This was still quirky, action-packed fun, but I fervently wished a copy editor had paid closer attention to weeding out the endless repetitions, inconsistencies and downright mistakes. If I have to read one more time how Tina is going on about her hair being all lustrous thanks to Saturn awarding her for damning her boyfriend to hell, I’m going to pop a vessel. I’m not senile. I’ve got it the first dozen times she mentioned it and I fail to see the hidden meaning however often she chooses to bring the topic up again. I might be a bit touchy on that because I know far too many people who tend to tell the same stories over and over again (regardless of how inconsequential and boring they were the first time you were forced to politely listen to them) despite their audience’s assurances that they’ve heard them before, just because they are either enamoured with the sound of their own voice or feel a pressing need to prostrate their own specialness with no regard to whether anyone is at all interested in hearing them – or both. I really don’t need to be subjected to this kind of self-importance from fictional characters. Their false humility is making these obvious contradictions even more annoying. And unlike nattering colleagues and assorted acquaintances and family members I can shut up the fictional nuisances by flipping the book covers shut. So. There. Main rant over.
There also were some glaring mistakes that made me question my ability to read and follow a story line. At one point, Andre, Tina’s former boss and contender for sexy times, says that Gloria Vanderventeris his grandmother. If this were true it would create a whole new set of complicated relationships. But it is not. Gloria is the grandmother of Max and Dane, Tina’s ex-boyfriend and his cousin. And it was made quite clear earlier on that while Andre’s family were personally acquainted with Gloria and her family, they were not related. I have no explanation how or why that line even got in there. To sum up, having to re-read this passage several times to clarify whether the mistake was mine and what could be the underlying implications of such a development and coming up with nothing, really through the pacing for me.
Luckily, the story pulls you right back in. Not everything makes complete sense. In fact, very few things do. But that doesn’t really matter that much, since the loony Baltimore Zone and its colourful inhabitants provide an entertaining break from the usual. The characters are quite distinct, even though not nearly as much space is devoted to physical descriptions of anyone but Tina. When she doesn’t get carried away eulogising about her own assets, she swoons and drools over the three likely candidates to have a sexual relation with. However, all minor characters are easily recognisable and they all maintain their mystery. Whether they are part of the tight-knit Zone population or one of the villains. Well, there are some nameless goons that are completely interchangeable. But that’s hired goons for you, cheaper by the dozen. I’m not saying that the characters are well-rounded, though. There’s still a lot of room for development and improvement and if played right, this could turn into a long lasting series, the groundwork is decently laid and an interest in the characters established.
The plot twists and intrigues are following one another at a brisk pace and they fit all right, if one is not too discerning a reader. :o) There’s plenty of possibility for future adventures. Even though Tina looked a bit more into the Saturn’s Daughters business in Damn Him to Hell, if time permitted and she wasn’t completely busy rescuing Zone inhabitants and unveiling sinister plots or lusting after one man or another (she’s quite capable of doing all three things at once, this multi-tasking heroine), she didn’t come up with much new and I didn’t mind at all because I mostly had fun following her escapades without the lectures on mythology and mysticism. If she’d only shut up about her great hair, great LEGS, GREAT BOOBS, GREAT …!
Oh, and I love that the evil, chemicals spilling, people abducting, illicit experiments conducting corporation is called Acme. I got the Looney Tunes’ song stuck in my head a few times.