Sep 15 2011
Dear Ms. Pierce,
I read your first novel, 666 Park Avenue, earlier this year. In it, readers were introduced to architect Jane Boyle who gets swept up in a whirlwind romance with the man of her dreams, only to discover that not only does she come from a long line of witches, she just married into another family of witches that covets her power. The Dark Glamour picks up where the previous novel left off, with Jane on the run from the Doran family.
Forced to go into hiding, Jane doesn’t have many options. Lynne Doran is a powerful woman, both magically and socially. There’s nowhere in the world that Jane can escape from Lynne’s connections even with her estranged husband’s advanced planning. So instead she tries to outwit her mother-in-law and remain in New York City. Whether this is actually a smart choice considering the circumstances, I leave up to the reader. With this series, you have to accept Jane’s haphazard way of thinking.
That said, she does learn a couple things by staying in NYC. First, Jane discovers that a pair of siblings from another witch bloodline are in “business” negotiations with the Doran family. More importantly, however, she learns that Lynne’s daughter, formerly presumed dead, is still alive. As a result, Jane goes on a globetrotting trip to find Lynne’s daughter and deliver her back to her mother. After all, the only reason Lynne wanted Jane to marry her son was so that she could give birth to a daughter to continue the Doran bloodline. If Jane can find Lynne’s daughter, then she can have her life back. Maybe not the most altruistic motivation, but I never said Jane was a nice person.
There are times when I really question Jane’s judgement. It’s not just the part where she chose to stay in NYC, with her face plastered all over TV and knowing that Lynne could stumble across her at any moment. It’s the part where she sleeps with the brother of the sibling pair negotiating with the Doran family. I realize part of it is that magic attracts magic — sort of a way to keep the bloodlines strong — but she wasn’t ripping the clothes off Harris in the previous book despite the existence of that magical attraction. And I’d think after the whirlwind romance with estranged husband Malcolm, she would have known what was going on. That she didn’t realize the reason behind her attraction to this stranger requires a heavy amount of disbelief, especially when combined with the mystery woman stalking Jane all over NYC. Of course, I freely admit I have a hard time understanding characters with raging libidos despite being on the run for their lives. In my opinion, there are more important things on which to focus your time.
I thought the clues regarding the big revelation at the end were a bit too obvious. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I prefer discovering those revelations with the characters. Figuring things out ahead of the characters tends to ruin things for me because I then start questioning the characters’ competence and lack of insight. On the other hand, I know other readers like that sort of thing (figuring something out and then watching how the characters reach the same discovery) so your mileage may vary. Or maybe it’s not as obvious as I think, and I just made a lucky guess.
That said, I did like the big twist of that revelation. It builds upon the story told in 666 Park Avenue and complicates the history of the different witch bloodlines. It wasn’t without its flaws, however. I thought the events bridging Jane’s finding Lynne’s daughter to the climax were rushed. I liked the character of Lynne’s daughter so I wished we could have seen more of her reactions towards discovering she’s the long-lost daughter of a wealthy family and how she copes with that change of fortune.
Like its predecessor, The Dark Glamour takes longer than it should to get moving (and once again, the cover copy reveals far too much information) but when it does reach the point of no return, it’s a steamroller. The main highlight of this book for me was that it portrayed how you could do something considered a good deed (even if it was for selfish reasons) but things can still go wrong. The climax of this book came about because Jane found Lynne’s daughter but didn’t realize the true reason why her mother-in-law was so desperate to find a female heir.
Overall, this novel is an easy read, good for lazy afternoons. It’s not particularly deep but sometimes that’s the kind of book I’m looking for. While I could have done without all the lusting over men who are a danger to her and would have liked to have seen her interact with more female friends (because she does have them!) outside of plot necessity, the ending twist made the book for me. But I can only hope that this series is finite and doesn’t intend to drag this plotline out. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger. C
Previous book in this series: 666 Park Avenue (review)