It's weird. Often it feels like the characters are performing to camera, which makes you too aware of the fourth wall.
It gets more engaging later, even if the overall thing is a workout for your suspension of disbelief.
My eyes kind of glazed over when they were explicating on background and history and whatever and whatnot.
The grammar could use some love. Comma splices, odd turns of phrase, sentences that no matter how I read them, feel like they should be questions (and are missing commas)...
It's also got these lines that, after the 3rd, 5th, 8th time it's used, it stops becoming an interesting line and a stupid gimmick. There's quite a bit of repetition in this, actually. It gets annoying, like, "Dude. That joke stopped being funny the second time you retold it." It's what small children do when they elicit a response. They keep telling it over and over hoping for the same response, blissfully unaware as they are of the law of diminishing returns.
Hmm...Perhaps it's a case of over-lampshading. That only works with comedies, parodies, or satire, such as with Community. In this, where the author's trying to be serious, it instead challenges our suspension of disbelief until our tolerance is worn thin. We become, as a result, too aware of the fourth wall and the fact that the characters are playing out roles, instead of us observing as their lives played out.
It's annoying because MC thinks he's all that.
I slump in relief. “Thank God. I mean, I don’t want to be the first to die. The funny guy always dies first, for shock value, you know. Rourke would get killed next, because it’d be a heroic sacrifice or something.” I motion to Shiko. “You’d live, though, unless you had sex.”
That ass isn't funny, and yes, he's got MC power, but he's not likeable and he makes no effort to be likeable, yet this ass keeps thinking he's extremely likable. By about 60% into it, I'm so over it there's nothing left to find endearing.
There are good lines, but they're exactly that: lines. I mean, I can spout lines, but that doesn't mean they're completely sincere or ingenuous. And neither are the lines MC (what's his name again?) touts.
Also, the author made the Fates Norse. Maiden, matron, crone. That's actually more Neo-Pagan than anything, but it's more often associated with the Norns than the Moirai, which are generally all matrons.
You know what? I get it. I get why Spence is such an ass. Deep pain down inside and all that. That doesn't keep him from being an ass and me from disliking him for being such an ass. Not saying he has to be different to be worthy of empathy. I'm just saying that he's an ass, and really, the only character I care about is poor Rourke.
His characterization also seems rather vague and with at least one foot into the realm of Mary-Sue-dom.
I didn't like the ending. That epilogue *shudders
I feel like with different characters - or a different character focus - I would have liked this book. Not that anyone else could have been MC.
I might read on for Rourke, though.