Publicat în R.L. Naquin

Pooka In My Pantry (seria A Monster Haven Story, volumul 2) – R.L. Naquin

Pooka In My Pantry (seria A Monster Haven Story, volumul 2) - R.L. NaquinPooka In My Pantry (seria A Monster Haven Story, volumul 2) – R.L. Naquin

Editura: Carina Press

Data publicare: 25 martie 2013

Numar pagini: 236

 

Sinopsis:

Zoey Donovan – empata, organizatoare de nunti si prima persoanala care apeleaza monstrii cu probleme – a fost de doua ori pe lista Mortii. In ambele ocazii, Riley, reaper-ul fermecator a refuzat sa respecte ordinul. Pentru incalcarea protocolului, Riley este acum intr-o perioada de proba. Pentru refuzul ei de a muri conform programului, dreptul lui Zoey de a trai este contestat. Ea va trebui sa faca fata unei provocari pe viata si pe moarte, insa nu stie cand sau unde va avea loc aceasta.

Sa ramana in viata ar fi putut sa nu fie atat de dificil daca Mafia Spiridusilor nu ar hoinari prin oras. Acum fiecare patron de afacere cu cea mai micuta conexiune cu comunitatea supranaturala este amenintat cu cel mai infiorator ghinion daca nu isi platesc taxa. Oglinzile se sparg, trupurile incep sa cada iar Zoey inca mai are clienti care isi asteapta mostrele de material.

Cu putin noroc, ar putea sa fie in stare sa ii salveze pe toti si inca sa ii mai ramana timp pentru o a doua incercare de a avea o prima intalnire cu reaper-ul ei favorit.

Parerea mea:

Daca anul trecut, pe cand citeam primul volum al acestei serii eram inca nesigura daca sa indraznesc sa o numesc astfel, dupa inca un volum, plus o scurta povestioara satelit, acum pot spune fara pic de indoiala ca seria A Monster Haven Story este una dintre cele mai bune povesti pe care le-am citit vreodata!

Cred ca de data aceasta, nu actiunea este neaparat cea care mi-a ridicat entuziasmul la cote maxime. Nu intelegeti gresit, nu spun ca actiunea nu este captivanta sau ca intriga este slaba. Dimpotriva. Insa sunt alte aspecte care au facut ca povestea creata de R.L. Naquin sa ma impresioneze atat de mult. In primul rand, citind volumul de fata, mi-am amintit ca ani de zile am fost convinsa ca exista un univers paralel in care exista absolut fiecare fiinta magica pe care ne-o imaginam si fiecare idee nastrusnica ce ne trece prin cap. Mi se parea imposibil ca toate creaturile ce se nasc in mintea noastra si toti prietenii imaginari pe care ni-i creem in copilarie sa ramana doar in imaginatia noastra. Nu, ei au cu siguranta o lume a lor, in care apar si raman imediat dupa ce noi ii creem.Trebuie sa fie asa, altfel universul ar fi extrem de trist, plictisitor si neinteresant.. Iar comunitatea de fiinte supranaturale descrisa de autoare in A Monster Haven Story mi-au readus in minte acea lume a creaturilor incredibile. Exista ceva atat de firesc in existenta lor, atat de natural si lipsit de exagerari incat din momentul in care incepi sa citesti povestea, iti recapeti o parte din sufletul de copil pe care il credeai pierdut.

Al doilea aspect care m-a fascinat este modul in care sunt construite personajele, emotiile, sentimentele ce se revarsa din interactiunile lor si modul in care se creeaza relatiile dintre ele. Cred ca nici atunci cand citeam cate o poveste de dragoste incarcata de romantism si profunzime, afectiunea, grija si tandretea nu curgeau din acea carte asa cum o fac din volumele seriei A Monster Haven Story. De nenumarate ori esti pur si simplu „infofolit” in emotii surprinzator de tandre si de reale.  Iar autoarea reuseste sa iti transmita toate aceste lucruri fara sa le mentioneze aproape niciodata direct. Nu are nevoie sa exprime clar fiecare emotie, ci isi captiveaza cititorii doar prin expunerea unor actiuni simple, a unor gesturi marunte sau a catorva replici aparent banale.

Volumul al doilea al seriei, Pooka In My Pantry, a fost desavarsit! Desi l-as fi devorat in doar cateva ore, l-am citit cat de incet am putut (probabil nu mai mult de 40-50 de pagini pe zi), tocmai ca sa prelungesc cat mai mult placerea lecturii. Si a fost de-a dreptul perfect! Recunosc, de-a lungul a cateva capitole am trecut prin niste emotii teribile, intrucat personajul meu preferat… pleaca! Are cateva probleme de rezolvat si dispare din scena, fara sa anunte exact cate zile/capitole va dura misiunea sa. Si daca tot am ajuns sa vorbesc despre Maurice, nu pot sa nu mentionez un lucru care m-a luat prin surprindere. Probabil fiecare cititor se indragosteste la un moment dat de cate un personaj. Bineinteles ca de-a lungul atator ani de cand citesc, am avut timp sa adun vreo 5 personaje masculine pe care le pot incadra instant in categoria „book crush”.  Nu doar ca au fost asa la momentul la care am citit cartea, dar au si ramas pana in prezent. Maurice nu m-a cucerit in sensul acesta. Dar am descoperit citind Pooka in My Pantry ca niciodata, nici macar atunci cand ma indragosteam de cate un protagonist, nu mi-am dorit mai tare ca acum ca un personaj sa se transpuna in realitate! Sau sa ma trezesc eu brusc in lumea imaginata in carte.

Insa nu numai Maurice este un personaj realizat in mod impecabil. Restul personajelor secundare au portrete la fel de bine construite, iar senzatia de ansamblu este ca ai da orice sa te trezesti tu in locul – sau alaturi de Zoey. Firul narativ este surprinzator, de cele mai multe ori nu ai idee cum va evolua povestea, iar banuielile iti sunt rapid demontate. Atunci cand crezi ca stii ce se va intampla mai departe, apare un nou personaj sau are loc o intamplare care iti rastoarna presupunerile. Misterul devine tot mai incalcit, iar rezolvarea pare sa fie din ce in ce mai complicata. Iar finalul este uimitor! Trecand putin intr-o nota steampunk prin secretele pe care le afla protagonista, incheierea ofera un suflu nou si surprinzator seriei si te lasa visand la urmatorul volum. Mi-a placut si faptul ca desi problemele au de data aceasta o gravitate mult mai mare si se ridica la un nivel mai inalt, situatia la nivel individual este una optimista. Zoey nu mai are o lupta personala de dus, ci este un element cheie intr-un razboi major. Insa are de data aceasta o plasa de siguranta bine ancorata: un grup de prieteni dragi si devotati care ii vor sta alaturi orice ar fi, o iubire ce poate sa infloreasca fara sa mai fie intrerupta de diferite evenimente macabre si o intreaga comunitate de fiinte supranaturale care o vor ajuta fara indoiala atunci cand va fi timpul.

Nu voi scrie aici „bile albe” si „bile negre”. Pentru ca intreaga lectura a fost atat de delicioasa si fascinanta incat ar trebui sa mentionez fiecare element utilizat in constructia povestii. In plus, de data aceasta chiar nu am gasit nici un aspect care sa ma nemultumeasca.

Ceea ce va mai spun in incheiere este ca astfel de carti sunt cele care transforma lectura dintr-o placere intr-o nevoie: romanele care te fac sa visezi asa cum nu ai mai facut-o de ani intregi, de cand erai copil si imposibilul nu avea nevoie decat de o scanteie minuscula pentru a deveni posibil; care iti schimba starea de spirit intr-o secunda; care sterg realitatea din jur si o inlocuiesc cu scenele magice din poveste si care te fac sa iti doresti cu tot sufletul ca intr-o zi, sa devii tu insuti un personaj de acolo; care devin aproape personale, pentru ca te influenteaza mai mult decat au facut-o zeci de carti de-a lungul anilor. Pot sa numar pe degete romanele care au reusit sa treaca acest prag si care imi vor ramane mereu lecturi de suflet. Iar seria A Monster Haven Story a intrat in aceasta categorie de povesti, asa ca este evident de ce v-o recomand cu atat de multa caldura.

***

English version:

If last year, when I was reading the first novel in this series I was still unsure if I should dare to name it like this, now – after a sequel and a short story, I can say without doubt that A Monster Haven Story series is one of the best stories I’ve ever read!

I think this time, it’s not the action that grew my enthusiasm to maximum limits. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the action is not fascinating or that the plot is weak. On the contrary! But there are other reasons why these books impressed me this much. First, it’s the fact that reading this sequel I remembered that for years I believed that there is a parallel universe populated by every magical being we imagine and every crazy idea we have. It seemed impossible that all those creatures born in our mind and all those imaginary friends we create when we are children could only live in our imagination. No, they surely have their own world where they appear and live since the first moment we create them. It has to be like this, otherwise the universe would be extremely sad, boring and uninteresting. And the community of supernatural beings described by the author in A Monster Haven Story reminded me of that world of incredible creatures. There’s something so natural in their existence, so casual and normal that when you start reading the story, you get back a part of the soul you had as a child and thought it was lost forever.

The second thing that fascinated me is the way the author builds the characters, their emotions, the feelings that grow from their interactions and the relations created between them. I think that not even when I was reading love stories full of romance and depth, the affection, care and tenderness weren’t flowing from those books the way they are flowing from the novels written by R.L. Naquin. During so many moments, you are completely „wrapped” in emotions that are surprisingly tender and real. And the author is able to offer you all these things without even mentioning them directly. She doesn’t need to express clearly every emotion, she only engages her readers with simple actions, tiny gestures or some common replies.

This sequel, Pooka in My Pantry was flawless! Even if I really, really wished to devour it in just a few hours, I actually read it as slow as I could (probably no more than 40 or 50 pages per day), only to prolong the happiness. And it really was a perfect story! I have to confess, during a few chapters, I was terrified. Because my favorite character… leaves! He has some problems to solve and he disappears, without mentioning exactly how many days/chapters he’ll be missing. And if we’re talking about Maurice, I have to mention something that surprised me. Probably every reader falls in love with a character by time to time. Of course, during so many years of reading, I had time to add about five characters that are clearly book crushes. Not only that they were at the time I was reading those books, but they remained like this over the years. Maurice is not a crush. Not in the same way. But as I was reading Pooka in My Pantry I discovered that never, not even when I was falling in love with a character I didn’t wish more than I wish now to move a character from a book into reality! Or to move myself in the world described in the book.

But Maurice is not the only perfect character. The secondary characters also have wonderful portraits and the final feeling is that you’d do anything just to switch places with – or at least to be near – Zoey. The plot is surprising and most of the time, you have no idea what’s going to happen next. Any assumptions you might have are quickly destroyed. Every time you think you know what’s the next move, a new character appears or a new event takes place and breaks your guess. The mystery keeps growing and the solving seems to be more and more complicated. And the ending is amazing! Stepping a little in a steampunk area through the secrets discovered by the heroine, the last chapters offer a new perspective over the series and make you daydream about the next sequel. I also loved the fact that although this time the problems are more complicated and everything is happening at a higher level, the situation for Zoey is somehow more optimistic. She doesn’t have just a personal fight, she is now a key element in a major war. And this time, she has a great safety net: a group of dear and loyal friends that will stay near her in any situation, a love that is now free to grow without any macabre events and a whole community of supernatural beings that will surely help her when the time will come.

I won’t write any “Pros” and “Cons”. Because the whole book was so delicious and fascinating that I should mention every single element that was used to build this story. Moreover, there really weren’t any aspects that could be considered a “Con”.

The last thing that I have to tell you is that this kind of books is the one that transform reading from a pleasure to real need: the books that make you dream the way you haven’t dreamed in years, since you were a child and the impossible only needed a spark in order to become possible; the books that are changing your feelings in a second; the books that delete the reality surrounding you, replacing it with the magical scenes from the story; the books that make you wish with all your heart to become one of the characters inside; the stories that become almost personal, intimate, because they influence you more than other books did during whole years. I can count on my fingers the novels that got in this category and will forever remain stuck in my heart. A Monster Haven Story is clearly one of these books, so it’s obvious why I recommend it.

Alte recenzii care te-ar putea interesa:

Monster in My Closet (seria A Monster Haven Story, volumul 1) – R.L. Naquin

Ill-Conceived Magic (seria A Monster Haven Story, volum satelit) – R.L. Naquin

Publicat în R.L. Naquin

Ill-Conceived Magic (seria A Monster Haven Story, volum satelit) – R.L. Naquin

Ill-Conceived Magic A Monster Haven Short Story (seria Monster Haven, volum satelit) – R.L. NaquinIll-Conceived Magic A Monster Haven Short Story

seria A Monster Haven Story, volum satelit

R.L. Naquin

Numar pagini: 38

 

Sinopsis:

Zoey Donovan, empata si protectoare a monstrilor, gaseste un pachet pe gazonul din fata casei. Plange mult si poarta scutece. Mai are si cornite, copite despicate si pielea verde.

Zoey si Maurice, monstrul de dulap incep sa ii caute parintii, destul de neobisnuiti si ei, intr-o incercare disperata sa reuneasca familia aparent nepotrivita. O manevra destul de primejdioasa tinand cont de rudele ostile ale acestei familii.

Ill-Conceived Magic este o poveste scurta a carei actiune se desfasoara in lumea din seria A Monster Haven Story. Include de asemenea si primul capitol din Pooka in My Pantry, cel de-al doilea volum al seriei.

Aceasta poveste poate fi parcursa si fara sa fi citit volumele principale. In orice caz, din punct de vedere cronologic, intamplarile din ea se petrec dupa cele din prima carte, Monster in My Closet si cartea a doua, Pooka in My Pantry (care va fi publicat pe 25 martie 2013). Ambele romane principale pot fi comandate de pe orice librarie online care comercializeaza in varianta digitala. In septembrie 2013 urmeaza sa fie publicat si volumul al treilea, Fairies in My Fireplace.

Parerea mea:

Una dintre cartile pe care le-am citit anul trecut si care a intrat chiar si in topul meu cu cele mai bune romane sau serii pe care le-am descoperit in 2012 a fost Monster in My Closet, de R.L. Naquin. Este probabil cea mai draguta poveste pe care am citit-o pana acum, iar Maurice, unul dintre personajele principale este fara indoiala cel mai dulce protagonist pe care l-am intalnit vreodata. Va puteti imagina deci entuziasmul meu atunci cand am aflat ca pe langa aparitia in viitorul apropiat a volumului cu numarul 2 din serie, autoarea a publicat si un scurt volum satelit, a carui actiune este situata intre povestile din primul si al doilea volum.

Reintalnirea cu Zoey, Maurice si restul personajelor incredibile din aceasta serie mi-a provocat un zambet larg inca de la primele randuri, zambet care s-a mentinut chiar si dupa ce am parcurs ultima pagina.

Povestea pe care o descoperim in acest scurt volum satelit ne ofera ocazia sa o privim pe Zoey intr-o noua misiune de salvare a creaturilor fantastice. Din momentul in care Maurice, monstrul din dulap despre care credea ca era doar rodul imaginatiei sale se dovedeste a fi la fel de real ca ea insasi, viata lui Zoey s-a schimbat total. Stia deja ca abilitatea ei de a simti emotiile celor din jur in cel mai inalt grad nu era tocmai ceva obisnuit. Insa Maurice i-a oferit sansa de a descoperi o lume noua, despre existenta careia nu avea habar. Monstrii din dulapuri, garguii, zanele si toate celelalte fiinte pe care le credea imaginare sunt cat se poate de reale. Iar combinatia alcatuita din faptul ca protagonista stie acum despre ele, ca este si extrem de empatica si pe deasupra, ca mama ei a fost si ea o aparatoare a acestor fiinte nu duce decat intr-o singura directie: Zoey devine un sprijin pentru creaturile magice aflate in dificultate. Iar faima ei pare sa se raspandeasca. Avand deja in casa un monstru de dulap si un gargui – ambii divortati si ramasi fara adapost, o familie de zane abuzate de tatal lor si un fel de.. yeti care are grija de siguranta locuintei sale, Zoey descopera ca viitorul ii rezerva inca multe surprize. Gasind pe prag un pachet misterios, eroina intra intr-o cursa in care trebuie sa dezlege mai multe mistere, sa scape intreaga din ghearele unei gasti de satiri si a unei driade furioase si sa reuneasca o familie dezbinata. Intre timp, se confrunta si cu o descoperire socanta legata de prietenul ei Maurice, iar relatia lor pare sa se indrepte rapid spre o ruptura dezastruoasa daca ea nu va reusi sa o salveze, trecand peste propria-i confuzie.

Daca inca nu v-am facut indeajuns de curiosi, va mai spun pentru a nu stiu cata oara ca Maurice este unul dintre cei mai simpatici protagonisti pe care i-am intalnit vreodata! Pur si simplu, trebuie sa il cunoasteti!

Povestea este scrisa in acelasi stil amuzant, insa in acelasi timp, cu nuante surprinzator de realiste pe care l-am descoperit si admirat si in Monster in My Closet. In ciuda caracteristicilor fantastice, personajele magice au probleme reale, se comporta dezarmant de sincer, iar senzatia per ansamblu este ca tocmai ai tras cu ochiul intr-un camin obisnuit, in care locuitorii isi urmeaza linistiti cursul vietii. Bineinteles, singura diferenta fiind faptul ca personajele numai obisnuite nu sunt, iar pe langa acele probleme normale se mai confrunta si cu unele ce depasesc adesea limita imaginatiei.

Recomand din suflet seria lui R.L. Naquin! In ciuda avalansei de romane fantasy si paranormal din ultimii ani, mi se pare ca autoarea strecoara magie pura in cartile ei iar povestea pe care a reusit sa o creeze are ceva extrem de special.

Aceasta povestire este disponibila in varianta e-book, gratuit. O puteti descarca de pe Smaswords, AICI.  Bineinteles, poate fi citita si ca stand-alone, insa v-as recomanda sa cititi mai intai primul volum al seriei, pentru ca altfel ati putea pierde ceva din savoarea si farmecul personajelor. Rar mi se intampla sa recomand atat de entuziast cate o carte, pentru simplul fapt ca preferintele fiecaruia difera si deci ceea ce imi place mie ar putea sa nu fie deloc pe gustul altui cititor. Insa tinand cont ca majoritatea dintre voi, cei care ajungeti destul de des pe aici aveti gusturi destul de asemanatoare cu ale mele (altfel nu ati mai veni in vizita pe blogul meu, nu?) tind sa cred nu veti regreta investitia si ca veti avea parte de o lectura minunata!

English version:

One of the books I’ve read last year that went directly in my 2012 Top 5 was Monster in My Closet, written by R.L. Naquin. It’s probably the cutest story I’ve ever read and Maurice, one of the main characters is surely the sweetest hero I’ve met. You can imagine my enthusiasm when I found out that in addition to the second book in the series (soon to be published), the author also published a short story, situated between the first and the second book.

The meeting with Zoey, Maurice and the rest of the incredible characters brought me a huge smile on my face from the first second, smile that remained there even after I finished the last page.

This short story offers us a chance to see Zoey in a new monster saving mission. From the moment Maurice, the monster from the closet that she thought was just a product of her imagination proves to be as real as she is, Zoey’s life changes. She already knew that her ability to feel everybody’s emotions at the highest degree was not that normal. But Maurice offered her the chance to discover a new world that she didn’t know it existed. The monsters in the closets, the gargoyles, the fairies and all the other magic beings she thought were imaginary are very, very real. And the combination between the fact that she now knows about them, that she’s an empath and that her own mother was a protector for these creatures is leading to only one direction: Zoey herself becomes a protector for the needy magical beings. And her fame seems to grow stronger. Already having in her house a closet monster and a gargoyle – both of them divorced and homeless, an abused family of brownies (some kind of tiny fairies) and a skunk-ape that protects her home, Zoey discovers that her future is still full of surprises. After finding a mysterious package on the front lawn, the heroine finds herself in a race where she’ll have to solve some mysteries, get rid of a group of satyrs and a furious dryad and reunite a split family. Meanwhile, she makes a shocking  discovery about her friend Maurice and their relation seems to be breaking. She’s the only one who could save it, but only if she can ignore her own confusion.

If I didn’t make you curious enough, I’ll just tell you again and again that Maurice is one of the loveliest heroes I’ve ever met! You just have to meet him!

The story is written in the same funny style, but full of surprising realistic shades, that we discovered in the first book, Monster in My Closet. Despite their fantastic features, the characters have real problems, they act in a disarming honestly way and the whole sensation is that you just took a look in a normal house, where the members are simply living normal lives. Of course, the difference would be that the characters are anything but normal and apart from their everyday problems, they also have some issues more difficult than you could ever imagine.

I highly recommend R.L. Naquin’s series! Despite the fact that there is a huge amount of fantasy and paranormal books written in the last few years, I think this author is slipping pure magic in her books and so, the story she managed to create has something truly special.

The short story can be read for free. You can download it from Smashwords, HERE. Of course, it can be read as a stand-alone, but I would recommend you to read Monster in My Closet first, otherwise you could miss some of the story’s enchantment or the characters’ charm. I don’t usually recommend books with such passion. This is because our preferences might be different, so something I loved in a book could be something you despise. But in this case, I’m 99% sure that you won’t regret your purchase and that you’ll have a wonderful time reading the Monster Haven series.

Alte recenzii care te-ar putea interesa:

Monster in My Closet (seria A Monster Haven Story, volumul 1) – R.L. Naquin

Magie de doi bani (seria Femei din Cealalta Lume, volumul 3) – Kelley Armstrong

Publicat în R.L. Naquin

Monster in My Closet (seria A Monster Haven Story, volumul 1) – R.L. Naquin

Monster in My Closet  (seria A Monster Haven Story, volumul 1) – R.L. Naquin

Editura: Carina Press

Data publicare: 30 iulie 2012

Numar pagini: 224

 

Sinopsis:

Am incetat sa mai cred in monstrii de multa vreme. Dar stiam ca nu imi imaginez lucruri atunci cand am descoperit unul in bucataria mea, pregatind briose. Il mai vazusem si inainte: pandind din dulapul meu, speriindu-ma de moarte pe cand aveam 5 ani. Se pare ca totul fusese de fapt o neintelegere, iar acum Maurice are nevoie de un loc unde sa locuiasca. Cum as putea sa ii spun nu?

Pana la urma, am fost intotdeauna ca un magnet pentru cei cu probleme emotionale, iar asta nu numai in contextul jobului meu de organizatoare de nunti. Fiind capabila sa simt toate sentimentele celor din jur poate fi o adevarata problema. Nu ma intelegeti gresit, imi place sa ajut oamenii – si… ne-oamenii. Insa aceasta abilitate m-a transformat intr-un festin pentru un incub, un demon ce se hraneste cu energia emotionala. Acum, miresele mor pe capete prin tot orasul iar casa mea a devenit un adapost sigur pentru supranatural. Trebuie sa invat sa imi concentrez talentul si sa inving demonul inainte ca acesta sa mai apuce sa isi mai ia drept gustare vreo femeie nevinovata si apoi sa vina si dupa felul principal…

Parerea mea:

Multumesc editurii Carina Press si autoarei, R.L. Naquin, pentru sansa de a citi aceasta carte. Recunosc ca m-am indragostit de la primele randuri de ea. De fapt..nu, mint! Cred ca din momentul in care am citit titlul am devenit innebunita sa aflu despre ce este vorba in carte. Am prostul obicei de a-mi forma anumite asteptari de la o carte in functie de titlul si coperta acesteia, asa ca bineinteles, si in acest caz, odata ce am vazut aceste doua elemente am banuit/sperat ca si povestea va fi la fel de originala. Si din fericire, nu m-am inselat. Am adorat romanul lui R.L. Naquin de la prima pana la ultima pagina!

Am descoperit o poveste total neasteptata, incarcata de magie, de creaturi supranaturale adorabile, de personaje amuzante, pasaje nostime, replici acide sau dimpotriva, atat de dulci incat le-am citit iar si iar, nevenindu-mi sa cred ca poate exista un roman atat de dragalas. Pentru ca per ansamblu, cred ca acesta este cuvantul care defineste cel mai bine Monster in My Closet. Da, povestea are si o parte dramatica, care reprezinta de fapt si intriga volumului, dar eu am fost atat de fascinata de cateva dintre personajele ne-umane, incat orice altceva a fost pus in umbra de ele. Am senzatia ca orice as spune despre aceasta carte nu ar putea exprima cat de mult mi-a placut. Cred ca daca lista de carti necitite pe care le am in biblioteca nu ar fi atat de lunga, as reincepe romanul chiar acum. De fapt, de-a lungul lecturii, m-am intors de cateva ori la unele pagini de la inceput pentru a le citi din nou. Nu pentru ca as fi uitat sau nu as fi inteles ceva, ci pur si simplu pentru ca mi-au placut prea mult.

Povestea incepe in dimineata in care Zoey, eroina romanului, o tanara de 28 de ani, organizatoare de nunti, cu o casnicie ratata la activ si total ancorata in realitate, fara absolut nici o legatura cu orice lucru paranormal, isi da seama ca in casa ei se afla un intrus. O privire aruncata inspre acesta o transporta in amintiri, mai exact in noaptea in care avea 5 ani si a vazut un monstru iesind din dulapul ei.  Iar in prezent, in fata ei se afla exact acelasi monstru pe care il daduse uitarii, presupunand ca fusese pur si simplu o spaima copilareasca. Iar exuberantul monstru, numit Maurice, o intampina cu cafea, un mic dejun delicios si rugamintea de a-i oferi un adapost pentru o perioada. De aici pana la o viata care o ia razna total nu mai e decat un pas. Zoey afla ca propria ei capacitate de a empatiza total cu cei din jur, de a le simti toate emotiile si toate sentimentele nu este un lucru normal, iar asta o transforma intr-o tinta pentru un demon, un incubus, pentru care ea reprezinta o masa delicioasa. Si in acelasi timp, toate femeile cu care Zoey a interactionat in ultima vreme au devenit si ele tinte. Iar cateva dintre acestea si-au pierdut deja viata.  Zoey trebuie sa invete sa traiasca cu toate fiintele supranaturale care au dat navala in viata ei, sa descopere in ce mod poate evolua relatia pe care tocmai a inceput-o cu un reaper, un slujitor al mortii ce colecteaza suflete si mai presus de orice, sa scape pentru totdeauna de demonul ce ii ameninta viata si ei si tuturor femeilor din jur, fie ele umane sau nu.

Povestea este bine inchegata, nu am detectat nici macar un aspect care sa para fortat sau nelalocul lui. Personajele sunt de departe cel mai savuros aspect al cartii. Cred ca Maurice a devenit unul dintre personajele mele preferate din toate cartile pe care le-am citit vreodata, Zoey este extrem de credibila, in ciuda faptului ca tot ce i se intampla este incredibil, si absolut toate celelalte personaje secundare ofera un plus de farmec romanului, completand cu succes scenariul acestuia. Mi-a placut faptul ca personajele nu respecta nici o schema clasica. Desi reuseste sa lupte singura impotriva lui Sebastian, demonul ce ii ameninta viata, Zoey are momente de slabiciune cand trebuie sa fie salvata.  Riley, reaper-ul de care se indragosteste ii e alaturi doar de la un punct, la inceput el incercand sa nu se amestece in razboiul ei, in ciuda faptului ca ar putea fi de un real ajutor. Andrew, unul dintre putinii oameni care cunosc directia in care a luat-o viata protagonistei ii sta alaturi ca sfatuitor, profesor si prieten in acelasi timp, dar el ramane vulnerabil in fata pericolului. Iar Maurice, adorabilul monstru din dulap, in ciuda puterilor magice pe care pare sa le aiba, nu are posibilitatea sa si le puna in lupta impotriva incubusului pentru a o ajuta pe Zoey.

Romanul este disponibil de ieri in magazinele din afara in format e-book, nu stiu daca va aparea si in editie printata si daca va ajunge vreodata sa fie tradus si in Romania. Totusi, daca obisnuiti sa cititi carti in format electronic, va recomand din suflet sa nu stati pe ganduri  daca vreti o lectura amuzanta, care va va binedispune nu doar cand o veti citi, ci si de fiecare data cand va veti aminti de ea. Daca aveti indoieli, mai jos sunt primele replici pe care i le adreseaza monstrul din dulap eroinei:

<< “You’re up!” he said. “Sit-sit-sit! I made you orange-strawberry muffins. They’ll be ready in a few minutes.” He jerked to his feet and waved me to a chair. “I’ll get you some coffee.” He paused for a long moment, and his smile grew larger as he gazed at me. “Gosh, you grew up pretty, Zoey. Sit-sit-sit.”

…..

 “Zoey, Zoey, my friend, Zoey!”

…..

“So can I stay? Wait, don’t answer that yet. Taste a muffin first. I’m a good cook! I can clean the pool, too. Honest, I won’t get in the way.”

I blinked again. „What?”

“You’re still mad at me, aren’t you. I’m really sorry about that. I didn’t mean to scare you the last time I was here.”

…..

“…and that’s why I came here when she kicked me out. It’s the only place I’ve ever felt safe.”

“What?” I knew I’d missed something crucial. I glanced down at the table in an automatic search for the DVR remote. I needed to rewind and replay that last part.

“You’re not awake yet.” He patted my arm again. “Drink your coffee. We’ll try again when you’re fed.”

…..

“I was only eight, myself, back then,” he said. “I had nowhere to go, and your mom took me in. Oh, Zoey, she was so mad at me that night. I was supposed to stay in the hall closet, but yours had all those great toys. Even then I loved to cook, and your Easy-Bake Oven was perfect for trying out your mom’s recipes in small batches. The lightbulb inside it gave such a warm, even toast to my shortbread.” He reached toward me as if to touch me again, then pulled away, looking down at his hands. “I wasn’t trying to scare you. I thought we were playing a game. Didn’t you see me smiling?”

I nodded, the memory of that grin still giving me chills. “I thought you were going to eat me.”

Maurice wrinkled his fat nose. “That’s disgusting, Zoey. >>

Bile albe:

– Nici nu stiu ce altceva as mai putea scrie aici, intrucat tot romanul a fost o „bila alba”. Nu am nimic de reprosat, mi s-a parut o lectura perfecta si as recomanda cartea oricui. M-a amuzat teribil si chiar daca intre timp m-am apucat deja de o noua carte, inca imi mai vin in minte anumite replici ale personajelor si mi se par la fel de savuroase ca si atunci cand le-am citit prima data.

Bile negre:

– Romanul este incadrat in genul urban fantasy, dar fiind publicat de Carina Press, editura cunoscuta pentru romanele sale cu tenta erotica, banuiesc ca unii cititori ar putea astepta un numar mai mare de scene hot. Acestea nu lipsesc in totalitate, dar nu sunt nici atat de frecvente incat sa transforme romanul intr-unul bine incadrat in literatura romance. Personal, nu am fost absolut deloc deranjata de acest lucru, dar cred ca trebuia mentionat acest aspect, astfel incat sa nu se astepte nimeni la un roman gen Sandra Brown in varianta fantasy.

Update:

OMG! Recenzia mea a ajuns la autoarea cartii Monster in my Closet, R.L. Naquin si se pare ca i-a placut destul de mult incat sa scrie despre aceasta pe blogul ei! Sunt extrem de entuziasmata, acesta a fost unul dintre cele mai grozave momente de care am avut parte de cand am blogul! Gasiti AICI postarea de pe site-ul autoarei.

English version:

I received Monster in my Closet by courtesy of Carina Press publisher and R.L. Naquin, the author of the book. Because English is not my native language, please accept my excuses for the possible mistakes.

I admit I fell in love with the book from the first words. In fact..no, I’m lying! I think that since the moment I saw the book’s title I became desperate to find out the story.  I have a bad habit of creating different expectations around a novel, depending of it’s title and cover and of course, in this case also, once I saw those elements I suspected/hoped that the story would be as original as it seemed to be. And fortunately, I wasn’t wrong. I loved the novel written by R.L. Naquin from the first page till the last one!

I discovered a totally surprising story, full of magic, supernatural and adorable creatures, funny characters, entertaining fragments, sarcastic dialogues or on the contrary, dialogues that were so sweet that I read them over and over again, almost not believing that such a lovely story actually exists. Because, overall, I think a word like “cuddly”, “lovely” or “sweet” would best define Monster in my Closet. Indeed, the story also has a dramatic part, which is actually the novel’s story line, but I was so fascinated by some of the un-human characters that everything else was cast into the shade by them. I have the feeling that no matter what I’d say about the book couldn’t express how much I actually liked it. I think that if my list of unread books wouldn’t be so big, I would start again the novel right away. In fact, during the time I was reading Monster in my Closet I got back at the beginning of the book and read again and again some fragments.  Not because I didn’t understand something or because I forgot something, but because I loved them too much.

The story begins with the morning when Zoey, the protagonist, a 28 years old woman, wedding planner and totally anchored in reality, with no affinity with anything paranormal, realizes that there’s an intruder in her house.  One look at him sends her in her memories, at the moment when she was 5 years old and she’d seen a monster coming out of her closet. And now, in front of her is the exact same monster that she’d forgotten about, thinking that it was only a childish fear.  And the exuberant monster, called Maurice, greets her with coffee, a delicious breakfast and the prayer to be sheltered in her house for a while. From that to a complete crazy life there’s just a tiny step.  Zoey finds out that her gift to empathize completely with the others, to feel all their emotions and feelings is not such a normal thing as she thought and this makes her the perfect target for a demon, an incubus that sees her as a delicious meal. And in the same time, all the women that interacted with Zoey in the recent time are also a target for the demon. And some of them already lost their lives. Zoey must learn how to live among all the supernatural beings that burst into her life, to discover a way to develop her relation with a reaper – a death’s soldier that collects souls and, most important, to get rid of the demon that threatens her life and the lives of all the women around, human or not.

The story was perfectly built, I haven’t noticed a single aspect to seem forced or not in it’s place. The characters are certainly the best part of the book. I think that Maurice became one of my favorites characters from all the books I have ever read. Zoey is extremely credible, although everything that happens to her is incredible. And all the other minor characters raise the book’s enchantment.  I loved the fact that the characters are not created based on a common draft. Although she manages to fight alone with Sebastian, the demon that threatens her life, Zoey has moments full of weakness, when she needs to be saved by others. Riley, the reaper that she falls in love with, stays beside her only later, because at the beginning he tries not to interfere with her fight, even if he would be a huge help. Andrew,  one of the few humans that know the way her life goes now stays with her as a friend, a teacher and an advisor in the same time, but he remains vulnerable in front of the danger.  And Maurice, the lovely closet monster, doesn’t have the possibility to use his magical powers in the fight against the demon, in order to help Zoey.

The novel is available for shopping since yesterday in the most important shops, as an e-book. I don’t know if it’s going to appear in a printed version or if it will ever be translated in Romanian. Still, if you’re usually reading e-books, I totally recommend you this novel. Not only that you’ll have fun reading it, but every time you’ll remember something about it, you’ll have a smile on your face. If you’re still not convinced, please read bellow the first conversation between Zoey and the closet monster:

<< “You’re up!” he said. “Sit-sit-sit! I made you orange-strawberry muffins. They’ll be ready in a few minutes.” He jerked to his feet and waved me to a chair. “I’ll get you some coffee.” He paused for a long moment, and his smile grew larger as he gazed at me. “Gosh, you grew up pretty, Zoey. Sit-sit-sit.”

…..

 “Zoey, Zoey, my friend, Zoey!”

…..

“So can I stay? Wait, don’t answer that yet. Taste a muffin first. I’m a good cook! I can clean the pool, too. Honest, I won’t get in the way.”

I blinked again. „What?”

“You’re still mad at me, aren’t you. I’m really sorry about that. I didn’t mean to scare you the last time I was here.”

…..

“…and that’s why I came here when she kicked me out. It’s the only place I’ve ever felt safe.”

“What?” I knew I’d missed something crucial. I glanced down at the table in an automatic search for the DVR remote. I needed to rewind and replay that last part.

“You’re not awake yet.” He patted my arm again. “Drink your coffee. We’ll try again when you’re fed.”

…..

“I was only eight, myself, back then,” he said. “I had nowhere to go, and your mom took me in. Oh, Zoey, she was so mad at me that night. I was supposed to stay in the hall closet, but yours had all those great toys. Even then I loved to cook, and your Easy-Bake Oven was perfect for trying out your mom’s recipes in small batches. The lightbulb inside it gave such a warm, even toast to my shortbread.” He reached toward me as if to touch me again, then pulled away, looking down at his hands. “I wasn’t trying to scare you. I thought we were playing a game. Didn’t you see me smiling?”

I nodded, the memory of that grin still giving me chills. “I thought you were going to eat me.”

Maurice wrinkled his fat nose. “That’s disgusting, Zoey. >>

Pros:

– I don’t have idea what else I could write here, because the whole novel was a “pro”. I don’t have any complains, I really thought that Monster in the Closet was a perfect reading and I would recommend the book to anybody. I had a lot of fun reading it and even if I already started a new book, I still have moments when I remember some dialogues from Monster in the Closet and I still find them as delicious as they were the first time I read them.

Cons:

– The novel is considered an urban fantasy volume, but because it was published by Carina Press, a publisher known especially for it’s erotic novels, I suppose that some readers might expect a bigger number of hot moments. Which are not totally missing, but are not enough frequent in order to make this novel a romance or erotic one. I was not a bit disturbed by this aspect, but I think I needed to mention this, so that nobody expects some kind of fantasy Sandra Brown book.

Update:

OMG! My review came to the hand of the author of the novel Monster in my Closet, Mrs. R.L. Naquin and it seems that she liked enough to write about it on her own blog! I’m extremely excited, this was one of the best moments I lived since I have this blog! You can read HERE the post on Mrs. Naquin’s site.

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Nici moarta, nici maritata (seria Betsy, Regina Vampirilor, volumul 1) – Maryjanice Davidson