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REVIEW: Jacob by Jacquelyn Frank

Dear Ms. Frank:

JacobThis book, apparently, has been a highly touted first novel. I am always looking for a new debut author to latch onto like white on rice. Alas, while this is a paranormal not featuring vampires or shapeshifters, the concept of the story is not new and the worldbuilding had some real issues and the heroine is a bit of a Mary Sue. I spent 3 weeks reading this book, picking it up and putting it down. Last night I told myself that I have to finish and I did. The second half was definitely better than the first.

Stock character No.1: Virgin librarian lives in NY with sister. Turns out to be one of the strongest paranormal creatures ever born with the power to fight any magical creature. Plus, after each encounter, virgin librarian gains more power.

Stock character No. 2: Demon Enforcer has never been tempted until virgin librarian is encountered. Together they defeat forces of evil.

Stock plot: Two halves make a great whole. Destiny demands soulmates come together.

The first half of the book, I was bored to tears, mostly because the characters were stock and because the worldbuilding rules are broken immediately. Demons are not to have any contact with humans because contact can drain humans of their lives. Jacob is the Demon Enforcer. He can sense when other Demons cross the line in their thoughts and he steps in to apply punishment. It was unclear what the punishment is but apparently it is bad. Jacob meets, Isabella, our virgin librarian, and after a little battle with a bad demon, Isabella and Jacob are immediately drawn to each other.

Jacob crosses wayyyyy over the line with thoughts and deed but is not punished. He spirits her back (how this happens is never explained) to his world which is also never explained (the world/home is in England but I wasn’t sure if it was Earth England or alternate England or some ephemeral space above England) and the rest of Demonkind to “protect” her. The next 200 pages includes Isabella researching the Demon history in the Demon library, bouts of lust, and alot of Demons standing around and talking about demon history.

The conflict is that there is a necromancer on earth who is summoning demons. The necroromancer does this by using the demons real names. After a short period of time, the demons become soulless and turn into the awful creatures that most people associate with demons, murdering and raping. It is not until the second half that anything is actually done about the necromancer.

I think I would have really liked this book if Jacob and Isabella had to run away from demonkind and struggle to find their place together, but it was all too easy with little conflict or suspense. The second half had alot more action, but after 200 pages of dullness (the first sex scene doesn’t actually take place until page 189 or so), I just wasn’t really impressed with the story overall. It could be because so much of the book is “setup” for the rest of the series in the first half. I have to wonder if I had bought the book if I would have returned it. The first half was a D and the second half about a B-. Overall I would give the grade a C.

Best regards

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

45 Comments

  1. Wendy
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 18:23:00

    She lost me at “virgin librarian.” I swiped this ARC at work, back to break room shelf it goes….

  2. Jane
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 19:46:57

    She doesn’t stay a virgin librarian, Wendy. :)

  3. Sybil
    Nov 28, 2006 @ 21:49:18

    I can dig the virgin/soulmate thing (sorryrestofromanceland). And when I see necromancer I think LKH.

    I don’t know I could like this or maybe not… I can go with a tried and true plot but if the characters are unlikable that is a book killer.

    This should be here soon so as soon as I get over the bad taste the authorquotefest has left me I will give it a whirl, or try to.

  4. Tara Marie
    Nov 29, 2006 @ 07:40:07

    I expect to have this book in the next couple of days, so I’ve decided not to read your review until after I’ve read it, though I did see you gave it a C–hopefully that wont influence me too much.

  5. Jana J. Hanson
    Nov 29, 2006 @ 10:02:12

    Oh man. That’s kind of disappointing. I’ve seen the ads for this book in RT and was thisclose to purchasing this book. I suppose I can cross it off my To Be Purchased list.

    Thanks, Jane!!!

  6. Carrie
    Nov 29, 2006 @ 11:51:36

    Can someone please define a Mary Sue for me? Pretty please??

  7. Janine
    Nov 29, 2006 @ 13:04:45

    Here you go, Carrie.

  8. Carrie
    Nov 29, 2006 @ 13:27:01

    Thanks Janine. I tested my heroine with this and found her borderline. Eek! Ah well — improvements to keep in mind for the next try.

  9. Angie
    Nov 29, 2006 @ 15:15:44

    I kind of find it intersting, Jana, that you’re crossing the book off your list based on one review.

    I don’t know Jacki Frank, I hadn’t heard of her before this past week, but I think it’s odd that Jane’s review has so much sway over your decision. I like Jane quite a bit. I often agree with her opinions on books. But I just as often disagree with them and wouldn’t let just her opinion make a decision for me. Or any one reviewers opinion make it for me. Especially not if it’s a book I previously thought looked good.

    And actually, I’m proof of my own statement, lolol, because I bought this book last night, even after reading Jane’s review. She has quite disliked books I adore, so it would be a crying shame not to read something just because she gave it a C. No offense, Jane–I know you have the power ;)

  10. Jane
    Nov 29, 2006 @ 15:18:46

    I definitely view my opinion as just that, my opinion. I suspect that everyone makes up their own mind and one review can’t do it for them. Maybe the person is on the fence. Maybe they just don’t want to read about a particular theme. Maybe they only have a certain number of books to read in a month and this one would squeeze out another one. It’s hard to say.

    I know that one review, if it speaks to the issues I am pondering about a book in my mind, can make a difference and other times the reviews have no effect.

  11. Karen Scott
    Nov 29, 2006 @ 17:15:30

    I’ll be crossing her off my list for no other reason than she writes paranormal. I’m looking forward to the day they go the way of Regencies.

  12. Renee Nelson
    Nov 29, 2006 @ 18:45:19

    I just picked up the book yesterday at lunch. I couldn’t put it down. I really liked all the characters. I don’t like a lot of paranormals, so I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy Jacob – but it looked interesting. I’m glad I gave it a chance – I loved the book.

    And although they didn’t give in until later in the book – it was still a hot read and the sex scenes were sizzling.

    Sorry Jane, no consensus from me on this book. I give it an “A”.

  13. Keishon
    Nov 29, 2006 @ 19:14:46

    I saw this book and find it iffy or a maybe and I am sick to death of paranormals. I can’t find anything to read right now.

  14. Karen Scott
    Nov 30, 2006 @ 02:05:54

    Keishon, I’ve been re-reading books for the past couple of days, I just can’t find any good books right now either, or should I say any good romance books.

  15. Rebajeana
    Dec 12, 2006 @ 13:26:16

    I just started this read and love what I have read so far. I love paranormal romances and this one seems to fit the bill. As far as which England he takes her to, it stated that they live among us but try to live secluded lives because technology does not agree with them.

  16. Bobbi Jo
    Dec 28, 2006 @ 17:56:02

    I too have to disagree with Jane. I loved the book. I have 5 children, work a full time job and run a cattle company with my husband. I don’t get much time to read. When I do, I like something that is a quick and easy read, easy to get into and easy to follow. I’m always interrupted when I’m reading, so it’s nice to be able to fall back into it so easily. The book caught my attention on the shelf at the store when I was looking for another book for my son. I started reading it that evening and read it every evening until I had it finished, which only took a few days. The author was just descriptive enough for me to have a visualization running through my mind the entire time I was reading, without going into a lot of details, that really didn’t matter anyway. I’m very anxious for the next book in the series to come out.

    I like reading about the paranormal. The last book I read was called Shadow Game and this book, much like that one… I found heightened my own senses…I felt a certain energy after reading and couldn’t wait until I could pick it up again. I was a little disappointed in the ending, but that was possibly because I just wasn’t ready for it to end.

    If anyone has suggestions of other books along these lines, I’d love to hear them.

  17. Jane
    Dec 28, 2006 @ 18:00:03

    Have you tried the Alexis Morgan series? Dark Protector or Dark Defender? I would also think you would like Jaci Burton’s Surviving Demon Island.

  18. prue
    Jan 25, 2007 @ 21:12:05

    Wow, are you guys missing the point. If you having nothing nice to say and all that. This book was great. Bringing the world to life so fully that I could not put the book down. I like that the ‘virgin librarian’ refused to be treated like a house wife and was in the middle of the action in every respect. It is a lovely thing to find a romance novel where the female characters aren’t just pampered and protected. I am hanging out for the next in the series. I’d ask those of you who hate paranormal romance to not read it and not comment on the novels in the genre, you ruin the enjoyment of reading a good book for those of us with a taste for adventure. I thank the author for this novel and hope that there are many more where it came from. Thank you

  19. Sybil
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 01:55:15

    [quote comment="21594"]Wow, are you guys missing the point. If you having nothing nice to say and all that. [/quote]
    Wow, I think every person that types or even starts to type that stupid phrase about nothing to say if you can’t be nice should have have their computer crash upon hitting send or enter.

    [quote comment="21594"]I’d ask those of you who hate paranormal romance to not read it and not comment on the novels in the genre, you ruin the enjoyment of reading a good book for those of us with a taste for adventure. I thank the author for this novel and hope that there are many more where it came from. Thank you[/quote]
    I would ask people that can’t read opinions other than their own to NOT visit reviews sites, blogs, message boards, or… oh hell stay off the internet.

    Go talk to the mirror, you might enjoy that. Those of us with a taste for conversation and freedom of thought…. oh well really we don’t care so whatever. Play on.

  20. Teddy Pig
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 08:27:42

    Sybil wins!

  21. Kylie
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 17:38:19

    hi guys,

    i think what this prue is trying to point out here is that if you truly don’t like paranormal books or paranormal romance books then there is no way known you would like this book. my point now is why someone would evern want to comment on a genre that they do not even like. everyone has the right to an opinion and should be able to fully express to their others. but saying that i also think that if its not in the genre you like to read then your opinion isn’t one i would necessarily take much consideration of as opposed to someone that is truly an avid fan of the genre. no one has the right to be nasty just because they disagree with someone else’s opinion.

    freedom of thought is one thing guys, but attacking on someone for simply having an opinion is not right at all. prue is obviously a fan of this book and while others may not be lets not ruin the story of Jakob for her. no one likes their favourite novels trashed (me in particular with the Anita Blake series) but life is life and we are all different. how boring would the world be if we all liked the same things.

    i have not read this book and i am not sure that i ever will but i am an avid paranormal reader (think Laurell K Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward etc) and most people i know hate this genre. this doesn’t mean that i am going to base my reading choices on what my friends read, you can still listen to the opinions of others and be mature enough to say “well hey, not what i think. i love the genre/book and no one can take that away from me”.

    some people that read what i have just written may say that i am being nasty. to those people i say get a life. this is MY OPINION and not yours. if you dont like what i have to say then thats fine, don’t read it. to all the others that understand what i am saying, thanks for being mature and strong enough to listen, be open minded and not judge another persons opinion.

    thanks,
    Kylie

  22. Jane
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 18:07:05

    Here’s the deal, Kylie and Prue. I think its totally fine for you to come and post your opinions on my blog. But this is my blog and therefore I have the right to say what I think of a particular book just as you both and anyone else who disagrees with me has the right to post that dissenting opinion n the comments.

    But what you don’t have accurately is that I do read a lot of paranormal romances. I would generally say that one out of every two novels I read are fantasy/ urban fantasy / paranormal romances. I loved Nalini Singh’s novel so much that I ran a contest here where we gave away $100 of our own money to support readers reading her book. I’ve given A grades to several paranormals. This one, however, was weak for me for the reasons stated in the review.

    The statement “if you don’t have anything nice” is simply not contributing to the conversation of whether the book worked for the reader. It is true that this blog does give negative reviews because that is our opinion as as Kylie points out, readers can form their own opinions.

    We do not intend for anyone’s reading experience to be ruined and would suggest that if you don’t like the format of the reviews or the content, then this site probably isn’t for you.

  23. Sybil
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 19:13:11

    [quote comment="21736"]i think what this prue is trying to point out here is that if you truly don’t like paranormal books or paranormal romance books then there is no way known you would like this book. my point now is why someone would evern want to comment on a genre that they do not even like. [/quote]
    Why would someone want to make a statement regarding a blog they don’t read? I am guessing you and prue haven’t been to Dear Author before and just dropped by for this review. It would be hard pressed to see how anyone could say DA doesn’t read or like paranormals. Good night guys, click on the front page – Demon Angel is the book of the month.

    [quote comment="21736"]
    freedom of thought is one thing guys, but attacking on someone for simply having an opinion is not right at all. prue is obviously a fan of this book and while others may not be lets not ruin the story of Jakob for her. no one likes their favourite novels trashed (me in particular with the Anita Blake series) but life is life and we are all different. how boring would the world be if we all liked the same things.[/quote]
    There are so many things wrong with this I am not even going to go into it… but again I say… if someone’s reader experience is going to be ruined by an opinion they need to stay away from reader blogs, message boards, review sites and the like.

    [quote comment="21736"]i have not read this book and i am not sure that i ever will but i am an avid paranormal reader (think Laurell K Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward etc) [/quote]
    JR Ward… god I know I know this name from some where…

    [quote comment="21736"]you can still listen to the opinions of others and be mature enough to say “well hey, not what i think. i love the genre/book and no one can take that away from me”.[/quote]
    YES! Thank you but I don’t think prue feels the same way.

    [quote comment="21736"]some people that read what i have just written may say that i am being nasty. to those people i say get a life. this is MY OPINION and not yours. if you dont like what i have to say then thats fine, don’t read it. to all the others that understand what i am saying, thanks for being mature and strong enough to listen, be open minded and not judge another persons opinion.[/quote]
    so the rule here is… don’t be a mean girl unless you are kyle… then whatever you want to say if fine cuz it your opinion and everyone else shut up because all people are not strong enough to listen and may run from the room screaming.

    to that I say get a blog

  24. Suisan
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 21:44:51

    [quote comment="21748"]
    so the rule here is… don’t be a mean girl unless you are kyle… then whatever you want to say if fine cuz it your opinion and everyone else shut up because all people are not strong enough to listen and may run from the room screaming.[/quote]

    Kisses, Sybil. Mwah!
    Deep in my evil heart, I love you so. Because you know the difference between support and mean girls, and the difference between stataing an opinion and shutting off public commentary.

  25. Janine
    Jan 26, 2007 @ 22:06:16

    To add to what Jane and Sybil said, it is so much more effective to explain what you yourselves liked about the book than to say “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” That way, you can still get your opinion across but are much more likely to get a positive response, start a lively discussion, and persuade other readers to give the book a chance.

  26. Tara Marie
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 01:39:00

    To quote Teddy Pig… “Sybil wins!” Again–LOL.

  27. prue
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 01:59:04

    Ok, Ok. Didn’t mean to create such a crazy argument between people I don’t know. I am sorry I did. You all have a right to your opinion, I am not trying to stop you, but outright hating the genre makes me wonder why some of the replies bothered even writing in this book blog. I thought this blog was quiet for long enough that I could have a rant. My feelings were hurt by some of the comments in previous responses and like you have done to me I lashed out.

    I understand this is a blog spot, no need to point out the obvious. I have been reading you site for a while and I enjoy your comments, I just thought that this one was overly harsh. I am sorry if I offended you. I hope the main parts of my review that were comments on the book can be read.

    ‘I like that the ‘virgin librarian’ refused to be treated like a house wife and was in the middle of the action in every respect. It is a lovely thing to find a romance novel where the female characters aren’t just pampered and protected. I am hanging out for the next in the series.’

    and

    ‘I thank the author for this novel and hope that there are many more where it came from. Thank you.’

    Thanks for listening. Hopefully we can all move on.

  28. Sybil
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 07:41:32

    prue, prue, prue ::shakes head:: You are so not helping validate your view on the book.

    If you have honestly been

    ‘reading you site for a while now’

    and really wonder

    ‘but outright hating the genre makes me wonder why some of the replies bothered even writing in this book blog’

    your opinion doesn’t really matter because you obviously have no reading comprehension.

  29. Tara Marie
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 08:51:41

    Sybil, after following this for the last day, I don’t think Prue is talking about the Ja(y)nes, but rather some of the commenters, but then I think she’s over reacting to the “I’m sick of paranormals.” It really has nothing to do with the Jane’s initial reaction to this book.

    I’ve still not read the review or the book, it’s on my TBR pile, maybe I’ll give it a try this weekend.

  30. Sybil
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 09:49:58

    [quote comment="21926"]Sybil, after following this for the last day, I don’t think Prue is talking about the Ja(y)nes, but rather some of the commenters, but then I think she’s over reacting to the “I’m sick of paranormals.” It really has nothing to do with the Jane’s initial reaction to this book.

    I’ve still not read the review or the book, it’s on my TBR pile, maybe I’ll give it a try this weekend.[/quote]

    hmmm I guess I can see that… well a little

    Don’t know. I have it too but won’t get to it this weekend. I have to space out my paranormals lately. And I am fighting a reread of ward’s four books. If I am gonna pick something not on my list it would be Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline.

    A thriller – completely different from what I read lately and not at all something I would have picked up. But it showed up and sounds awesome. I think it has KarenS name written all over it for her current reading mood.

    If you do get to Jacob, I hope you blog about it!

  31. Karen Scott
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 18:13:10

    Oh look, another fight on a waaay old thread.

    My feelings were hurt by some of the comments in previous responses

    Wonders never fucking cease. This much mental torture over somebody saying something negative about a book never fails to prompt me to hit my head against the desk.

    Hey Syb, you mentioned my name, what book are you talking about?

  32. Sybil
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 18:51:49

    [quote comment="22012"]This much mental torture over somebody saying something negative about a book never fails to prompt me to hit my head against the desk.[/quote]

    Because you want to hurt too?
    bbbbbbbbwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh

    Hey Syb, you mentioned my name, what book are you talking about?[/quote]
    Hey I posted just for you! Dirty Blonde

  33. prue
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 18:59:59

    I have to ask Sybil, how many J R Ward books have been released? Because where we are there is only 3 and we’d love to know if there more.

    Also just a silly question, what does this mean?

    (think Laurell K Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward etc)

    JR Ward- god I know I know this name from some where-

    Thanks heaps
    Prue

  34. Janine
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 22:02:41

    prue, I’m not Sybil but there are three Ward books out, Dark Lover, Lover Eternal and Lover Awakened. Jane gave Lover Awakened an A- grade, so clearly she does like paraormals. I’m not sure what gave you and Kylie the idea that she doesn’t. Actually all three of us, Jane, Jayne and myself, enjoy paranormals.

  35. prue
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 22:55:08

    I was actually responding to the responses. Didn’t mean to aim at the Jaynes. Thanks for that.

  36. Suisan
    Jan 27, 2007 @ 23:54:56

    [quote comment="22019"]I have to ask Sybil, how many J R Ward books have been released? Because where we are there is only 3 and we’d love to know if there more.[/quote]

    Sybil should answer, but I think I remember her getting an ARC?

    [quote]Also just a silly question, what does this mean?

    (think Laurell K Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward etc)

    JR Ward- god I know I know this name from some where-

    Thanks heaps
    Prue[/quote]

    regarding the JR ward comment, I think Sybil just was making a funny. ;)

    However, in the context of commentors telling other commentors to follow rules prescribed by yet another commentor, it was odd to see JR Ward’s come up. Because we all went a few rounds with an anonymous blogger on this same subject of “My rules are better than your rules” awhile back, and it was all torturously linked back to JR Ward and what she should or should not have done to make everyone play nice in the sandbox.

    I think we all (See Karen Scott’s comment above where she considers injuring herself) get tetchy to think that once again we are going to rehash the opinion/review/nicety thing.

    But…why can’t a commentor be sick of paranormals and still comment? I tend to hate contemporaries, but I’ve written about a few that I’ve liked or disliked. No one’s supposed to comment to say, “Hey. I never thought about aspect.”? Even if they don’t like the genre per se? Ugh. I need to stop writing, because I can feel my head becoming ever more attracted to my desk as I try to once again state the nuances.

  37. Sybil
    Jan 28, 2007 @ 10:15:47

    [quote comment="22019"]I have to ask Sybil, how many J R Ward books have been released? Because where we are there is only 3 and we’d love to know if there more.[/quote]
    There are three books released. I have four. You too can have four in March when LR is released.

    [quote comment="22019"]Also just a silly question, what does this mean?
    (think Laurell K Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward etc)

    JR Ward- god I know I know this name from some where-

    Thanks heaps
    Prue[/quote]
    Oh I was being a smartass, which is often lost on people. But the Janes have reviewed her and if I recall correctly liked her. I gave Dark Lover a DIK grade in my review at AAR and have had the author guest on my blog 2 times. She will be back in March. Hell even KarenS likes her.

    So to say I read this here blog all the time and say why in the world you guys comment about a genre you hate… strikes me as amusing.

    I am an odd duck like that…

  38. Shiloh Walker
    Jan 28, 2007 @ 18:00:51

    Oh I was being a smartass, which is often lost on people.

    NOT Svbil….

    ;)

  39. Nikki
    Feb 05, 2007 @ 20:22:12

    Hi!

    Well, you all have certainly had an interesting conversation going on here! I just wanted to say that I have read the book and it was great. I will definately be reading more when others of her series come out. I understand what Jane meant when she said that the beginning was slow but it definately picks up as the story moves along.

    And Sybil, I’m extremely jealous to hear that you already have Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward. LOL I’m counting down the days until it comes out in March, and of course I can’t wait for Vishous’s book in October.

  40. Bobbi Jo
    Sep 04, 2007 @ 09:50:57

    Wow… and the blogs are almost as much fun to read as the book was… I loved Jacob and have since read Gideon…and am anxiously waiting for the next book Elijia to come out. I enjoyed Gideon everybit as much as Jacob.

    I have also been reading another set of books inbetween these..by Keri Arthur and Sherilyn Kenyon.. both very good… One set is the Riley Jenson Guardian Novels… very good as well.

  41. J. Kaye
    Dec 31, 2007 @ 16:39:34

    I loved this book. Stayed up until the wee hours of the night to finish it! :)

  42. Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary » REVIEW: Elijah by Jacquelyn Frank
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  43. LEA
    Feb 29, 2008 @ 11:29:04

    Come on you guys… play nice. I’m reading “Jacob” and I think it’s fantastic. I think Ms. Frank is a very gifted and intelligent writer. I may even like this series better than the “Black Dagger Brotherhood”… It's too early to decide. Have a great weekend!!

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  45. Lisa
    Sep 18, 2009 @ 12:45:51

    ugh, i was given the whole series (which is the only reason i am THINKING i will finish it) and i am so far half way through book 2, gideon. the story is great but the author’s discriptions go on and on and on and on and on and on! enough! the kiss was great, we get it! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH it’s killing the series for me. i gave leway in the first book because well, it’s the first book. and i gave more leway in the second to catch up new readers but enough. i also don’t care for the way it jumps from paragraph to paragraph of each person’s interpitation. the story is good, but i can’t see me finishing it. in 400 pages it could have been told in 300. just tooooooo much detail. and loooong chapters, cause she can’t shut up! lol

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