Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Remarkable Miss Frankenstein by Minda Webber

Synopsis (aka Back Blurb): The problem, Clair realizes, is that she’s a Frankenstein. Everyone in the family is a success, while all she’s managed is a humiliating misadventure with pigs. But her spirits are rising. The Journal of Scientific Discovery promises to publish a paper on the Discovery of the Decade, and she has a doozy. She simply has to prove Baron Huntsley—man of distinction—is a vampire. With his midnight-black hair, soul-piercing eyes and shiny white teeth, what else could he be? Oh yes, the Baron wants a bite of her or she’s no scientist. Pretty soon she’ll expose him, and on everybody’s lips will be… THE REMARKABLE MISS FRANKENSTEIN

My Thoughts: I really wanted to like this book. I truly did. How could I not like it? It's paranormal. It's historical. It's funny. I like all of those things. So, what could possibly be the problem? A heroine who is truly an idiot and humor that is so in your face on every page within the book that by page 60 pages the reader is so tired of the puns we are no longer finding the book funny.

What Worked: The set up is actually quite entertaining and early on (while we readers are still oblivious to the depth at which the author will go to make a pun) our heroine appears quite clever and refreshing. In addition to the beginning there were a few references that I completely adored. How could I not love a shout out to Young Frankenstein?
"Victor Frankenstein was brilliant, but he was also a card-carrying lunatic. He was most famous for his forays into animating dead flesh--queer work which had created widespread controversy, not to mention chaos when his creation escaped and roamed the countryside, eating up blind men's food and setting fire to the Ritz after a particularly bohemian display of dancing."

Another thing that I believe belongs in the plus column is that some of the sexual encounters are actually not bad (when compared to the rest of the book.)

What Didn't Work: Clair. Clair. Clair. Minda Webber told us repeatedly that Clair is an intelligent, inquisitive scientist yet her actions prove otherwise. She draws conclusions from hearsay and gossip without any shred of proof. Her idea of proving her theories (which she boldly calls her hypothesis...because she's a brilliant scientist and all) is to break into people's homes to witness their paranormal debauchery. She broke into no less than 3 homes and almost as many men's bedchambers trying to catch a vampire or werewolf in the act of being not human based solely on the fact people told her that they were not human. Except for Asher, the Earl of Wolverton. She used her brain on that one and decided that he was a werewolf because he was the Earl of WOLVErton and his coat of arms is the image of a wolf.

Just a couple more things to point out and I'll be done: Although this book appears to be set in regency England the author does not attach a time frame on the book so the timeline seems to be quite ambiguous. The balls, the dress and the coaches all seem period in appearance yet the dialogue and writing are so clearly modernized. If the author had left those markers out I would have argued this was actually a contemporary romance and not historical.
"...she would set her cap for him in a London minute." 
"Ian wanted to worship at the shrine of those magnificent breasts."  



Also, when making a joke by introducing characters named Dr Durlock Homes and Professor Whutson, who are known for their crime solving abilities, it is important to make sure the names Holmes and Watson do not accidentally make their way into the story by accident. Oh, and Artie Doyle? By the time his name was dropped into the story I had already decided this book was to the literary world what Scary Movie is to the Oscars (only worse.)

In a Nutshell: I disliked this book more than I liked it. I knew I was only supposed to take it with a grain of salt and just have fun but there was so much that just got on my nerves I wasn't able to get over that hump. I found I could only read this book 20-30 pages at a time before I wanted to throw the book against the wall and knowing what I know now I'm really regretting purchasing Minda Webber's other book (The Reluctant Miss Van Helsing) at the same time I bought this one.

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