Monday, January 16, 2012

Mindy Kicks Metaphorical Butt, While Jessica Rules

Published: January 10th, 2012
Jessica Rules the Dark Side
By: Beth Fantaskey
Harcourt Children's Books
ISBN-13: 9780547393094

It’s one thing to find out you’re a vampire princess. It’s a whole other thing to actually rule. Newly married Jessica Packwood is having a hard enough time feeling regal with her husband, Lucius, at her side. But when evidence in the murder of a powerful elder points to Lucius, sending him into solitary confinement, Jessica is suddenly on her own. Determined to clear her husband’s name, Jessica launches into a full-scale investigation, but hallucinations and nightmares of betrayal keep getting in her way. Jessica knows that with no blood to drink, Lucius’s time is running out. Can she figure out who the real killer is—and whom she can trust—before it’s too late?


   Jessica and Lucius are married and living in Romania.  While she's trying to learn how to rule the vampire population with confidence, Jess is suffering from a serious lack of belief in herself - and a squeamishness of drinking blood.  Also, none of the Elders seem to think that an alliance between an American-raised Dragomir princess and a Vladescu was a good idea.  Mindy is stuck in community college, wishing that things had worked out with Raniero, the hot surfer cousin of Lucius she met at his and Jess' wedding.  When she starts failing out of her classes, she makes plans to visit Romania and stay for winter break.  Of course right before she arrives someone murders Lucius' Uncle Claudiu, right after he stands up and states treasonus thoughts about Lucius.  Then there's also the blood on the tip of Lucius' stake and the hallucinations Jessica seems to be undergoing.  The Elders agree to put Lucius in the dungeon while they investigate, but how long will he survive without blood?  Will the real killer be brought to justice?  And what will happen between Mindy and Raniero?  I liked this book and it kept me reading to the end, curious to know what would happen.  I loved the fact that the book was a combination of letters/e-mails between Raniero and Lucius, plus Jessica and Mindy's points of view alternately.  Mindy is so entertaining and true to herself, that I can't help but laugh at her ditzy version of practicality.  Raniero is such a complex character and his obsession with surfing and tacos is wonderful!  But I will say, this would have been a much stronger book if it had just been about them.  Jessica was a far weaker character in this book, so unsure of herself that I almost didn't recognize her as the same girl.  Jess' family, her cousin Ylenia and her Uncle were really under-used and underdeveloped characters.  The "mystery" of who killed Claudiu was painfully easy to solve and the hints dropped were about as subtle as an anvil in an Acme cartoon.  That said, this book was worth reading for Mindy and Raniero alone!  If you find yourself almost wanting to skip the scenes with Jess and Lucius to get to the good stuff faster, don't see it as a bad thing.  Be happy that there was something to hold this book together!  I only suggest this for very big fans of the first book.

VERDICT:  3/5  Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores and online.*

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I'm actually just about to write my review for this. Finished it last night and was quite happy with the outcome. Although sometimes I was bored and when Mindy constantly said "like" I was ready to throw the book across my room. But alas, I did not.

    Angela @ The Little Blue Pig


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