The OPPOSITE of Burn - More like "fizzles and dies"

Burn - Ted Dekker, Erin Healy

Seventeen year old Janeal Mikkado wants nothing more than to leave her gypsy home. Salazar Sanso apprehends her one day and coerces her into a deal - he will spare Janeal's father, who is making a deal with the DEA, if Janeal can find the $1million her father is hiding. This leads to a explosive confrontation which changes her life - along with the life of her boyfriend, Robert.

DNF at page 193; skimmed the rest.

NOTE: I received this through the Amazon Vine Program. Trust me, that didn't help the rating of this book AT ALL. Not even the fact my dad is a fan of Ted Dekker helped the rating of the book.

My dad is a big fan of Ted Dekker. I thought, "Well, Dad likes Ted Dekker, I should give him a try to!" I inherited my love of science fiction and fantasy from Dad - why not a love for Ted Dekker too?

Perhaps if I had tried one of Ted Dekker's solo books or one that Dad recommended, I may have had better luck. But the book I got, "Burn", didn't impress me. In fact, it did the opposite of impress me - it anti-impressed me. I tried years ago to read this, but could never get much past the first chapter because it was so boring. But this year, my goal is get through my backlog of Amazon Vine ARCs and unread books on my bookshelf, so I settled myself down and read this.

I actually found, once I powered through the beginning, it wasn't half bad. The problem comes when Part 1 finishes and Part 2 begins. Part 2 is simply SO SLOW and BORING - basically the opposite of burn (anti-burn? smoulder?). Characters just wander around on the page, having mindless repetitive conversations that go nowhere. It's incredibly dry and dull.

Not to mention, while I never liked any of the characters, I didn't start to actively dislike them until Part 2. Janeal is a selfish brat in Part 1, but can you blame her for wanting to get out from her dad's wing and want to make her own way in the world? Especially when her community ostracizes her for being only half-gypsy? (How come this point is never made me obvious? Oh, right, it's a Christian book; "good Christian women" listen to their Daddies until they get husbands. I FORGOT.) I can't. Sure, her METHOD of accepting Sanso's offer (after his combination kidnapping/blackmail/"Offer you can't refuse") isn't awesome, but she's young, naive, and stupid. I'll give it a pass.

Part 2, though, it's obvious that the authors think that any successful, ambitious woman is evil. Janeal works her way to the top of a ludicrous "All Angles" magazine - a magazine I have trouble believing could tread that miraculous line between accommodating BOTH conservatives and liberals. She is unhappy and discontent, and you can see that in the abusive boyfriend who likes BDSM (I was about to rage about ANOTHER asshole boyfriend who participated in BDSM, but Janeal tosses his ass to the ground THANK THE MAKER), the fact she drinks a lot, the fact she has no regard for anyone else's personal life (by calling her personal assistant on his day off, hanging up on him, then calling him back), the fact that she constantly has migraines.

Compare that to Katie, who is a burn victim with scars and no hair, who lives peaceably in a women's commune. She is passive and demure, out of the limelight, content with her life, gentle, and sweet - basically, a "good Christian woman".

Skipping to the end, it's clear the "good Christian woman" gets rewarded with the "evil ambitious" woman's money, and then promptly spends it all on halfway homes. Because a "good Christian woman" would NEVER do anything for herself with that much money other than give it away and live in humility and simplicity.

(show spoiler)

I think Robert was meant to be a Love Interest, but I thought he was absolutely awful. He was supposedly Janeal's girlfriend, all the while his actions to Katie made it seem that he was potentially fooling around with her. At the very least, he was pulling along two women. NOT COOL.

As for the baddies - laughable. Needed Snidley Whiplash mustaches to make the image complete.

Other than the poor way women are treated (one woman is body shamed as being so skinny, she obviously doesn't enjoy life), the story is just BORING. It just doesn't go anywhere fast. And that is my biggest problem with this book. I could handle the characters, even if I hated them with a fiery passion, as long as the story had movement forward.

Perhaps Ted Dekkery/Erin Healy fans will like more; if you are new to either, I wouldn't recommend this as the first book you try.