Friday, October 14, 2016

3.5 Stars for Meraki Lyhne's Untouchable Beauty

This is an ARC provided to me in exchange for a fair review. Please read all the review and associated warnings the author provides before you decide if it's for you--or don't blast the author or me if the content is not to your taste!

My Review

Untouchable Beauty has a lot of potential as a series. I started this book with the knowledge that the author tagged it dubious consent, but I think it does cross that line into non-consensual for those who are sensitive to that content. Read the warnings, people! Don't blame a story for content the author clearly warns readers about.

Oddly enough, with my personal parenting philosophy, I felt a connection to the lead Cubi character, Seldon, once we get past the very graphic and traumatic first perhaps third of the book. Until that point, I really didn't like him. And the whole concept of the Cubi's culture and need for 'food' because they're Incubi/Succubi felt not quite fleshed out. I mean, a culture primarily dictated by ancient beings who grew up in cultures where children were given adult responsibilities in their young teens, decides that no food can be touched until aged 22? The logic for that escaped me.

Quibbles with that, and the unexplored plot line of another slave who was brought in with Daniel, the human Untouchable (who can't be food until he's 22), and the cliffhanger at the end leaving the story knocked this read down to 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 starts read for me. There was so much brought in to the 'why' of the enslavement of humans from the Cubi's point of view, I keep thinking that further stories must have some sort of serious revelation and change to their culture. Unfortunately, we don't see that as the main aspect of Untouchable Beauty was Daniel's vanity leading to him being taken, his "neglected" upbringing making him vain and spoiled, and his observations of the Cubi culture, especially from the point of views from the various slaves he encounters.

When I hit the end of the book, I actually was surprised to see the 100% symbol. It just didn't feel complete; the abrupt end of the scene in book 1 left me with a lack of emotional conclusion that would make this was a complete story on its own. I'm interested in seeing what happens from the cliffhanger, and whether or not the author will let us see the Cubi culture now that Daniel won't be quite as sheltered, so I will probably read the next book. I also really hope the author expands the ignored plotline with the other slave because that was completely disregarded even though it was highlighted.

(I do love this cover)

Business school is not for Daniel. Not after making the cover of Teen Model. The only problem is that his parents don’t agree, and Daniel skips school to set his plans for fortune and fame in motion. Meeting the award-winning photographer Heimli will change his life, but not in the ways the nineteen-year-old young man expects.

At the age of four hundred thirty-six, Seldon has fed on more beautiful men than he can remember. Living in seclusion from the human world, humans are brought to the Incubi and Succubi as slaves to feed on. Amongst these slaves are the rare Untouchables. When Seldon is entrusted with the safekeeping of one, he has his work cut out for him—especially since this Untouchable gets on his nerves. And under his skin.

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