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Wild Ride

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  5,148 ratings  ·  643 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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 366 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published March 16th 2009)
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3.47  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,148 ratings  ·  643 reviews

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Mel Spenser
May 18, 2010 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
Lakshmi C
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is one of the best things I've read this year. And it was difficult to find - so definitely worth the effort.

The story is set in an old amusement park which is about to be reopened. It also acts as a prison for 5 demons from hell. The Guardia are demon hunters who are jailors for these demons.

This story was like discovering a new planet because the blurb doesn't prepare you for the Wild Ride. (The title is apt. Major frappe points)

The Guardia is going through some changes but the new
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reclusive woman who wants to be left alone to follow her work. She restores carnival rides. While repairing a creepy clown she unleashes demons. (That may explain why everyone thinks clowns are evil)
Anyway, she also learns she was “one of the chosen few. “ Now she and her small group stuck on the fair ground along with the demons.
Rose Lerner
Apr 06, 2010 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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1audio, 2fiction, fantasy
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...
Tiffany PSquared
As a fan of other Jennifer Crusie books, I didn't feel the same warm and cozies with Wild Ride. I knew this book wouldn't be a romance, but following the plot along its paranormal lines wasn't, in fact, the best ride. Maybe it was the squad of demons, maybe it was the disjointed plot development, or maybe because the book just seemed to go on and on only to end up at a totally expected conclusion. Parts of it held my attention long enough to pass a lazy afternoon, but in a month I won't remember ...more
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 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.
I love Crusie's writing, but this was too high-octane for me. I needed the pace to let up slightly from time to time.
Katharine Kimbriel
Sep 06, 2011 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 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mar 22, 2010 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 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
So here's the thing. If I had never read anything by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer, I would have loved this book. As it stands I liked it. It's just that even when she was writing something a paranormal edge to it, Jennifer Crusie was always at the core a romance writer. And where as during previous collaborations your main characters got their HEA and you were satisfied. In this one, I felt everyone got a HEA but I never really got to know all the people involved and more importantly, I never c ...more
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 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
unlike some reviewers, I was reading this for the supernatural element more than the romance. an amusement park, decorated for Halloween, full of demons? that sounds like so much fun! and the beginning was, with descriptions of the Halloween decorations and Mab's work restoring the park. then everything descends into maudlin chaos, and the "final battle" is a dramatic conversation about a baby. not my jam!

(view spoiler)
Kerry Blaisdell
Generally, I enjoy JC's books, and have liked both her other ones with Bob Mayer. However, this one was disappointing. The characters were cardboard cutouts (in part *because of* their "wacky quirks", which felt very overdone), and the plot, while relatively original, felt too stilted and didn't engage me much. There were too many cliches, and I didn't find any of the characters very likable, except maybe the head demon. Probably because I identified with his desire to kill everyone else in the ...more
This was weird, confusing, refreshing and seriously fun. The story is not what you'd expect, the characteres even less so, the main pov people are *not* each other's romantic interest (phew, didn't see that one coming!) and there's talking oracle booth and a flying plush dragon. Can't say more because, you know, spoilers.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I don't know that I would call this a romance, but it is an interesting fantasy... with a really unique core idea. I enjoyed the world and really liked most of the characters, though I had some trouble with Ethan, who felt a little too ... chest-thumping, grunting man-ish to me.

Jun 19, 2010 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 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 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 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 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
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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.
“He loved her all he could; but he couldn't love her very much.” 21 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…