March 19, 2004
Book Reviews: Two Books

by Wen Spencer
hardcover from Baen, 2003

Master of Ecstasy
by Nina Banks
paperback from Love Spell (Dorchester Publishing Co.), 2004

As always, possible spoilers behind the cut...

The only thing these two books have in common? Both were enjoyable, fun, quick reads. But there the resemblance ends.

Tinker is Wen Spencer's fourth novel, her first hardcover, and her first about Alexander Graham Bell, the petite 18 year old girl who is otherwise known as Tinker. [surprisingly, I never found a Tinker Bell reference!!]

I had a little difficulty getting into it at first. But that "at first" faded quickly. Wen puts you into the middle of the action, the middle of the world, but it *is* the beginning of the story. The hard part is trying to sort out how the world works.

You see, once upon a time this guy created a gate between the worlds. There was this veil effect, and suddenly all of Pittsburgh was sent to Elfhome,as long as the gate's active. On Shutdown Day, Pittsburgh returns to Earth.

And thus the story begins, on Shutdown Day, and with people chasing the Viceroy of the local elven government. Wen's elves are human and not human all at once. Tinker is sweet and innocent and naive and adorable, yet strong and fun and enjoyable.

This is a love story. A growing up story. A mystery. An adventure. It moves from one moment to the next and never quite stops until it's over.

It reminds me a bit of Laurel Hamilton, but better written. That same intensity of relationships, and that same innocence and confusion about the men around her.

If you want something light and fun and feeling good at the end of it, pick this up. I look forward to Wen's next book.

Master of Ecstasy, despite the title, is NOT one of the erotica novels I picked up at Boskone. It is a vampire novel, and a normal mass-market romance novel.

That said, this is one of the sexiest, funniest, smuttiest romance novels I've read in a long time and I just loved it. I giggled through the whole damned thing.

Take one demoness in the form of a white cat ("But white makes me look fat!") who can't keep her mouth shut and is *always* talking about sex and working on getting people together. Add in one demon who now does only good but really really wants to do bad. Then take a vampire, and a woman from the far future who works for Ecstasy and needs t ofind a way to make this oh so hot vampire happy... without using sex.

It has tension, and silliness, and some wonderful quotes and images. It was just lovely and a great break in the otherwise serious stuff. I need that once in a while.

If you like regular fantasy? Nah, this isn't your thing. If romance entertains and amuses you, and you'd like something that's just plain fun and silly and sexy, go for it. I had fun, anyway.

Posted by Deb Atwood at March 19, 2004 09:12 PM | TrackBack

I still have to try Wen Spencer...but probably Uriah Oregon before this. I don't generally buy hardcovers for myself...

Posted by: Paul on March 19, 2004 09:33 PM
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