Saturday, November 7, 2009

Nightwalker by Jocelynn Drake

"Here, honey, you left your skank book in the kitchen." The book landed on my desk: crumpled, dismissed, even insulted if that's possible for a book. Skank? Drake's hero Mira isn't a skank! She's the baddest mofo who ever, ever hit the town. In fact, let's together run down the list of just how unspeakably incredible she is.

To start with, she's got a great body: the author goes to great pains to describe her slim frame, red hair, above-average height, revealing black leather clothing and rampant sexuality.

Then there's the vampire part--but not just any vampire but a six hundred year old vampire, which makes her one of the oldest left around.

But, hmmm... there's still something missing. Too many vampires: she's not special enough yet. So she also gets an extra power: she's a natural pyromancer, because fire is good. Are we getting the idea yet?

How about making her fantastically fast and strong: we can't get out of chapter three before she's thrown down with the toughest werewolf anywhere and tried very hard not to break him like a toothpick. Oh, and she's regenerative: at some point she gets her throat torn out, but that's okay because if she can just get a little sleep she'll be fine in the morning.

Oh, and she's fabulously wealthy of course, forgot to mention that: private jet, personal bodyguards (with sex thrown in, naturally), recognition as a high roller in all the clubs.

And did I mention that she has to wear red-tinted sunglasses (vampire, only around at night, remember) because her eyes glow red sometimes? Only the really tough characters get glowing red eyes.

Is anyone else following along in the Mary Sue checklist?

Honestly I'm sure there's a plot in here somewhere, and I suppose the review should probably touch on it--but why bother? It's clear where the author's priorities are, and it's not the storyline. Drake's self-lust for her own character drowns out any possible story with an indecipherably bad signal-to-noise ratio.

I think I'll let the skank-book just sit there for a while; I'm not sure my stomach is up to handling the sequel.

B&N link


K.C. Shaw said...

*snickers* I take it this is not your favoritest book evar?

Anonymous said...

I can't stand it when writers do that--making the character super good at everything, and everything in the book is done to the extreme.

The author is just using the writing for daydreaming, not for serious writing. Like we do.

Lertulo said...

Kate- Why, of course it is! Just as soon as I stop rolling my eyes I plan to re-read it from cover to cover. Backwards. I don't think the plot will be any different in reverse.

Barbara- It gets under my fingernails too (clearly), but I can understand that it's often a hard line to walk. Who doesn't want their MC to be special? Neither the author nor the reader could get behind a drab hero. NPR played a scathing review of some supposed Literary Work recently for exactly that reason: the book was dripping with prose, sure, but the MC was essentially a passive bystander as he watched history moving along.

What's annoying is that I had planned to review a different book here, but it was so awful that I eventually just stopped reading it in favor of this one. (It was Something Or Other: The Drowning City, and with every paragraph I was comparing it mentally to The Lies of Locke Lamora. Eventually I couldn't take one more failure.)

So, that's actually two thumbs-down reviews in a row--one of which you never even had to read. Here's hoping the next one will be better.

K.C. Shaw said...

I think it's the difference between wanting a special hero and getting a speshul snowflake hero.

Tia said...

That was hilarious, if brutal. Not crazy about those heroines who naturally kick butt. I like the ones who are pushed into kicking butt, and are rather surprised if they manage to succeed.

Thanks so much for linking Debuts & Reviews.

K.C. Shaw said...

I've enjoyed your review site since you started the original Fantasy Debuts. I've picked up a lot of great books thanks to you. :)