Trinity Stones (The Angelorum Twelve Chronicles) is yet another urban fantasy presenting a “strong” female protagonist who, despite all of her alleged strength, still ends up dependent on a man for her emotional stability. Part of the problem may be that the author could not decide whether or not she wanted to write an urban fantasy or a paranormal romance, so decided to cram both into one book. The end result is disappointing to fantasy readers but may appeal more to the romance crowd.
The main character, Cara, strikes me as a bit of a Mary Sue. She’s not believable to me at all. She is supposed to be a 27 year old investment banker, but she acts much younger and immature for her position. She suffers from anxiety while pining for her married ex-boyfriend, but this feels like a contrived flaw in her character to mask the fact that she becomes so awesome in everything else. And, of course, this excess baggage sets up the pre-requisite love triangle that so often permeates the genre.
The plot is needless convoluted in too many places, with most of the tension caused by characters not effectively communicating. This is one of those things I dislike in much Urban Fantasy; people keeping secrets because the plot requires them to keep the secret. Because once the secret comes out, you realize there was never a real reason for the information to be withheld beyond a doe-eyed “But I didn’t want to hurt you” or some other nonsense. It is a plot device that appeals to certain demographics, but for me it feels like something better suited for a soap opera.
O’Connor is a talented writer. There is no mistaking that. She excels particularly with setting the mood for a scene and structuring her story with an even-handed pacing. Despite my irritation with Cara in general, O’Connor does a fine job of making the reader care about her on a personal level. All of this only makes me more frustrated with this book. This should have been an excellent stand-alone urban fantasy with an interesting protagonist. Instead, it is as if someone told the author, “Hey, paranormal romance serials are what sells, so write that,” and she took that advice to heart. In an attempt to cast too wide of a net in order to grab romance readers, the end result may alienate the fantasy readers the books claims are the target market.
Reviewer Note: I was given a comp copy of this book for review.