Hmmmmmmm. While this book was a decent light read, I’m not particularly fond of it… so buckle up for a tough review (to clarify: this isn’t a bad book, just one that I personally wasn’t a fan of. In fact, it was very quick and easy to read… almost too easy if you know what I mean). Originally, I put it on my TBR list because I saw a TikTok recommending it if you were a fan of ACOTAR. I was definitely looking forward to Rhapsodic because of my love for all of SJM’s books, and I do have an affinity for fantasy. I can see the similarities, but if I was given a choice between the two, I would hands down pick ACOTAR. It wouldn’t even be a comparison in my eyes. The most prominent parallel was the fae element… but even then, there are so many other books out there for those who like fae stories.
I think the most interesting aspect about this book was trying to figure out why Des left Callie all those years ago. And why he helped her clean up the death of her stepfather. This mystery kept me going throughout the book, otherwise I don’t know if I would have finished it. From the way Callie narrated the book, I kept wondering what caused the falling out between her and Des. I wish there was more description in this story, from the characters to the world building to the details. There wasn’t much of that anywhere, and I found it extremely disappointing… it felt very surface level and the conflict felt forced. Even the connection between Des and Callie felt forced… though I may feel this way because I just wasn’t a fan of either of them.
Callie was a very meh main character in my eyes… and we still don’t know what she looks like! I’ve mentioned this in my other posts but I really do not like it when characters aren’t described down to the minute details. I have a very adequate imagination, but I don’t like having to draw up what the characters look like without any helpful clues… does that make sense? I want to know exactly who I’m looking at in my mind, and I want alllllllllll of the details. The more descriptive, the better. All we get on Callie is that she is a beautiful siren who can make anyone do anything for her through her glamor. And her skin glows. Maybe we don’t get more info on how she looks because she doesn’t like looking at herself? I get that… but there still could be ways to incorporate some characteristics and still have the main character be self conscious. The only person that was given any sort of description was Des… but it was a very surface level description of his so called good looks. Tall, blond, arm covered in tattoos. Always wearing black and some rock band t-shirt (sooooo edgy…). The only reasoning we get behind his tattoo sleeve was that he was in a “gang” a long time ago… that’s it though… no other mention of said gang. I know he also mentioned he marks his bargains with tattoos (hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ACOTAR much??), so maybe some of those tattoos are reminders of his bargains. Also, I thought the soulmate thing between him and Callie was forced as well… maybe I’m getting tired of that trope, but it felt so unnatural in this instance.
To make it better, the plot of this book could have been stretched further into several books, with more details in each scene to add some much needed substance, and Des and Callie shouldn’t have reconciled in the first book. Let’s stretch it out, make it truly worth it… add in more background between Des and Callie. We don’t even get to see much of them forming this friendship. They went on trips all over the world together, where were any of those trips in the story? We just get one, very basic, very quick trip to Venice… but blink and you’d miss it.
I know there are more books in this series, but I don’t think I will read them. What more goes on? The main villain gets obliterated by Des (which come on… he apparently has spent decades trying to find this guy, only to show up and literally blow him up in two seconds… What?), so what more is there to add to the story? If you have any reason why I should continue with this series, do tell. But from what I felt during the first book, I just don’t see a point of continuing. If you can’t tell, I want details, details, and more details. If the lack of description doesn’t bother you, then this should be a great book for you. Honestly, I think the recommendation for this one should be the other way around… for example, if you read Rhapsodic and liked it, you should check out ACOTAR and be prepared for it to rock your world. That’s just my very personal opinion though, so take it with a grain of salt.