Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: SNAP: The World Unfolds

SNAP: The World Unfolds
SNAP: The World Unfolds by Michele Drier

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SNAP: The World Unfolds
by Michele Drier

Maxmillia Gwenoch, aka Maxie, is the new managing editor of SNAP. After years of working in women's magazines, she's finally reached the top. SNAP is the name of a conglomeration of print magazine (with editions in five languages), blog, and television publications dedicated to celebrities. Maxie works out of the office in LA, but makes regular trips to Miami, Rio, and other glam locations to rub shoulders with The Beautiful People. She's being paid a remarkable amount of money for the job, more than she ever thought she'd make. She has a condo and a chauffeur. Finally: she has an assistant, Jazz, whom I would kill to have on my payroll (if I could afford her rate). The woman is wonderful: she arranges for Maxie’s furniture to be unpacked while she’s on the road, and dispatches personal shoppers to acquire suitable clothing in her boss’ size when Maxie is invited to the castle of SNAP’s owner. Did I mention that SNAP was owned by a Hungarian baron?

Then there’s Jean-Louis, the art director. He’s frightfully handsome, and interested in Maxie, but our heroine’s mother always advised her never to get involved with someone prettier than she was. Still...

With these blessings come problems. There’s the blood on the bathroom floor. There’s the unexplained quasi-hospital setup on one of the floors in her office building. Then, there’s the sudden attacks on Maxie. Someone is trying to kidnap her!

She discovers that the Baron Kandesky and his family are vampires, and Carlos the Chauffeur is a demon who’s been engaged to protect her. That part is really cool, except for the Huszars, the vampires next door. They’ve been feuding with the Kandeskys for centuries, and they’ve teamed up with the local werewolves and wild boars. Yes, as in feral pigs.

The Huszars would like to replace the Kandeskys as the vampire source of celebrity gossip. Along with smashing them into the dirt, of course. And they want Maxie… because good help is hard to find.

This novella is a fast, fun read. I usually find the ‘life of the celebrity’ a turn-off, but it was very enjoyable here, seen through the eyes of a reporter who has to live part of what she’s been writing about all these years. Maxie is a go-getter who doesn’t give up when faced with challenges she has no preparation for. Plus, the notion that the Huszars want her for her skills is a twist I rarely see in romantic suspense. My only complaint is that the story is too short: it’s an origin story for a series character. Good news, though: the sequel is due out in 2012.

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