You Slay Me (2004)
You Slay Me (2004)
Just so you know that I'm not completely opposed to all sex in all books, I managed to pick up You Slay Me, which is a "supernatural romance." Of course I picked it up not for the boinking, but because it looked funny.
Aisling (pronounced ash-ling, which I never did get right in my head) is traveling to France for her first job as a courier for her uncle, transporting valuable antiques. Things go badly pretty much right from the start when she arrives at the buyer's apartment, only to find the buyer has been killed in what looks like a ritual sacrifice to summon a demon, at which point the valuable antique she is carrying is stolen from her.
Plus, everyone keeps insisting that she's a Guardian, even though she has no idea what a Guardian is or does.
What I liked about You Slay Me was that it was both silly and funny--a nice change of pace from the rather dark supernatural fantasy I've been reading. Absolutely nothing goes right for Aisling--but it all goes wrong in the most ridiculous ways. I have to say that I particularly liked Jim. His excitement about discovering the advantages of being flexible was both amusing and one can see a guy reacting in just that manner.
And of course there was boinking. Although sex scenes are never my favorite parts of books, the sex was integral to the story instead of being distracting from the story (or feeling like it was tacked on just to have a sex scene). So I didn't mind it so much. (When reading that line, picture Fred Savage's character at the end of The Princess Bride)
One thing that I thought was done particularly well was the world-building in this story. Asiling knows nothing about the supernatural, and so we learn about the supernatural world just as Aisling does. And more interestingly, Aisling doesn't learn everything, so one presumes that as the series continues, so will Aisling's education about the supernatural world and her powers contiue.
If you're looking for an amusing romp featuring supernatural characters, then you might want to check out You Slay Me. Will I read the rest of the series? Maybe. It depends upon when I'm next in the mood for a supernatural fantasy that isn't dark and brooding. (Okay, I exaggerate. It's not all brooding.)
This was a very mixed bag. Some of the stories were good, some I could barely stand to finish, and in fact, put this anthology down several times, for something (anything?) I liked a little more.
Part of the problem is that several of the stories were tied strongly into a series, so I either had trouble following what was going on or there was zero character development, since it’s all happening in the series.
“Cat Got Your Tongue” by Katie Macalister was another story that really needed a background on the characters. A background I didn’t have. I also doubted the actions and motivations of the main characters several times. “Oh, you’re in an historical building and you’re just going to destroy an historical artifact and think no one will notice or care? Really?”
So, I generally found this a disappointment. If you’re following the series, then it might be okay, but very few of the stories seemed to stand well on their own.
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin
Mind you, I wasn’t impressed enough with the list of authors to pay full price (this still isn’t out in paperback yet?!) but there were plenty of used copies floating around, which is how I got my fix.
I generally don’t like Katie MacAlister’s stories, and The Perils of Effrijim was no exception. Just not my thing.
So, a pretty good collection. As always there were stories I didn’t like, but most of them were simple a conflict of taste rather than bad stories. But really, it’s been two and a half years. How is this not out in paperback already?
Published by Ace
Kate MacAlister's website