“Transfer: An Urban Fantasy Romance”
by Jordan C. Robinson
Genre: Paranormal & Urban/New Adult/Romance
Release Date: November 9, 2017
Recent college graduate, Will Patterson is dying from an unknown ‘illness.’ Tossing his degree aside, Will implements operation One Year Left and heads to the Pacific-Northwest to operate a food truck with his best friend.
I won’t claim to know how someone with a terminal diagnosis should behave IRL or in literature, but Will annoyed me.
Re-locating is a big step for Will and out-of-character. The problem for me was Will’s apathy for his own situation. There was no, “Yeah, let’s do this!” or even, “What’s the point in trying? I’ll be dead in a year.” He was lukewarm milquetoast, schlepping along, dragging every ounce of anxiety and low self-esteem he could muster right along with him.
When he arrives at his Portland apartment—rented via the Internet—he meets his new roommate, Kristen… and heads back down the slippery slope of falling for the closest female in his vicinity. (Okay, maybe that’s just how it seemed to me.)
Will’s history with women is less than stellar—because he has the personality of notebook paper—and it is almost painful to be inside his head. He second guesses everything, always choosing a negative conclusion for which he blames himself. Again… painful.
Kristen isn’t much better. Her dismal track record with relationships is supposedly because of her issues with her adulterous father. Does she self-consciously sabotage herself by picking losers?
Awkward love can be cute and adorable and can grow into something explosive and life-altering.
I didn’t feel that with Will and Kristen. Their friendship felt forced in the beginning, but they got to a comfortable place. The spider scene is too cute. But when they both daydreamed about taking it to the next level, I wanted to scream, “NO! Don’t do it!” Their individual histories aren’t just bad, I’d be willing to be to bet there are deep psychological wounds. The last thing these two need is a relationship… especially with each other. They would have been wiser to concentrate on the friendship—which was nice—instead of ‘forcing’ the matter. They both seemed needy and whiny, and at times… TSTL.
Case in point—they FINALLY decide to have ‘the talk’ the day after Kristen’s birthday party. Will is hung over AND healing after an encounter with some baddies and Kristen wakes him in the early afternoon to have ‘the talk’. She’s sad because he doesn’t seem focused… but still wants to have ‘the talk’, yet she announces she’s going on a getaway with her besties and they’re WAITING IN THE CAR!!! *Kindle-flinging moment* He’s all fuzzy-headed and already convinced himself she wants nothing to do with him, so he tells her they’ll talk when she gets back, and she leaves.
And I wanted to leave too.
On some level, I understood, Kristen’s issues, but terminally ill, socially anxious Will was an unexplained, emotional mystery.
As for his ‘illness’, huh? He suffers from bouts of extreme strength and energy (superhero?) which pretty much leave him exhausted and unconscious after using them. Portland is also home to an ‘organization’ (PISP) doing research into cases like Will’s, so win-win, right?
Unfortunately, no. The evil empire has nefarious intentions and is out to kill Will… and Kristen. However, despite the car crashes, fires, and guns, guns, guns, I never once felt like the lead characters were in any danger. And neither did they. Who strolls down public streets, has romantic dinners or goes on weekend getaways when someone is trying to kill them? To be fair to Will and Kristen, PISP didn’t inspire much fear… or cause for it.
The ending is HEA…kinda, sorta, but is Will still dying? Who’s the Guardian? And what does Chandler want?
I enjoy this author’s work and wanted to love this well-written story, but underdeveloped characters made it a missed connection for ME. That’s not to say others wouldn’t enjoy this quirky, new adult fantasy romance.