Boyfriend From Hell by Jamie Quaid
Saturn's Daughter #1
They say justice is blind. But Justine isn’t. Justine (Tina) Clancy is just an ordinary law student with a faulty arrest record, a part-time job in Baltimore’s radioactive Zone, and a family secret so bizarre even she doesn’t believe it. That is, until in a fit of fury she damns her boyfriend to hell—and it’s exactly where he ends up.
Much to her surprise, Tina is apparently one of Saturn’s daughters, with the power to wield vigilante justice. But poor Max didn’t deserve to go up in flames, even if he did almost run her over with her own car. Tina’s convinced someone cut the brakes—and now a relentless nemesis is stalking her through the Zone’s back alleys, where buildings glow, statues move, and chemical waste exposure comes with interesting consequences. Tina’s usually a loner, but now she needs a posse like no other: a shape-shifting kitten, an invisible thief, a biker gang, a snake-charming private detective, a well-meaning cop, and her sleazy, sexy boss. But in between freeing Max from hell, saving her own neck, and solving a mystery that threatens the Zone and her newfound friends, how is she ever going to study for finals?
Tina always thought she was just an ordinary law student trying to scrape by working part-time in the chemical spill Zone. But all that changes when her temper gets the best of her and she winds up accidentally sending her boyfriend straight to hell. Literally. With that one single event her life has been turned completely upside down as she goes from zero to sixty and finds she is one of Saturn's daughters and has the ability to wield justice directly. Unfortunately her new found power comes with a price as she has attracted the wrong people, and they won't stop until she is dead.
As interesting as the elements of the books were, I could help but feel a little disjointed from it all. It was almost like there were two different mythologies going on at the same time that were not blended well enough. On one hand you have the Zone, and all the mysterious happenings surrounding it. Then on the other you have Tina's heritage from Saturn, which I'll get into in a little while. Either one would have made for a really interesting backdrop, but when combined, I wasn't really sure what they had to do with one another, especially since Tina's abilities had nothing to do with the effects of the Zone. The only real tie shown was that those who were "different" seemed to be drawn to the Zone, explaining the reasoning for Tina to have ended up there. Perhaps I'm just being overly picky, but I felt like neither side was developed enough. I mean the Zone just didn't seem really believable as if something like that would have happened, then the government would have completely locked down the area. They would have evacuated all the people or at the very least quarantined them. I get that the people in the Zone were trying to avoid outsider notice for that exact reason, but it still wasn't really believable for them to have been left the their own devices in the first place.
Tina is an interesting character to say the least. She is very hot headed, and has a tendency to go off half cocked. Granted this does make her rather unpredictable, which sometimes can be an advantage, but in all honesty, I felt she more leaned towards the liability side. She also had this bad habit of refusing help just to be stubborn. There were several times throughout the book that I wanted to reach through my kindle and strangle her. I'm sure over time she will learn to control herself, but I couldn't help feeling that for now, her power set was wasted on her since she kept using it in not so great ways due to her short fuse. Speaking of those powers, that was a source of frustration for me, as again, like the Zone, that story thread just didn't seem to be fully developed. There was no clear answers for a very long time as to what/who she really was, and even by the very end, I'm still not quite sure of her abilities and limitations. Hopefully there will be a whole lot more answers in the next installment.
Even though Boyfriend From Hell had some problematic issues for me, it was still a pretty enjoyable read once you suspended a little disbelief and be willing to just go with the flow. In fact, I was never so off put that I had to walk away, and everything flowed well, making it a fun read overall. I do feel like there is a lot of potential in this series, and I am looking forward to the next installment.
(Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss)