Brendon Luke – Kermes Vermilio: The Decay of the Tactless

Title: Kermes Vermilio: The Decay of the Tactless
Author: Brendon Luke
Year: 2022
Goodreads page: Link

17-year-old Cassie Finch moves to Needmore, Florida to live with her father, expecting that her new life will be everything she imagined.
Although she is fiercely independent and self-sufficient, Hayden finds himself drawn to the new fair-haired classmate. Hayden’s parents, who are members of the Prior family, prefer their own company and haven’t kept in touch with their brothers and sisters since their teenage years in Niceville.
In spite of Cassie’s conviction that the world hates her, she remains deeply connected to it. Until she discovers the true nature of her bloodline, its hostility makes her feel unwell.
It won’t take Cassie long to discover that the world has treated her coldly for a valid reason. Hayden’s family history runs deep, and most people who cross paths with him are at risk.
Detectives Fred Bass and Savannah Handorf investigate the Vermilion River murders and the Prior family.
(from Goodreads)

Now that you have read the synopsis I will tell you this: the part about Cassie will start at 70% of the book… like… why do you put as a representation of the book something that is basically at the end of it?
It would have made more sense having the part about the detective being the main focus of the synopsis, at least it starts around the 30% of the book.
The first third of the book is another story that could have been completely negligible if it wasn’t linked to the finale in some way.

I got promised a horror fantasy story but the horror part was basically absent… the suspense and the thrill were absent for the majority of the book.
Personally I would have structured the story in a completely different way because, as it is now, it completely kills any type of mystery.
The author chooses to proceed in the narration by following the perfect timeline instead of using things like flashbacks or getting the past narrated by the characters. This gives to the reader all the basics of the mystery and the details, removing all the possible intriguing parts.

It has some important themes but they are totally not treated in the right way as those parts end up being too hasty.
Characters’ development is almost completely absent and also some anachronistic elements.

The Vermilion River murders’ part seemed the more interesting one but it also turns out to be nothing new and the ending is quite disappointing.

I think that the story could be nice but it needs to be rewritten as the narration is not fluid at all and it isn’t able to grab the reader’s attention.
For sure I don’t recommend it as it is now… it’s not worth it.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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