the midnight bargain by c. l. polk

first book this year that i put aside unfinished, bowing out after four chapters.

the midnignt bargain is set in the vaguely victorian world where magic exists and women are banned from it. the protagonist is a debutante under pressure to get married well. surprise-surprise, she doesn’t want to be a wife, but wants to pursue a magical career instead.

i liked the fabula when i heard it (for the life of me, can’t remember when and where exactly), but the execution left me cold. four chapters out of twenty two, 82 pages out 369, 22%. that’s enough of a chance for a book that hasn’t been recommended by someone trusted.

why i dropped the book? the writing felt repetitive, implementation of fantasy jane austen world didn’t grab me, and attempts to ratchet up the tension of the plot were too obvious for my taste. moreover, the protagonist’s outrage about gender discrimination felt too on the nose.

i won’t recommend this book. for good romance you’d be better of rereading Austen, for good fantasy – the list is endless.