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December 2015


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ENEMY GAMES by Marcella Burnard


Joyously I tore the shipping packing around ENEMY GAMES.  It had come!  I dived in, totally ready for another air-burning romp in Marcella Brunard’s universe.  Jayleia’s story this time, and she is paired alongside a very hunky hero, Damen Sindrivik.  (ß she named him “sin,” and I easily understood why.  Hawt!)

We first met Jayleia on page seven of ENEMY WITHIN.  Author Brunard introduced us to that character by writing, “Jayleia’s people trained their women to be warriors, but jay had chosen to reject the path….She’d chosen a life of science,”(p. 7).  Wonderful!  A girl who uses her brains instead of her biceps.  She was right up my alley, as was the hunky Major Sindrivik.  And there was much to pit her wits against, a dangerous puzzle of cosmic proportion to be solved.  There was a plague, her father’s abduction, the entrapment and displacement of Sindrivik’s people, and the ongoing battle between the Big Bads—yes, two aliens now—the Chekydran-hiin and their sister species the Chekydran-ki.  Luckily, Jayleia’s mental chops were up to the challenge as brilliant solution after brilliant solution fills ENEMY GAMES

…until Author Brunard jumps the shark.  Never heard of the phrase?  “Jumping the Shark” was coined during one episode of Happy Days when The Fonz, in his eternal coolness, actually jumps over a shark during a stint spent waterskiing…yes, he wore the leather jacket in the salt water also.  That moment was when folks said, “Oh, Jeez” and is now considered the lowest point of the show.  Since then, “jumping the shark” has come to mean a moment when something once fantastic has taken a turn for the worse and has been reduced to the realms of irreversibly unrecoverable (urbandictionary.com).  That moment is when Jayleia forgoes her smarts and transforms into Kung-Fu Momma.

Suddenly being lovely and brilliant isn’t enough.  Suddenly Jayleia must deck herself out into ninjia-type garb, complete with mask, and face cyborg warriors engineered by the enemy.  She spins around the battlefield much like Yoda pitted against Christopher Lee, aka Darth Tyranus.  Indeed, exactly like the spinning top displayed on the big screen. 

We, the reader, are supposed to be okay with the previously-banished-from-her-people-but-still-in-practice ninja-cum-scientist lunging back and forth across the battlefield faster than a speeding bullet—no lie, it’s in there—and managing to down the deadly dangerous cyborgs with a boot to the face.  I may be the minority but this reader’s disbelief doesn’t stretch that far.  In fact, I was insulted for all the brainy girls that had just been betrayed by the desire to turn Smart Chick into Ninja Babe. 

I didn’t toss the book against the wall but I thought about it, which is why I took so long to write up this review.  I have remained angry, betrayed, and revolted by the author’s choice.  But, that aside the mystery and suspense is outstanding.  If you like smart and sexy chicks who must transform into warrior babes, this book is for you.  I don’t so this book isn’t for me. 

Three Mystique Moons
Class Two Sensuality

Brenda Thatcher, Co-Owner


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