Answering Atlas
Grade : D

Chantal Fernando’s Answering Atlas didn’t quite, as the saying goes, hit rock bottom and then start digging. But it certainly put a big hole in the middle of the yard and put a major leak in the sewer line.

Natalie Ward is the daughter of a motorcycle club leader, so the one thing she knows is that she absolutely will not date a biker. I don’t really know why - her dad adores her mother, Natalie loves bikes, and she’s fine with club life - but hey, we need a separation device. Atlas, who probably has a last name but I don’t remember or care, is of course a biker for another MC. But don’t worry; it’s not a rival MC - in fact, the two clubs (the Knights of Fury and the Wind Dragons) are super cozy. The only conflict here is that Atlas’s feelings were hurt when Natalie told him she wouldn’t date a biker, and she has to grovel for a while and apologize for stereotyping him. Just to make sure Natalie learns her lesson, the author makes sure Natalie’s lawyer coworker, with whom she goes out for after-work drinks, turns out to be an egregious serial sexual harasser. That will teach all of us to be wary of men who join misogynist semi-illegal gangs!

And then things get bad.

See, Natalie is a lawyer. And her firm is hired to bail a guy out of jail who turns out to have shot Natalie’s sister in a previous book and is currently trying to murder members of both MCs. (If you have not been keeping up with this series, and for your sake I hope that is the case, you will not have any idea who these people are, nor will you be able to keep track if you do figure it out). Natalie faces a huge ethical dilemma: knowing the MCs have been looking for this guy, should she tell them he’s in jail and will be getting out soon?

Yes, that’s right. The ethical dilemma is NOT whether or not to advocate for bail for someone with a literal hit list. It is when and whether or not to tell the MCs, including her hookup and her family, that she has done so. Let me tell you - if my sister argued for bail for the man who shot me, my complaint would NOT be the timing of when she told me about it.

And then things get worse.

MCs are tough, violent guys. We can tell because, upon finding out that Mr. Murder is out on bail, the MCs watch him very closely. No, they don’t DO anything. But boy, do they watch him, until they don’t, and a bunch of characters die. I’ll give the author credit for originality, because rarely does Too Stupid To Live behavior actually result in the stupid characters not living. But personally, I’d prefer that they just… not be morons? Because books about morons who get their friends and relatives killed are not really for me.

Answering Atlas is an average/C grade book that manages to make itself worse’ is not exactly the kind of cover quote that would sell books, but it’s honest. Do with this information what you will.

Grade : D

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : March 18, 2023

Publication Date: 02/2023

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Caroline Russomanno

I'm a history geek and educator, and I've lived in five different countries in North America, Asia, and Europe. In addition to the usual subgenres, I'm partial to YA, Sci-fi/Fantasy, and graphic novels. I love to cook.

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