I enjoyed this read. I gobbled it up in one sitting and licked the crumbs from my fingers. Another reviewer used the term KA-Lite and I second her comment. It was... good.
That being said... what stuck out the most when I got to the last page... was that it could have been so much MORE
. That hint of the elusive something
left me... craving.
Back when KNIGHT was released, I expressed a lot of the same sentiments that some are saying about RAID. KNIGHT felt like a 1st draft of a KA novel to me. I never connected emotionally with Knight or Anya and it had nothing to do with his "profession" and everything to do with the glaring lack of KA character development that I'd come to expect. It felt unfinished. (No pun intended) Like a writing exercise where she attempted to tame her plot into a starker, bare-bones format.
In a forum discussion pertaining to KNIGHT, I read a comment where a reader noted that KA (in her opinion) needs around 400 pages for her type of storytelling to really work. I was like "YES! THAT'S IT! I TOTALLY AGREE!!!"
Creed was 380+ pages and it was a solid 4 Stars for me. It was shorter than her other series but long enough that her "voice" was able to unfold and give me Creed & Sylvie's story. She gave me their past, their present and their future.
So RAID... in keeping with the theme above... let's say it was like a 3rd draft of a KA novel for me. She was able to fit a lot of the KA elements into the story that made it a given that I would dig it. At 280 something pages, she gave me just enough framework that I could block out what wasn't there and mentally superimpose my own made up "KA extras" into the story as I was reading.
Because..... I wanted
Raid's past. I needed to see more than just the glimpse we were given of the hell he endured... so I could understand just how significant it was that he opened up to Hanna. So I could understand why he woke up violent. So I could understand why he was driven to live the life he did.
And I really wanted
to see Raid's present, when he was on the job, away from Hanna and the life he was trying to build away from "the dark" of his job. Because you need the dark to contrast the light. And it would have made Raid & Hanna's future that more poignant. That epi... where Hanna is sitting on the porch swing, wrapped in an afghan and waiting on Spring... would have KILLED me with the good kind of ugly cry if only I had... more.
Now. Lets get down to what made me CACKLE OUT LOUD. What the F*CK is up with KA writing these whacked out sex scenes? And I don't mean whacked like "out there, take you to the edge, OMG I so can't relate to blood play" whacked... I mean "WTF that scene was comedic in it's discordant F-up'dness and just not sexy!" You gotta build the framework before you have someone crawl across a floor to suck a cock! You don't just throw it in out of the blue and make a girl spit d. coke all over her iPad because it felt just so hilariously WRONG!! Why not just make him a super controlling-in-bed alphahole instead of turning him into this.. this... this caricature of a sexual dominant?