Wednesday 21 April 2010

Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

Jane True lives in the small town of Rockabill, Maine. She'd always felt herself something of an outsider, but she's just found out that may be more true than she realized - she is only half-human. When she discovers a dead body, she is pulled into the world of supernaturals and begins to understand how different she really is. But this new world is dangerous, and with a killer targeting half-humans it will be up to Jane and her new friends to discover who the killer is before it's too late.

I should love this book - all the ingredients are there. It ticks so many of the boxes of my favourite things, but it doesn't all work for me. The part that works, works really well, but the part that doesn't is rather like an annoying toothache that you're constantly aware of.

First the good stuff.

The cover. I think it's original and fun, something which gives the series a unique look. It's nice to see something a little different.

I love the heroine. She's snarky, self-depracting and klutzy.
"It was also rather have access to one's own personal sex shop during long periods of abstinence...such as the last eight years of my life."
The book has an almost manic sense of humour, usually only witnessed as events spiral completely out of control. You know when everything is falling apart around you but you keep going forwards hoping that if you do, at some point either the world will catch up with you or you'll catch up with the world. But in the meantime you're just going to keep smiling.

I really liked Jane's inner voice, the way she processed her thoughts about people. And the third person is written so tightly you are right there with her. She's a very honest and real character.

I also like how we start off in this 'reasonably' normal world and as it becomes apparent that nothing is quite what it appears, we see the world in a completely new way through Jane's eyes. But it's not the world that has changed, just Jane's perspective of it. For example I loved the fact that one of the supernaturals - a shifter - has decided to live his twilight years as a human being's pampered pet. jane only knew him as an animal not a person. It's only once she enters the supernatural world that she starts to see things are not always as simple as they appear.

While I liked the relationship Jane developed with Ryu the vampire.
And then Ryu was kissing me.
And then I was agreeing to everything he said.
Little rat bastard.
I didn't love it. I think part of the reason for this is that Ryu feels like a temporary hero, a placeholder until the 'real' hero turns up. Jane mentions how often Ryu laughs, comparing it to 'barking like a seal', 'yipping', and I can't shake the feeling that in a book or so, she's going to start finding it annoying. (And turn to Anyan, the more reserved hero waiting in the wings). I just felt slightly like there was a big signpost saying - This is what's going to happen.

I think I'd already mentioned in a previous blog post that Jane is somewhat obsessed with clothes, which is not something that works for me. That's not specific to this book, it's not something I find interesting in general, there's also a bit of designer name dropping and quite a few pop culture references which I think is not always a good thing it very much ends up tying a book to a specific time and place. I got most but not all of them which means - unless you're prepared to research the reference - you don't get the joke.

I don't want to put anyone off. I definitely think this is a book which is worth checking out. Especially if you like slightly fluffier UF. The heroine is very appealing and the dialogue is sparkling and funny.
"Why didn't you tell me you could talk?"
..."I'm sorry," he said, his tail going down between his legs. "We didn't want to give you too many shocks in one night."
"Oh yes, it's a better plan to spread the shocks out so I can embarrass myself as an added bonus," I spat back.
Maybe it's the fact that recently I seem to prefer my UF with a high level of angst and this is slightly too jolly for me. I really want to like it, I want to love it but for whatever reason I'm just not meshing with the story. However, if you prefer slightly lighter UF this is one that I'd recommend.

1 comment:

Sullivan McPig said...

Thanks for the review. I've been wondering if this one was something for me and by the sound of it I can put it somewhere way at the end of my tbr list