Esprit de Corpse

Esprit de Corpse - Gina X. Grant Kirsty scythed Conrad – her evil ex-boss who tried to sell her soul to increase the terms of his demonic pact – with Dante’s scythe. All the rules said this was forbidden, but no-one knew why. Until Conrad turned into a demon, escaped from prison and fled to the mortal CoilGuess that answers that questionOf course, it’s Dante and Kirsty’s job to bring him back since they’re at fault – and quickly. But Conrad has returned to his old company and targeted his daughter and Kirsty’s best friend – Shannon. As if possessing Shannon wasn’t enough, she then gets arrested for murdering Kirsty!Through all this Kirsty also has to deal with a moody Dante who is Not Happy with Kirsty over the whole scythe thing.Oh this book. In fact, this series. I can see what it’s trying to do. I can see what it’s trying to achieve. It’s trying to be a very funny, fluffy, light and irreverent story with a slightly ditzy protagonist and lots of zany amusement. Kind of like Mary-Janice Davidson’s Undead series.But it really isn’t working for me. It’s trying to force all these puns and commentary and it just doesn’t work for me. And everything about the world and story kind of revolves around setting up the next joke or gag so it all kind of doesn’t work for me.I don’t mind the story in this book – the beginning set up was annoying and the conclusion vexed me, but the middle was pretty interesting. I followed along wondering what they were going to do next, how they were going to rectify things and if they even could, especially from the coil. I was interested and engaged but a little frustrated that they seemed to be more witnesses than participants in the story.I do give massive points to the awesome judge who set the court room lawyers homework to learn the damn law and banning them from watching courtroom dramas. I cheered that judge. I bow down to this judge. This judge is beyond awesome.I would really like to see Kirsty involved in a storyline that didn’t come about because of her own mistakes. The second book came from one of her unintentional blunders in the first book and this book is based on her grabbing Dante’s scythe despite knowing there would be (admittedly ill-defined) consequences. If there’s a fourth book in the series, I’d very much like it not to be another episode of “Kirsty D’Arc, scrabbling to clear up her mess. Again.”It’s partly because of Kirsty’s inexcusable screw up in book 2 that makes it is almost hard be as critical as I might be of Dante’s arseholery towards her. He treats her appallingly, he’s sarcastic, he’s distant, he arrogantly pulls rank over her and he demeans her. It’s out of line and pretty clearly shown as such. In some ways it’s an interesting complexity – after all, Dante has every right to be angry with her after what she did – but even with his legitimate anger, his treatment is still out of line. Someone screwing up – even in a manner that is pretty inexcusable – doesn’t justify demeaning them the way Dante did.Of course, that message may have been clearer if Kirsty didn’t spend time being jealous of Dante. I would actually have been happy if she confined her jealousy to Beatrice – because Dante calling Kirsty by Beatrice’s name is a pretty big motivation for that. But getting jealous because Shannon turns to Dante for comfort – especially when she herself didn’t acknowledge they were a couple – just cast a bad light on all of it. Her objection to Dante’s behaviour became clouded by her unreasonable jealousy and her jealousy over Beatrice merged with her being upset over Shannon. Her reasonable reactions are buried and shaded by a whole lot of unreasonable.The fact that a lot of this book is based on Kirsty’s mistake means I’m also frustrated immensely by the amount Kirsty breaks the rules in this book. Yes, Dante’s being an arse, most definitely – but how many more mistakes will she make and how many rules will she blatantly ignore before she finally realises that this is the source of most of her problems? She just looks… not very bright. Like she’s in the coil, the human world, where she’s invisible and insubstantial. She makes a mistake and assumes people can see her. Fine. Then she does it again. Ok I imagine it’s a huge transition even if she has been on the coil before. And then again. And again. At what point does she LEARN? Conrad did the same thing – he continually forgot he was possessing Shannon’s body. I mean, not once or twice, but over and over again.Read More