Title: You Slay Me
Author: Katie MacAlister
Length: 334 pages
Genre: paranormal romance
Plot Basics: Aisling Grey takes a job as a courier for her uncle. Her first assignment is to deliver an aquamanile to Paris. When she arrives to make the delivery, she finds the purchaser dead and an mysterious (and hot) man, Drake Vireo, at the scene. When Aisling leaves, she realizes the mystery man took the aquamanile. Determined to make her job a succes, Aisling decides to clear her name and retrieve the aquamanile. But her search takes her into the underworld of Paris and leads her to discover she's a Guardian, with mystical powers and has a fate intertwined with Drake's.
Banter Points: Why this book ended up on Word Nerd's reading list deserves some explanation.
Last summer, you may recall Word Nerd was working on a different WIP. That WIP, which is/was a paranormal/urban fantasy/chick-lit deal had a main character originally named Aisling, kid you not. Word Nerd stumbled (thanks to Amazon.com recommendations) across MacAlister's series and realized she had to change the name of her protagonist. Two paranormal books with a protag named Aisling is one too many. Since then, Word Nerd's been curious about this series and finally ran across it at the library.
Not surprisingly, Word Nerd likes her Aisling (now Ainsley) much better.
Best part of MacAlister's books? Jim, the talking Newfoundland dog. As sidekicks go, he's right up there as is Rene, the French taxi driver.
Bummer Points: Oh boy. Yeah... The problems with this book are all over the map, but Word Nerd will just pick one.
Big Problem #1: Why Aisling has the powers she does and doesn't know about it. There's a line about her being born to it. Word Nerd doesn't get it though... In most cases of somebody being born to powers, there's somebody else who fills them in. (Think Buffy and the Watchers here.) This Aisling is completely in the dark about what she can do -- no Watcher-type character, no explanation of how somebody as powerful as she's made out to be has slipped through the cracks. Nothing.
Big Problem #2: Drake's past.
Big Problem #3: Why are green dragons in charge of fire? Doesn't green imply earth to most people, not flames?
Word Nerd recommendation: Though this book had some big problems, Word Nerd's plowing ahead into book 2 because, largely, Jim the Newfoundland is funny enough to make up for much of the rest of it. And she's still curious about this Aisling...