Sep 16 2006
Dear Ms Rowe,
After having heard such great things about your book, I finally a) got my hands on a copy and b) had a moment to read it. It’s good. Really good, but….ah the buts in life.
Yes, it’s funny but it takes a little while to take off. Or it did for me. Plus there are a lot of characters to keep track of, each with his or her own backstory and place in this story. Often I had to stop and go back to remember who someone was and why he/she
was important. And the convoluted plot got even more convoluted as the story went on. This is definitely not a book to put down for any length of time.
I do agree with my blogging partner that each character was distinct. If not, it would have been even more confusing trying to sort everyone out. And I’ll give it to you that in the end, you wove that plot into a whole which made sense. And I am looking forward to reading the next book (due this autumn). Plus it’s one of the funniest books I’ve read all year. I almost peed on myself reading Satan’s dialogue. But this one had a slight deus ex machina quality to it. Overall, I enjoyed it and reading it but B for you.
Dear Ms. Rowe:
If I was going to RWA and you were going to RWA, you are the one author I would want to have dinner with because I am pretty sure that my entire night would spent laughing my ass off. Granted this on one book, but it is the type of book where I smiled from beginning to end. I am telling all my friends to read it.
This book has a morbid – Better Off Dead – humor to it. Justine Bennet is the Guardian of Mona, the Goblet of Eternal Youth. As Guardian, she has sworn oaths to keep the Goblet safe. Essentially the Oaths prevent her “from doing anything except eating and sleeping and cutting off people’s heads.”
Along comes Derek LaValle who believes that in order to remove the curse from his family line that causes all males to die at the age of “thirty-one years, forty-six weeks, four days, six hours, three minutes, and five seconds old”, he must kill the Guardian. Unfortunately, both the characters neglected libidos act up. On the one hand, they would love to shag like bunnies. On the other, they are destined to try to kill each other. Derek to break the curse and Justine to protect the Goblet. Both main characters are likeable, funny, and charming.
The entire cast of backup characters is a hoot from Satan who is trying to court Iris, Justine’s mother. Iris is in purgatory and whether she is sent to heaven or hell appears to depend on Justine’s fulfillment of her role as the Guardian. Theresa Nichols sipped from the cup over 200 years ago and was changed from the greated lay in the village to a dragon.
What was even more impressive was that each character is different from the other. Each has his or her own distinct dialogue patterns. I could tell which character was talking simply by what was said and how it was said. The dialogue was superb.
The whole story told with a wink and a nod, a tongue in cheek. Satan even sounds like the comedian who plays the pope (what delicious irony!). There is a great twist on the subdued secretary turning sexpot. The consummation scene was marvelous. Each sarcastic moment that you have is for a purpose, for effect and not just because that is the only thing you know how to write. Every little plot point was carefully woven into the story from the initial meeting, to the consummation of their desire to one of the funniest scenes that I have read in a long, long time featuring a mind reading Manasa.
The only thing bad about your book, really, was the cover and title. Both kept me from buying this book until a friend of mine recommended it to me, saying it was a keeper for her.
I cannot wait for your next book. This is a keeper for me too. A-.