Friday, July 29, 2011

Under Wraps

Under Wraps
By Hannah Jayne
Published by Kensington Books

Don't let the cover fool you. Please. It has nothing to do with the book and if anyone at the publisher had read the first chapter they would have realized a bustier would be the last thing Sophie Lawson, the heroine of this story, would wear. She says it herself to even the most dense reader. The Golden Gate Bridge is okay -- the story is set in San Francisco.

Despite the cover, the book is worth the read! Humor, romance (with spicy hints but nothing hot and heavy), mystery, oddball friendships and even a mention or two of God.  Yes, vampires do figure heavily in this book as do demons, witches, trolls, and other things that could go bump in the night. However, they are all trying to get into the Overworld as "regular" people. To do this they must register and be approved by the Underworld Detection Agency (UDA) where Sophie works as an administrative assistant. Sophie is teamed up with hot Detective Parker from the human police department (literally) upstairs to solve a potential paranormal series of murders. Sophie's boss (a werewolf) disappears and finger start pointing in his direction and at times in the direction of Sophie's roommate Nina (a vampire) and her visiting nephew (also a vampire).

Sophie's overactive imagination combined with her clumsiness make for some very funny scenes. Jayne has also created some great one-liners and ways of poking fun at the whole vampire/paranormal scene. One example is when Vlad, Nina's nephew, appears in a Buffy the Vampire Slayer t-shirt. Sophie is no pushover, either. At one point, she tries to get away from Parker and stabs him with the only thing she has available: a fork. At another point, when she is tied up and thrown in the back of a car, she begins thrashing around, moving from one part of the backseat to the other. This is all because she remembers that a person who is zigzagging (while running/walking) makes a harder target for a gunman. The bad guy just thinks she is crazy.

At times it was hard for me to understand the relationship between Sophie and Parker. At first he seems to dismiss her but she grows on him. I still don't see why as she doesn't seem particular helpful as much as incredibly organized. Too bad she never gets the chance to organize his folders. In fact, they spend more time running around than looking through files and thinking things through. And I never did see how she got a rental car. For a few days she rode into work with her roommate, then one day she leaves the office and gets into a car. In the next chapter the car is described as a rental. Same person who edited that part must have okayed the cover.

How did this book address my own faith? The issue that was raised in the book was the idea that a person died, was made an angel, became a fallen angel, had their wings removed and then had to work their way back into God's good graces. Huh? That is what I said. I really was disturbed about the idea of receiving a final reward then given another chance to sin -- and gain it all back again. Yes, I am a sinner and a saint but death -- whether you believe we become angels or are asleep until the final trumpet -- seems a pretty final point until the resurrection. Being made an angel and given another chance to fail seems more like reincarnation, just on a higher plain.  There was also the whole idea of heavenly creatures as guardians of something rather than just beings with God. Shouldn't angels be busy praising God rather than working?

I recommend this book for those who enjoy paranormal stories and lots of good laughs.

Happy reading!


Copyright 2011 Amelia G. Sims

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