Saturday, April 30, 2011

Too Little Plot: The Dark of Dreams

imageI'm a big fan of Marjorie M. Liu's Dirk & Steele romances, which involve fabulous magical people who band together in a do-gooding detective agency against the mean magical people of the Consortium. And find true love, of course. The best part of these books are their unrelenting accumulation of craziness.  The first book matched a female blacksmith with power over metal with the were-tiger enslaved to a puzzle-box by an immortal magician.  But the book was not complete without the betraying personal assistant, the male best-friends with their own special powers, and the vendetta with the tong-lords.

Her latest book, In the Dark of Dreams: A Dirk & Steele Novel, spends too much time pausing to wonder about itself. Marine biologist Jenny, somehow the only standard human in a family feuding with their relatives in the magical, evil Consortium, and Perrin, earth-bound exiled merman still suffering from losing the larval symbiote that linked him with the sleeping Kracken, met as children but never expected the draw between them as adults.  Unfortunately, without the somnorific connection with Perrin, the Kracken could awake and destroy the world.  Badness!

But the story kept pausing so Jenny and Perrin could angst over their dream-connection and the symbiote that wanted them both.  This slowed things down and gave me time to look back over the plot, which is always a disaster in stories of this sort.  Next time I'll have to hope that aliens or fairies appear to keep the pot boiling.  C+

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