LoveSpell, $5.99, ISBN 0-505-52496-1
Fantasy Romance, 2002
Janeen O’Kerry has an interesting story, but she doesn’t seem to know how to go about telling it. Plot holes as big as the Black Hole of Doom litter this story, and worse, these people talk rather than act most of the time, and they talk about things they already know.
Our medieval Irish heroine with the obligatory psychic gifts, Muriel, sees a vision of our handsome hero Brendan adrift and in trouble as a powerful storm rages off the coast of Ireland. She makes her herself invisible and goes call the dolphins to save our hero. I presume she either have powerful sonar beams that project from her mind through her nostrils to blast into the waters to summon the dolphins, or she is just one strange freak. The dolphins save Brendan, and then she calls the guards to come help her carry the man to her castle. Why she can’t call the men to help her in the beginning, I have no idea.
Then Brendan reveals himself to be a prince, and even as a noisy druid tries to rouse everybody’s suspicion, after two pages everybody believes Brendan. Brendan declares that he loves her – I really have no idea, please don’t ask – she loves him too but she cannot marry. There’s a curse on all women on her line – they must only marry worthy spouses or doom and bad things will happen. How will Brendan prove his worthiness? And of course, Brendan’s enemies will catch up with him, but first, let’s talk.
Yes, talk. Long, long talks where one will say things punctuated with “As you know” or “I understand that you…” and the other person will nod. I, the reader, doesn’t know, so I don’t mind reading on, but I wonder why these people are wasting saliva regurgitating things they claim to have already known or are universal knowledge. Also, people here doesn’t just talk, they deliver epic two-paragraph speeches in the midst of conversation. There seem to be no spontaneity here, everyone seems to be reading aloud from an overblown script peppered with too many periods. And don’t get me started about how all the good guys can complete each other’s sentences or how they all seem to share the same thought bubble and arrive at conclusions at the same time.
The result of such disconcertingly staged synchronized speech is a book that seems more like a propaganda tract rather than a good story. There are interesting paranormal elements and Irish folklore here, but Spirit of the Mist is a story reenacted by happy Sesame Street muppets with a touch of bombastics and too many Shakespearean aspirations. A few chapters, and it’s unintentional comedy. An entire book, and it gets really annoying.