Pros: The book is built on an interesting concept.
Cons: There is very little explanation about the Breeds and how they fit into the world around them; as a first time reader in this series it can be very confusing.
Rating: 2 out of 5
Advanced review copy courtesy of Penguin Group
Expected publication date: April 5, 2011
All her life, Micah has grown up with the Breeds and fantasized about Navarro Blaine. They haven’t spent much time together, but they’re thrown into proximity when her life is suddenly in danger. Now the two of them can no longer deny their attraction, but what will happen when Micah tries to resist the mating process? Will they find happiness, or will stubborn pride get in the way?
Having never read a Breeds novel, I was looking forward to reviewing Ms. Leigh’s latest, Navarro’s Promise, since I’ve had friends recommend her to me. Unfortunately, this book didn’t quite live up to the praise for me because Ms. Leigh seems to assume that by now her readers know how her world works. This made for a very confusing read for me, and I know that detracted a great deal from my enjoyment. This is definitely one of those series where new readers should start at the beginning.
From the get-go, I was struggling to understand exactly what the Breeds were, how they came to be, and why so much of the world seemed to dislike them. Because of that, some of the plot elements lacked suspense because I couldn’t understand why they were happening. Not having a good sense of what the Breeds are also made it difficult to understand the mating process, and why elements of the process happened as they did. It just seemed that the more I read, the more confused I became, and as a reader that’s pretty frustrating.
The concept for the Breeds seems an interesting one; I’ve always been a sucker for genetic manipulation and seeing how human and animal elements are fused to create something new is always interesting to me. (Not to mention how people react to those sorts of things being done.) I just wish I had more background information so that I could really enjoy the way that the concept was put together.
Ms. Leigh’s writing style is also probably not for everyone. If you’re a reader that prefers leaner prose, then you might want to look elsewhere. It’s not a negative for me, it’s just not a writing style that I read particularly often. With that being said, as soon as I got into the flow of the book I stopped noticing it. What I did notice in a few places was a tendency to first show the reader how the character was feeling, and then follow that with a point blank telling of said feelings. That was a bit off-putting.
I also had trouble at times with the characters and their behavior. I couldn’t help but feel that Micah could solve some of her problems by sitting down and talking about them, instead of avoiding people. Some of the conflict would have seemed less gratuitous that way. Navarro could also learn to talk out conflict, but what irritated me the most was an incident where he basically threatens someone trying to help him. What really floored me was the text that follows that incident, where it seems that an attempt is made to justify his actions. (Pointing out that someone has been traumatized does not qualify as a reason to threaten them, in my opinion.)
While I found the concept of this book interesting, trying to understand the basic background of the story with little to no explanation was absolutely frustrating, and I know that the lack of context colored how I saw the book. If the concept of the series looks like something that you might be interested in, I would highly recommend starting at the beginning so that you’ll be able to catch all of the threads and undercurrents in this book.