Stephanie's Reviews > Boyfriend from Hell

Boyfriend from Hell by Jamie Quaid
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's review
Aug 09, 2012

it was amazing
Read from August 09 to 17, 2012

Original Post appears at Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust with the Title Boyfriend from Hell by Jaime Quaid

The Saturn's Daughters Series: One
Jamie Quaid
Sept. 25, 2012
Pocket/Simon and Schuster
Mass Market Paperback/E-Book 400 pages

Disclosure: E-Galley loaned by publisher via Edelweiss. No remuneration exchanged and all opinions herein are my own except as noted.

Justine (Tina) Clancy is just an ordinary law student with a faulty arrest record, a part-time job in Baltimore’s radioactive Zone, and a family secret so bizarre even she doesn’t believe it. That is, until in a fit of fury she damns her boyfriend to hell—and it’s exactly where he ends up.
Much to her surprise, Tina is apparently one of Saturn’s daughters, with the power to wield vigilante justice. But poor Max didn’t deserve to go up in flames, even if he did almost run her over with her own car. Tina’s convinced someone cut the brakes—and now a relentless nemesis is stalking her through the Zone’s back alleys, where buildings glow, statues move, and chemical waste exposure comes with interesting consequences. Tina’s usually a loner, but now she needs a posse like no other: a shape-shifting kitten, an invisible thief, a biker gang, a snake-charming private detective, a well-meaning cop, and her sleazy, sexy boss. But in between freeing Max from hell, saving her own neck, and solving a mystery that threatens the Zone and her new found friends, how is she ever going to study for finals?
Jamie Quaid is the pseudonym for a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri

From Jamie Quaid's Website:

Tina Clancy here, and before you ask, that’s not my picture in the corner. Maybe there’s a Saturn’s Daughter in the universe who has the good fortune to work her way up to sword-wielding goddess, but it ain’t me, babe. Given the weirdnesses I’ve been plagued with lately, I might end up looking like a chimp or a demon, but for right now, I’m a law student. I’m a mouse brown, gap-toothed, four-eyed cripple. Instead of a sword, my weapons are a messenger bag…and a manx cat.
But apparently I was born under some weird conjunction of Saturn with a few stray asteroids and that gives me a thirst for justice, which is a bloody damn nuisance. So far, my intolerance for the bullies of the world has made me lose my scholarship, given me a crippled leg, and sent my lying boyfriend to hell. Okay. So maybe there are some advantages to what I do. If only my ex would stay in hell where he belongs.
And since I took this job counting money for Andre Legrande in the environmental disaster Zone of Baltimore where cash registers and computers don’t compute, I’m discovering, just a little bit late, I might have taken a wrong turn. But I need the money, and Andre ain’t half bad to look at. Besides, I sort of feel at home with invisible thieves, buildings that glow blue in the dark, and statues that wink.
But since my boyfriend died in a fiery ball of flame and started showing up in my mirror, life has been getting even stranger.

The Upside of Industrial Waste

This is a new idea for a novel with interesting characters and not filled with answers to all of its mysteries.
It takes place in Baltimore where a super toxic industrial site takes up part of the area near the working waterfront. The pollution has had very strange effects on both the animate and inanimate city's denizens. This is a new and interesting way of looking at pollution. And using the powers gained gives one great, assets.

While the theme is urban fantasy, with healthy doses of conspiracy theory, social oppression by "the man," I found some of the more mundane portions of the urban landscape more troubling than those more fantastic components. I have no problem with the dead boyfriend haunting her, but the idea that her student protest arrest record would be as much trouble as Tina thought was somewhat hard to grasp. This is in a near future and somewhat different society. I find the idea that a chemical spill could create sentience in objects as well, but it's not a huge issue and makes the tale fun.

I was thinking of what young heroines to whom I would compare Quaid's Tina Clancy. She's not as snarky as Chloe Neill's Merit, Not the ruthless assassin of Jaye Wells Sabina nor the self-righteous bitchiness of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake. Tina is, at the beginning of the story, more beaten than bitchy. Before the book ends she has become prouder and less beaten down, and a bit snarky. I would say that if you like Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan it's likely you'll like Tina Clancy. Even some of the situations are similar: science caused a large mishap that altered society, there are familial mysteries, and like Kim Harrison's Trent Kalamack, Andre is a hot guy to whom she is strongly attracted but who is also rather suspect.

Observing the statue's dip from the reflection in the mirror behind the bar, Andre smirked. Or, maybe gazing at his own handsome image produced that smug smile. Legrande, after all means "the large one," and I 'd figured long ago that he'd made up the name to match his ego, if not his size. (Quaid, Jamie: Boyfriend from Hell, page 3, Simon and Schuster, 2012)

As the series progresses, I imagine we'll hear more about the mystery of what Tina is becoming and who Saturn's daughters are. I am really looking forward to learning more and getting to know these characters. Highly recommended.
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