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.
©2010 Jennifer Crusie (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer are great together -the characters are quirky and interesting, the action is exciting and the storyline is always the unexpected, but Crusie just can't pull off the paranormal storylines. This is just like Dogs and Goddesses and The Unfortuate Miss Fortunes. Stick to real people with extraordinary circumstances (Like Agnes and the Hitman and Bet me -they were fantastic!)
When I first began to listen, I didn't think I'd like the narrator's voices, but by the time I'd listened to a couple of chapters, I was beginning to like them, and by the end, I was very impressed. I also enjoyed the storyline, crazy as it was, and thought the characters were interesting and well-developed. In fact, I listened to it twice, because I thought I hadn't quite appreciated it enough the first time. Well worth listening to, if you like Jennifer Crusie and fantasy (I loved Dogs and Goddesses and Agnes and the Hitman, so that may give you a clue as to my tastes!)
I normally love Crusie and Mayer writing together. This time just didn't sit right with me. It's as if they put so much into the plot and not enough into the characters. I just couldn't like them. The male lead was a drunk having a huge pity party. Even after he sobered up he didn't become likable. I never did figure out the female lead's problem and why she slept around but came off as anti-social with everyone. The other characters were so one-dimensional that I just didn't care about them. Not even when some of them died.
The idea of the "untouchable" demons trapped in an amusement park and a group of employees also trapped working at the amusement park to make sure the demons stayed trapped was engrossing. That's the only thing that kept me listening when I disliked the characters so much.
I am usually a fan of Crusie and I loved, until Wild Ride, the combined writing of Mayer and Crusie. This book is similar in style to Gods and Goddesses, and I came away from the story with the same unsatisfied reaction. I believe that Crusie should NOT try to write the paranormal. It is a popular genre that authors like Harrison and Harris do spectacularly well with quirky characters and humor. Crusie makes demons and magical beings in general seem like funky wannabees, rather than the ruthless, cunning, but lovable characters we have all grown to enjoy in the paranormal genre. This is not a bad book, but it is not a great one either. Read Welcome to Temptation, if you haven't already, for a more gratifying read.
The inclusion of the fantasy elements help fill out the story and give Crusies characters something interesting to do other than go to dinner, fix the sink and struggle with their mundane jobs while the get to know each other. I've read many of her books and they are all good, but nothing much happens. In this one they have danger and mystery to contend with from beginning to end. Other reviewers have complained because this book is a little bit different. But for me it was by far the most entertaining boys meet girls romp that she has ever written. I loved every moment of it.
I was hesitant to read this book because of all the negative reviews, but I am hear to tell you, don't pass this one up! This story has many layers of interesting characters. The science fiction elements are written nicely and the romance elements are satisfying. This is definitely outside the box of the regular Jennifer Crusie books but don't let that keep you away. A great read. Angela Dawe as always, did a really good job narrating.
This book is 3.5 stars, not 4 but not really 3. I really liked the premise. It reminded me a lot of Carousel Tides by Sharon Lee which I liked better. I think the problem was that I was expecting more of "Bet Me" type silly and funny conversation and situation. This book takes more serious guise as an urban fantasy but unfortunately not quite in the level of Carousel Tides.
As far as the book goes it was an entertaining book with great ideas. It had everything from romance, fantasy and adventure like a food courte but not enough for a speciality restaurant. So 3.5 stars.
Folks, for audiobooks it's not just about the writer, it's also about the narrator...
Wild Ride was certainly one of the more eccentric fantasy novels I have read. The story is similar to others where we have a group of people brought together for a common calling or cause, but what makes this different is the setting - a slightly run-down amusement park. The protagonists were all characters you started cheering for, but the villans were more comical than diabolical. Overall, I did enjoy this very much and do recommend it, just don't expect to be overly "wowed". It's a good "lazy weekend" listen.
Angela Dawe, the narrator, was exceptional - she has a very wide range of voices and played out the scenes in an entertaining fashion.
I usually love Jennifer Cruisie books but I think she phoned this one in. The plot was awful and there were so many mistakes. Like, "hey get me another one of those daiquiris" so he goes in and pours her "margarita" and she sips happily on her full "daiquiri". I plodded through hoping it would get better but found myself looking to see how many hours and minutes of torture I had left. Next time I am going to listen to the sample. This book was just so STUPID!
A theme park is the holding place for demons and various workers in the park are the Guardians who have to keep them locked up to stop armageddon.
Good fun, but Crusie is better when she writes on her own.
Slow start but once I got into it...WOW. One of the best stories I have ever heard. I always thought MAB & Ethan would get together but the writers did a better job than I would. Really good story. Creepy voices which freaked me out but all in context.
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