Monday, February 26, 2007

Werewolves and Demons and Faeries, oh my!

I wasn't too sure about She's No Faerie Princess by Christine Warren. From the front cover tagline ("She's got combat boots, an attitude and a lover with a beastly side") and the description on the back, I figured I'd be in for a sassy heroine who mouths off to everyone in sight and a super-dominant hero who crowds and stalks his "soulmate." (the paranormal romance shorthand for a werewolf). And a bunch of supernatural creatures trying way too hard to be funny and hip. Wasn't sure I was feeling it. But, it was sitting on the kitchen table and I was heading into the city for a brunch with friends. With two hours of uninterrupted reading time in store, I grabbed it. I figured if it didn't grab me on the way there, I could pop into Borders and get something for the ride home.

Fiona is a Princess of the Seelie Faerie court, who needs a vacation. Even though it's forbidden for the Fae to cross into the mortal world, she figures she'll sneak through the gate into New York City, go shopping, hit a few shows at the Knitting Factory. But when she pops out in Inwood Park, she finds a particularly nasty demon waiting for her. Fiona is saved by Tobias Walker, the beta werewolf of the local pack. It is instant lust. But Walker doesn't have time to be helping out an immortal faerie princess. The "Others" of New York City are working with delegates, supernatural and human, to negotiate their "coming out" to the human world. Things are pretty tense already, and when it appears that the gate back to Faerie is cursed, Fiona and Walker realize that things are about to get a lot worse.

[Click on Post Title for full post]

This was a nice surprise and pleasant discovery. I liked it quite a bit. It was set in a pretty standard alternate universe, with werefolk, witches and vampires wandering the streets unbeknownst to humans. They're also preparing to make their presence known to the world, also pretty standard going. But Warren writes with a light, sure touch and I enjoyed her characterizations. There was a lot of humor, but it flowed well and was subtle rather than cheesy. It was light on the slang and pop culture references. At first I thought Fiona was going to be a pain in the ass, but once she settled down she was an intelligent heroine who knew when to push and when to stand back and let others play to their strengths. Walker was similarly likeable. The mate thing was handled well. At first Walker thinks it's just lust, but once he gets to know Fiona, then he realizes they are destined mates. They had hot chemistry, and the development of their relationship worked. The plot moved along at a nice clip. The supporting cast of characters were good as well (Warren has other books in this series at Ellora's Cave I'll be getting).

Some quibbles: the third act lost some steam as the focus shifted from the romance to action, the introduction of an info-dumping demon at the end also slowed things, and was obvious sequel baiting, and they never addressed how the Fiona's immortality might impact their HEA. For these reasons and the fact that the world building was less than original, this book stays a B. But it is a solid B. This was a fast paced fun read, with a sexy, solid love story. I'll be looking into her previous work, and the next installment, The Demon You Know.

Her website is very out of date, but I am assuming the next hero will be the info-dumper from this book. Are demons the new black? Between Demon Angel, Hell's Belles, Succubus Blues and now this one, I'm sensing a trend. Well, it's new for now, so I'll be hopping aboard this train for awhile, anyway.


Kellie said...

Ha! I used the Oh My comment in my review for moon called- except it was "Werewolves, Vampires, and Shapeshifters, OH MY!"

Yours fits better ...

Devon said...

Zeek--The sad part is, I'm pretty sure that if I sifted though old posts, I'd see that I used that one before. I wasn't feeeling too creative the other day.

Anonymous said...

great review! thanks! :)