2008, Fantasy Romance
LoveSpell, $6.99, 320 pages, Amazon ASIN 0505527693 Part of a series
With a title like this, I knew this book wasn’t going to be the next Dr. Zhivago. I looked forward to a light, funny story that would leave me in a good mood, but after reading this book, I couldn’t help but feel that it was actually too over-the-top and calculated in its pandemonium. The only way I can describe this book is as…a Stephanie Plum novel on crack, minus the effortless hilarity.
Lizzie Brown is an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. On the eve of her 30th birthday, she gets an unexpected visit from her long-lost biological grandmother. What she doesn’t expect is that her grandma Gertie is a leather-clad, saggy-tattooed biker chick who also happens to be the leader of a coven. Lizzie finds out that she is the prophesied demon slayer, and, at age 30, has fully come into her powers. She barricades herself in her bathroom to absorb this news when a particularly ugly demon comes crawling out of her toilet. She and her grandma escape on a hot pink Harley, only to be attacked by a water nymph and subsequently saved by a hot Greek stranger named Dimitri, who also happens to be a griffin. Eventually she figures out that another demon named Vald wants to take her power, and he captures Gertie and drags her into the second ring of hell as blackmail. It’s up to ordinary ol’ Lizzie to save the day.
Throughout the book, I felt that the author kept getting sidetracked from the plot. Chapters go by with nary a plot development, and it was as if I were being treated to “A Day in the Life of a Trailer Park Coven.” All the geriatric biker chicks wear rhinestone studded jeans and cleavage-baring tube tops, and display the stereotypical Southern sass. Dozens of characters are introduced, then disappear in a span of pages. Let me also add that the subtitle of this book should be Roadkill: A Practical Guide, because that’s how important a role roadkill has in this story. Really.
Lizzie herself remains relatively two-dimensional, and never undergoes the change from Wimp to Heroine. The other witches in the coven give her so much crap for being unknowledgeable about magic - though they know that it’s not her fault - that I wish she would have gotten mad at them once in a while. Even so, it seems that one day she sucks at everything and couldn’t possibly defeat a mouse, much less The Big Bad, and the next she’s a magical genius. Her love interest, Dimitri, is even flatter in character, and spouts about devotion and his feelings for her before they’ve barely exchanged two sentences. Their affection towards each other is entirely unconvincing, which initially made me wonder if I dozed off somewhere and missed an important scene in which they developed a deep connection. Nope.
The writing style tries hard to be sharp and contemporary, but comes off as annoying. It doesn’t help that the story is written in an awkward first person. Lizzie abstains from profanity - which I have no problem with - except she says things like “holy ship anchor!” and “jumping jehosefets!” instead. Please, I wanted to shout at her, it’s really okay to say “Dammit!” once in a while. There is also a talking dog in this book, which did not make me happy. Talking animals rarely, if ever, work for me. Not only does this dog fail in his efforts at comic relief, but Lizzie also fixates on him for the greater part of the book constantly demanding “Where’s Pirate? I must feed Pirate! I must save Pirate! Where’s my doooog!”
For all its faults, the book did manage to keep me occupied for an hour or two, and a scene near the beginning was truly funny. The author does an admirable job of keeping the frenzied pace throughout the book, which must have been a challenge. The end is a little rushed, but clinches everything very satisfactorily. All I can say to you is: Perhaps The Accidental Demon Slayer is so bad…that it’s good? Well, for someone, maybe. Just not me.
-- Emma Leigh
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