The Autumn Castle by Kim Wilkins

I’m still trying to figure out where I went wrong. How did I get the perception that this was going to be a terrific urban fantasy? A great new discovery like Tinker by Wen Spencer was. Oh wait, I know, it was because the cover blurb said it was an exciting urban fantasy. Whatever.

Yeah, can you feel my excitement for this book? The best way to sum up how I felt about it is the statement I made to my husband as I closed it after reading the last page: “I can’t believe I finished that book.”

His response: “It was that bad?’

It wasn’t very good. Wow what a descriptive sentence, right? The premise seems like a good one. A fairy kingdom, an evil fairy hunter, a princess, a mortal woman and the man she loves… well, okay. When I lay it out like that, even the premise doesn’t sound very exciting. It’s a good thing I don’t have to write any cover blurbs! You can go to the Amazon link to read the cover blurb if that’s what you’re looking for. I was hooked when I saw this at Barnes and Noble, picked it up, read the cover blurb and was instantly intrigued. I enjoy urban fantasy so was excited at the prospect of a new author. Oh how my hopes have been dashed.

I think the problem lies not so much in the story itself- which had a lot of potential, with a cast of character such as the icky antagonist who murders fairies for their bones- which he uses to create a bone sculpture. Or the heroine, who is filled with both physical and emotional pain. Her boyfriend, who is keeping secrets. And a fairy princess- the heroine’s long-lost childhood friend who falls instantly in love with the heroine’s boyfriend. No, the problem isn’t with the story idea but with the writing. It was boring and stilted. I never felt any emotional connection or sympathy for any of the characters and, in fact, found myself wanting to bitch slap the lot of them quite frequently. The author tried to develop them, but failed to impress any type of connection upon me. I, quite frankly, didn’t care who had a HEA at the end and who didn’t. I just wanted it to end. I should point out that not every reader necessarily wants to feel a connection with the characters, but for myself, that is part of what drives my reading and that’s one of the things I look for in a book- not necessarily that I’d do what they did but that I undertand them and care about them in some small way. That was sadly lacking in this book. I found the story and plot unsatisfying and, at times, inconsistent and forced.

My recommendation? You won’t miss this book if you don’t read it. Pick up the afore-mentioned Tinker by Wen Spencer instead. If you’re a fan of urban fantasy, you won’t regret it!

Grade: Pass

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