Book Review – Crimson Black (Crimson Black #1) by C.C. Morgen

First published, 2017

This is not an easy review to write. I have no interest in tearing down writers but I have to be honest: there was nothing about this book that I enjoyed.

The characters, although unusual, were rather one-dimensional and flimsy. The dialogue was painful. I don’t much care for storytelling which features words like ‘today’ and ‘yesterday’ when the story is set over the course of months or years. The writing was poor.

Constant shifts between past and present tense, even within sentences, made it near-impossible to read.
This is just one example.
“Bodies lied lifeless, making puddles of sweet crimson on the floor. When the blood spread to my boots, I knew this is who I am. I had no remorse for the lives I’ve taken.”
Chapter XV, Crimson Black by C.C. Morgen

There were places where incongruous words appeared, as if the author grew tired of a particular word and so googled more sophisticated sounding synonyms – very few of them were successful.
“She (Cleopatra) ordered her most trusted confidant and admirer to his death, so he wouldn’t cause her strain in the forthcoming of seducing Marc Anthony to her side.”
Chapter XV, Crimson Black by C.C. Morgen

There were unnecessary apostrophes throughout, as well as missing speech marks.
“‘My clan made the same treaty to ensure your family’s’ safe passage within the Dark Elf territory,’ Alucard stated.”
Chapter I, Crimson Black by C.C. Morgen

And some sentences that just didn’t make sense.
“She believed they didn’t understand the consequences of desiring things such as power, things from the beyond, manipulate love, and greed.”
Chapter II, Crimson Black by C.C. Morgen

So many split infinitives. Too many to list, it sounds wrong even inside my head. There are other issues in this sentence, but:
“That’s why the Wood Elves created an agreement with the Dark Elves to not raise their sword until they’re called forth for a worthy cause.”
Chapter II, Crimson Black by C.C. Morgen

There was a character who could have been replaced with a dolphin, and his absence wouldn’t have made any difference.

The story is about harpies and demons, a large part of the story weaves together Norse mythology and fae ideas. The author used ‘Harpys’ as the plural where even a quick google will tell you that the plural is ‘Harpies’. Maddening.

The main character, Alphard, seemed to be checking out her own mother more often than not and frankly, when she was in peril, I didn’t care.

There were massive information dumps and a whole heap of foreshadowing all the way through, which made any attempt at intrigue fall flat.

I have never given up on a book. Whether I’ve disliked the characters, the story or the writing, I’ve always kept going. This was almost the exception. No exaggeration, I found an error on almost every page.