Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
Reason for reading: I really enjoyed this pair's first two books.Description: "Mary Alice Brannigan doesn’t believe in the supernatural. Nor does she expect to find that Dreamland, the decaying amusement park she’s been hired to restore, is a prison for the five Untouchables, the most powerful demons in the history of the world. Plus, there’s a guy she’s falling hard for, and there’s something about him that’s not quite right.
But rocky romances and demented demons aren’t the only problems in Dreamland: Mab’s also coping with a crooked politician, a supernatural raven, a secret government agency, an inexperienced sorceress, an unsettling inheritance, and some mind-boggling revelations from her past. As her personal demons wreck her newfound relationship and real demons wreck the park, Mab faces down immortal evil and discovers what everybody who’s ever been to an amusement park knows: The end of the ride is always the wildest."
First line: "Mary Alice Brannigan sat on the roof of the Dreamland carousel at twenty minutes to midnight and considered her work in the light from her yellow miner's hat."
My thoughts: I didn't enjoy this book as much as this duo's previous novels, Don't Look Down and Agnes and the Hitman. If it had been the first book I'd read by them, ir might have put me off reading the others. It still had their trademarks of wit and romance mixed with macho stuff, but the supernatural element wasn't great.
I found it quite hard to figure out what was going on at first. And I just couldn't get behind the premise - that an amusement park (hello, crawling with children!) was built to house 5 demons in easily-breakable chalices inside iron statues. And the key to each "cage" is an integral piece of the statue that, when removed to lock the cage, makes the statue incomplete, so people tend to replace the pieces and unlock the cages. Mab at one point questions this and gets an explanation that we're supposed to buy, but I didn't.
If you can figure out what's going on and suspend your disbelief, there are some fun characters and some cute love stories. And a nice message about creating your own family. I found the details about classic amusement parks and Mab's work to restore Dreamland interesting. It was still an entertaining book, but it was pretty over-the-top, even for these two. I hope they go back to their quirky but non-supernatural ways next time.