Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead (When Your House Tries to Kill You)
Hm. This one was a tricky book for me. On one hand, I thought the snappy tone was refreshing and fun. On the other hand, the plot wobbled from insanely interesting one moment to a three page diatribe about what she ate that day. On the plus side? Gus is hell of a lot of fun. He's a positive, lively character and without him the book would fall flat. The draw with the house, the possession and all of that lead up was immensely nail-biting and I loved the creepiness and struggle as she explored the house from messed up cellar to creepy attic with a side room. On the negative side...Mara causes a lot of her own problems. Yes, she didn't ask for any of it directly, but at the same point, she invited all of the problems in and served them tea with her best china. There are a lot of points that she's just as well informed as the reader and I'm wondering why she wouldn't just get the hell out.
Mara's Genius Move #1: The girl's got some issues. The book starts out in a really interesting way when the building manager decides she's evicted, pretty much just because she's Wicca. Great intro, good, gripping start with a plausible problem. But she's having these crazy dreams she just can't ignore and the ghost of her father tells her not to use her magic. What does she decide to do? Use her magic of course, because gee golly, listening is for idiots. She uses it to bring her money. WHICH begins most of her problems.
Mara's Genius Move #2: So, midway through the book after a fun roundabout of Gus involved escapades, Mara finds out her spell delivered. The impending housing situation? Solved since her Aunt Tillie passed away, leaving her the cottage. Perfect solution, happy ending. Except that the cottage had been cropping up in her dark, horrible dreams all along. The logical solution? Get a job, figure out the money situation and sell the place from a distance. Mara's solution? Let me go LIVE there. Absolute genius, I tell you.
Mara's Genius Move #3: After moving in and getting tormented by the ghost of her Aunt Tillie until she's hospitalized, she finds out Tillie's trying to keep her safe from something. Something her mom tried to protect her from. Something that wants her in the cottage. Since Mara's the munchkin in the patch, she decides to stay and play with the big bad energy. After all, it couldn't really want to harm her, right? Duh. Her ancestor Lisette had some powerful mojo and wanted to reunite with her lover, Lucien. So when Mara invites her crush over and they mess around in the haunted rooms, Lucien and Lisette possess their bodies...which has been the plan from day one.
Luckily, there are smart characters like Gus who come and save the day, performing some demon expelling magic along with a bag of tricks including zombie powder. Happy ending, demons destroyed, guy she likes pretty shaken and hey, she's pregnant from all the boinking Lisette did while borrowing her body! While the plot's a bit all over the place and Mara isn't a great heroine, the other characters are interesting and the fun tone is what really drives the story. However, if you're not picky, like witches and want a fun read? This would fit the bill.