reader is introduced to another issue with Audrey’s best friend, Tessa. At that point, I had disconnected with all of the characters. Asher’s flip flop decision-making in addition to his “I need a plan” or some variation of that sentence was extremely repetitive.
We see so many great NA books out there these days that contain two or three main characters. In this book, I needed a notepad to write down the specifics of each character. In addition, this book was saturated with themes. The themes included but were not limited to drinking, cage fighting, abusive or controlling parents, death, loss of virginity, sexual abuse, physical abuse, college, hospitals and sibling conflict. The ONLY theme that is missing here is a rock and roll band. Ms, Raven, less is more. Pick two or three themes and stay focused.
Alas, people will most likely read this and love it, as it is a spin off from Addison Moore’s “Wait for You”, Katy Evans’ “Remy” and Jay Crownover’s “Rule”. People will follow the incomplete sentences just fine and won’t notice the poor editing. The story line between Asher and Audrey is good but not explored enough.