Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Disappearing Nightly: A Review

Disappearing Nightly
Written by: Laura Resnick
Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: Luna Books
Language: English
November 2006
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Esther Diamond Series #1

I'm not a heroine -- I just play one.

Also psychotics, vamps, orphans, hookers, housewives and -- on one memorable occasion -- a singing rutabaga. It was never my ambition to utilize my extensive dramatic training by playing a musical vegetable. However, as my agent is fond of pointing out, there are more actors in New York than there are people in most other cities. Translation: Beggars can't be choosers.

This explains how I wound up painting my body green and prancing around stage half-naked the night Golly Gee, the female lead in the off-broadway show "Sorcerer!" disappeared into thin air. Literally.

Now other performers are also vanishing, and a mysterious stranger is warning me: There is evil among us. But the producers want me to take over Golly's part.

Looks like I'm going to need a little magical help if I want to keep my starring role . . .


I have never been one for too much fluff. I am the girl who would rather watch an action movie or a horror film than watch a romantic comedy. I stay away from the beach reads and reality tv. I want substance. I want characters I like, instead of ones I despise. I want smart women who save themselves and by god I want some decent prose.

When I write reviews I always try to find something redeeming about a book. Not every book is going to inspire me or give me something I can relate to, but usually I can find a decent plot or maybe a character I like. Sometimes it’s some great dialogue. I hate to give up on a book. I love books. Someone put their heart into something and this is their imagination in paper form. Books smell nice. They feel nice and they take me on journeys and vacations.

But sometimes, just sometimes you just have to shake your head and wish you had a nice vacation from your “vacation”. Sometimes you want your 3 hours back. I know that I am not the only one out there who sometimes finds it really hard to get to the last page, who wants to write in the books with red pen, and who tries really hard to find one redeeming quality. This was one of those books.

Esther is a 20 something stage actress trying to make it big but failing as a wood nymph in a play called Sorcerer. Luckily she is the understudy to Golly Gee who character Virtue is the other lead. When Golly Gee disappears during one of the magic acts in the play, Esther becomes the new lead. Everything should be great right? Well it would be if it wasn’t for the warnings that she is next if she goes into the Crystal Cage just like Golly Gee. More magical acts across the city are also missing key performers. Also Evil is afoot.

Dr. Maximillian Zadok is a member of a secret society called Magnum Collegium. The Collegium keeps the supernatural community in check. With Esther’s help the two try to track down who is behind the disappearances and maybe just maybe Esther can keep her job.

Things I loved: I enjoyed the cover. I think that is why I picked it up in the first place. And you have to admit the cast of characters ranges from Drag Queens to Demons. The author also tried to do her best to bring something new to a genre that is full of vampires and werewolves. Unfortunately these are really the only things going for it. Which brings me to what I didn’t like.

Things I didn’t love so much: Esther is an idiot. Snarky = check, though mostly it comes off as bitchy. Delightfully spunky or a gal with moxie she is not. Clueless = check. I wanted to like her, really I did. Her mom keeps nagging for her to just settle down with nice boy and have lots of babies instead of continuing to struggle as an actress. Trust me I completely relate to that part, except sometimes it’s my father and he constantly thinks that every job I do is beneath me. But that is about all I relate to. Oh dear goddess, Esther is like a four year old after eating a giant pixistik, though to be honest so is everyone else including the supposedly smart ones like the Detective and Zadok. Their attention spans are about…ooh look a squirrel.

I didn’t buy the romance. Not sure what either one sees in the other. And the forced comedic scenes…egads. I just didn’t get it. A coffee joke is funny…not when it lasts 20 pages. A Quirky joke about your job also funny but again not when it lasts an entire chapter. It was all just so over the top.

Of course we have our dealbreaker…rape. It happens, but it should never be funny. And I felt like it was supposed to be the ironic guffaw (You see our villain wants all of the power so he conjures a demon to give him said awesomeness. But the demon expects payment, a pretty little virgin he can defile to his heart’s content. Esther realizes that our villain is a virgin and hands him over to the demon. Insert laugh track or happy little smirk since he got his just desserts). Nope not funny and neither was the rest of the book. Ergh. Seriously if I met Esther on the street I think I’d trip her. Put this way, far far away.

Buy or Borrow: Borrow. If you are bored and have nothing else to do.There are much better Luna books out there.

Part of: A Series

Also Recommended: Storm Born by Richelle Mead, Ill Wind by Rachel Caine, Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, and Hard Magic by Laura Ann Gilman.

1.25 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks 

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