Book Review: Florid Eyes by Nicky English


“Get ready to be sucked into this suspenseful treasure hunt with a drop of love.”

No one has ever questioned Violet Lancaster’s ability to change the world. As a brainy and self-righteous PhD student at the prestigious Georgetown University, Violet is determined to make a name for herself in Washington, D.C., by working hard to pay her dues, but her moral system is turned upside down when she runs into a man in distress on a lonesome night.

Josh Levinson was born into an elite Philadelphia family in the year 1776, when the thirteen colonies declared independence from Britain. Together they break every human and supernatural law to hunt down a mystical Native American bow and arrow in hopes to liberate an entire species and to keep it from the evil tyrants from the Far East.

Florid Eyes takes you on an intricate adventure intertwined with an epic romance.

Rating:

3stars

Thanks to the author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

Review:

Okay, I’ve been thinking about how to describe this for some time now, but I’m just going to say what’s on my mind. I couldn’t find much that’s wrong with this book. That said, I wouldn’t say this is one of my favorites. Let me explain. I tried to like this book. I really did. While reading it, I understood that the author had tried to create a “different”, non-cliche vampire story. Yes, people, that is what this is. A different kind of vampire story – with adults instead of teenagers as leads. And I have to commend the author, Nicky English for her admirable attempt. Now, why exactly am I not gaga about this book?

Let me start with the POV. The POV is in third person present tense and it took me a while to warm up to it. Even so, in the middle of the story, I would sometimes wonder if maybe the story might have been more interesting with a traditional third person past tense perhaps. Like it says on the cover of the book, Florid Eyes is more of an adventure novel than a romance novel. But even the small amount of romance in the book was not all that passionate. Sure, there is a scene on the bridge and one in the library which are really hot, but after that, the romance kind of fizzles out. Which brings me to one of the major issues I had with this book. The love story between Josh and Violet? Moves too fast. And when I say ‘too fast’, I mean ‘way too fast’. Like, one second they’re kissing, then Violet finds out that Josh is a vampire, she freaks out a bit, then she decides to “help” him, then they have hot vampire sex, then they start proclaiming their love for each other. As if saying “I love you” once to someone who is practically a stranger isn’t enough, they throw those 3 little words around a lot. While reading it, I’m sitting on my couch and I’m like “God, guys! How long has it been since you met? And you already love each other and know that you’ve found your soul mate? That is so stupid” Also, if I could, I would give Violet a sharp smack on the head and say “You’re really stupid. You don’t deserve a PhD”. Because seriously, what would be your natural reaction when you meet someone who drinks people’s blood to survive? Stay clear of them, right? And if you’re stuck with them, I don’t know about you, but I’d definitely not have hot vampire sex with them. And I’d most definitely not empathize with them or their sob story until I know that I’m safe in their company. And what does Violet do when stuck with a good looking vampire who yearns to be human again? She totally laps up his story and sleeps with him. Oh, and she also happens to love him. Every time either Josh or Violet said the word ‘love’ I wanted to throw my e-reader against the wall.

Alright, that was a bit of a rant there. So, moving on, I liked the fact that this was an adventure novel and not a typical romance. But the downside is that the adventure is not adventurous enough. I constantly found myself wishing that the speed would pick up or that more engrossing stuff in general would happen. I think the story needs better roadblocks put in Josh and Violet’s way as they search for the “cure”. It just seemed to me that whatever was thrown their way, Josh and Violet would get past it without much effort on their part. It was too easy. It would have been more interesting to see them struggle more. The ending would be that much more satisfying if the characters had to work their asses off to get there. A more interesting back story might have helped. The one with the Indians, Dream Bear and the lot just didn’t pique my curiosity. When someone thinks ‘vampire’, they either want a heart pounding forbidden romance or a gory, bloody horror. Incorporating a bit of both might have helped this book a lot. Also, I would have liked to learn more about Josh’s life before he met Violet. Like, what he did during different decades.

Cons:

  • POV
  • Romance is too fast
  • Little character development
  • A bit on the longer side (600+ pages)
  • Slow paced

Pros:

  • Unique story
  • Writing is good
  • Violet doesn’t suffer from Bella syndrome i.e. her life doesn’t revolve around Josh
  • Violet is a hardworking girl that us, normal girls, can relate to

Verdict:

This might not be a perfect story, but it definitely deserves a read if only for the unique take on vampires.

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Florid Eyes by Nicky English

  1. Enjoyed reading your honest review. Sometimes I don’t connect with a story but not always can I figure out what held me back. Loved it that you’ve balanced your opinions.
    Shaz

  2. A great honest review and very tactfully put in my opinion supporting your cons with pros. I sometimes read a book similar to you that I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it, this is where the age old saying comes in not every book is for every reader xXx

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