I’m going to share a little book-blogger secret with you: It’s hard for us to be honest with these reviews.
Because, of course, we want readers to buy these books. We write these reviews so that you will be intrigued enough to click our affiliate links and we will get a small percentage of the book sales.
But sometimes our conscience weighs heavily upon us. Sometimes we simply cannot honestly recommend a book to you. It’s times like these that the best book bloggers get creative with the truth. They try to think of something, anything that they can say to get readers to click the links.
I’m not that creative.
Don’t get this book. Just don’t.
Read on to get my honest review.
(Author’s note: J.D. Robb is a pseudonym for Nora Roberts. In this article, I may use these names interchangeably for readers who are more familiar with Roberts’ books.)
J.D. Robb Books in Order
First of all, what’s with the title? Naked In Death? What does that even mean?
Well, obviously, someone is killing prostitutes. That was my first assumption from the title, and it turned out to be true even before I turned the first page.
But wait—this is a series, isn’t it? Is the entire series about killing prostitutes? It’s kind of a derivative topic already (pretty much since Jack the Ripper made headlines), so how can an author write 10 books, 15 books with this title? Let me check how many books are in the series...
SWEET MERCIFUL JEFF BEZOS THERE ARE FIFTY-ONE “In Death” BOOKS IN THIS SERIES!
This is the section of the article where I would normally list all of the Nora Roberts books in order. But I’m definitely not inclined to put in that much effort to share all of those titles with you. You don’t want to read even the first book, trust me. And nobody wants to see a list of more than fifty titles in a book review.
But I’ll share these brilliant gems of front cover marketing with you:
#3, Immortal In Death. That doesn’t make a lick of sense.
#12, Interlude In Death. That sounds classy. Like an Opus, or a Sonata.
#13, Seduction In Death. Well, there goes all that class, right out the window.
#16, Portrait In Death. “Portrait” sounds classy also. Just not enough.
#20, Survivor In Death. How is this not the same illogical book as #3?
#30, Fantasy In Death. Heck no, Roberts, stay in your freaking lane.
#42, Wonderment In Death. From this point onward, I think Roberts has broken her thesaurus but can’t physically stop writing.
#51, Shadows In Death. Nora Robert’s latest book.
Genre—Do Not Be Misled, This Is Not Sci-Fi
A good sci-fi story should inspect modern society and the human condition by removing some of the physical constraints imposed by reality.
A bad sci-fi story will just create a pseudo-scientific futuristic setting that is prevalent in the story development.
The “In Death” series sprinkles future concepts into an otherwise mundane plot, almost like an afterthought, as Nora Roberts tries to attract sci-fi fans into her audience.
The best that Naked In Death does, in regards to sci-fi, is remind the author that real coffee is unavailable in the future. Also, the 2nd Amendment is no longer a thing in America.
Sometimes “sci-fi” is just a label that political malcontents slap over their wishful thinking.
The Characters—Gross Stereotypes
It has become quite trendy to make fun of how male authors sometimes describe female characters (focusing on breasts, for example). I get a good chuckle out of these memes when I see them, although I’ve been lucky enough not to encounter these descriptions in the literature that I typically read.
In Naked In Death, however, I was rolling my eyes every time J.D. Robb introduced a new potential suspect. Each one of them is a portrait (that does sound classy!) of toxic masculinity.
Even the good ones.
As we met each new harasser in the story, and as each one proceeded to undress the main character with their eyes, I was wondering how J.D. Robb was going to create a romantic subplot for her protagonist, Eve Dallas.
Oh, yeah. Money. I should have known.
If there’s one thing I hate to read in female characters, it’s surprisingly not their breasts. I hate to read about a female character who dismisses reason and accountability as soon as a man buys her expensive things. I like to think that women in general are better than that.
Thanks for undermining our expectations, J.D. Robb.
The Recommendation: Get Carried Away By A Better Thriller
I understand that there is a big audience for steamy (and completely illogical) thrillers. But my honest recommendation to you, if you’re looking for an exciting story, is to pick up one with stronger characters and better sci-fi speculation.
In contrast to a future that looks the same but without coffee, Carried Away is a speculative sci-fi story about an alternate (but very plausible) present day.
It’s no secret that here at the ShortStoryTeller.com, we promote the Sparrow books before any others. But when we find decent alternatives, we are happy to recommend them to our audience.
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