Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Review: NO PROPER LADY by Isabel Cooper

Time-Travel / Paranormal / Historical (Victorian England 1888)
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Determined to keep demons from destroying her world, Joan travels back in time to Victorian England, where it all began.  She plans to seek out and destroy the magician, Alex Reynell, responsible for their release.

When the strange woman appears before Simon Grenville, he is startled by her peculiar garb and weapons, though he quickly learns they share a common enemy. The man who was once his best friend, until he let power get to his head and nearly killed his sister with a demon possession. 

Can Joan and Simon defeat Alex and save the world?


Isabel Cooper's debut release NO PROPER LADY, consisted of very strong and solidly constructed characters in a vivid backdrop. I liked and felt we got to know Joan, Simon and his sister Eleanor very well, we also got an excellent picture of Victorian England. Unfortunately though, there was such limited interaction with Alex and what was shown of him I felt fell very flat.  I was more apathetic about his character than any other feeling like the hate or dislike that I should have felt for his despicable actions.

I anticipated more action and fighting throughout this book, but the story just moved soooooo slowly. There was so much time spent on Joan learning to integrate into society and her amazement with day to day life that I became bored.  I could have been reading any historical romance, with a few little twists of magic and demons sprinkled in.

I could feel the spark between Joan and Simon, but things just seemed to fizzle more than burst into flame. There was no real passion in the pages of this book other than between those two. I know that Joan, Simon and Eleanor had strong feelings about the situation with Alex and the future, but it never really came through where I felt an emotional grip of the characters and situations. There was no great anticipation for the turn of events.  Something would happen, but the build up was weak and it would just seem to happen.  Except during the last battle, I was on the edge of my seat as I read through the final fight, as it seemed like the worst could happen.

Because of the solid characters and strong portrayal of the surroundings, I will read Ms. Cooper's next book, mainly because Joan, Eleanor and Simon were engaging, and I think that there is great potential for her to improve her storytelling.

Rating: 3