Scarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.
But on the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.
Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. Meanwhile, the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—and the penalty is death.
With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.
I did not care for this.
I wasn’t really enthused to return to Scarlett in the first place. I thought maybe Olson had a good story. Mostly what she wanted to do was cram more Jesse vs Eli down our throats and make Scarlett into an even worse person.
The background plot, the reason this book was written.. That was actually interesting. When Olson focused on it. I enjoyed the background history of Molly (I wish she was the main character. Molly being the main instead of Scarlett in this series would have been better), it added a lot to her character. It was really interesting.
Unfortunately, much of this story is focused on Scarlett. Scarlett trying to be a badass. Scarlett being horrible to Eli. Scarlett trying to rekindle things with Jesse (even though she tells herself she isn’t). Scarlett just having to be the only one to work on this because reasons. Scarlett getting upset at everyone because they aren’t doing enough to help her because she is the only one that cares about Molly and boohoo. Scarlett and “Oh my god I was right! None of these guys took it seriously! Only I was the smart one here!”.
I really dislike Scarlett. Three years have passed, and we learn that she has done nothing to better herself as a person. The book actually opens with her getting short with a customer on a side job she has taken upon herself only so she could be closer to Eli, and being glad about being a bitch because she was annoyed. She hasn’t taken any real classes. She hasn’t tried to find something to define her beyond being the cleanup lady. She likes wallowing in her own self-deprecation coupled with a side of death wish too much to bother with all that. Hell, she even says that she was taking self defense lessons from some of Dashiel’s bodyguards, but she was too fucking lazy to take it seriously, so she had them teach her tricks to appear like she knows what she is doing. Yup. Also, there is the dog she absolutely refuses to discipline in any way so it has run wild and is uncontrollable by anyone but her because she spoils it so much. So, so much of this story is spent regarding the movements of this dog I was going insane wanting it to just go away because it wasn’t part of the story.
And then there is what she is doing to Eli. Eli is sweet, he is kind. But, Scarlett managed to turn him into a lesser person in three years. He is overprotective, he even admits it, and admits that it is because Scarlett refuses to take care of herself. I hope there is better in store for Eli because he really doesn’t deserve Scarlett’s shit. In the first fiveish hours of book time, and about the first 20% of the book, Scarlett managed to: leave him without telling him where she was going even though he was worried about her, lied to him, turned off her cellphone to ignore him so she wouldn’t have to talk to him, hung out with her old love interest, actually got hurt and didn’t tell him for hours afterward, and had his alpha tell Eli that she was okay after she was shot instead of talking to him. That is just.not.okay. These two have a relationship that started off with bad communication, but they didn’t work it out when they should of. So, hurt feelings and bad behaviours are running wild.
I honestly think this would have been a better book without Scarlett as lead. Scarlett has too much added baggage that really drug the story down with her. Too much of the book was focusing on her bad behaviours. She is incredibly selfish and overconfident in her self-worth. At least Dashiel, Kirsten, and Will actually seem to care about the Old World in LA, all of them. They let Scarlett into their leadership, but Scarlett doesn’t seem to care about anyone but herself.
I’m still going to read this series, but it is more because I hate myself more than I hate this.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Disrupted Magic series page!