Book Review: In Too Deep (An Arcane Society Novel) - By Jayne Ann Krentz

Book One in The Looking Glass Trilogy
The main beef I usually have with mainstream books is that they aren't written all that well and they're formulaic. It's not what I consider real literature, which makes me sound like a book snob, I know, but it's not entirely an insult, either. They may have lower standards, but they're easy and fun to read, and I can whip through them in a few days without any effort. The thing about mainstream books is that they don't need to be exceptionally well written; the author just needs to know how to tell a story. You're not in it for language and artistry, just a gripping story with the proper hooks. Krentz has had over 50 books on the New York Times Bestsellers List, so I guess she knows this.

"In Too Deep" is a paranormal romance/mystery starring two psychics: Isabella Valdez, who is on the run from people who are setting her up for a crime she didn't commit and who want to kill her; and Fallon Jones, who is a psychic detective whom Isabella goes to work for. There are a lot of conspiracies in the works and side-plots that make the whole story a little confusing.

It's fairly enjoyable, but gets dull when the characters recite too much information at once. There's also the dreaded repetitive words that every author is guilty of. Krentz has a thing about "the hair of the back of his neck stirred". She drops it after a short time, but I noticed. I like to think that my neck hairs don't stir that much.

The romance aspect should have sizzled more. There should have been more time spent building the tension between Fallon and Isabella, but they hit the sheets fairly quickly, and it just wasn't that interesting after that.

Another thing that bothered me was this: a character would be telling a story or explaining something , and the person they're telling it to, instead of listening to what they're being told, actually reveals part of the narrative themself, as if they know what the person is going to say. Look, I know they're sort of psychic (not even in the 'vision' or 'I see the future' senses), but give me a break. It's rude to interrupt! A basic concept of telling a story is that the person you're telling it to doesn't know where you're going with it. But Isabella sometimes adds to what Fallon is saying when she shouldn't. Does that make sense?

Like I said, it was enjoyable enough, and I ended up being surprised by who the main villain was. But there are too many sub-plots and not enough character development or romantic tension to make it a total success. It wasn't even that suspenseful.

Amazingly, the other two books in this trilogy are already out, even though this one was published in December 2010. So I'll read the next two. And I admit, I'm going to read more Krentz, just because they're fast reads. Hopefully they'll be put together better.

My grade: B-