“College student Hannah Maquiling, also temporarily working as the Goddess of Love, has had enough of everyone asking for her help when it comes to relationships. It’s her turn to find romance! She deserves it, after serving as matchmaker and confidant to everyone else in Ford River College for the past year. She’s had a crush on handsome senior (and God of the Sun) Quin forever, but he’s destined to fall in love with an extraordinary mortal woman, so she’s figured her chances with him have pretty much dropped to zero.
It’s not like she doesn’t have any options for a classic college romance though. There’s Diego, God of the Sea and Quin’s best friend / enemy. And regular guy Robbie is stepping up, making sure she knows how he feels about her. How hard can it be for a goddess to find someone to love, and be loved in return?”
I didn’t know that Interim Goddess of Love was supposed to be a trilogy. At least not back when I read the first book. And I might not have paid attention to the cover of the second book. But now that I do know, and now that I’ve finished reading the final book in the trilogy, I think I finally understand why I don’t like the first book… and why I’m not quite happy with how it ended.
Wait, that might read as if I didn’t like the ending. I do. The ending is brilliant. Not new, but it fit perfectly. The events leading up to it, on the other hand? That, I have a problem with.
Thing is: I don’t think this trilogy was mapped out properly. The first book was too flimsy, the third book was too full; it was only the second book that had the perfect pacing. Queen of the Clueless had the right ingredients: a solid plot that was well-supported by the main story arc… And you can actually read what I have to say about the book by clicking here.
Going back to Icon of the Indecisive, what I really didn’t like about the book was how hurried it was. Sure, most of the characters our protagonist Hannah interacts with are characters we’ve already met before. But what about the three new ones that had just been introduced?
It felt lazy. And it’s not fair to the characters that we’ve seen develop in the first two books to just be used as background props. Best friend Sol appears in just a handful of scenes, and she barely acts like a friend. The bad guy from the previous book makes a sudden appearance at the end that’s written off with a throwaway line–
And can I just say that I don’t really like the book turned into film thing at the start of the novel? The only thing it did was remind readers about how Quin is supposed to fall in love with an extraordinary mortal woman. Which could have done better had it been a scene with Hannah and Diego, sans the film. You know, Diego? The guy who fell in love with a mortal woman but was forbidden to do so? Wouldn’t that have created more drama?
Instead, we get Sol uncharacteristically gushing about a book she supposedly loves but has never mentioned at all before.
Then there’s Robbie. Poor guy just can’t catch a break, can he? First, he barely gets any development in the first book. He finally gets a chance to shine in the second book, but only to get shafted in the last book. Fine, he gets a happy ending, but at what cost? He huffs off like an annoying girlfriend and reappears swearing love and devotion a few chapters later. Without any processing.
And let’s not forget Vida. She’s had it in for Hannah since the first book, but you barely feel her threat. Things finally come to a head in this book, but again, it all feels rushed. It also doesn’t help that we have no idea about who Vida really is. We just know that she’s a bitch and that she wants Hannah’s powers.
But all my problems with the third book could be solved simply by splitting it into two books. Now, a caution, here be spoilers.
In Icon of the Indecisive, Hannah finally learns why she was chosen to be interim, where the original goddess of love is, and why certain students are getting powers. On top of this, we get a teenaged pregnancy story and Vida’s promise to test Hannah. See how full it is? And the book only allots 127 pages for the story to be told.
Now, if the third book had just focused on the teenage pregnancy story, with Vida’s test as a supporting storyline, then we could’ve fleshed out the characters more: we could’ve seen Diego actually doing something to drive Quin and Hannah apart, Robbie actually become a formidable and possible threat to the Quin-Hannah love angle, and allowed Sol to work through her issues with Neil. And when all that’s worked out, the mystery of the students with powers could be reintroduced in the end to lead readers to the final book.
The final book would be Hannah’s real test–helping out someone she considers a rival: teacher Denise Cabral; while, at the same time, she and the other gods and goddesses would try to figure out why certain students are getting powers. And then end that story with how Icon of the Indecisive eventually ended.
But this is me. I like my stories paced. I like my stories not to run on and collide. And I liked Queen of the Clueless so it’s frustrating for me to see the series go back to something I’m not very fond of.