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DNF Review: Between by Kerry Schafer

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Between
Author: Kerry Schafer 
Release Date: Jan. 29, 2013
Publisher: Ace
The Between #1
ISBN: #978-0425261149
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours.
All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes—forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real.
And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once—a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…
What G & U are talking about:
This is the first time Gikany and Una have had to write a “DNF” review.  Typically we are just too stubborn, and we finish reading a novel, even if we aren’t fully in to it.  With Between, we were very interested by the mythology and the element of high fantasy in this urban fantasy novel.  Sadly, we were not only let down, but we are disappointed in the direction the author took this book and the heroine, Vivian.
We urge anyone interested in reading this novel: please note that there are spoilers in this DNF review.  It is the only way to convey what caused us to stop reading this novel. 
Between started out a little slow, but the world-building was fascinating.  Vivian discovered that she is special, and that there is such a thing as destiny, even when things seemed so convoluted.  Speaking of convoluted, Between was confusing.  There are three worlds in this mythology: Wakeworld (reality as we know it), Dreamworld (your dreams) and Between (the place where Wake and Dream worlds overlap).  There are times, because of the Between, that moments in the novel are a tad confusing.  However, it did add an element of reality to Vivian’s plight in figuring out this new world that she had been thrust into.  
All of the above could have been forgiven, and we would have marched along reading; however, one very particular incident changed our minds.  Gikany and Una have discussed the issue of rape as a literary device before, and we are not fans.  We have read a very, and we must stress, VERY, small number of books where there has been a rape scene that was appropriate for the storyline.  This is a make or break issue for us.  We feel that the rape that Vivian encounters – regardless of the world she was in, was not handled well, did not add anything to the novel in any way, shape, or form.  It served absolutely no purpose for us.  Gikany stopped at this scene.  Una held a bit of hope and kept reading to see how the story would treat the rape after it occurred, and she feels it was not dealt with in an appropriate nor satisfying manner.  Then when the threat of a rape occurred again, well, this is where Una stopped reading.
We cannot stress that no matter the genre, rape is a very serious element and issue.  It cannot be used lightly.  We feel it was used lightly in Between and we cannot abide by it.  Gikany and Una are incredibly disappointed that what appeared to be a fresh and fascinating new series, is now, in our opinion, ruined.
Their Rating:
Did Not Finish

  • It isn’t often I see or read a DNF review. Your reasoning behind it appears very sufficient.

  • Una

    Thank you Angela. As we stated, we have never had to write a DNF review before. We felt we needed to in this case, due to our reasons and the fact that this was supplied by the publisher for an honest review.

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