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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

*** Mona Lisa Awakening by Sunny. Contemporary fantasy.

I really wanted to like this. I love the genre and was excited to find a new author writing it.

The premise was clever: a young nurse with a bit of a healing touch discovers that she's half human and half Monère--a race of beings from the moon. Not only that, but she's a Queen, and the first mixed blood Queen ever.

When I was about a third of the way through the book, I described it like this: "It's like the offspring of Queen Betsy and Jaenelle was raised by Merry Gentry." Betsy because she's an unexpected queen with powers unusual for her kind. Jaenelle because the male Monère have a need to serve a Queen, and because there's a tendency for the Queens to become evil and mistreat the males. And Merry Gentry because sex = power.

I don't mind parallels in books. If you get a narrow genre like this, there are bound to be parallels. Even though I was very familiar with the Black Jewels books and the Merry Gentry books, the two series this is most like, I could still have enjoyed it without thinking it was a copycat. I still don't think it's a copycat.

What I do mind is characters who can do no wrong, and situations that resolve themselves way too easily.

Mona Lisa has no flaws, and thus, no character. I liked her initially, liked the young woman being thrust into a completely foreign and dangerous situation, while at the same time getting that feeling of "finally! I'm not alone!" But she always does the right thing. Everyone loves her, particularly the males, who are inclined to worship her. She's madly in love with the first Monère male she met, and she's staunchly monogamous, but she's willing to take one for the team when sex is required to heal one of "her" men. Even the council holds her in awe. Except for the evil Queens, who fear and despise her because she's so good.

What's even worse, though, for me, is the way the plot skipped from one "dangerous" situation to the next, only the situations weren't apparently all that dangerous, because Mona Lisa never had any trouble getting out of them, or saving her people. She either charmed her way out of danger, or called on some brand-new power that popped up just in time to save her.

I'd have liked the story much more--in fact, I'd probably have been raving about it--if it had had only about a third of the plot situations, and they'd been explored more thoroughly. If Mona Lisa had needed some help figuring a way out of a dilemma. If she'd had to use her wits instead of a handy-dandy paranormal-power generator. If there was some reason to believe she'd fallen completely in love with Gryphon, instead of just having the hots for him.

All these complaints sound very familiar to me, which leads me to my conclusion: if you like the latest Laurell K. Hamilton books, you'll love this one.


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I don't know why but I love tragic endings. The sadder the better. Give me some flaws!
Great book review AGAIN! Thanks.

I'm early, sorry here is my TT

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