Friday, May 6, 2011

Review - Mona Lisa Eclipsing (The Monere, Book 5) by Sunny (2/5 stars)

Mona Lisa Eclipsing (A Novel of the Monere)Reading level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Size: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: April 5, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0425238943
Stand Alone or Series: 5th book in the Monere series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 2/5 stars

This is the fifth book in the Monere series by Sunny.  This series has been very up and down for me, the fourth book Mona Lisa Darkening was my favorite in the series.  This book was okay, but there were a lot of things I didn't like about it.  It was more like two novellas than one book.

Mona Lisa has recovered from the events in Mona Lisa Darkening, but Dante is still missing.  She ends up getting a tip that he is in Cozumel and rushes to find him.  When she gets there she is attacked by a drug lord named Roberto and looses her memory.  She can't remember anything about being a Monere and is confused about her abilities.  This is the first half of the book.  The last half of the books deals with an incident where a Monere was caught shapeshifting in public.  The Monere Queen must decide whether or not to let the Monere go public as a race.

The writing is easy to read, just like Sunny's previous books.  The plot though didn't make a whole lot of sense in the overall scheme of the series.  Why did Mona Lisa have to loose her memory?  It doesn't seem to add much to the story, that is unless the drug lord Roberto is going to feature in later installments.  I just didn't understand it and the idea of having the heroine loose her memory is pretty cliched.

Then the second half of the book had nothing to do with the first part.  Suddenly we are onto a totally different story that has Mona Lisa and her men in Washington DC fighting for Monere rights and publicity.  This sudden turn of events felt artificial; that and it is has just been done too often in recent paranormal series (Sookie Stackhouse and many others).  Not sure why Sunny felt that her series also need to suddenly focus on the coming out of a paranormal race to the general human population.

All the strange plot stuff aside, the characters were lacking.  None of the characters (excepting Mona Lisa) get much page space.  Sunny touches on each of the males a little bit and gives Mona Lisa enough time to sleep with each male and then moves on.  Amber was back which was nice, but even he doesn't get a ton of page space.  Halcyon also shows up briefly then is gone again.  Dante probably gets the most page space of all of them, but he is there as a plot vehicle and doesn't develop as a character.

I would be remiss if I didn't address the sex scenes in this book.  One of the things I really liked about previous books in the series was the sensuality and creativity of the sex scenes Sunny writes.  This is another thing I found to be disappointing in this book.  The sex scenes are rushed and not at all creative.  It is like Sunny quickly wrote them in to say that they are there, they don't link to the story and don't promote any character development and I was disappointed.

Overall by the end of the book I was happy that I borrowed this from the library.  I really love some of these characters, but the series has been pretty inconsistent and with this book it took a turn for the worse.  It is more like some cobbled together novellas than an actual book; the plots don't make sense in the scheme of the series and there are so many characters involved that none of them are developed or get much page space.  The direction she takes the book in at the end (revealing the Monere race to humans) has been done a million times before and I just can't get excited about where this series is going.  Although I love Mona Lisa and Halcyon, I think I may have to bid them farewell and spend time on more consistently interesting and creative series. 

This book goes twords the following reading challenges:

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