Marie Rants & Reviews Loving The Prince by Nicole Murphy

Hello everyone and happy Sunday!
Today I have the pleasure to introduce you to Marie - a new reviewer here at Jannelle Reads! This is so exciting for me because 1)Marie is an extremely close family friend who I've known my entire life and 2)It means more reviews, people! We are both working women with a passion for the written word so I am ecstatic that she is diving into this journey with me (sometimes, anyways).

Here is what I would like to call a Marie rant. She might go off on a tangent (or two) but I think this will give you all a great feel for the novel and/or expose you to a semi-unique review style - the rant.

Ok, so maybe I’m new to this whole YA Sci-fi/romance trend (is it really a thing?), but I’m beginning to think that maybe these two worlds are too different to be written together as one cohesive novel. I know I may be jumping the gun on judgement a bit considering this was my first experience with this new genre, but to be fair I’m used to reading some of the greatest science fiction writers out there; along the lines of Asimov and Adams - that’s some stiff competition! The greatest appeal of science fiction is its capability of formulating for the reader an expansive and completely unique perspective of a universe that is completely imaginary yet totally possible. And it all begins with description.

On the side of YA romance novels, we have all read them and we have all developed the same love/hate/why-am-reading-this-and-loving-it relationship with them. So of course, we know what to expect: unknowingly beautiful reclusive girl falls for the most gorgeous and exciting guy in existence by some inexplicable attraction they seem to have towards each other upon first meeting. We get it. We love it. We devour it.

So here’s my point: how can these two fundamentally different genres be combined into one story that’s deserving of being both a good science fiction read and a sweet YA romance? Now that I've tried to explain my biases going into this, I can only hope you now understand how skeptical I was to this book as I was starting out. Loving The Prince falls short on all accounts.

The main character, Cassandra, is heir to her family’s kingdom and Head of Distribution to her family’s mining export business. Her great-great-grandfather is the current Prince and he has chosen Cass as his successor upon his demise, which is no time soon (we think). The novel focuses on a dilemma Cassandra faces when there is a secret consortium that plots to topple her family’s business. Throughout the novel, Cassandra tries to piece together evidence from crimes and politics to figure out who is throwing off the balance in her world. Oh, and there’s mind reading powers.

The main love interest in this novel also acts as a secondary point of view for the action, and that’s Kernan. A well-trained and loyal security officer who has taken the bullet for a couple high-profile charges and now wants to settle down at age… who knows. Extremely attractive, respectful, and intelligent. Of course we love him, and of course he instantly falls in love for our main protagonist even though their love is forbidden.

The novel falls short on some important aspects that can never be overlooked. It was difficult believing in this world due to a serious lack of descriptive imagery. I didn't find out Cassandra’s actual age until 44% into the book - 27, in case anyone is wondering. And, who even knows what “soft curves” are? The only description we’re given of Cassandra’s looks is when she is standing in front of a mirror and notes she has brown, semi-curly hair and soft curves. That’s it. I’m all for imagination, but I think Cassandra’s looks significantly changed in my mind about 3 or 4 times.  I understand an author’s preference for wanting to keep a world open to interpretation, but when it gets to the point where it’s both distracting and frustrating, it just isn't fun anymore. 

Imagery is the most important aspect of any novel that intends to create a substantial and believable world, especially one where they constantly travel between the planet, the moon, and within its own countries with shuttles and pods. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a novel to fully immerse yourself visually in their world, this is not it.

Pro? The politics and the searching for clues is what drives this novel forward, the only saving grace that is then totally quashed with the final “ah-ha!” moment of figuring it out using a method she could have just used from the beginning, only to learn what she has always already known. Shoddy character-work only comes second to the lack of details in this book in it’s difficulty to read. I was astounded when I found out Cassandra’s age considering her manner changes from professional businesswoman to emotional teenager at the drop of a ‘where-is-Kernan?’. The side characters in this novel are shallow and easy to understand/predict. The love/hate relationship with her sister was interesting to a degree. It is also to be noted that there is a unique religion stated in this series explained in a couple of lines as an aside to explain why they use the word “Peace,” as in “Peace save us all,” without no further explanation beyond “that’s the religion and that’s why we say that”. Also, there’s mind powers.

If you've read this far, then I commend you. This is all my terribly biased opinion and take from it what you’d like. It was a strange experience to read this book in all its attempts to bring together two genres that I could scarcely see working together cohesively, and it was disappointing to read this specific novel whose attempt was extremely overreaching and at times blatantly lazy.

If you happen to pick up this book from the library, or download/read/return it in two days like I did, then definitely let us know what you think!

Basic info. about this book:

Name: Loving The Prince
Author: Nicole Murphy
Review Source: Provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Publishing Company: Escape Publishing - Harlequin Enterprises, Australia Pty Ltd
Publication Date: August 1, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Rating (out of 5): 2.0

Recommend? No.

Where it can be purchased: B&N | Amazon

Author online: goodreads | Twitter

Hope you enjoyed Marie's first rant/review and we will both be seeing you very soon!

(to contact Marie, simply comment below!)

&& here is where you can find me on the interwebz:

Until next time-

Marie & Jannelle

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