Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: In a Fix (In a Fix, #1)

In a Fix (In a Fix, #1)Author: Linda Grimes
Series: In a Fix
Publication: September 4th 2012
Publisher: Tor Books
Paperback, 336 pages
Buy: The Book Depository

I don’t much care for books that are almost urban fantasy, but not quite. In a Fix has a bit of urban fantasy, a bit of paranormal romance and a bit of chick-lit, I suppose. It is light-hearted and sure, it’s occasionally funny, but it’s just not my cup of tea.

The paranormal element is so weak, it’s almost non-existent. A group of people, including our heroine Ciel, has the ability to steal the smallest piece of someone’s aura, which allows them to assume the form of this person. It’s like Polyjuice potion, minus the nasty liquid. As you can imagine, this is a very fertile ground for humorous situations, especially since Ciel, and her two best friends and love interests, Billy and Mark, all have this ability. However, lack of worldbuilding made me think that most of the elements in this book were just thrown in in the attempt to make it as funny as possible and little things like making sense became of secondary importance in the process. There are authors who are skilled in writing books like they’re episodes of Looney Tunes, but sadly, Linda Grimes is not one of them.

Not every heroine needs to be a kick-ass heroine, but every heroine needs to have at least something I deem worthy of respect. There isn’t much to admire about Ciel – she is indecisive, whiny at times, utterly childish and incapable of standing up for herself. She is constantly upset that her family sees her as a child, and yet she behaves like one in every situation. She has a schoolgirl infatuation with a family friend and CIA agent, Mark, and even keeps a diary full of her fantasies about him. Can you imagine Kate Daniels with a diary full of her name combined with Curran’s last name, surrounded by little hearts? I think not. This little detail was probably meant to be cute, but honestly, that’s not how I saw it at all.

What made it even worse was that I simply couldn’t understand the attraction. If Mark had any qualities worth mentioning, anything other than his good looks, I might have found the whole thing entertaining. But see, Mark was a condescending jerk who kept treating Ciel like a two-year-old. His every sentence was awfully patronizing.

The plot itself, if it can be called that at all, wasn’t much better. I won’t even try to explain it because it can’t be explained. I’ll only mention that it involves a spoiled little rich girl, CIA operations and actual Vikings and dare you to come up with a story that would combine these three things and actually make sense. You can’t. I win.

I always want more from urban fantasy, even when it’s insanely good, like the aforementioned Kate Daniels series. I want well-defined worlds, admirable characters, solid plots and decent writing at the very least. Grimes achieved none of those things.

Based on the reviews I’ve read, people seem to have liked this book much more than I did, so please take my words with a grain of salt. Give In a Fix a chance if it sounds at all interesting. I tend to be overly sensitive when it comes to urban fantasy.


  1. Aww, I'm sorry this one didn't work out for you, Maja! I don't think it worked well for Heidi either, so in between both your negative ratings, I doubt I'll be picking this one up. I need to finish the Kate Daniels series after all! ;) On the other hand, I do tend to enjoy a mixing of genres, but the characters in this one seem too flat to be worthy or reading. Mark sounds like so many other jerks in literature and I can't stand whiny protagonists, so thank you for the honest review, dear. It was so helpful and, of course, beautifully written!(: I hope you enjoy your next novel more, Maja! :D

  2. Ooh, it's too bad that this book isn't for you, Maja! The premise sounds very interesting, but I think I'm going to pass this for now. Don't think that I can stand whiny heroines! There are enough of them already in YA. ;) The CIA part sounds very awesome though! I love guys in CIA, they have badass-hero attitude. ;)

    Thank you for the helpful, honest review, hun! <3

  3. Wow it sounds like this author tried to mash up so many different things together that just didn't work. I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you as the premise sounded really interesting too! I think I would have been able to cope with Ciel either! A wonderful review hun, I hope your next book you'll find more enjoyable! :)

  4. Blah, I'm sorry you wasted your time on this, but then again I do thoroughly enjoy your ranty reviews. :) I'm not sure I could tolerate a "UF" (not really, it sounds like) heroine with a childish crush and a heart-filled journal. ESPECIALLY if said childish crush is on a patronizing idiot. Bring on Sirantha Jax, Kate Daniels, and of course...Chessiebomb. Leave the little girls behind. ;)

  5. No, I can't imagine Kate having a journal with hearts around Curran's name. I was even shocked to find out that she had bows on her underwear like Curran. LOL! You did point out a lot of things that would have bothered me too and I hate when others try to put everything in a pot and stir it around without any logic. I'm gonna pass on this one, especially if the love interest is a cad. Hope your next read it much better, Maja! I'm really curious to read your thoughts on Clockwork Angel. I personally loved it!

  6. Too bad you didn't like this one that much! I haven't read it, but it does sound like Ciel would be a protagonist I don't care for. And a lot of the time, the protagonist is the deciding factor when it comes to whether or not you really enjoyed a book. You can't get involved in someone's story if you don't like that person, usually.

  7. Sorry to hear this was a bit of a flop, but Ciel sounds like an extremely annoying character, especially for an adult book. When you said about the crush on the family friend and her writing her name with his last name, I was thinking, I could totally see a 16 year old doing that, but then I realised she wasn't 16. No, she wouldn't be my cup of tea at all. She sounds like an idiot. She's annoying me now and I didn't even read the book lol

  8. I haven't particularly been interested in reading this (I haven't heard much about it actually) and your review is all I need to know that it's not worth adding to the list any time soon. I'm sorry it didn't impress you more. I enjoy humorous books, but not if that's at the expense of everything else. I need a good plot too. Lovely and helpful review, Maja! :)

  9. Uh... Wasn't curious about this series before, I'm definitely not going to pick it up now. Not when there are so many other books I haven't read which are utterly great (like Ann Aguirre series!)

    Thanks for being the lab bunny and reading through this so I don't have to, Maja! ;) I'm sorry you didn't like it a bit more, though--it sucks when you invest time and emotion into a book and ends up being NOT up to the challenge.

  10. I hate it when the main character is unlikeable and Ciel seems to fit that bill, unfortunately. Maybe her crush treats her like a two-year old because she deserves it. I think I'll pass on this one. Thanks for the honest and informative review, Maja. :)

  11. I've heard of this book a couple of times now and it does sound intriguing although I might pass the chance to read this one. I've only read quite a few good urban fantasy books but sad to hear that the paranormal element is weak in In a Fix.

    Thank you for the awesome and honest review, Maja ♥

  12. Sad this didn't work out for you as it is one of my most anticipated Urban Fantasy books! lol I actually am not a huge urban fantasy lover. I prefer more paranormal so I think the light genre will actually work for me. I like humor so maybe I'll like it. Will give it a go sometime. Sad that the love interest was such a douche. They all seem to be these days!

  13. Ummm not reading this. I like my urban fantasy as kickass as Kate Damniels. Awesome warning--er I mean review!

  14. I totally understand why you didn't like Mark ,I didn't like him either but I enjoyed this novel! This book was great fun :)

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  15. I have to say you pretty much made my day by creating the mental image of Kate doodling Kate + Curran with hearts around it all over some pink fluffy diary she keeps locked in the top drawer of her desk. Ascanio would totally get his hands on it at some point after which Andrea would never let her live it down. (I think not indeed).

    I'm in complete agreement with you on this one. I really disliked Ciel, the plot was pretty meh, and I wasn't interested in any of the men. I didn't like either Mark or Billy but I also figured, flip a coin, this chick will make out with anyone.

  16. Shame this wasn't your cup of tea, Maja. It does sounds like the author was trying to achieve more than possible by combining such strange aspects together. Ciel sounds really annoying, I can't stand childish characters and her infatuation with Mark sounds a bit too... *shudders* I'm surprised you even stuck through with her :D

    Thanks for the fantastic, honest review, Maja! I probably won't be reading this one any time soon...

  17. You've read more UF than any person I know and while I was reading your review, I was waiting to see if there was some THING that would make this particular book worthwhile in the overall genre. A lot of books I read, including the one I finished this morning, I sit back and think, "Well, this wasn't great for me but at least it was/had x, y, and z. People who are looking for x,y, and z might really like it." I don't have much patience for women acting juvenile, though. It is a huge pet peeve. Maybe that is someone's x,y, and z? Or CIA agents? Vikings? ;-)

  18. Hey Maja. Just wanted to stop by and say congrats on that Forbes article! You're on the list! :)


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