Book Review: Inspire by Cora Carmack

Posted February 20, 2015 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Inspire by Cora CarmackInspire by Cora Carmack
Series: The Muse #1
Published by Self-Published on December 15th, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, New Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 284
Format: eBook
Source: Won

Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

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.

2 Stars

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 » 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 Carmack
Soon 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 Carmack
DUDE 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.

Summing Up:

This is tearing me up inside, but Inspire was just not my thing. I’m all for the sexytimes, but I’m not for PWP (plot? what plot?) sexytimes. Especially when you promise paranormal things – Greek mythology things – I expect plot, action, mystery, and magic, and I got none of that. When all you have to fall back on is the romance and it’s sappy as fuck, you’ve lost me. But I *might* still read the sequel, depending on what I hear about it. It is Cora Carmack after all.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

People who need the sexytimes and are fans of fated, sappy love.

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7 responses to “Book Review: Inspire by Cora Carmack

  1. So many sads for the fact that I bought this like a week before you read it. Why, tempting sale, why?

    Yeahhhh, she really doesn’t need to be a Muse to have had a guy commit suicide when she left him. That sort of issue would fit in contemp too. Why make it paranormal if you’re not going to play with the possibilities?

    AHAHAHAHAHA, that ending. I know you told me the super short version, but that is HILARIOUS. This is some City of Angels bullshit, I swear.

    *barfs on quote*


    There are times for porn without plot, but those times are when you go searching for that kind of fan fic or maybe like actual porn. Certainly not what I would expect from Cora Carmack.

    • At least it was only a dollar. ONLY A DOLLAR CHRISTINA. And if you ever do want PWP sexytimes, now you have something readily available. Or you could make it a drinking game… take shots for every hint of sap. (Or don’t, that might kill you.)

      RIGHT, the set up could have worked in a contemporary too. idkkkkkkk, I guess the fantasy/paranormal aspects might still be coming? But I honestly don’t know if I’ll try the sequel. I want to know if she *can* write fantasy, but if it’s going to be more sap sap sap saaaaaaaaaap then I might quit. But Cora Carmack was like an auto-buy author for me. I don’t… I… how… WAHHHHHHHH.

      Wilder should die. For reals. I don’t even give a fuck about him at all.

      RIGHT, fanfics are where I go for PWP sexytimes. I expect more from actual original novels. x_x

  2. Aww. I’d like to see NA expand beyond contemporary sexytimes. But mostly I am commenting to say how much I love that dog GIF. IDK where you guys find these things and how many zillion hours you spend searching for the perfect ones, but it made me giggle 😀

    • Bahahaha, thank you! That gif is all over the internet, but it really captured my feelings for this book perfectly. I am very very sad 🙁

  3. Oh that is disappointing. I love mythology and Carmack’s Losing It and Faking It were both really good. I can’t stand gooey sappy romance with no plot. That would be like sitting around watching a couple just gush over each other. That’s great but what’s in it for me?!

    Also, that dog gif makes me laugh hysterically every time I see it. I understand that dog’s mood on a scary level. I too go into the blanket ball of solitude after a bad day. IT HELPS.

    • Yeah, it wasn’t necessarily them gushing over each other but just long monologues of “oh he’s so hot” “ugh, she’s beautiful, I need her” “but I can’t be with him, it’s too dangerous!” “why won’t she let me in??” “OH BUT I HAVE SUCH FEELINGS WAHHHH” “I can’t be away from her I just can’t” and just whining and sexing and angst and sap and nooooo.

      Haha, that gif is perfect but it was especially 100% fitting for my feelings for this book. 🙁 Sad.