Friday, October 12, 2012
Review: 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.