Brownbetty's Reviews > Mona Lisa Awakening

Mona Lisa Awakening by Sunny
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Jun 19, 2009

it was ok
Read in June, 2009

I grabbed this book from the library because the front said "A terrific debut sure to appeal to fans of Anne Bishop or Laurell K. Hamilton," after which it should be obvious to those who know me why I could not resist it. It delivered on this promise early, when on page 5 we get "My nipples hardened to stone, my inner sheath quivered, and I wanted to go to him." Inner sheath!

But even more to the point, I think, the Anne Bishop comparison is utterly on target. It is as if someone decided that the Black Jewels books were fabulous, but could be slightly less embarrassing to read if they had a little less naked id and talking unicorns. It doesn't aim far above; I'd estimate there's perhaps a 20% reduction in silliness, (It includes shape-shifters from the moon,) but Bishop's books are deeply silly. The set-up is almost directly from Bishop's world, with Queens ruling courts of men who are their lovers and protectors, including the bits about how the men feel an innate desire to serve a worthy queen, and, in fact, there are even "demon-dead" in her books. Lisa is, IMO, less annoying than Janelle, and the book doesn't waste time setting up her innocent victimhood. There is no faffing about with gradations of mystic jewellery, fetishized virginity, silly names (much), and "tangled webs," which I am grateful for. You don't get to use Shakespeare references and then insist that they exist independent of Shakespeare.

Which is why this book's title makes me nuts. You can't call a thing "The Mona Lisa anything" without it meaning to some extent Da Vinci's well known painting. In this book, all Queens are given the title of "mona" and our protagonist is named "Lisa." Just a wacky coincidence! Like, I have named my cheesecake recipe "Mick Jagger's famous cheesecake," and if that causes you to think there is a rockstar associated with it, that's hardly my fault!

Well, okay, in this case it is not so much misleading as highly distracting. But, you know, if you want Queens who are frequently dutifully sexing up their wounded protectors with their magical healing cunts, and just you know, compelled from duty to surround themselves with attractive, protective young men, you may be able to overlook this.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen Healey Hot DAMN I am IN


Brownbetty Its main flaw is it is TOO SHORT. But there appear to be sequels!



message 3: by Alain (new)

Alain I immediately thought "Mona Lisa Overdrive", by William Gibson. That was before reading your review. After that, well... Shape shifters from the Moon and talking unicorns are as far away from cyberpunk as I can imagine.


Brownbetty Alain wrote: "I immediately thought "Mona Lisa Overdrive", by William Gibson. That was before reading your review. After that, well... Shape shifters from the Moon and talking unicorns are as far away from cyber..."

I actually thought that was what I was picking up, for about three seconds, before I read the cover more carefully. However, no.


message 5: by Mel (new) - added it

Mel I loved your review, really made me laugh. I read something by Sunny in On the Prowl and it made me decide to staaay awaaaay from her books..:S


Brownbetty I read something by Sunny in On the Prowl and it made me decide to staaay awaaaay from her books."

Oh my! Was it catering to similar kinks? My impression of these authors is that they are very committed to exploring one kind of kink, but haven't got much breadth beyond.




message 7: by Mel (new) - added it

Mel Well it was a story in the Mona Lisa universe and I believe there was another character who seems to be featuring in the spin off series.
In my review I described Sunny's story as 'fanfiction by a 15 year old nympho', so we can say I didn't like it. I do like a bit of sex with my romance, but I don't like reading about meaningless sex in an otherwise meaningless story which seems to be constructed just to serve the meaningless sex. No wait, not meaningless: there was an anal sex scene in the story which was key in making sure the protagonist didn't lose her mind. Ofcourse!


Chibineko "Magical healing cunts"? XD I'm stealing that as a shelf name.


Lucian loved your review. I read the first ten pages and decided I didn't like this book. And now that I've read this review, I'm not going to finish it. BTW,"magic healing cunt"? really? Is that how she saves Gryphon?


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