Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Naked--in death.

Do you read Unshelved? I bet you have at least looked at it once or twice. It is,after all, the library webcomic. Well, sometimes they feature book reviews and sometimes those book reviews tell you a blurb about the plot, why they picked the book up, why they finished it, and who they'd give it to. I like that style and thought I'd give it a try myownself. (Though of course my ownself is more longwinded and not quite as nice as those Unshelved guys.) Anyway, Here it goes.

Naked in Death (In Death, #1) Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A right-wing senator's prostitute grand-daughter has been killed, a lot of heavy hitters are sticking their noses into the case, and more people are dying. The pressure is really on Eve Dallas, but she doesn't have much in the way of backup or she's falling heart first into bed with one of the prime suspects.

Why I picked up this book:

The Romance genre study through ARRT put J.D. Robb on the list of authors for Romantic Suspense subgenre. I get a lot of requests for this series at mpow so I thought I'd check into it and see what I thought.

Why I finished listening: This Romance passes the Bechdel test! Eve has a friend named Mavis, and they talk about things other than DUDES!
The romance in this book was almost completely incidental to me. I kind of wanted both Roarke and Eve to stop with the contrived tension already, we get it. Also, I felt like the whole "I don't know why I like you" thing from both of them was ridiculous. You articulate repeatedly what it is you like about the other character and then expect me to feel tension about your relationship? No.

Despite that, I liked both their characters and wanted them to get together. And, the fast-moving plot rife with suspense kept my interest. The futuristic setting oddly out-dated already (laser weapons and flying cars, yes, okay, The Future,; electronic memos, seperate electronic communicators, databooks, etc., and all data stored on "discs" not so much The Future.)

Two notes about this book which may or may not be spoilers:
1) The book is really political. I would not say feminist though the the undertones are there, but the way rape and prostitution are handled undermine any feminist leanings. Still, it is pretty left-leaning, mostly in a good way.
2)This one is pretty spoilery.****
I actually laughed out loud when the villian did the classic blunder of telling his supposed last victim (Eve) about his crimes. He actually says that he wants to gloat to her! I just pictured Dr. Evil telling Austin Powers all about his plans as Austin works on escaping. I cannot believe anyone outside of a superhero comic seriously used this plot device.
The reader, Susan Ericksen, was MOST EXCELLENT. Sometimes that's quite hard to find. Also, the production values were high, and many times that is not the case. I really enjoyed following Eve through Ericksen's narration, and was rooting for her to get her killer and her man.

Who I'd give it to: I can see why this series appeals to so many people (though in my conservative neck-of-the-library woods I'm a little surprised that such an anti-conservative book is so popular.) There's sex, mystery, suspense, action, violence, flying cars, some humor, and more sex. So, basically give it to anyone who likes any of those things in their books.

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