Parched: Z.L. Arkadie (Book 4)

Sidenote: Apparently the cover images of the books after The Seventh Sister are all minuscule and will probably end up looking really shitty and pixely from here on out. My apologies, but there’s really nothing I can do.

 

The Fifth Sister is the fourth book in Z.L. Arkadie’s “Parched” series, with which you should hereby be familiar.

Every single book in this collection is remarkably short and I can read them all in approximately 2 or 3 hours, although that time ends up being split up across the span of a few days, just due to my university schedule/requirements.

 

This book decides to follow Glo, who is the sister with the power of fire, and for once in Arkadie’s series, a sister has a voice which is her own, although yet retaining a semblance of both of the other sisters we’ve followed thus far.

Glo is apparently 43 without looking a day over 21, with the same exact hair and build as her sisters, whom she has no idea exist. She is attending therapy weekly, because she feels intensely indifferent, frequently anxious and lately depressed. She feels as though she lives in a bubble, and very little exists within it for her. The rest of the world is without, and she considers it almost more of a Lego-land, which… in retrospect, doesn’t really tell us nearly as much as Arkadie wants it to.

Glo lives in Cleveland and works in a diner on the ground floor of her apartment building in the warehouse district. This seems unrealistic and bizarrely coincidental for what commences over the course of the novel. Simultaneously, Glo’s best friend Aries and her boyfriend are remarkably similar to her, in that they never age, and Aries seems to be able to influence people by touching them. Glo spends the first several pages of this novel feeling anxious, as though she knows instinctually that something is about to change, that her life is meant for something, but she is absolutely clueless about what that might be.

 

Once again we find rampant grammatical and punctuation errors including word omissions, misspellings, random commas and misplaced quotation marks. The descriptions are mediocre at best and leave one with only a semblance of that which Arkadie is trying to accomplish here. Perhaps it is because of the nature of Glo’s current psychology, but considering that this is a theme throughout the course of her novels, I am loath to make that acquiescence. At this point in the game, I am more apt to argue that Arkadie, while creative in her concepts and the layout of her plot, is a mediocre writer in desperate need of a good editor who really ought to take the extra time to proofread her own material.

Glo, like Clarity, has a neighbor in her apartment building for whom she sort of has the hots, and is–surprise, bloody surprise–a vampire. And! SURPRISE BLOODY SURPRISE! Has the exact same powers as Glo. Lord Jesus, could these novels get any more predictable!? Somehow I doubt it.

I don’t think that anybody is going to be surprised to hear this: Aries is Glo’s [replacement] Guardian (apparently her guardians who were supposed to model ‘parents’ died in a car/plane crash (it’s questionable) years ago) and Raz, Aries boyfriend, is Glo’s Wek. Are you surprised? I certainly hope not.

Glo and Finn end up collapsing a lab where Tal and Cort (a couple of names you may remember from the last book as Shams–or vampires who’ve now acquired the ability to do magic of sorts and drink other vampires)–are forcing chemists to create a drug they call Zombie, but what the drug does goes entirely unexplained until further notice.

Once that’s done, they make a trip down to Alabama because Finn knows that’s Cort’s next target. When they get there, it’s a ghost town, much like–surprise surprise–Moonridge was when Quenched closed out.

When that situation is dealt with (in as much capacity as it can be, honestly), Finn and Glo travel up to Ohio and into Jari, where they find Vayle, who is still there–because it’s only been like, 5 minutes his time. He has, surprise surprise, decided not to shirk his duties and revert back to human. At his point, Vayle leads the last sister and her bonded vampire out of Jari and to the house of Benel.

The end.

No seriously. That’s the end of the book. Frankly, they’re more like short stories than novels, and I almost can’t even believe I shelled out $4 each for the next two. They hardly seem worth it. I do, however, intend to see this thing to the end, regardless of how it continues to pain or entertain me.

I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads. It didn’t really deserve any better than that. Frankly, I’m disenchanted with the series, as if you haven’t noticed. (I mean it’s not like it’s apparent or anything…)

 

Until next time,

–Emily

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