Friday, September 5, 2008

"Dead Over Heels" by MaryJanice Davidson

This is a collection of three novellas (OK, really almost short stories, but marketing, people, marketing!) by Davidson. They fill in some time/blanks between books in her various series. We are treated to scenes from Queen Betsy's honeymoon, one of Fred the Mermaid's people rescuing a complete idiot, and the wonderful world of dating werewolves.

I enjoyed getting to read about Betsy and Sinclair's honeymoon, although the "killer" they were looking for was obvious from the start. Not the who so much as the what. If you've ever read any Anne Rice, you'll spot it in the intro. Anyway, it's not a bad story, but I don't feel like I really missed anything by reading it after Undead and Unworthy, the latest book in the Betsy series.

Reading about the world of Cain and her deadline to find a mate was, well, OK. I mean, really, just because you make a "pact" with your friends when you're all, like, 7 year-olds, doesn't mean you have to keep your word! Good grief. I found that a bit unrealistic. And of course you know who she's going to end up with at the end - it's clear as day, to us if not to her. Not a bad story, but not great.

I think the one I liked best was "Survivors" because it rang truest. Con Conlinson is a "survivorman" type TV host, a man's man who will show you how to survive the wilderness and whatever it can throw at you. Except that he's been separated from his crew by a bad storm, and the crew has all the food, all the water, and everything else he might need - and they're nowhere to be found. He's in the middle of the ocean in a little bitty boat and certain to die, a rather ironic end which is not lost on him. Enter Reanesta, a mermaid, who will help him....survive. Yes, her name sounds silly, and Davidson wisely plays up on it by having Con say so. But Ree (as Con starts calling her) is strangely drawn to this puny biped and wants to help him, even if it means that she might lose him to the land later on. It's a cute story and both characters learn a little bit about themselves in the end.

Overall, a solid C offering from Davidson.

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