November 2011, Paranormal Romance
St. Martin's, $7.99, 308 pages, Amazon ASIN 0312357222 Part of a series
Admittedly, I’m not the biggest paranormal fan out there, but Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale is a book I thought might work for me. I have little interest in vampires or werewolves, but I do like elves, faeries, fae, and the like. But though I did like the paranormal aspect of the book just fine, I liked almost nothing else.
As we are told somewhat exhaustively, Corinne D’Alessandro is no stranger to the paranormal world. Not too long ago, she was walking around in total ignorance of “the others” that inhabited the planet. But since one best friend has married a werewolf and the other has married a vampire, she’s had to make peace with the idea that some different folk are out there. She’s also a reporter. And when she’s given an assignment to follow up on possible elf sightings, she goes to her paranormally connected friends to warn them.
Lucifer (Luc) is visiting what he calls Ithir (and we call earth) for similar reasons. The Faerie Queen has given him an assignment to retrieve her errant nephew, who happens to be the “elf” making all the disturbances. Luc runs into Corinne at the Others’ headquarters and horns in on her investigation. They join forces, and he discovers that she is his heartmate. Heartmates can see through any deceptive “glamour” spells cast by a fae. She sees his supposedly invisible sword, and it’s love and lust at first sight.
Personally, I thought Luc accepted the whole heartmate situation with a lot of grace, considering the fact that Corinne is mouthy, full of herself, and generally annoying. I like a spunky heroine as much as the next person, but Corinne definitely crossed the line into irritating. But love is blind, so Luc and Corinne spend the rest of the book looking for the missing fae nephew while he tries to hide the fact that she’s his heartmate from her (he wants to break the news gently, since they are bonded forever and all).
And that really is the extent of the plot. Luc and Corinne keep looking for the missing guy, following various leads and meeting people who are both unhelpful and uninteresting. The plot was so dull that I found myself wondering philosophically whether any author could make such a boring premise work. Probably someone could, but you’d have to care about the characters first, and I really didn’t.
The dull plot is not helped by the author’s unhealthy attachment to similes. Used judiciously, figurative language can be a great tool that helps paint a vivid picture. But when the similes fly by at the rate of six per page, the reader can’t help wincing as each new one arrives, thinking “Oh God, here comes another one.”
This is presumably (since Corinne has two married friends) the third book in this series. However, you can definitely jump in midstream, if you choose to do so. Everything is exhaustively explained. I felt like I had missed nothing - a circumstance I believe to be fairly unusual in the world of paranormal romance, where so much time is spent on world building. Unfortunately, I still have no desire to catch up by reading the first two books - or any of the subsequent ones. Even if you have an avid interest in faerie/fae books, I really can’t recommend this one.
-- Blythe Barnhill
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