REVIEW: Temping Is Hell by Cathy Yardley
Dear Ms. Yardley:
While I liked the narrator’s voice and found some aspects of this story funny, the lack of movement in the plot and the overall mishmash of world building left me puzzled and deflated at the end.
Kate O’Hara is presented as this conflicting mass of extraordinary capabilities and super screw up. Despite having mad organizational skills, the ability to perceive order out of great disorder, and a terrific work ethic, Kate has floated from temporary job to temporary job. Her last stint was with her Uncle’s publishing firm which went under.
Kate gets a temp job at Fiendish Corporation where most of the temps and underlings either do nothing or tend to their Facebook farm. Fiendish Corp is run by Thomas Kestrel, a multi billionaire. Kestrel, like Kate, is presented as being one thing (super successful) and shown as the diametric opposite (he can accomplish nothing, his employees are huge screw offs, he has terrible judgment in people).
When Kate begins her temp job, she is targeted by Maggie who is in charge of the temps. What Maggie’s position really is, I’m not sure. I’m not even sure why there are temps at Fiendship Corp. There’s a lot I’m not sure about in this book. Kate is sent to the deepest bowels of the Fiendship Corp. where Thomas has a number of demons working to search for a symbol on a contract. The symbol denotes which souls have agreed to something from Thomas’ nemesis Cyril Roman.
In exchange for something for Thomas’ now dead fiancee, Thomas signed a soul contract with Cyril Roman. Thomas has one year in which to kill all Cyril’s signatories or Thomas’ soul belongs to Cyril. Normal humans can’t review the documents because staring at demon contracts will result of either demon possession or insanity. Yet Kate is somehow immune to this and through not so clever innovation (meaning, why did Thomas or no one else think of it) Kate speeds up the process.
Thomas is attracted to Kate, the first woman he’s really been attracted to since the death of his fiancee. I can see why. I liked Kate. She had no filter with her mouth but her frankness was refreshing and amusing. She’s smart and capable. Why she is considered a screw up by everyone in her horrible family, I’m not sure. Thomas is the hero of the story, I guess, but his bland character left me wishing that Kate would run off with the soft hearted demon she befriends in the basement.
There are other characters such as Kate’s best friend Prue who discovers some magic in her heritage that puts her at odds with Kate and Thomas’ hired general contractor of ridding oneself of demon possession/I’m not sure what else to label him. The latter believes that Thomas’ attraction is distracting him the goal of defeating Cyril.
When the book ends, there is no clear direction for the future. Thomas and Kate are in some kind of weird relationship. Kate’s powers are still yet unrevealed. We know little about the worldbuilding other than there are demons and that power is gained through a pyramid scheme – the more souls you sign up, the more powerful you are. It’s definitely book 1 of a series but will there be twelve books as we watch Thomas and Kate hunt down each signatory of Cyril’s? I’m not sure I’m up for many more of these no matter how much I enjoy Kate. C