Friday, December 29, 2006

Blow Me Down

Merry Belated Christmas to A, J, and J.

This one needs a little explanation, because if you thought I was actually reviewing this book, I might feel a wee bit embarrassed.

As you know, I like piraty things. As you may not know, I also like to collect the ridiculous names of romance novels. What could be funnier, for instance, than "Tall Dark and Dead" or "The Hazards of Hunting a Duke" or "Tempting the Highlander" or "Insufficient Mating Material" or "Taming the Barbarian" or "A Conneticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court" or "To Tame a Renegade" or "Cowboys are my weakness" or "How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire" or "Hard Day's Knight". You get the point. Silly titles, and the taglines are often better.

So, as a joke of a Christmas present, A and J bought me Blow me Down, a romance novel based, unbelievably, around a virtual reality role playing game about pirates called "Buckling Swashes". In return, I promised to review the book on the Blog. So her we go.

Blow me Down, by Katie MacAlister
Tagline: "This is no singles Cruise" (honestly)

As the story begins, Amy, a hard working financial analyst, is being berated by her daughter for "not having any fun". Amy's daughter talks into play a multi-player online role playing game, for which the daughter just happens to have a Virtual Reality console that is in its beta testing phase. But, as Amy is logging on, something goes wrong, and she finds herself trapped within the game! Never fear though, the game's creator, who happens to play a deadly and dashing pirate captain named Corbin in the game, is equally trapped. Whatever will they do? And how can they possibly spend their time in this pirate world? As it turns out, they just have to keep playing the game - going through a scenario - in order to defeat an evil ex business partner of Corbin's who has trapped them. But through it all there is plenty of time for passion and turmoil, and some kinkyness involving historical desert items. Excitingly, Corbin's real-life character has a degree in Information Science. Oooh! A library professional and a financial analyst - could it get more sexy...

The story was actually surprisingly gripping, and the pirate ship battle scenes and adventure are exciting on a purely adventure novelish level. I also kind of enjoyed the interactions amongst all of the characters. There was humour and some good one liners. However, the romance bit was a painfully long time in developing. It didn't begin until more than 100 pages in. Shocking.

And the prose. Oh dear. The prose. It deserves some quoting for the sheer brilliance of its horrifyingness. Take for example:

I have always maintained that tears serve little purpose. They are a waste of energy, they are purposeless, they seldom serve to make you feel better as you might think they would, and they can leave you with red eyes and blotchy skin. Many has been the time I've counseled my emotional daughter that it would be better to channel the energy expended upon emotional outbursts into more proactive, positive actions.
The thought came to me, as I sat sobbing my eyes out in Renata's house of ill repute, that there were times when I was extremely full of it.

There are some sections that are even more so, but I can't find them at the moment. You get the picture though.

So there you have it. I read the thing. I gagged on some of the dialogue. I kind of enjoyed it. And now I've reviewed it. I hope this lives up to expectations.

Update: Forgot to mention my favourite bit of ridiculousness about the thing - which is the quotes from Ibid at the beginning of each chapter. They are both thematic and timely - and unbelievably ridiculously prententiously funny for me.


False Prophet said...

Like I said, it's Tron meets that awful Swashbuckler movie from the 70s with Robert Shaw.

MadJenny said...

That does about seem to sum it up. I don't think I'll be rushing to see either of those films though.