Disappointed. People, I’m disappointed.
Some of you will probably remember that I reviewed the books Indelible a little while back and am ashamed to say that I never reviewed the second book in the series, Invisible. But you read my review on Indelible (and if you didn’t, check it out!) and know that I liked it a lot, and guys, Invisible was even better! It had a great plot, it seemed like Ms. Metclaf knew exactly what she was doing from the very start, and loose ends that were never tied up in Indelible were beautifully bound in Invisible! The writing was creative, the characters were developed far better, and even though I still didn’t really like Inq (one of the female characters) she became easier to understand.
So naturally, when I saw that there is now a third book in The Twixt series, I was pretty excited, right? So excited that I shoved it up to the top of my list so I’d read it overnight. And I did read it overnight, but not because it was the best book I’d ever read. I think it was just because I wanted to see how it would end. If everything would tie up in a pretty little knot like it did in Invisible. Unfortunately, Insidious fell short of my expectations.
Before I go into my review on Insidious, I figure I should give you a quick rundown of Invisible.
Some things lie beneath the surface.
With the power to change everything.
Joy Malone wants it all—power, freedom and the boyfriend who loves her. Yet when an unstoppable assassin is hired to kill her, Joy learns that being the girl with the Sight comes with a price that might be too high to pay. Love will be tested, lives will be threatened, and everyone Joy knows and cares about will be affected by her decision to stand by Ink or to leave the Twixt forever.
Her choice is balanced on a scalpel’s edge and the consequences will be more life-altering than anyone can guess.
The synopsis for both Indelible and Invisible are genius! The use of the words are great and the whole blurb is just eerie, which fits the book well.
In the second book in the series, Joy Malone is targeted by a dangerous order of the Twixt known as the Tide, and they’re out for blood. They sic a deadly, unstoppable assassin that uses a freaky form of reincarnation to continue living on no matter how many times Joy or Ink kills them!
In the beginning of the book, we learn about a new ability that Joy has. She can remove glyphs! I wasn’t sure how I felt about that but I can get into that a little more in a minute.
Joy’s ability to remove Ink’s so-called indelible glyphs is what gets her into trouble. When the Red Knight injures her best friend, Monica, Joy tries to use her glyph-undoing ability to remove the Red Knight’s “signaturae” from her face. Of course, this is something that is strictly prohibited and I’m not going to tell you what happens after that because that’d be too much of a spoiler. Basically, it’s bad.
Like in the second book of Hush, Hush, we have a sort of jealousy/disappearance issue, although I guess it could be considered more New Moon-ish (Twilight) when sparkling Edward the vampire decides it’s best for pessimistic Bella the human that he disappear forever (sorry to all you Twilight fans out there but … I’m not a Twilight fan…) except that Ms. Metcalf makes it much easier to swallow than Edward’s supposed selflessness. On the contrary, Ink is legitimately hurt and avoids her so much that Joy thinks he now hates her. Even Inq says that Ink was disillusioned at finding out that Joy isn’t perfect.
Ink, I could have told you that.
We all could have told you that.
To find out what happens, read the book. Trust me, it’s totally worth it. Invisible was a fantastic read! It was much more believable and the characters were phenomenal! By far, the best character was Krestel. Just trust me. She’s a tracker and, well, she’s awesome. Just … vivid. You could hardly call her a person.
Filly was great as usual, the Cabana Boys were ever present and spicing up the world, Ilhami getting into plenty of trouble and causing plenty of grief, and Ink was being his charming, curious, adorable self! Only character I did not approve of was Joy herself.
Unfortunate, right? You never want to look at the heroine of the story and go, “Wow, she’s pathetic,” but I found myself doing it quite often in Invisible. Not as much as in Indelible and Insidious, but definitely on a pretty regular basis.
Most of you know that I can’t stand all this feminism stuff of, “I’m a woman and I’m stronger than any man and could kick the butts of anyone who tried to attack me!”
Let’s face it, ladies. We’re freaking bad***, but we aren’t stronger than the guys. Can we be tougher? Yep. Can we be stronger? In this day in age? For sure. But were we made to be the domineering sex? No. It’s a shame, I know, and if you really can kick butt in a story or a movie, then great! Let’s see some girl power. But if you’re like Joy and need constant protection, are constantly blaming yourself for things out of your control, and are always belittling yourself, you don’t deserve to be considered tough and you certainly don’t have the right to be like, I’m big enough and strong enough to take care of myself!
Sorry, Joy. You failed miserably at the strength test.
(Side note: I have this same problem with Insidious so I won’t go into too much detail in the Insidious review)
Now that you have an idea of what’s happened in the past, let’s jump into Insidious.
True evil is rarely obvious. It is quiet, patient.
Awaiting the perfect moment to strike.
Joy Malone finally knows who she is, where she comes from and how to live in two worlds at once. And now she can introduce her family and friends to her mysterious boyfriend, Indelible Ink. But when Ink’s twin sister, Invisible Inq, calls in a favor, Joy must accept a dangerous mission to find a forgotten door between worlds—a door hiding a secret that some will kill to keep.
Unseen enemies, treasonous magic and an unthinkable betrayal threaten both the Twixt and human worlds as Joy races to expose an ancient conspiracy and unleash the unalterable truth—some secrets cannot remain secret forever.
First of all…. that name. Why. I don’t get it. Why would you name your book after a horror movie? So you can scar your fragile readers who type in “insidious” looking for a Young Adult fantasy novel only to find horrific images of demons?
Secondly, it seemed that Ms. Metcalf didn’t really plan to write another Twixt book when she finished Invisible. Insidious was poorly set up and was very hard to follow if you hadn’t read the previous book within the past several days of beginning the third book of The Twixt.
Thirdly, and hugely for me, is the large gay and lesbian element. If you’ve read my policy, you know I’m so not a fan of lesbian and gay junk. There was a small amount of gay content in Invisible but it was so small you hardly noticed! I didn’t mind it. But in Insidious..
It was potent, noticeable, and left a horrible taste in the mouth. I don’t care whether gay stuff normally bothers you or not, I’m pretty positive that if you read this book you’ll go, “What?! How is she happy for him?! He’s a manly, awesome wizard that’s making out with another awesome, manly Twixt!”
Apart from the gay and lesbian element, there was also way too much emphasis on the “change” Joy was supposed to undergo. It wasn’t until way, way, way later in the book that you actually see a change beginning to take place. Up until then, Joy is like:
What?! I’m going to go through a change? No one ever told me that!
Why are there rules? I don’t want to follow these rules!
Wait … the King and Queen of the Twixt can revoke these rules? I don’t have to change if I find them?
Well, by all means, I need to find them, whatever the cost! Because I totally believe that I’m going to transform into some weird creature because of an uneducated guess made by a frogman.
Here’s the thing … I understand why Joy would have been freaked out. I mean, the Twixt are just tons of crazy, creepy people (take Krestel for example! Or Filly! Or Graus Claud!) but I just couldn’t feel for her. For some reason, it didn’t make me sad for her at all or worry that she was going to grow gills or wings at any moment, like I’m sure Ms. Metcalf had intended. I think it was meant to cause jeopardy. I think we were supposed to go, Joy needs to hurry to find the king and queen because if she doesn’t, she’ll become a mutated freak and Ink will never love her! But I couldn’t bring myself to feel sorry for her. I don’t know why.
Another problem I had with Insidious was that it was one big rabbit labyrinth with hundreds of trails for the story to follow, and it never really resolved the problems it faced until way later on.
[Minor Spoiler Below]
For example, when Joy wanted to save Graus Claud (for pretty lousy reasons, I might add) she goes off to do something she thinks will save him but gets caught up with these munchkin creatures and forgets all about her mission! It’s never even spoken of until later on, and she isn’t thinking, Wait, why didn’t I actually do what I was supposed to do back there?
I don’t know if that makes any sense but there’s my thought.
For me, there wasn’t one thing that did the book in. It was a combination and compilation of many different things! For your convenience (and aggravation, I’m sure) I’ve added a short recap of my issues with Insidious.
- We have our classic case of brave, undaunted, fearless hero that’s too weak to lift a sword in her own defense.
- We have excessive gay and lesbian agendas that make one go:
- We have a maze of rabbit trails that seem to go nowhere.
- Our female character is too compassionate in some ways and is as selfish as it gets in others.
- And finally, the uncoordinated nature of the book itself. It didn’t seem thoroughly planned out. Remember how I said outlining probably isn’t the best thing for authors? I take it back, at least in this case. For Insidious … there should have been four outlines, just to make sure everything stayed on track.
Anyway, now you have my thoughts on Insidious by Dawn Metcalf! While I can’t recommend this book, I can certainly recommend its prequel, Invisible. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to check it out. It’s a good enough read and ends with enough closure that you don’t need to go on to Insidious. That is, unless Ms. Dawn comes out with another Twixt book. In which case, I’d probably suggest you read Insidious. I’ll definitely read the nest book she comes out with just because I enjoyed the first two. And there were elements of Insidious that I liked, I just can’t think of any right now.
What’s on your bookshelf?