The Air that I Breathe - Lila Veen

Where to start? I just finished reading this series and I was hooked after "Burning For You." But something happened in "Drowning in a Dream" which leads me to where I am now in "The Air that I Breathe" book 3 in the Blackwater series. I'm going to just come right out and state my problem for the record - Drama. It seems strange to have an issue with drama when most books require it in order to exist. However, I find that I have come to an example of an overload on drama. I love the story Lila Veen weaves but in this final installment, it was only seconds after everything was sorted that it was tipped on it's head once again. It seemed that everyone was lying or manipulating each other for personal gain. The horrible twisted web of relationships that tied so many different characters together - introduced partially in "Drowning in a Dream" - continued to become even more entangled with relationships being revealed between almost everyone and their brother (it's horrible that I almost mean that literally). I barely had a hold on what was going on and the final straw was the relationship between Theo and Olivia. I just couldn't. I never liked V.C.Andrews penchant for throwing weird twisted family relationships into her books and I cannot stomach it in this one either.

I kept reading despite feeling ill because I needed to know what happened to Leah - it wasn't her fault that the Lavanne family were a bunch of nutters. I'd hoped the ending would bring some much needed relief and happiness but no,
when I closed the book I was outright sickened by the weird twists the novel had taken. Not only was I horrified at what happened to Leah's baby, Theah (ridiculous name) I couldn't believe all of these people who professed to care about her couldn't think for one second past their own fucked up agendas! Every single character minus Leah was selfish, beyond selfish, more selfish than I could possibly imagine and with that level of selfishness came the stupid actions selfish people do to make sure they get what they want. All of the twists became a headache of family drama that I could barely muster a reaction to. I felt like a zombie who was being assaulted, beaten down page after page. As the lies, deceit and manipulation unfolded I felt more ill reading the feel good happy ever after I wanted slipping away.

If you don't want to read spoilers and my rants at characters skip down 7 paragraphs to the "Skip Here". If you're brave enough to read this - I'm sorry but I have feelings about this book, a lot of them.

Dear god what the hell!? With all the people being reaped and having their powers taken away could not one of those people losing power be Olivia. Then she would no longer be a catalyst for Theo, Leah could have that wonderful threesome and no one would have touched that poor baby. For all that I felt sorry for Olivia I could not forgive her or even bring out a sliver resembling a kind feeling towards her because of the conniving way she STOLE LEAH'S BABY. The girl is selfish as FUCK, she is so self absorbed she even brought Ash into the equation in order to make sure Leah has no connection to the child! Being naive is no excuse and as a 33 year old adult I expected more from her, it's sad I ended the series hating her guts... But sorry I'm not sorry!

Lisette, you are a horrible mother who couldn't a) keep her vagina to herself, b) look after her children so they didn't turn into spoiled, selfish, unable to look to after themselves, whinging babies of adults, c) tell Olivia, no actually I think stealing that baby is a bad idea d) do something useful for a change. Why as a mother would you encourage your own daughter to make the same horrible decision you made which ultimately lead to her current horrible situation? WHY?! You play a good game I must admit but you have just recreated a family curse (which we know nothing about) and honestly, sleeping with Rowan? You should have known better, especially after you oh, I don't know, messed up the future of that whole family just so you could be a Lavanne. I don't know how you sleep at night.

Theo, you weak spineless dumb ass. I thought you Theo found out Olivia stole and magicked the baby into being hers you would put on your knight in shining armor hat, tell her it was wrong and force her to give it back. Wrong again. You were not the logical good guy that I thought you were! You are just as selfish as Olivia and even though Leah is still your catalyst you still want to be with your sister. IDIOT! How many people need to tell you it's a bad idea and after 33 years you're going to say fuck all the suffering I've had I'm going to do it anyway because why the hell not?! You are an ass for running away from Leah and Ash, you are an ass for encouraging Olivia and you are an ass for keeping the baby even after knowing the truth. Frankly, my dear, you are an ass. I hope you and Olivia have a horrible life together. I really do.

Ash, stop whining! I can't take how much you sound like a child - one who is told they must share their toys. Granted Leah isn't a toy but this catalyst thing is apparently a big deal so why are you not treating it as such. All Ash says is "you're mine!" cue Tarzan theme song as chest thumping commences. Christ Almighty save me from these numb skulls. I am completely unconvinced that Ash's possessiveness is enough to convince him to play God with the babies. I'd be pissed if I had to share someone I thought was my soul mate but come on I'd get over it like an adult and learn to live with it, because I would love them right? Ash does not seem like the type to go messing with children's lives because he has a big ego. Ash, I have to say I thought better of you. You are a complete idiot and a self absorbed prick for wanting Theo and his child out of Leah's life because YOU DON'T GET TO DECIDE YOU BIG BABY. Packing a tantrum and deciding to change the life of an innocent child so you can have Leah to yourself because you are too jealous to share is the STUPIDEST THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE. Obviously Ash loves himself more than Leah (not surprised).

Jared, Leah's Dad, glad you came through in the end, took you long enough you narrow minded geezer.

Oh and also - WHY ARE THE BABIES CATALYSTS!? WHY!? It was so horrible for Theo and Olivia and now these innocent babies of Leah's have to be tormented too? UNFAIR!

Isabel, how dare you keep that secret from Leah. You should know better than that, all your lies are doing is paving the way from more lies. Leah would have been so happy to have you as her mother and you know what, her father deserves the scorn she would have given him for lying to her.

Leah, you poor poor woman. You got sucked into the family from HELL. I'm so sorry, truly I am. You came from a horrid relationship with your ex-husband into a family full of lies, secrets and incest. Despite constantly trying to make things work and be happy with the situation you get screwed over by everyone! Even your father was a selfish prick until the very end. You deserved better.


While overall I really liked Lila Veen's series the culmination didn't deliver. I adored the idea of catalysts and crafting but I felt the magic took a backseat to the drama in this book and the ending just felt like it was stirring up so much bollocks. I was dissatisfied with the projected trajectories of every character. I wanted Theo, Leah and Ash to develop their relationship into a healthier threesome and I wanted Olivia to be happy and find that happiness without Theo. Essentially I just wanted the ending to be completely different from what it was. I still recommend the Blackwater series because who knows, maybe you will appreciate this final book more than I did. But I have to warn you if you can't handle twist after revelation after incestual relationship then don't read the series. It starts off much sweeter than where it ends up. I would have given this book 1 star because I can't do the incest, selfishness and unsatisfactory ending in this book but I will give it two because I really like Lila Veen's style of writing and plot minus them. Also I must admit that only a skilled writer would have me ranting at the characters like they were real people so I MUST note that AS A WHOLE I would give it 4 stars because it was gripping enough that I read it in a single day.

2/5 - Series 4/5
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The Air That I Breathe (Blackwater, #3)

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