Review of "Creatures of Will and Temper" by Molly Tanzer

Review of "Creatures of Will and Temper" by Molly Tanzer

January 16, 2018

Have you ever read a story, or a book not resonate with you?  That is what happened to me with the book “Creatures of Will & Temper” It is by Molly Tanzer.  I had not heard of the author or the book.  It was on the ‘New’ rack at the local library, the cover art looked interesting and Diana Gabaldon had a blurb on the front cover saying “An artful, witty, Oscar Wilde pastiche with the heart of a paranormal thriller.  I, will admit right here and now I wanted to read the book described.

I don’t want to be harsh.  I forced myself to keep reading this and the complaint and after taking a moment to check it out on Amazon more than a few people with the same complaint.  Nothing happens.

The main characters; Evadne who is supposed to according to the back blurb a fencer of no mean skills, in the first half of the book I read, barely, and I mean barely fences once.  I can’t say I know how good of a fencer she is because the descriptions of the bout are not descriptive.  She sweats a lot, and she holds an epee and is offered to hold a rapier that is taken away from her before she can get into a dangerous bout.  Evadne also hoped she had a boyfriend who early on tells her he is marrying another.  Besides hating London and fighting with her sister?  Sadly it was her lot in life.

Her sister Dorina is someone I doubt most people like, I couldn’t.  I honestly could say I didn’t care anything about her.  She is vain, flighty, slightly conceited only of herself and how much she wants to be an art critic.  She might be gay as after being found with a young girl, by her sister Evadne is sent to London to get away from such influences.  I didn’t care. I wasn’t even sure if it was something she was experimenting with or she embraced her sexuality.  She seems to want Henrietta “Henry” Wotton, in the first half of the book I was able to finish, nothing comes of it.  Do romances have to run quickly?  No, it would be nice if something did in this story.

There is then Lady Henrietta “Henry” Wotton.  She is the cool person of this story.  She is rich, is a Lady, and has a demon.  What does this demon do?  No idea, not in the half of the book I read.  I am sure further along in the boom the demon does something horrible or does something wonderful, there wasn’t even foreshadowing about the demon.  It is just there.  Except for the intro to each chapter that is entitled “On the Summoning of Demons” and has a bit of a blurb about a demon, some small teases about what the demon is feeling that is inside of Henry, there isn’t anything.  Oh, I should point out that Evadne takes an immediate dislike to Henry when they meet, I got the impression that I was supposed to think that Evadne was a ‘good’ person and she sensed the demon’s presence.  In the portion I read that did not come to any fruition.

If you have read my book reviews before you know I like most of what I read.  I had to step outside of my comfort zone and read something I wouldn’t normally.  I didn’t have an issue with a woman as the protagonist, nor that she was trying to find her way with her sexuality.  Or that she had decided she was gay. 

I had a problem that the story didn’t move, go anywhere.  I stopped reading at page 163 and I just checked there are 355 pages.  Had there been a demon, a sword fight, or anything.  Reading the back flap of the book, it says that “George Cantrell shows Evadne the world of demons”.  I thought it needed to happen before page 163.  I did not find the “swordplay, supernatural or the Victorian high society” that had been promised.  I think that is why I am annoyed by this book.  I was cheated what was promised never materialized.

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