Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: "Key of Valor" by Nora Roberts

Key of Valor (Key Trilogy, #3)Key of Valor by Nora Roberts

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This final installment in the Key trilogy was the weakest for me. I don't know, maybe I shouldn't have read all three books in a row, because reading about the tale of the three demigoddesses' souls trapped in a box of glass and how three mortal women, the heroines, were destined to find the "keys" to release them got a bit stale this time around. It was pretty much the same basic thing all over again, and neither Zoe nor Brad, the couple du jour, was compelling enough to engage my full interest.

I admit I didn't like Zoe very much from the glimpses I had on the previous books, Key of Light and Key of Knowledge: she came across like this "wonder woman", larger than life and independent to the point of being too stubborn. Unfortunately, my impression didn't change after reading this book and there was a time or two when I wanted to give her a good shake to make her see reason. Her reluctance to accept Brad's love was justifiable in the beginning - after all, single mothers are, or should be, wary when considering a new romantic relationship - but I though she dragged it a little too long. If Brad was a "shady" character, I could understand it, but he was far from it.

Brad was the handsome, honest millionaire with a heart of gold, no flaws and not a single skeleton in the closet. He fell fast and hard for Zoe and, bonus points there, he also adored her son Simon. The ultimate good guy, he was perfection in flesh and bone, there was absolutely nothing wrong with him... and I couldn't care less about him. Would I love to have a guy like him in real life? Sure! But that kind of hero doesn't work for me in Romancelandia, I'm sorry to say. Hmm, maybe that's why Zoe took so long to fall for him, LOL.

As for the search for Zoe's "key", it was obvious - for me, not for Zoe - that the answer was linked to her accepting Brad's love, so the mystery part of the story didn't add much spark to make this an engrossing read. I was kind of bored halfway through the book, since neither the romance nor the mystery was thrilling. It's somewhat funny: I liked the mystery but not the romance in Key of Light, liked the romance but not the mystery in Key of Knowledge, and didn't like either the romance and the mystery in Key of Valor. Not exactly the combo I wanted.

Since this was the third and last book in the series, Key of Valor ends with a nice scene featuring only the three heroines in order to give closure to the whole quest for the "keys". While I understood the reason behind the way NR chose to end the story, I was left feeling that Zoe and Brad were "cheated": I would have liked to see them in a special one-on-one final scene, the same way their friends had in the previous books. That was the final nail in the coffin for me... Meh!

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