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Phil's Rambling Rants

April 12th, 2008

April 12th, 2008
11:06 pm

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Book review: Dancing with Werewolves
Today's book review is Dancing with Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas.

This is yet another entry into the modern vampire genre.  It appears to be the first in a series, but it isn't terribly blatant about trying to blackmail the reader into reading the next book.  There's certainly a number of things left unresolved, but it introduces the world and characters and it comes to a reasonable ending.

This book is something of a quandary.  There's so much I can point to that's wrong with it that it if I didn't approach the book really wanting to like it, there's no question I'd say it was dreadful.  The world-building is weak, and there's a huge amount, from the apparent lack of any limits other than the author's whim on supernatural powers down to the question of how the heroine can afford all the amazing outfits she wears (which are described in rather excruciating detail), that really strain the sense of disbelief.  And there's the frequent turn of phrase that comes off as sophomoric attempts at cleverness.  I almost gave up after a few chapters, but something kept me going, and managed to engage me well enough that I could almost believe that all, or at least a lot, of the apparently terrible writing was deliberate, because in spite of everything wrong, I enjoyed reading the book.  And for all the times I felt a feeling of deus ex machina, I never really felt cheated by it.  Finally, I need to mention the sex.  There's quite a lot of romance; I can't claim to be a connoisseur of romance writing, but I think that aspect of the writing is actually fairly good.  Douglas can actually make reading about the date interesting, whether any actual sex happens after or not.

If you're even a slightly picky reader -- if flaws in the world or the writing disrupt the experience -- you'll hate this book.  But if you can go with the flow, there's a lot of fun here.  6 out of 10.

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