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Book Review: Bend the Rules (Part Three)

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

Want to read the earlier parts of these reviews? Go here for Part Two! Go here for the full list!

Is this book over yet? What do you mean I’m only at the 40% mark. So this is the part where I level with you. If a reader hadn’t begged for us to read this, this the point where I would have given up in disgust.

As it is, I felt obligated to finish. Not just because of our reader, but also spite.

So with the reveal of the Heroine’s Tragic Backstory ™ over. We can move on to the plot.

Which this is around the point where I picked up on the Accountant parallels. Things like having the lead character be an accountant with excessive need for order and routine. At least in the film they named the reason, autism. Rather than going for unspecified mental disorder. Also the lead being former military with a troubled backstory. Then there’s the whole sibling rivalry. But we’re about to start getting into the real nitty gritty of why they’re similar.

But first… can you guess what happens next?

If you guessed fat shaming… you’d be wrong… for once.

Nope. It’s an obstacle in the form of pissed off employers.

Because they killed the assassin and torched the warehouse. The client Name Unimportant fired Mary and Crash’s employer, Vitruvious Security. The higher ups are pissed and go to the conference room where our two leads are in the bathroom necking and having a heart to heart. But mostly necking. Mary’s plot driven clumsiness strikes again and she knocks over a container of potpourri which means that someone needs to out themselves or they’re both in trouble. Cue Crash to the rescue (also a common theme). He makes some snarky comments. Pisses off one of the owners, Rocco not Big Mike, who then fires Crash.

Mary naturally is all like “MY HERO!!!”

with about as many hearts. And she’s also all like… I MUST MAKE THIS RIGHT!!!!

With about as many exclamation points.

So she digs into the case. While Crash goes off to make Mary’s life better. This includes taking poor Oscar to the vet.

The vet reveals that Oscar was reported as stolen, to my hope they try to reunite him with his family. Only to find out that the human that loved Oscar died before he was stolen and that he was scheduled to be put to sleep because the family didn’t want him anymore.

I was so angry at this scene initially. It seemed to go nowhere. And felt out of place. Plus in my view they were not treating the poor animal right.

Unfortunately this scene is later revealed to be important. The problem is that unlike some of the other heavy handed foreshadowing this wasn’t. It felt like an ass-pull. A shoehorned patch to fix a plothole.

With this detour over. It’s time to have Crash’s sister join the shenanigans.

But she can’t just be cool… no… she has to be awful like the other characters.

They do some things together for like a page. Then Mary goes home to find all the things that Crash has bought her and they fall into each other’s arms.

And eventually bed…

Here’s where I need to share the horror of the sex…

You may have noticed that I’m not bitching about the editing too much. That’s because in comparison to the other problems with this, it’s a drop in the bucket. But it’s still horribly edited.

Here’s one example really early on.

This is what the editing is like. There are typos, missing words, wrong words, and more punctuation problems. But if I spent the whole review pointing them out, it’d be just one long grammar rant and no one wants that.

How about moving the plot along.

Thanks to Mary not listening to Crash earlier, the hijackers track them back to her apartment.

There’s a struggle. A fight. And this.

So…let’s talk physics.

Mary is repeatedly described as heavy. Fat. Even though she’s only 20 pounds overweight. When someone, I don’t care who or how much they weigh, is forcibly dropped from height at 9.8 meters/second and then they come to a sudden stop. One of two things generally happens… One… the shoulder dislocates. Two. Depending on the weight and the physics, the arm comes off.

Speaking as someone who fell down an entire flight of stairs and only managed to survive by grabbing the railing… dislocated shoulders are a thing! I felt it pull out and then pop back in. And my fall was not up, out, down, and then crashing into poured concrete. Mary should have a dislocated shoulder, possibly a concussion from hitting the concrete. And likely an empty bladder/bowels.

That doesn’t happen here. In fact, all Mary gets is frightened and a few bruises that have no bearing on the rest of the story. Seriously, they’re mentioned once then never again. She doesn’t even put ice on them.

The bad guys threaten Mary for a bit then Crash comes in and they call their boss boss who is smooth and urbane in contrast to our hero.

Crash agrees to work for the bad guys and they leave.

The next day, they continue their hunt and track down leads almost as if the previous trauma had never happened. Including one that takes them to a guy who is dating a young sexy woman while he is kindly described as a schlub who has crumbs on his shirt. Yeah

The guy gives them a hint of where to go next. But first we have some more problematic tropes.

So that may seem confusing, but the first part is in her POV, the second is in his.

When they get out of their lust induced haze, they separate to do their own things. Mary to hunt down another lead and save Crash from having to do the bad guys' dirty work. Crash to hunt down Mr. Turtleneck and The Big Boss while working for them.

And this is as good of a place to stop for now.

Thankfully there’s only one more ranty part and then our typical summary review before I can put this behind me. Thank the gods.

Want to read the rest of these reviews? Go here for Part Four! Go here for the masterpost!

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