Reviewed: November 25, 2009
Genre: Light / Comedic Urban Fantasy
Series: Aisling Grey, Guardian, Book 1
Rating: 3 Stars
Length: 334 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister is one of those books that are hard for me to review. On a technical side, the story is well written. It's a fast, hilarious read with an interesting world that's slickly - and quickly - explored. And the secondary and ancillary characters were a hoot. The plot is interesting and kept me reading into the wee hours. So yeah, strictly in a technical way, the book is good. My problem is the main character, Aisling Grey.
This is strictly a personal opinion and a particular reading preference, but I have a significant problem with heroines who are as brainless as Aisling. She wasn't just naive and clueless (though there's sure a wealth of that), but the actions she took - without the first clue about the scope of repercussions - were insultingly dense. And the "oops, I'm sorry, I didn't know" excuse just doesn't cut it for me personally. I've read lots of books where the heroine starts out as clueless as Aisling and have gone on to enjoy the development of the character as a series progresses, so I'm not without hope here, but for this particular book, I just don't like her.
And really, it wasn't just the stupidity, or the naivety, it was also the fact that she just wasn't very nice a person. It really bothered me that she kept referring to Jim as "it" instead of "he" - and yeah, I know, he's a demon, but heck, he was harmless. And for someone who didn't even believe demons or the otherworld existed just days previous, she sure objectified Jim quick enough. Not to mention one more threat to neuter him and I would've taken the snippers to my own eyes. If you're gonna threaten a demon doggy with castration through the whole book, at least vary the theme a little.
Drake is another one I had a problem with. Well, the relationship between him and Aisling, anyway. It was an interesting and unique plot point - they're mated first, without knowing or trusting or even liking each other - but I prefer (again, this is a personal preference) to have a relationship develop during the course of the book, and he just wasn't in it enough for that to be the case...and when he was, he was sort of this tall, dark, mysterious tool who didn't give her any credit, either. I ended up being more interested in and intrigued by the blue dragon wyvern who just had a couple of scenes of face time. Now, maybe that's because Drake's behavior relates to his culture and mating rituals, but I didn't get any of that explained in this book (not much more than him making a comment about dragons liking their mates fighting), so it decreased my enjoyment of this book. If in the next book, that's resolved or starts to be resolved, then the series as a whole may be more likable for me.
And I will continue the series, at least for the next book. There were parts of this book that made me literally laugh out loud and like I said, I've read the start of other series in which I loathed the heroine, and yet enjoyed the series as the heroine grows into her role. I don't loathe Aisling...I just didn't like her or her choices. I hope that's how this series goes, because it's almost impossible to make me literally laugh out loud when I'm reading a book and I got some very good chuckles throughout this one.
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