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Wild Ride

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  4,728 Ratings  ·  604 Reviews
Mary Alice Brannigan doesn't believe in the supernatural. Nor does she expect to find that Dreamland, the decaying amusement park she's been hired to restore, is a prison for the five Untouchables, the most powerful demons in the history of the world. Plus, there's a guy she's falling hard for—and there's something about him that's not quite right.
But rocky romances and d
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published March 16th 2009)
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Mel Spenser
May 18, 2010 Mel Spenser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a fan of Jennifer Cruise, you may or may not like this book. This is evident by the wide swing in reviews. Since she has begun writing with Bob Mayer things have changed a bit. Some like it, some don’t.

First let me say up front that this was a very well written book. It had an absorbing plot that kept me guessing to the end. It had an originality of ideas that is just not found these days in much of what is being published. The characters were well written. The dialogue was real. So t
Rose Lerner
Apr 06, 2010 Rose Lerner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew in advance that I would love this book because it was by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer (I really need to finally read Don't Look Down since I loved Agnes and the Hitman and this one so much) and because it was about an amusement park that is also a demon prison.

My one minor disappointment is that there were so many characters that no two of them interacted as much as I wanted them to. I especially would have liked to see Ethan and Mab spend more time together, although that's definitely
The Library Lady
Jenny, Jenny, I've been watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and I get what you've seen in it all these years. But Bob Mayer is no Josh Whedon and if you insist on going in this direction you need a new collaborator. Better still, what about those other books you've been promising on your blog for the last few years? Your own books that are head and shoulders above any other "chick lit" writer out there. The ones I re-read and love every time that I do!

This has its moments, but mostly it's mishmo
Rachel C.
Sigh... two steps forward, one step back. Crusie and Mayer have sadly regressed from the success of "Agnes and the Hitman."

Although this book had some good laughs and twists, the Mab (Crusie) and Ethan (Mayer) storylines largely ran on parallel tracks and hardly intersected. I also think the story suffered from being overloaded with too many underdeveloped secondary characters.

I put this book down about when I was about halfway through and didn't feel any urgency to pick it up and finish it. I
Jun 19, 2015 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2fiction, fantasy, 1audio
I'm stretching for 3 stars because it was a lot of fun. This is humorous & goofy, but it could have been so much better if they'd get their realistic parts together. The main character is a gal that is restoring the park & it's obvious they've never fixed anything. And all the extra help is practically invisible. A real shame because the basic idea was quite different & interesting. The major characters were well done & there was a lot of action.

Well, if you can just go with it,
Jacob Proffitt
On a personal level, this book is a layer cake of fail. I dislike amusement parks only slightly less than circuses. Mab is a wet rag, Ethan is a drunk jerk, demons are possessing all the interesting characters, and those supposedly fighting the demons are an obscene joke. Somewhere before the halfway point, I just couldn't take it any more and gave up. Sad, really. My first Crusie fail... Maybe I'll blame her coauthor to ease my pain...
I'm a little conflicted—I think I would have enjoyed Wild Ride more if I had been in the right mood for it. I was cranky and down and wanted some of Crusie's blend of comedy and romance and snappy dialogue to cheer me up and give my brain a rest. There is some comedy in here, and some romance and even one or two enjoyable bits of verbal humour, but despite the wacky premise (five Etruscan demon gods who have been imprisoned for all eternity in an ageing amusement park in Ohio are trying to escap ...more
This book is going to be really confusing for a lot of readers who found it, as I did, in the romance section. When you find a book in the romance section, you sort of expect that if there are two pov characters they will end up together. Instead (view spoiler) ...more
Mar 30, 2010 Karen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loathesome
Ok - I'm going to do something I don't normally do and stop reading this one in the middle because I feel brain cells dying and I have an entire stack of books waiting to be read that I think I will actually enjoy. I saw this one at the library and it had similarities to A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore which I just finished, so I figured "logical jump". However, A Dirty Job was a clever farce - this is just excrutiatingly dumb. I'm on page 174 and I've had it, so back to the library it goes.
Katharine Kimbriel
Sep 06, 2011 Katharine Kimbriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crusie lovers, people who enjoy humorous romance and parodies of traditional genres
Jennifer Crusie finally gets around to the supernatural in WILD RIDE, and Crusie lovers may be amused. The wildest ride at the Dreamland Amusement Park isn’t the roller coaster, but the truth is way too much for Mary Alice Brannigan (AKA Mab) to believe. Mab doesn’t believe in the supernatural, despite her mother telling her she was demon spawn. But the truth of the matter is, Dreamland is actually a prison for the Five Untouchables, the most powerful demons in the history of the world.

Mab is a
Jill Dunlop
Mary Alice Brannigan, who goes by Mab, has come back to her home town to restore an old amusement park. Strange things are happening in the park. Clown statues seem to come to life, people are being shot at and friends talk of demons. Plus, a handsome man is fawning all over her and she can't figure out why. He is irresistibly handsome and shouldn't be interested in a boring, drab woman like her.

I really like Jennifer Crusie, but this book was a major dud for me. If you continue on reading this
Oct 17, 2010 Jenny rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 22, 2010 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am so disappointed. I loved Agnes and the Hitman and was really anticipating this book. Granted, their first book, Don't Look Down, was not as funny, but maybe they were still working the kinks out of the team writing style or something. Anyway, Wild Ride started out very promising (don't worry, no spoilers) - a social misfit female protagonist who restores carnival art is restoring this run-down amusement park filled with the standard kooky characters you'd expect. Then the burned-out, wounde ...more
Apr 01, 2013 Mandy rated it it was ok
Another depressing Crusie-Mayer collaboration. Maybe, I should have started with this book before reading the awesomeness that is Agnes and the Hitman...less disappointment that way. Their weird paranormal romance action mix is a miss.

In this book, there are demons trapped inside an amusement park and the park workers are a secret society that are tasked with keeping the demons trapped. Well, there's the paranormal part of the book. Of course, the demons are plotting and trying to escape. The en
It was really a 3.5, but I love Crusie and Mayer too much to mark it down. It wasn't as good as their other 2 books (so far) together, but it was a fun ride (ha, ha). Overall it was a clever idea and I enjoyed the crossover of one of my favorite romance/humor authors (Crusie) into the supernatural genre I read so often. But the characters in the book didn't quite hit the mark for me, especially Mab. I liked her, but I didn't love her or want her to be one of my best friends. I think the book got ...more
Jun 19, 2010 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This third collaboration for Crusie and Mayer takes a new direction for the authors: demon-hunting. Crusie had already ventured into the fantasy realm in her collaborative (and to my mind, unsuccessful) ventures The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes and Dogs and Goddesses, but those involved less action and a more witchcraft-like type of magic. Mayer normally writes action novels featuring military personnel, sometimes with a science-fiction element as in Synbat: A Novel. Based on this story, I would sa ...more
Apr 05, 2010 Punk rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Trigger warning for discussion of rape.

Paranormal...romance-ish. This is a departure from the usual Crusie-Mayer playbook, and not necessarily a successful one.

As usual, it straddles two genres -- action and romance -- and struggles to make either work. But instead of bad guys, we get demons. And instead of romance, we get, uh, something that's not quite romance.

Don't expect our manly hero (a drunk ex-Green Beret who's wandering around Ohio carrying a handgun and wearing a bulletproof vest for r
Lynn Calvin
Feb 06, 2010 Lynn Calvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue Burke
Mar 20, 2011 Sue Burke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been torn on what to think about Jennifer Crusie's collaborations with Bob Mayer. The first time I read their first book together, "Don't Look Down", I spent so much time trying to figure out who wrote what that I found it hard to get into the story, and it was only after a few readings that the book grew on me. Maybe it was because it came on the heels of Crusie's "Bet Me", which is one of her best books, but "Don't Look Down" has never been one of my favorite books.

Their next one, "Annie
Dec 27, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: jennifer-crusie
I don't know how to start my review on this book... I thought well maybe I should give myself some time before I write my review on it. Then decided that no; I would lose my just finished reading feelings on it. I love Jennifer Crusie by herself, I have deeply enjoyed everything that I have read by her so far, but I honestly feel that when Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer sit down together and write a book, that it's as if it was written by a pen tipped in gold. I guess their style just sets well w ...more
Mar 22, 2010 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's at times like these when reading the back cover of a book come in handy. It would have really nice to know that the book was a paranormal romance rather than a contemporary one. But once you know that you're not as thrown by Mab getting attacked by a clown statue.
I would personally like to applaud Bob Mayer and Jennifer Crusie on taking a spin on what you would normally expect to happen at the beginning of any romance novel. Usually, the two main characters that are followed throughout the
May 25, 2014 La-Plume rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, paranormal
This is the first time I've been disappointed by a Jennifer Crusie's book. As usual, the book has been advertised as chick lit with paranormal elements so I was expecting a book along the lines of the latest one I had read written by her which was Maybe this Time i.e a book which focused on romance with paranormal elements which would be used to add to the general wackiness that is Jennifer Crusie's trademark.

Instead I found a book that focused on the paranormal elements, the action, and defini
Ambs ❤❤
I ended up really enjoying this! This was a fun, creep-tastic, and humorous read about a carnival and it's demons.


Admittedly, I had a hard time getting into this story. However, once I became intrigued, I was hooked. I think it was a line (something along the lines of) oh hell no minions, you're not touching me or my demon spawn. (Sorry it's not the actual quote, I returned the book before I wrote this review.)

This story had everything, romance, fight scenes, death, demons, crazy old women, prom
May 18, 2011 Christine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I liked this story; it was basically good fun. It takes place in an amusement park in Ohio that doubles as a prison for five powerful demons. The Guardia keep them locked away with special powers that pass to another poor soul when they die, creating a new generation of demon fighters/wardens.

But of course, the demons want out. Ånd they begin to escape, one at a time, while mortals make deals with the devil for their own personal gain and the two main characters -- Mab and Ethan -- struggle to
Jan 02, 2011 drey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
I always love a Jennifer Crusie book for a quick fun read, and when I saw this one in the "new books" section at my local library, I just had to bring it home... And when work for my day job drove me completely nuts, I picked this up for some brain relaxation.

And brain relaxation it provided. Mab--Mary Alice Brannigan--is working on restorations at Dreamland (an amusement park) when she gets run over by a clown. Not the kind that scares kids at parties, but one of the metal statues that decorate
Amy Rosenkoetter
This was a fascinating book and I loved every page!

Imagine an amusement park as a prison for demons. Now imagine what might happen when that park gets a facelift from someone who doesn't KNOW it's a demonic prison. The roller coaster starts here.

Odd coincidences are proven not to be, strangers aren't, and those who run the park are really jailers. Sound weird? It is - wonderfully so! I haven't read anything with such a unique premise in a long time, and I enjoyed every minute. It's not predictab
Oct 28, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on audio CD and the problem became clear... "Mab said," and "Ethan said," and "Glenda said." Over and over - it was distracting and very annoying. I imagine my eyes would pass over this if I were reading the book but if the authors had read this aloud during the writing process they probably would have foreseen the problem this causes for the listener and possibly the reader.

The story was whimsical and fun - similar in concept to books by A. Lee Martinez but hindered by the 's
Nov 28, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pulled in by the cover being displayed at the front of the library. I'd heard of Ms. Cruise, possibly from being on one of my book lists, and thought this might be a good introduction to her writing. What I got was a fun, light mix of simple romance, special ops, and supernatural thriller.

I found out this is one of those seasonal "throw-away" stories to keep an author's fans happy, but I really enjoyed the tale. Mab is an "all work and no play" theme park restorer who gets run over by the
Apr 25, 2011 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not my favorite book by Jennifer Crusie, and I was thrown for the first few chapters by the supernatural element. Although the premise remains the same as most of her other books (late thirty-something accidentally meets a guy who is all wrong but oh-so-right), I felt like the demon thing was an effort to shake it up a little. By the end, I was enjoying it as another good, lightweight, slightly smutty Crusie read. This one is great for people who are already fans of her writing, but I w ...more
Sep 06, 2010 Hillary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: halloween
This was the perfect book to be reading during our weekend trip to Cedar Point for Halloweekends. Just like Cedar Point, the amusement park in the book changes from Dreamland to Screamland in the fall, and it is in Ohio. This is by no means a fabulous piece of literature, and in fact is rather cheesy, but the cheesiness didn't bother me. There were parts that were downright ridiculous but maybe I was just able to take it for what it was: a lot of fun.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Wild Ride 1 3 Jul 14, 2012 09:47AM  
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Jenny Crusie is the NYT bestselling author of twenty some novels and lots of other stuff. Her latest novel, Maybe This Time, hit shelves in August, 2010.

Jenny lives on the Ohio River where she often stares at the ceiling and counts her blessings.
More about Jennifer Crusie...

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“He loved her all he could; but he couldn't love her very much.” 19 likes
“Tomorrow we go back to normal?"
"Sure," Mab said. "It'll be like none of this happened. Except I'll still be pregnant, and you'll still be making dragons, and Glenda will still be pretending that Dreamland is Cancun, and Weaver will still own the only green velvet demon in captivity. Other than that, perfectly normal."
"I just meant no demons trying to kill us," Cindy said. "My baseline for normal is a lot lower than yours.”
More quotes…