Did Not Finish – Featherbound – Sarah Raughley

cover44382-mediumeARC provided by NetGalley for fair review

Summary:

When Deanna’s missing friend Hyde turns up at his father’s funeral to claim his corporate empire and inheritance, she is swept into his glittering world of paparazzi and wealth.

But re-kindling her friendship and the dizzying new emotions along for the ride are the least of her concerns. Because Deanna has a secret – and somebody knows. Someone who is out to get Hyde. And if she doesn’t play along, and help the enemy destroy him…she will be sold to the highest bidder in the black market for human swans.

Now Deanna is struggling to break free from the gilded cage that would trap her forever…

Feather Bound is a dark debut reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez’s A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings, and the twisted truth behind the fairy tale of Cinderella.

Thoughts:

When I single out books for DNF reviews like this, I try to choose books that don’t work on a fundamental level for me. This is one of those books.

The concept of the human swan is kind of cool; it makes me think of Swan Lake and, to a lesser extent, a character in the Anita Blake series that had been cursed to shift to a swan with the full moon. He was a minor character, but there was a story behind what happened to him and why and even a conclusion to the story about how he broke the curse.

Here though..it’s a plot device. And a creepy one.

Human swans exist. Because. There’s a line in there that 3% of the population will turn into swans. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to how this happens, and much worse still, there is no purpose to it. They seem to exist only so that horrible people will steal their feathers and turn them into mindless shells of their former selves, and more often then not, turned into sexual slaves. Heck, the antagonist tells about how maybe if Deanna is lucky she’ll get passed around to 50 men in one night.

Yay?

It honestly seems to be that they exist to drive the otherwise fairly standard plot of socialite plotting and backstabbing forward. And that just doesn’t sit well with me.

I don’t care that the author is gender neutral – that guys get brutalized as much as the women – I care that the author created a new species for seemingly little purpose other than to rape them. No. Ew. Wrong. If you want to tell a story about marginalization or repression, fine. Do that. But given that the ONLY context we’re given about these Swans is that they seem to routinely get attacked, brainwashed and raped? Just. No. Stop.

I tried to plow on, tried to keep on reading and see if there was something more to make it worth while and I couldn’t. I got about half-way done and that was it.

I’m a hard woman to creep out. But this did it and I just can’t recommend it.

Available: May 6

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