Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Viola Grace - Two Parts Demon

Benny is swept on a quest to save her parents, and binding herself to her agents is all part of the plan. Who knew it was permanent?
Benny has completed the XIA course that will let her work with the agents she became close to while hunting a serial killer. It will take effect the moment they are cleared of demonic influence. Nothing like knowing that your blood is despised to make a girl feel wanted.
After a night on the town with Freddy, Benny runs into the agents, and they are not only hogging her favourite taco joint, but they are interested in her social status. She is about to say yes to whatever they can come up with when she gets a call from her house, and the night goes downhill from there.
Karaoke, kidnapping and binding spells make up the rest of the night when Benny must head to the demon zone and Argyle, Smith and Tremble refuse to let her go alone.
Nothing like jumping into a dimensional prison to lock in a first date.

Comment: After being positively surprised by how I liked the first part of this An Obscure Magic trilogy back in January, I knew I'd eventually get to the rest of the story and this second installment ended being my last read of May.

In this second part of the story, Benny is applying to be part of the agents' team she has helped in the previous book and to do that she must complete a course. While she does get approved, she can barely celebrate it before another family crisis happens and there goes Benny to the rescue. This time she has the help of her friend Freddy and, of course, the three agents she sort of bonded with. However, the new task Benny needs to face will be dangerous and she will do what she must to secure those around her can survive, even if that includes to soul bond with all the agents that seem to be her perfect match. But if things do solve themselves, what will Benny do then?

Yes, I can imagine what I wrote immediately makes you think about menages but the reality isn't as simplistic as that. And again, the writing can be quite silly and without any great literary ability but I still liked reading again about Benny's adventures.
I'd say these stories are good palate cleaners, which means they can so impersonal and without emotional investment, one can be entertained without worries.
However, this doesn't mean the story is vapid or stupid; only that it doesn't have any real purpose and can be interpreted differently by who reads. For me, they read as an easy stop in a paranormal world with lots of details to think about and a possible love story featuring several people.

Although I wouldn't say it is a good idea to read this with any serious expectations, it's still fun to think about a broader perspective on this world and it does help that the author simplifies everything, from motivations to plot maneuvers, which means this is very easy to read despite the details.

Because this is a short book, the events do seem to happen very quickly. There's also a complete lack of conflict and tension and things get solved pretty quickly. But I think it's still a good way to decompress and just read something that ends up positive.
I can understand the disappointments, though. There isn't much to go on and the characters are seriously under developed but the next installment will have interact more so hopefully this element can have some sort of closure too.

I can't even explain why this little story managed to feel positive for me while several recent PNR reads have not and with a lot more page count and dilemmas to overcome. But I suppose sometimes one can't explain it, one just reads it and personally, I do feel glad I could try this one, despite its major flaws when comparing to other work.
Grade: 7/10

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