Friday, October 29, 2010

Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill

Plot: spunky young woman Bug is doing okay in life; she has an apartment that she barely manages to pay for, a job as a maniac driver for a pizzeria, and she is still in possession of her soul. This all quickly changes when Bug meets Beal, a demonic (literally) car repossessing agent, who demands her vintage Cadillac passed down from her grandfather. Oh, and he wants her soul, too. Joining teams with Pesto, the cute boy at the car wash, Bug sets out to beat the Devil and get her life back.

Comments: This book in one word: sassy. I loved Bug! She has the biggest attitude I have ever seen, and she has absolutely no tolerance for anyone else's attitudes. Constantly talking smack and threatening to beat people's [butts*], she don't take lip from no one. I had never before heard the slur "coyote", but it's used a lot in this book. Bug won't allow anyone to walk away intact after calling her that, and I love that she stands up for herself like that. She doesn't need rescuing, and I appreciate the strong female character. The only thing I didn't like was that though Bug was tough and self-sufficient, she would scream a lot and act helpless and wimpy. It was like there were two different Bugs, and it got annoying.

The impersonation of the Devil was interesting, and I think Mr. Gill pulled it off very well. Slick and cultured, Lucifer felt to me like the real deal. The warring between the demons was funny, a sibling-like rivalry. The whole plot was funny, really. There were a lot of weird things thrown in, things that must have taken some thought to come up with. For example, why a pizza delivery girl? And how did he come up with names like Pesto and Vinnie (Bug's boss) - and Bug, for that matter. I'm not entirely sure where this is taking place (not paying attention to setting details always comes back and bites me), so maybe some of the things are part of the culture there. In any case, it's a fun read and I definitely recommend it!

Rating: I rate this book a seven and a half out of ten.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dance of the Assassins by Herve Jubert

Book one in the Devil's Dances trilogy

Plot: When clairvoyant witch Roberta Morgenstern is paired up with newbie Clement Martineau - whose parents are very influential - to solve a puzzling murder case in a life-sized, live-in museum of 1800's London, she doesn't think it'll go too well. And she turns out to be right. Jack the Ripper has come back to life with all the authenticity of the old city, and he turns out to be embarrassingly elusive for modern day's best detectives and intelligent technology.

Comments: Most of the way through this book I kept wondering if I had missed the first book in the series and had somehow gotten ahold of the second. I'm pretty sure I checked out the right one, but it was a little confusing. It seemed like there were a lot of casual references to things I should have already known about, because nothing got very much explanation. I have a feeling that there are other books about Roberta, but if so, I found no mention of them in my ritual examination of the book (check cover for book number, inside jackets for mentions of previous books, etc.).

The story itself was pretty good, if slightly lacking in transitions. I must confess I didn't particularly like Roberta, but I really liked Clement - and since Roberta is the main character, aren't you supposed to like her..? Anyway, Clement was adorably awkward and young, while Roberta was rather cranky and self-pampering. They worked well together, but I think it helped that they never seemed to have to do much work. It was like they strolled through all the danger, and even when they got in trouble, nothing really bad ever happened. It just felt rather tame.

Rating: I rate this book a six out of ten. It was an okay story.