“Death Rejoices” (The Marnie Baranuik Files #2) by A.J. Aalto

I really don’t want to be giving this book 2 stars, but I don’t see how I can justify giving it more. I loved Touched and raved about it in my review. I thought I had found a new favorite series.

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First, the good. HARRY. Harry, who I picture as Tom Hardy.

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I love every scene he is in. Not enough Harry. Oh wait, we’re talking about the good things first. Yes, Harry. The zombies story was kind of cool and there was some good world-building where that was concerned. Welp, that’s about it for the good.

Oh, one more good thing: Marnie is trying to learn how to defend herself more, she trains and runs and is trying to be more of a bad-ass. THANK GOD FOR SMALL MIRACLES.

Now for the bad. This might get a little ragey, but I can’t help it. 😦 In the first book, I loved Marnie’s spunk, sass, and endless supply of one-liners and banter. Here, it is so over-done and tiresome. Marnie is not likeable to me in this book.

The love triangle is getting SO ANNOYING. So freaking annoying. Marnie and Batten both work for a police-type agency, so they can’t date and “fraternize” because they work jobs together all the time. So in this one, Batten is ready to say screw it (hehe pun) and he wants to be with Marnie, but Marnie is trying to be mature and stay professional (which is hilarious because she is the most immature and unprofessional person ever). Anyway, every single time Marnie sees Batten, the first thing she brings up is sex, then she turns it on him and shoots him down and is a bitch about it! Needless to say, there is no resolution at the end of this either, so I guess we will get more of the same in book 3.

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– Marnie is dumb. She does stupid horror movie shit where the victim walks right into situations they should know better about.

– There is NO reason for this book to be so long. 424 pages. Not that much happened really. Yes, there were a few action scenes, but the zombie attacks started to be repetitive, and a lot of it was just dumb scenes with Marnie acting dumb. It really dragged on and that is probably why I didn’t rate this 3 stars. It was just too damn long and for no good reason.

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– I don’t see any growth whatsoever for Marnie except she is doing physical training to be stronger (which is a good thing). Maturity-wise, zero growth, and it was seriously annoying and contributed to the book just rambling on and seeming overly long.

– The scene with the demon Asmodeus seriously annoyed me. He is described as such:

“…if angels had nightmares, this was the face that made them shudder awake in their infinite thread-count sheets.”

Yet, she says things to him like:

…”are you calling me a fakey-fake faker?” and “what are you, 12?”

I guess in a way, you could just say she has balls of steel, yet it comes across as her just having foot-in-mouth disease and being an idiot.

But I loved when Asmodeus told her, “Do what you do best, toots. Self-interest. It comes natural to you.” That sums Marnie up perfectly.

– It’s very contradictory how Harry is always talking about killing Batten, yet gave him a two million dollar car. It’s like, either he learns to tolerate him or he doesn’t, but the back and forth thing is annoying, just like the way Marnie acts with Batten. Honestly, just get rid of Batten. You have Chapel still. Batten seems pretty unnecessary at this point, in my view.

All right, I’m done. I will probably give the third book a chance because I have hope and WANT to love this series because I loved the first book so much. But I won’t be seeking it out any time soon. If Marnie doesn’t have some growth, I will have to sadly abandon this series. She needs to tone it down. Keep some of the banter and wise-ass cracks, but grow the eff up a little bit,

    please!

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