2.5 out of 5 stars
Cut to the Chase:
Vicious Circle is a generic urban fantasy with generic witches, werewolves, and vampires a generic urban fantasy setting that incorporates generic fantasy elements with a generic semi-romance tacked on. I’m not averse to authors using common elements in their sub-genre, but I do strongly feel that if you have no original elements in your setting, then you as the author are expected to work extra hard to make your characters and story memorable. Unfortunately, this wasn’t done in this book, and the story doesn’t really make sense and the characters are forgettable. Even the romance was uninteresting. There’s nothing really objectionable here, but unless you just want some generic urban fantasy with a few romance elements, I would suggest you read something else.
As a generic urban fantasy novel, this book of course follows my standard synopsis template:
(Silly Ritzy Female Name) Persephone Alcmedi is a (exciting profession) writer of a column advocating for the rights of werewolves. She is drawn into (nonsensical plot) assassinating a vampire when (stupid contrived reason) she is randomly contracted for an assassination despite the fact that everything about her character would imply she would be adverse to such a thing. Persephone’s life is further complicated by the entrance of (exciting supernatural love interest #1) a werewolf who falls in love with her. Even more trouble comes in the form of (exciting supernatural love interest #2) a sexy vampire who (stupid contrived reason unrelated to plot for them to come into contact) objects to being assassinated. (Damn, and the template was working so well until the end).
There’s not really much to say about the setting. It’s pretty much generic urban fantasy, where mundanes have learned of the existence of the supernatural and mundanes are prejudiced against them. I’ll be honest, I don’t really understand this premise very well. It seems that the message is supposed to be that discrimination is wrong, however, in every book I’ve read with this premise, supernatural forces are an undeniably negative threatening force aligned directly against the best interest of normal people, and only a complete idiot wouldn’t do everything they could to act against the gathering supernatural threats.
It’s also one of those convoluted stories that doesn’t make very much sense once you learn everything that is going on. There were many easier ways for the antagonist to accomplish their goals, and the protagonist’s involvement at the center of the action is based on coincidence and contrived circumstances. I was initially quite intrigued with the concept of a reluctant assassin, but that section of the story doesn’t go anywhere, and the protagonist isn’t really a good fit for the part.
The protagonist isn’t the worst character I’ve encountered in this genre, but she doesn’t have much to recommend her other than the fact that she isn’t randomly horrible to people around her. I guess she’s supposed to be deep and conflicted, but there really isn’t much to make her stand out from all the other generic heroines. The rest of the characters are just as bland. There is a love interest for the romantic subplot, but he’s basically just a combination of generically desirable qualities without anything at all unique.
Comparisons to Other Authors:
Rather than comparing with individual books I’m just going to say that this is a very average urban fantasy novel, and although I doubt this book will disappoint you if you are a fan of the genre, it certainly won’t enthrall you either.