Holy shit this book is too much.
I don’t even know how to adequately describe the set up for this book. Just read the Novelist description:
Laurenston builds on the popularity of her Pride and Pack series with the funny and quirky first Honey Badgers Chronicles paranormal. Charlie is the oldest of three half-sisters, all of whom are part human and part honey badger shifter, and she takes her responsibilities very seriously. Charlie is the peacemaker, middle sister Max embraces her full devil-may-care nature, and Stevie, the youngest, is a prodigy in several fields. While Stevie is on a mental health break in Switzerland, humans abduct her, attempting to kill Charlie in the process. Fortunately for all, Charlie meets Berg, a grizzly shifter and security specialist with a fondness for helping damsels in distress. What ensues is a frantic joyride through several countries, reintroducing beloved faces from earlier books and sparking new family feuds.
This book is the definition of too much of a good thing. By 30 pages in, you’ve already been introduced to 20-30 characters. There’s no way to tell who is going to be important in this book and it is impossible to keep everyone straight and remember why they were relevant every time they pop back into the story. It drove me insane. The author adds a lot of humor in it, and that’s something a lot of reviews of this book have mentioned as being the thing they enjoyed most, but like with everything in this book it’s TOO MUCH. Every 10 words there’s another snarky comment or joke and it honestly wore me down to the point where less than halfway through I was entirely over the snappy family drama. Everyone was always speaking in one liners rather than about feelings or anything that actually propels the story, so the plot stalls over and over again.
Also man I was disappointed in the romance angle. This was sold to me as a romance novel and it’s really more of a family drama with some romance sprinkled in, but the drama was so overwhelming I didn’t give a single care about the couple. With all the near murders, shape shifting into a bunch of animals I couldn’t keep straight, sibling drama, daddy issues and name dropping characters from other books, how the hell are we as readers supposed to care about romance? This book tries to shove EVERYTHING into 400 pages (which honestly is 100 pages too long) and it becomes a big old mess rather than anything remotely interesting. I fully admit that I haven’t read anything by this author before so loads of the charters and references went over my head, but as this is the first book in a new series, it did a poor job of introducing you to characters in a way that makes you want to seek out those other series. Honestly I don’t think I’d pick up anything by this author after this book.
I did love the awesome, badass female characters, but the youngest, Stevie, was a child prodigy yet her anxiety and mental struggles were constantly just described as her panicking constantly and acting “crazy” and holy shit did that turn me off.
Go read something else. 2.5 stars if I had to rate it.
Title: Hot and Badgered
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Three Descriptors: Paranormal, Overwhelming, convoluted
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