Khanh the Killjoy

The Emperor's Conspiracy

The Emperor's Conspiracy - Michelle Diener This was a very poorly written book, with an incredible, inconceivably perfect Mary Sue of a character, with inexplicable insta-love. It is categorized under such genres as "Historical Romance," "Mystery Thriller." Both, all, really, would be wrong. I would like to suggest another genre under which this book should be shelved. "Terrible."I don't always have to like the main character in order to love the book, but more often than not, the main character and his or her gradual development makes or breaks a novel. In this case, the novel is irretrievably shattered by the fucking unrealistic paragon that is Charlotte Raven. Before you decide whether to read this book, I would like to present to you some facts about Charlotte, which should be useful for you in deciding whether to try this book out for yourself or not.- She was born and raised a street urchin and chimney sweep until she became stuck in one at the age of 12. Our extremely fortunate girl-in-disguise chimney sweep is then abandoned by her employee, still stuck headfirst within the chimney, and adopted and made the heiress of a wealthy society peeress, Lady Howe.- Somehow she has managed to pass flawlessly as a society lady without anyone being the wiser, despite having grown up in the streets. She is equally at home in a back alley as in a society ball.- She not only balances life as a society woman (whose character is beyond reproach, "unimpeachable," "irreproachable," while maintaining a double life in the grimy seeds of the London underworld for 12 years, without the Ton being any wiser to her low connections and base beginnings.- She figures out the clandestine occupation of a Lord, which he has kept secret for years, within a day of meeting him, with no clues whatsoever- She has no last name, but is so named by her fellow urchins as a child because her hair is "as black as a raven's wing."- She is stunningly beautiful, intelligent, and observant. She literally has no faults throughout the course of the book.- "I [Charlotte] became Luke’s lover because it was the only thing he wanted, and it seemed wrong to deny him when he had done so much. I was twelve years old.”I am not slut shaming. I am only stating it for the preposterousness that it is. It is even more so when both said criminal mastermind of the Rookeries (Luke) and a high-born nobleman, Edward, both fall senselessly in love with her. Luke has been in love with her since he was 16 and she 12. Edward, our stoic, politically-minded nobleman, falls for her intrigue within hours of their encounter, despite smelling that something just ain't right."...he’d thought there was something about her—a cheekiness, a liveliness that reminded him of the streets."There is no character development. None. The characters make grand speeches about change, about love. It means nothing, because the evidence of how their character develops and mature is just not there.“No. I’ve chosen to be myself. To follow my own heart for a change. I don’t think I ever have.”That is bullshit. In the events of the book, it is complete and utter bullshit. It is a grand speech with nothing to back it up. As far as we see in the book, Charlotte does whatever she fucking pleases. That is a beautiful, grandiose statement that I quoted from her, and grandiose is all it is, because it is full of hot fucking air and completely lacking in fact.Let's recall, shall we, that Charlotte has chosen to lead a double life. She was not forced to choose one nor the other. Charlotte has been given free reign to do whatever she fucking pleases, by both her wealthy guardian, and by her overprotective crime lord who would slaughter people at the drop of a hat if they dared so much as to harm a hair on her head. There is no self-denial here, no tragic martyrdom. Charlotte is the luckiest bitch ever born.The mystery is supposedly based on real historical events, Napoleon's plan to control England's gold resources. It is absurd, the way the mystery unfolds has no rationality, it is too dependent upon deus ex machina.Aside from the obvious characterization failings of the book, there are two other faults with it that keeps it from any semblance of being even a merely "good" book. Like with the characters, the plot is completely filled with telling, not showing. We are expected to believe this happened, that that happened, we are not shown and demonstrated as to how such and such happened. I would have loved to read about Charlotte's transformation: it does not happen. There is no fucking My Fair Lady moment in this book that would make me believe or empathize with Charlotte.It truly is all telling, no showing. We are supposed to swallow, deep-throated and choking, the fact that Charlotte completes her upper-class education and passes for a society lady without any proof whatsofuckingever. We are supposed to believe that Lord Edward is a nobleman, and a gentleman spy, well-educated, a fucking Renaissance Man, with no evidence whatsoever. We are told she does this, she uncovers this. He does this, he discovers this grand fucking plot, and expected to swallow it, hoook, line, and sinker, without evidence. It is a fucking insult to my intelligence.Oh, my. This review is just getting angrier and angrier as I go along, isn't it?The other fault is with the writing, the dialogue. The writing itself is decent, although it contains some really weird metaphors that just left me wrinkling my forehead. What I cannot overlook is the atrocious dialogue. The dialogue is completely inconsistent. We have Cockney street accents with a dropped H in one word, and a completely pronounced H in the next. We have modern contractions and phrases, coupled with archaic speech. We have usage of the word "Daddy." In Regency London.I'm just glad to have finished this terribad book so I can delete it and save the wasted space that it presently occupies on my Nook.