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Book: The Third Circle

October 5, 2011
tags: ,

Oh dear.

It was supposed to be a light mystery, set in Victorian London, featuring a woman who had a paranormal talent for crystal-working (whatever that means) and a mesmerist, on the trail of a serial killer called The Midnight Monster. The fourth in a series of mysteries called The Arcane Society Mysteries (or something like that) — I figured, well, if I like it, then there’s more in the series, and that’s always a good thing. Also who can resist a series called The Arcane Society?  Perfect commute-listening for RIP, yes?

Except for one little thing.





Augh! I should have known. Dark and handsome mesmerists and unlucky-in-love crystal-workers thrown together by danger in Victorian London always equal cheesy romance. Duh! But I was in a hurry at the library and needed something RIP-worthy to listen to in the car, so I did not employ my own paranormal talent for sussing out cheesy romance novels, and was hoodwinked into listening to this.

To be fair, by the end of the book I was enjoying the light romance, but this was mostly due to the extraordinary vocal talents of the reader, who did an awesome job of making this very middle-of-the-road romance into something slightly more thrilling.

It wasn’t that bad, I guess. Totally bland, uninspired writing peppered with enough genuine humor (again, enhanced by the very good narrator) to keep my interest. A decent light romance that didn’t feature too many heaving bosoms or “himselfs” (although Himself did eventually come out; of course he did — he always makes an appearance in cheesy romance novels, doesn’t he? He thrusts Himself into the situation at some point; can’t help Himself. ) There was a kidnapping, a couple of murders, a few really boring legends, a totally unscary serial killer, some high society hijinks and of course the ritual losing of virginity in the conservatory.

OK, fine, Thaddeus Ware was a pretty good character, dark and brooding and powerful, as his type of Leading Man usually is. Poor Leona Hewitt, the spunky and totally-unaware-of-her-beauty heroine didn’t stand a chance against his somewhat possessive attraction to her. And once she saved him from the nightmare hallucinations, well, you knew it was destiny, right? They were linked psychically, forever. Oh, and the dog too. The dog is linked psychically as well. Mustn’t forget the dog.

Eh. It was okay. The narrator was fantastic and kept me interested. My eyes almost rolled out of their sockets at several points, and the story surrounding the romance was incredibly bad and weak (what? did the climax happen already? not the one in the conservatory… the other one. Almost missed it…), but Thaddeus and Leona were likeable and there were bits of genuine humor sprinkled throughout the book (which, again, the narrator totally capitalized on, poor narrator)

I won’t be picking up anything else by Amanda Quick anytime soon, although if I were stuck on a long journey and all I had to read was one of her Arcane Society mysteries, I guess I could get through it with a mild chuckle here and there. Not very RIP, and kind of a waste of a morning commute, but now I have better audiobooks, so onward! Currently in the CD player: Edgar Allan Poe horrors. Totally, certifiably, RIP.


17 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2011 7:06 am

    Haha! Sorry it turned out to be a romance novel… your post did make me laugh though.

    Hope you enjoy the Poe!

  2. October 6, 2011 8:56 am

    Oh how you made me giggle! Thanks! 🙂

  3. October 6, 2011 9:36 am

    Anytime! Just hand me a bad book..

  4. October 6, 2011 3:39 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with a romance! 🙂

    Now, that said, I thought this sounded familiar. I read this earlier this year and my “review” disintigrated into a discussion of why Buffy and Spike were more interesting. (Didn’t you comment on that somewhere?) No, I wasn’t a fan of this one either. The idea of a mesmerist made me think of Drood so I went in with somewhat lofty expectations, true enough, but I do read a lot of romances and The Third Circle didn’t work for me on that level either. Leona was tstl, I don’t remember anything about Thaddeus, and I thought the world-building was rather poor too.

    So yeah. Sorry you took this one for the RIP team. At least the narrator was good for the audio. Better luck with the next!

    • October 6, 2011 6:03 pm

      Oh yes! I thought this sounded vaguely familiar. I went in thinking Drood as well. It was pretty silly. The world-building was really bad.

      I really have to read a GOOD romance. Still on the lookout for Duke of Shadows. 🙂

  5. D'Arcy permalink
    October 6, 2011 6:08 pm

    That’s where I’ve heard the name Amanda Quick! I read a review on Kate’s blog!

    I saw an Amanda Quick book at the library tonight and picked it up to see if it was the one you’d just reviewed. Amanda Quick is a pen name for Jayne Ann Krentz – if you’d known that, maybe you would have known it was just a romance in RIP-worthy clothing.

    • October 6, 2011 8:25 pm

      …because she has a pen name? Is Krentz code for Krantz? Or does Jayne Ann Krentz have some significance?

      (clearly I need to brush up on my romance authors)

      • D'Arcy permalink
        October 8, 2011 7:11 am

        I’m just familiar enough with romance authors to know Jayne Ann Krentz is one of them.

      • October 8, 2011 9:45 am

        That’s apparently more than I know! Although the typeface should have tipped me off. Those romance authors always have their (pen)names in swoopy fonts.

      • October 8, 2011 12:25 pm

        I think she writes contemporaries under Krentz and historicals under Quick. Though don’t hold me to it – I’ve never read any Krentz and am not seeking out any more Quick 🙂

    • October 8, 2011 12:26 pm

      (hi, D’Arcy!)

  6. October 7, 2011 5:43 pm

    ha ha ha! ” so I did not employ my own paranormal talent for sussing out cheesy romance novels, and was hoodwinked into listening to this.” snicker snicker.

    the name thaddeus ware is really, really awesome.

  7. October 8, 2011 12:16 am

    I read this one a long time ago thinking it would be a good quick read. IT WAS A ROMANCE. I to will not be reading any more of Amanda Quick anytime soon.

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