Monday, May 30, 2011

NINJA AUNT REVIEW: WILD RIDE by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

Today, we have a special guest.  She's cooler than I'll ever be, reads more (and faster) than I do, and she agreed to do this post for me--only after I promised to draw her a cool ninja pic ;)  Without further ado, I give you...the first book review by Ninja Aunt!!! (And yes, she really IS my aunt and a real person...and possibly a ninja on her nights off (note: I actually have 2 kick-ass aunts and 1 very kiss-ass mom.  Love you ladies!)).

So, my first post and I'm not sure what to do: I've never reviewed a book before, beyond a 'liked it' or 'that sucked.'  But here goes nothing (the things Ninja Aunt does for Ninja Girl…)

If I see a Jennifer Crusie book, I'm pretty much gonna buy it.   I'm a Crusie fan and when I found my first Crusie/Mayer collaboration Agnes and the Hitman the fun continued.  So when I purchased their latest Wild Ride I was hoping for more of the same and then some.  And, although it's no Agnes it's still a roller-coaster of a ride.

Mary Alice Brannigan, a member of the crazy Brannigan family, has been hired to restore Dreamland Amusement Park to its former glory.  Known as 'Batty Brannigan' as a young girl and 'demon spawn' by her mom, Mab (to all who know her now) is a loner who loves the solitary of repairing the rides and bringing them back to life with color, preferring the company of park attractions to people.  But Mab is unaware the park is a prison for the five Untouchables, powerful demons including Kharos (a devil), his wife Vanth, and Fufluns, a former god turned demon who thrives on happiness.  And when Mab is knocked down and then helped up by FunFun--the iron-wooden clown statute from the front gate--things start to get strange.  Strange being relative of course.   Convinced by the park owner that she hallucinated the clown attack, Mab continues her work on the renovation.   But the bizarre is just beginning and something's just not quite right - including her new lover, Joe.   With Halloween around the corner, clown footprints to track and demons on the loose, Mab is called to become a member of the Guardia - the keepers of the park who ensure the demons do not escape - and the wild ride begins.  

The cast of characters includes Glenda (the sorceress), Delpha and Frankie (the seer and her faithful black crow), Gus (the keeper), Young Fred (the trickster) and Ethan (the hunter and Glenda's son).   Add to the mix Kharos (devil), Vanth (demon lover), Tura (demon-murderer of anyone who cheats), Slevan (demon demon), and Fufluns (demon of joy) and you can't go wrong.

I enjoyed this book: it was straight forward with some good laughs.  Being attacked by a metal clown that knows your name - funny (visualize)! And I liked the odd sense of family:  like all of us each character had their own quirk, but there was a sense of belonging that brought a smile to my face.  I giggled through it and read it quickly because I really wanted to know how it would end.  But I sort of knew how it would end so I think I really just wanted to know if I was right.  And I was. 

Dragon roller-coasters, fortune-telling machines, tunnels of love, demons, lovers, clowns and ice-cream: all in all, this was one ride I enjoyed.  (but for an even better Crusie-Mayer laugh check out Agnes and the Hitman--it's really good!)

Ninja Aunt


  1. Hey, Ninja Girl, just wanted to let you know that I just nominated you for the versatile blogger award:

    sinn @ sinnful books

  2. Thank you so much Sinn ^__^
    This is a very nice surprise