Sweet Trouble

Rants, raves, book reviews and one girl's thoughts on life, the universe and everything.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Jude Deveraux's Carolina Isle

Jude Deveraux's latest offering to the paper back market is a very different work of fiction for the well known genre writer. The most obvious example of this is the unusual sizing of the book: while it's the regular width of a paperback, the novel is the length of a fancier trade and is bound in the heavier paper those books use. It was very odd to hold. The biggest difference between this novel and her other works was less noticeable on the outside: the book is awful.

I've enjoyed Deveraux's novels on and off for many years. They were first recommended to me by a cousin who was enamored with A Knight in Shining Armor, a romantic tale of time travel and true love that has become one of her most beloved novels. I would not go so far as to call any of her works high art but up until Carolina Isle I could at least say that I had enjoyed them thoroughly.

My favorites are the modern day novels featuring the Montgomery and Taggert clans, particularly the twin short stories that have popped up in various anthologies. Even though they are predictable (this is the romance genre, they are all predictable) the characters are well developed and likeable, their adventures mapped out and written with a certain flair which made the books stand above their counterparts at the book store.

Carolina Isle has none of that. From the very first chapter the book the writing is choppy and disorganized, jumpy haphazardly from scene to scene. The characters are more like caricatures and are not developed at all. A series of bizarre events unfolds leading to a pairing of the couples that I saw coming from early on in the book. If Ms. Deveraux's name had not been on the cover of this book, I would not have read it. As it is, I may buy another of her books. The only thing that keeps me from writing her off completely was the enjoyable "Holly," a novel with a climax set on Christmas which I read early last month.

Check out "Holly," the Christmas setting of the last chapter has nothing to do with the wonderful fun of the story, but leave Carolina Isle on the shelf.

*Update: 2/26/06

I was so disgusted with this book that it became a "give away," a book that I have mentally categorized as one I won't be rereading. I let friends have them and they can either keep them or keep passing them on. The friend who happened to get this little gem found it slightly more redeemable than I did, and even confessed to enjoying it a little. I stand by my review, but felt compelled to update my rant. I have never publicly trashed anything, and this particular entry comes close to being nasty, which is not at all how I feel towards the author. Ms Deveraux has written 31 NYT Bestsellers and I have written nothing. On top of that I have probably read and enjoyed those 31 and more, so one out of 30 odd is really quite forgivable.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Justice League Unlimited on Cartoon Network

Justice League Unlimited is the new improved animated Justice League Cartoon, which in itself was the new improved Super Friends. After almost thirty years, those iconic four color paragons of truth, justice and the American Way were ready for an animation make-over. Drawn in the style created by Bruce Timm for Batman the Animated series which aired in the early nineties, the new Justice League has had some of the best storytelling around.

Sadly, new episodes are no where to be found. Originally slated to air in January, an episode featuring the Flash's rogues gallery has been pushed back to an as yet undetermined summer date. In fact, it seems that the whole fate of the series is up in the air at the moment.

I find it sad that such a great show isn't been given its due. To me it seems as if Cartoon Network doesn't want it to succeed. Four new episodes aired this fall over the course of two Saturdays. Two episodes aired back to back each day, with little advertising and no replay. Episodes from the last season aren't seeing prime time replay either. We missed two and have been unable to catch them at all. Now episodes that are in the can are being pulled and held indefinitely. How disheartening.

The only good news I *have* heard concerning the series is that boxed sets of the first season will be released in March. Be sure to run out and buy them! Maybe we can save the series with our wallets.

Get the Justice League DVD at Amazon.com

Monday, January 02, 2006


Happy New Year! So maybe there's no new Harry Potter novel, or Star Wars prequal to look forward too...the new year will still be chock full of great things to see, hear and read! I propose a toast to all of the goodies yet to come!

Things I look forward to:

new episodes of Battlestar Galactica

new episodes of Justice League Unlimited

Laurell K. Hamilton's Micah and Danse Macabre

new books by Tamora Pierce