Unholy War by David Hair
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Series: The Moontide Quartet (Book #3 of 4)
Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Erotica
Pages: 800 pages (UK paperback edition)
Published: 30th October 2014 by Jo Fletcher
Unholy War should’ve been titled I’mhorny War. By far, the most pointlessly lusty fantasy book I’ve ever read, and no, not in a good way.
What the hell happened here? I enjoyed the previous two books very much, but this book—other than the final 100 pages—was incredibly torturous and pointless to read. Not gonna lie, this series could’ve worked so much better as a trilogy rather than a quartet, and I’m actually surprised that this novel has such a highly positive average rating.
Before you read further, please do note that my opinion falls on a VERY unpopular side. By the time of posting this review, there are 1.9k ratings, and only 14 of them are 1-star rating; this will be the 15th. You might want to ignore this review, there’s a good chance that you’re going to love this book as well if you’ve read and enjoyed the previous books. It did make me wonder whether I’m reading the same book as everyone? I guess I’m just not a fan of reading romance or detailed sexual scenes in heavy doses; it’s not that I’m utterly anti of reading them, but I get bored extremely quickly. Unfortunately, tons of pointless and detailed sex scenes revolving around rape, sexual abuses, pedophilia, and stupid decisions made based on lust covered roughly half of the content of this 800-pages tome. This isn’t epic fantasy, this is large-scale erotica.
The previous installment, Scarlet Tides, almost made it to my favorites shelf; I totally didn’t expect that this penultimate installment would become one of the worst sequels I’ve ever read. For a book this huge, it’s quite unbelievable how small the main story progression was. Instead of focusing on valuable story progression or character development, Hair focuses on sex, romance, pedophilia, lust, and uncanny genitalia description.
“I have been offered one of the daughters of the Sultan of Gatioch. She is said to be almost six foot tall, with fair skin and nipples the size of a flower.”
Nipples the size of a flower… Really?
“Tariq sighed heavily, no doubt thinking regretfully of virginal beauties with flower-like nipples.”
“Tradition says one per year, Exalted One. The Gatioch girl will still have nipples like flowers next year.”
Enough with your obsession regarding flowers-like nipples. Get a sprinkler and spray it on your own nipples and see whether it blooms or not. To be fair, this shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me, especially because in Scarlet Tides one of the characters was bizarrely breastfeed to recovery by a Lamia/Naga already, but Hair took it even further by having the female character’s vagina constantly wet that even when they were raped, their body enjoy the process. This particular character has everyday of her daily lives raped by the prince and her UNCLE, apparently this is her thought:
“She hated the way that her body could betray her and take pleasure in the filth.”
C’mon… Being raped is enjoyable now? And to make things extensively worse, one of the female characters, after vowing for vengeance at the end of Scarlet Tides, fell in love with a killer of someone precious to her in the span of a few chapters. Why? Because of involuntary sex, the horniness that came from doing it, the menstrual cycle that makes her hornier, and because the dude has a body of a demi-god that makes him irresistible.
“He lifted himself on his arms, though he stayed inside her, and stared down at her face. He looked like a demi-god. His heat and thickness inside her was filling her with a spreading warmth. Her hands involuntarily stroked his sides.”
Every man has a body of a demi-god that will make the ladies fall in love regardless of whatever sins they’ve done. Their cocks are massive, all of them are extraordinarily talented at penetration, and the female will always have their “liquid” leaking begging to be satisfied. I’ve read many fantasy books, and this is the first time I read one that uses the magic system for superb cock-hardening to achieve repeated sex and orgasm. That’s also the issue with the magic system of Gnosis; there are too many unexplained and abstract mechanisms about it that allows Hair to give immense plot armor to the main characters and kill the tension of the story. I’ve mentioned in my review of Scarlet Tides that Hair has the tendency to kill off his characters like Martin did in A Song of Ice and Fire; I spoke too soon, and I take that back. The plot-armor of the main characters have become thick as Wolverine’s claws, there’s no need to worry because no matter what happened, sheer luck will never stop saving them. The author’s characterizations and development in this book rely on pretty much this: “I don’t know how to develop these characters further. I’ll make them all lusty, give all the female characters sexual abuse and make their body enjoy being abused, minimum sexual abuse for the male characters though! After all, all of them have a body and cock of a demi-god. They’re redeemable. Wow. I’m smart.”
As to what’s good about this book, I’ll say it’s owed to Hair’s compelling writing style. Despite tons of annoyances I had with this book, I actually read every page; no skimming or skipping. Alaron’s and Ramita’s story was consistently good and their character development remained on-point and believable. Plus, the final 100 pages in this book were gripping and well-written; it’s a return to the good displayed in the previous two books. But it’s too bad that I had to drag myself through a tsunami of filth to reach. That’s it. The 1-star rating goes to them.
Last week, I thought of The Moontide Quartet as an underrated series, but now I’m not sure anymore. The thing is, I don’t hand out 1-star rating easily, last year, I gave a 1-star rating only once to one book, The Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan. Unholy War is a titanic downgrade for the series, even giving it a 2-stars rating would be an act too generous of me. I’ve never read a series that declined this fast for me within one installment. Weirdly and masochistic enough, I’m still curious to find out how the series will conclude in the fourth and final book of the series; I sincerely hope it will return to the quality of Scarlet Tides and redeem itself with a 5-stars material. Otherwise, Ascendant’s Rite will truly be the last book I read by David Hair.
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