Boyfriend from Hell
by Jamie Quaid
Genre: Urban Fantasy |
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Julia | Source:
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
They say justice is blind. But Justine isn’t.Justine (Tina) Clancy is just an ordinary law student with a faulty arrest record, a part-time job in Baltimore’s radioactive Zone, and a family secret so bizarre even she doesn’t believe it. That is, until in a fit of fury she damns her boyfriend to hell—and it’s exactly where he ends up.
Much to her surprise, Tina is apparently one of Saturn’s daughters, with the power to wield vigilante justice. But poor Max didn’t deserve to go up in flames, even if he did almost run her over with her own car. Tina’s convinced someone cut the brakes—and now a relentless nemesis is stalking her through the Zone’s back alleys, where buildings glow, statues move, and chemical waste exposure comes with interesting consequences. Tina’s usually a loner, but now she needs a posse like no other: a shape-shifting kitten, an invisible thief, a biker gang, a snake-charming private detective, a well-meaning cop, and her sleazy, sexy boss. But in between freeing Max from hell, saving her own neck, and solving a mystery that threatens the Zone and her newfound friends, how is she ever going to study for finals?
The men in Justine’s life are interesting, bad boy, boy scout, and everything in between. As much as I enjoyed this mix of magic and mad science, the tone was always a little too cartoony for me to get invested in the characters. Still, BOYFRIEND FROM HELL was a fun story that blended some of my favorite urban fantasy and comic book tropes.
The characters in BOYFRIEND FROM HELL, from heroine down to supporting characters, is very hard to pin down. One minute Justine is a smart, mousy accountant, and then she’s a fist swinging extra straight out of a COPS domestic disturbance call. She sheds her physical shortcomings quickly, and most of her caution and camouflage, too. Though the plot addresses the changes in Justine’s appearance, I found the “magical erasure of obstacles” less interesting than a damaged, complex heroine.
Justine’s tough guy tone makes for easy reading, though her easy acceptance of the magic and weirdness in her life makes for a flat affect. I would have liked a little less cartoony action and a little more emotional depth, but on the whole BOYFRIEND FROM HELL reads like a comic book libretto. Anyone who likes KARMA GIRL or MIND GAMES will enjoy this mix of chemical super powers and magical destiny.
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