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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Books: Wickedly Wonderful by Deborah Blake 
27th-Oct-2015 11:41 am
Read Irresponsibly
Wickedly Wonderful, by Deborah Blake. Urban fantasy. Paperback, 342 pages. Book two in the Baba Yaga series.

Despite the categorization by Amazon of "Paranormal Romance," I'm willing to leave this book over in the Urban Fantasy stack because - dum dum da - it had an actual plot built around character motivation. In this book, there is something poisoning the Merfolk's habitat in the Pacific Ocean, and Beka Yancy is asked to please check it out and hopefully put a stop to it.

This is Blake's second book in the series, and I'm pleased enough that she is continuing to build complete universes and solid plots on which she can base reasonably fleshed-out characters. Sure, Blake has the "wow, he's cute" "he just couldn't stop thinking about her" romantic commentary, but that's almost white noise for me. The romance was nice, but it certainly was secondary to the "we need to solve X" push.

Don't believe the Amazon book blurb. Marcus Dermott, a battle-scarred former U.S. Marine, and his ailing fisherman father.... blah blah blah. Yeah yeah, every other romance character is coming back from Afghanistan with PTSD these days. Thankfully, Marcus's Marine background is basically used as an explanation for why he left and for why he can kick ass during the final fight scene rather than a crutch to heave along a limping romance. He gets to have a full backstory, not just sprout fully fledged out of the sand. He's a reasonable guy who is a smidge stronger and more set in his ways than perhaps a regular surfer dude.

I do have a big complaint about our heroine, though. Only by trusting her powers can Beka save the underwater races, pick the right man, and choose the path she’ll follow for the rest of her life blah blah blah. Yeah, Beka has an insecurity complex that was fed by the previous Baba Yaga. Apparently she never thought to get counseling or perhaps talk to anyone else about her concerns or doubts. But hey, one big fight and she's ready to take on the world! *sigh* The denouement was painfully predictable.

in this second book, despite having a new set of main characters, Blake continues to use the sidekick dragon-dog as the humor relief. I'm sure she got him from the same bin that Kevin Hearne got his for the Iron Druid series. I'm not complaining, mind you, but the one-track-mind, you humans are so weird and self-delusional commentary can get distracting.

I picked this book up because I liked the first one. I recommend it as light reading to the urban fantasy crowd.
Comments 
28th-Oct-2015 05:10 pm (UTC)
Ah, thanks. I'm moving this series up my wish list.
28th-Oct-2015 05:30 pm (UTC)
Don't move it too far up. Cast in Honor and Jeweled Fire are coming out next month.
29th-Oct-2015 11:23 am (UTC)
Jeweled Fire? This is not a series I've tracked. Is it worth it?
29th-Oct-2015 11:39 am (UTC)
Troubled Waters was a fascinating book because the main character spent a great deal of the story not caring what society thinks of her or her actions. The world building was reasonably good, and the characters were fun to get to know. I also enjoyed the underplayed romance. So yes, if you have room in your reading list, take a look at that one and see what you think.

I have to warn you that Troubled Waters starts out with the main character's father's death from long illness. Thankfully, I read It before Dad died. But Mom couldn't even start it because I gave it to her after Grandpa (her father) had died.
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