The Promise by Jessica Sorensen

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The Promise by Jessica SorensenThe Promise by Jessica Sorensen

Series: Fallen Star #4

Rating: 1 of 5 stars

My name is Gemma Lucas and my life’s a mess. Alex is gone, my dad’s trapped in his own mind, and my mom’s working for the dark side. Not to mention Nicholas refuses to quit haunting me.

The world has also entered apocalyptic mode. Everyday more vampires, witches, and fey run the streets. Innocent people are dying. The Mark of Malefiscus is showing up everywhere. And I’m the only one who can stop it.

The only problem is I have to die in order to do so. And I have to let Alex die. Something I’m not sure I can do.

Up until I read The Promise, the series of events that comprised each book of this series always held a definitive sense of direction and necessity, and that was its one true strength. I could follow along with the map of the storyline even through all the chaos that ensued.

In this one, all clarity and functionality goes out the window. Alex takes it upon himself to split, so he makes his way to… somewhere?… lookin for his mother, who he heard had become a Banshee. To get to her, he finds another Banshee who takes him to… a guy who I thought was the King of Banshees, but no. He was just some dude who knew that Alex’s mother was a Banshee. That’s where the confusion began, and that was like chapter 1. During this conversation, he makes a bargain with the Banshee lady that she can have his soul if she takes him to that one guy, and Alex acknowledges that his soul is not his to bargain with, so he does it without worry for holding up his end of the deal. I’m gonna come back to that notion later.

So eventually Alex has to go back to Gemma & Co. because of a bargain he makes with a witch to help him travel, promising to rope Aislin into removing the Mark of Malefiscus from the witch’s daughter. He sticks around, Aislin doesn’t remove the mark, the witch runs off, the half-faerie that Stephan kept in captivity whom Alex and Gemma found in the last book goes missing… I mean, a million and one things happen that all lead back to square one. There is literally zero plot progression before the last few chapters of the book. They just run around in circles, doing things that lead to dead ends, and ending up in situations that seem dire but harbor no real consequences.

For example, Alex and Aislin are in the middle of something when Aislin gets captured by a bunch of angry withces and branded as a traitor to their kind with an X on her hand. Later on, they state the need to team up with other witches to enhance Aislin’s power to remove Gemma’s wings (another pointless thing that happened–she gets turned into a Black Angel out of nowhere and for no reason), work on a spell to remove the Mark of Immortality, take down Stephan’s sheild, &c.! Adessa’s gone (another pointless thing that happened–she helped Gemma with one little thing I can’t even remember because it was so insignificant and she enlisted their help to free her “friend” from the Mark of Malefiscus, and then both the witches disappeared, never to be heard from again) as well. The solution? Aislin steals another witch’s power; no consequence. Alex steals items of great power from his father (right from under his nose, too!); no consequence. I mean… just… ugh.

And then, the cherry on top of his crap cake: both Gemma and Alex bargain with Banshees to offer up their souls in exchange for the other to live. Apparently, at the same time. And without telling each other. They spend their last perceived night together rolling around on the floor, steeped again in lies, as their entire relationship has been, instead of coming forth with the truth. Which doesn’t make sense anyway because their souls are not theirs to barter with alone. Every five seconds, someone makes mention of how Gemma and Aelx’s souls are entwined and they can’t give up something that doesn’t belong to them and blah blah blah. And yet the big climax involves them both offering their souls to Banshees in exchange for life? I’M NOT AN IDIOT, SORENSEN. DON’T JERK ME AROUND.

And then she wants me to read the Fallen Souls spin-off like its existence is valid in the first place, and viable things will take place inside the series? I’m sorry, but no thank you.

I just… This fell apart for me in every sense possible. The big climactic battle at the end was a 3-page-long vision, for Pete’s sake! I understand that that gimmick worked for the Twilight movie finale, but that was because it had no other choice. That fake fight was an improvement over the reality of what happened. Gemma’s big fight vision? A cock tease! Her excuse was to see how Aislin and Laylen defeated Stephan, BUT I SAW THAT SAD LIE FROM A MILE OFF.

And wtf @ Laylen and Aislin? When I first started this series, I got this weird vibe off Gemma and Laylen, and I thought it was going to turn into a clusterfuck love triangle. Thankfully, it didn’t, but there is literally no development on the front of his and Aislin’s relationship. Like, what was the point of it even being brought up if it was never going to go anywhere? I thought it was so cool that Laylen and Gemma were just friends, and I thought that maybe if Aislin and Laylen weren’t gonna get back together then they’d at least reach a level of friendship as well, but what the fuck that didn’t happen, either! Plus I saw an excerpt of the Shattered Promises re-imagining that suggests (view spoiler), and that just makes me sick to my stomach. Losing excitement over reading that as well.

AND WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHY SORENSEN THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO SKIP OVER THE ONE SCENE THAT ACTUALLY MEANT SOMETHING IN THIS ENTIRE BOOK?! When Gemma buys a Power of Entrapment candle that seals a person’s power inside them as long as it burns, she uses it to spend her last night with Alex without fear of burning out the star’s power. Naturally, they spend the night kissing, BUT THERE WAS NEVER EVEN ANY MENTION OF THE ACT. JUST AFTERMATH. AFTERMATH. I waited four books to get a kiss from these two that didn’t agonize them to the core, and when I finally do, all it is is aftermath.

I just–I can’t. I absolutely cannot.

The end.

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