The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry
Star rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 1/5
Format: ebook galley
Summary: When a teenage boy dies, an old cold case in Salem is reopened over the death of three woman referred to as the Goddesses. They were attempting to consecrate the ground that their ancestors, condemned as witches, were hung when they were murdered. The only survivors were a five year old girl and an older woman who was blamed but never had any charges brought against her after she went into a non-responsive state.
Review: I received a copy of this book from Crown Publishing via NetGalley for an honest review.
I did not like this book for so many reasons. One of the first things that really made me start to to dislike this book is when Callie thinks about how she is really good at reading people which is why she isn’t friends with any women. Um?? Excuse me? First of all, what does one have to do with the other? Like it would be one thing if she was like that’s why I’m not friends with a lot of people but then the next thing she says is that she’s only friends with men. I cannot stand female characters that dislike all other women. That doesn’t make your character likeable or relatable. And it honestly wasn’t even true because the whole book Callie made friends with a lot of women and only like one man if we don’t count love interests? She never made mention of this as a change so I feel like it just wasn’t true to begin with and not growth.
This book was also super predictable. I figured all the big mysteries out half through and then the book seemed to just drag on forever. I kept feeling halfway that the book should have ended long before. It was slow and boring, often confusing too. It often brought in supernatural elements but didn’t really embrace that aspect of the story. There was always skepticism surrounding it so it was never clear. It kept going off into side stories and tangents rather than focusing on the main plot line.
Oh! And then Callie describing her mother as having g*psy eyes. What does that even mean? I found one meaning on urban dictionary (only place I could find one) that it describes eyes that change color but Callie later says her mom’s eyes were just brown? So I don’t understand at all, why use a racial slur to describe eyes? If you used bohemian I’m sure you would have the same effect without using a racial slur. It was just unnecessary and gross.
What else was gross was Paul’s on and off thing with Ann. He was 25 and she was in her 50s, which wouldn’t be anything IF THEY HADN’T STARTED SLEEPING TOGETHER WHEN HE TURNED 18. That’s gross. And borderline sexual predator. That was completely creepy and grossed me out. I didn’t blame people that tried to avoid her.
Ahhh, there’s just so many things that bugged me and I disliked that I’m not even sure I’m going to get them all down but you know. I already was fed up with book about 30% the way through and I finished reading it out of pure spite. I wasn’t letting this book beat me.
There were a couple of terrible tropes I couldn’t stand in here. Like why does every story with someone that was in foster care have to say the standard thing about how most families only had them for a paycheck and then the classic “foster father that showed all the wrong sort of attention”. Like really? I know people that do foster care and it frustrates me that every story has to paint this same picture. The second trope that really grinds me gears that was used in this book was nightmares suddenly disappear when Callie starts sleeping with Paul. Right, sex totally cured your night terrors.. I’m so sure. But I suppose that logic follows the rest of the pseudoscience homeopathic nonsense it was advocating.
The police work in this book was absolutely ridiculous and laughable. Most of all the leads that Rafferty followed for the case were dreams Callie had. I’m sorry but you’re going to follow dreams of someone who was five at the time? Seriously?
There was nothing that redeemed this book for me, it was boring and ridiculous.