I’ve been reading Jennifer Crusie books for years and have loved her Ohio-based characters’ romps through relationships. Wild Ride, a collaboration with her writing partner, Bob Mayer, is their third book together. Like Agnes and the Hitman, it combines both her relationship-driven style and his thriller plot twists but then adds a paranormal element. Sound weird? It kind of is, yet it’s oddly engaging. You can’t help but like all the characters, even the paranormal demons who are slipping in and out of the humans’ bodies — and yes, that was an intentional sexual innuendo.
The story is set in an aging Ohio amusement park called Dreamland, and is run by a group of men and women who guard its secrets. As the old guard is replaced by younger people, the equilibrium of the park is disturbed and disturbing events — think demon attacks! – happen.
Although I didn’t love, love, love this novel, the characters were intriguing and were typical of Crusie and Mayer. She writes about independent women who find greater strength within themselves when faced with a crisis, and he writes about strong and intelligent men who can save the world from enemies. Together, they create interesting characters and compelling plot design.
As I read this book, I kept thinking that it would make a great cable television show. Its characters are not developed enough to suit me, but there are so many of them that it would take a much longer book to do that. The location shots at an old amusement park would be fascinating to create and fun to watch, especially the nighttime scenes when the paranormals walk.
As I did a little research about who else had reviewed the book, I ran across Lesa’s Book Critiques, which I am going to bookmark for myself. She gave a lukewarm review to Wild Ride, but as I scrolled down through her comments I ran across a comment from a “Bob” who looked quite a lot like the co-author of Wild Ride, Bob Mayer. When I clicked on the photo link, there he was! His link then led me to their website, crusiemayer.com . For the writers among you, I recommend reading about their writing partnership.
All in all, this is a good beach or cruise read (Sorry about that pun!) if you are not expecting the complexity of Welcome to Temptation. Maybe I should option the book for a TV show myself. Everyone else seems to be able to get oddly engaging shows on television!
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