12/29/2004 Entry: "Danielle's Recent Reads--Hale, Davidson, Caine"
I enjoyed this very much. The Grimm fairy tale that it's based on was one of my favourites as a child--I was a little morbid, what can I say--and I was happy to see it done so imaginatively. I would compare this book to McKinley's fairy tale retellings in THE DOOR IN THE HEDGE; if you like those, you'll appreciate this. The prose was lovely, if a bit self-consciously "literary" (some of the figurative language tries too hard for an effect).
The romance was subtly done and convincing. There were more philosophical musings on the nature of identity and justice than I'd have expected in a YA novel, but I liked the fact that Ani didn't simply step back into her old life without being changed, and without acknowledging the cost.--Danielle
UNDEAD & UNWED - MaryJanice Davidson
I just finished this yesterday--it's one of the few books I've found entertaining enough recently to be worth writing a review. In contrast to Edith, I liked it better than Rachel Caine's Weather Warden books. Betsy was an annoying twit, but a funnier one than Joanne. Her distinctive, whiny voice made me laugh out loud (something I rarely do while reading).
If I read more "chick lit," I suppose I might have found it derivative; since I don't, the concept was still fresh enough to amuse me. While I'm not a shoe fetishist either, Betsy's footwear lust was done well enough that I bought it. She critiques everyone's fashion choices so much that it's obvious she thinks about these things a lot.
Another thing I liked about Betsy's world was that it wasn't entirely heteronormative. One of her best friends is gay, and there are some nods to vampires', um, polymorphous sexual appetites.
It wasn't a romance to me; I didn't particularly like her love interest, or care whether they ended up together. But it was a funny, snappy fantasy read with lots of black humour.--Danielle
The end of the first book has a high HSQ (Holy Sh-- Quotient); if you don't like loose ends I wouldn't start it without the second close at hand.
The first book was better, I think; I really liked Caine's detailed descriptions of working weather magic. I don't know enough about meteorology to know if it's accurate, but at least she made it concrete. There's rather too much "woo woo" hand-waving in the second book.
And I agree with Edith that if Joanne is supposed to be so tough, she should show it. She lets people get away with too much--Betsy, despite her airheadedness, was meaner.--Danielle