Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Stupidest Angel & The Unhandsome Prince

As some of you know I've been searching for a good, funny romance. Following me on my quest for "funny," and "smart" in a Romance novel probably has been like watching a moth beat itself to death on a hot light bulb.

So I returned to my native reading habitat--fantasy and horror.

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore and The Unhandsome Prince by John Moore are both funny novels, although The Stupidest Angel has the most laugh-out-loud moments. Both, happily, have a touch of romance.

"Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe."

Nine-year old Josh Barker has a problem. It's just a couple days from Christmas and someone's gone and killed Santa. Santa, a.k.a., evil developer Dale Pearson has met his demise at the end of a shovel wielded by tree-stealing ex-wife Lena Marquez. After witnessing the Santa sleighing slaying, Josh asks for a Christmas miracle: Santa's resurrection so that the lad will get his Christmas swag. Enter the Archangel Raziel, an angelic being who isn't the brightest penny in heaven's jar. Swirl in a dope-smoking constable and a talking bat, and Christmas horror ensues.

The Unhandsome Prince revisits the frog prince fairy tale and folds it like origami. The novel begins with Caroline and her frog-turned prince, Hal hiking out of a swamp. Ah, but Caroline isn't the usual simpering, "so sweet all the forest creatures gather round and sing asinine songs" sort of girl. Caroline is one smart cookie. To locate her Prince, for example, she set up a complicated sampling grid and dug trenches and herded frogs into nets.

After all that work, the least a girl can expect is a stereotypical handsome Prince. Hal, while smart and funny, is a bit of a...dweeb. And although Caroline is hot, Hal isn't overwhelmed by his superficial savior. Emily, the daughter of the (deceased) sorceress who turned Hal into an amphibian, has her own problems. If Caroline doesn't get her handsome prince, her family might sue, taking Emily's inheritance and any hope of buying a good apprenticeship. And if Caroline isn't happily married to a hunk, the spell will revert and Hal will back to being green and longing for flies.

The three journey to the capital city of Mellinor, hoping to find Caroline her handsome prince. Similar in tone to The Princess Bride (book and movie), The Unhandsome Prince snags other fairy tales along the way, including Rapunzel and Rumplestilskin.

In a nutshell, I enjoyed both and will be getting' me so more of both authors.

Still Reading...
Hunter's Moon by C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp. It's okay, but once again, the R-word, Romance, seems to deprive it of a real plot. Maybe I'm just getting' old and impatient.

Made the mistake of checking out two more books--
Dead Beat by Jim Butcher: I'm a glutton for punishment. I really, really want to like the Dresden Files books, but so far can't muster more than a "meh."
Old Twentieth by Joe Haldeman: It's SF, but Stephen King blurbed it, and if "the King" likes it, I'll give it a try.

Pat K


Graphics and Content Copyright © Patricia Kirby 2005