Monday, May 16, 2011

The ‘IT’ Factor – Debut Author Hannah Jayne

Under Wraps
Kensington
March 2011

Book Blurb:
As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her UDA boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny. . .

Until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging raging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn't what he seems, she's got only one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in. . .and about to make one wisecracking human its means to ultimate power. . .


Don’t let the cover fool you (a lot of readers have been complaining about this over on Amazon). This is not an urban fantasy novel with a kickass heroine. Well, sometimes Sophie imagines herself as Laura Croft or someone from CSI, but then reality smacks her up the side of the head and she’s back to being plain old Sophie Lawson, administrative assistant at UDA (sort of a social security/DMV for paranormal beings).

Thumbs Up:
Humor. Sophie is in no way qualified to run side kick with a cop on a supernatural murder investigation, but because she can transverse both worlds she’s the best candidate for the job which makes for some very funny situations. She also goes off on little fantasy jaunts in her head, either imagining herself on CSI or her and Hayes in steamy romance novel situations. Very snort-worthy. She has a troll for a stalker (imagine a 3 foot moldy lounge lizard complete with gold chains) and her roommate’s vamp nephew is a 16-year-old Dracula wannabe attitude. Lots of fun, snarky dialogue between the characters keep the humor running smoothly throughout the book without getting too silly.

Thumbs Down:
There were a lot of little nitpicky things that bothered me:

  • There’s a big deal made about no footprints on the carpeted stairs at the first crime scene she goes to and yet at least 3 people had already been upstairs to see the body before she and Hayes got there. There would be footprints and this clue (or red herring) never pans out and is never brought up again.

  • Her werewolf boss has her chain him up every night in his office so he won’t go all wolfy and hurt anyone and yet he has a swanky home somewhere else? If he works all day and spends the night chained up at the office, why does he need a house because he's never there?

  • Sophie is attacked and left unconscious but not taken to the hospital to be examined? Plus there’s no assault report filed, she’s just sent home?

  • Her apartment is broken into and she’s not asked to look around to see if anything is missing or to file a police report (again).

  • She’s obviously now a target but she’s left alone with a broken lock on the door? Oh, wait. Hayes gives her his gun to keep her safe. No cop would do this. It would get him fired. And no, the excuse that’s she’s now working for the police department didn’t fly with me. She’s helping them with the case. She’s not a cop, she’s an administrative assistant. While the scene of him teaching her to shoot is humorous, the reality behind it tainted the enjoyment for me.


Sexometer:
PG. Very PG. There’s a kiss and some semi-nude snuggling but that’s it. If you like your books hot and steamy, this one is not for you.

The ‘IT’ Factor:
The humorous chick lit voice mixed with an urban fantasy-lite feel is probably what sold this one. It’s not deep. It’s not rocket science. But it’s a fun, breezy read if that’s what you’re in the mood for.

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