Series: The Muse #1
Published by Self-Published on December 15th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, New Adult, Paranormal
Kalliope lives with one purpose.
As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.
Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.
Her presence may inspire genius.
But it breeds madness, too.
I start this review with pretty much a broken heart. Anyone who knows me has probably heard me yelling about my love for Cora Carmack. She could do no wrong in my eyes. Then… Inspire happened.
Inspire was an attempt to bring us something new: new adult paranormal romance. Until now, the only new adult books have pretty much been contemporary romances, so it was exciting to hear that this would be something different. This would hopefully combine some awesome paranormal/fantasy aspects (because I am alllllll about the Greek mythology, seriously) with the hotness we’ve come to expect from new adult books and more specifically from Cora Carmack. Well… it did not deliver on the promise, in my eyes.
My main problem with Inspire is that it has no plot. Yes, it is paranormal, because Kalli is a muse. … The… end? Seriously, her identity is pretty much the only paranormal/fantasy element we get. She has beaucoup amounts of angst because her last artist got too obsessed with her and tried to commit suicide when she left him. But her dealing with that baggage to be with Wilder anyway is the whole story, and so it seems like every other drama-laden new adult book out there.
There are exactly two other characters who are mythology-related: an oracle (who doesn’t even know she’s an oracle), and a Watcher, who appears exactly twice. It took up to 65% before anything remotely plot-like and non-romance-related happened – when Kalli hears a prophecy. This first sounds like a pretty frightening prophecy, involving death and the end of people and whatever, but then that’s cast aside again. Seriously, right after she hears this and is visibly shaken, she goes home for more sexings. Because that’s what you do. It’s not until the last 10-20 pages that something actually notable happens, which means I can sum up the plot very shortly: View Spoiler »Kalli wants to become a mortal so she can be with Wilder, because one lifetime with him is the only thing she wants. So they make a deal with Hades, to do *something* for him in exchange for her mortality. Wilder gets his neck snapped because that’s the only way for him to get to the underworld to complete that bargain. « Hide Spoiler And then. The book. Ends.
I wish I were kidding about this. But that’s seriously the plot. And I do realize that this book is short (not even 300 pages!) and it’s the first in a series, but seriously, I expected more than that. This is paranormal romance, but it’s 99% romance, and 1% paranormal. You have been warned.
And about that romance. Yeah…. it’s sappy as FUCK. And it’s total instalove. Which I don’t even have to explain to you in my own words, I can just show you this quote:
I’m terrified. I can’t lose him. I just can’t. We’ve only known each other a month, and have been seeing each other officially for a little over a week, but he’s already imprinted on my heart. No, deeper than that. He’s wrapped up in my essence, my soul. I thought it was the same for him. I need it to be the same for him. Inspire by Cora CarmackSoon after that there are the “I love you”s and the literal “I can’t live without you”s and “We’re fated to be together”s and basically as I continued reading my expression slipped into the most epic and awkward wince-face.
Now, some will like this. But sap is not my thing. And I tried very long and very hard to rationalize it – that fate *could* very well be tying them together in this world where the Fates are a thing. (Well, you don’t see them, but Kalli will dwell endlessly on the fact that strings of fate do exist.) Also, Kalli is a goddess, leaking inspiration, so that could explain their near toxic co-dependence. But just when I think I can excuse the sap and try to take the sentiment seriously, Wilder squashes the whole thing.
If it’s addiction you’re worried about, too late. I already can’t live without you, but I swear it has nothing to do with music or energy or any of those things. Inspire by Cora CarmackDUDE WHY DO YOU MAKE IT SO HARD FOR ME TO LIKE THIS BOOK? I will admit that the hot scenes are really hot. It’s probably Cora’s hottest book yet. The most explicit for sure. But I don’t buy into the relationship. It’s so sappy, I actually UNSHIP it. It’s all purely physical too – seriously, the only thing Wilder ever thinks about is how hot and beautiful Kalli is. He doesn’t even know anything else about her for most of the book: just that she’s hot and mysterious. She actually RUNS AWAY for three months, and when he sees her again he first demands to know why she left but two seconds later is kissing her against a wall, pressing his hard-on into her, claiming he *needs* to be inside her. DAFUQ EVEN IS THIS. I was actually hoping for Wilder to die at some point, so that Kalli would do something other than cry and give me some of the fantasy awesomeness that I was hoping for.