I could not get past page five in J.R. Ward's THE BOURBON KINGS without wanting to toss it into a shredder. Clearly, I am in the minority. Some of her novels have made the bestseller list of The New York Times. According to her bio-blurb, there are more than fifteen million copies of her books in twenty-five countries. Be that as it may, my reaction to every page of this bloated saga was, “I like it not.” Then I thought of all the time and effort it took to write four hundred and some pages. Never mind that I found them dreadful. Should I honor every published writer's work? Should I plod on in hopes of finding something nice to say? I don't think so. Subjective as book reviewing is, the only honorable thing for a reviewer to do is to express her opinion clear and honestly.
So here is my take on THE BOURBON KINGS—the writing is pedestrian, the story is mediocre.
Whether it is a commercial success or not, is not the issue. The issue is the quality of the work and sadly, that quality is low. To praise it be an insult to good writers. That is not to say that you should not buy and form your own opinion of it. You might like reading gardeners with master degrees from Cornell University, people who have Gucci luggage, and who own property that includes.”twelve retainer's cottages...as well as ten outbuildings, a fully functioning farm of over a hundred acres, a twenty-horse stable that had been converted into a business center, and a golf course.
That was lighted.
In case you wanted to work on your chip shot at one a.m.”
No, no, no.
I like it not.