Sunday, June 10, 2007

MLTF - Initial Impressions

I purchased Magic Lost, Trouble Found at Border's yesterday. I found it quite easily on the fantasy and science fiction shelves, with the spine turned out. There were three copies. I chose the pristine copy in the middle. (Not that it will remain that way.)

Were I the author, I would have been rather pleased with the cover art. It features a tall young woman with reddish-blond hair, a smug expression on her face, holding a sword that has its tip in the ground. The girl is not too pretty or sexy. You can tell by the cover that it is meant to be a fun read.

And the first chapters provide just that. I found that it took a few pages for the story to suck me in, but it did. Raine--the half-elven main character--is loyal and protective over her friends. She is concerned for society as a whole when she learns that a group of baddies wants this amulet. I detect a strong Janet Evanovich influence. I would be very surprised if the author had not read the Stephanie Plum series. However, Raine is no Stephanie Plum--she can handle some tough situations.

One thing that I absolutely got a kick out of was the sexy goblins. Who knew goblins could be sexy? Shearin's goblins are tall, thin and elf-like, except for the gray skin and the fangs. They apparently have this dangerous appeal, and so there are lots of half-goblins running around. In fact, I think it might have been fun to make Raine half-goblin, rather than half-elf.

Terms like "home security", "pays the rent on time", and "cooling my heels" pop up regularly. I am ambivalent about it. On the one hand, it gives the book a breezy voice. On the other hand, they jar me out of what is supposed to be a medieval fantasy. I can understand that it might have been awkward for the author to try to find medieval substitutes. However, J.V. Jones (wow! she has a weblog now!) succeeded quite humorously with Bodger and Grift.

I am on page thirty-five, almost at the end of the second chapter, and a new character has just arrived on the scene. (Like I said, I read slow.) I'll try to post every night.

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