by Gwen Hayes, paranormal (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-367-8
The mess in Oh Goddess begins when Jackson Nichols' sister takes it into her head that it is a brilliant idea to use an incantation she found on the Web to summon Ondina, an ancient goddess whose job is to protect the hearts of women from heartbreak. After all, men in this world can be so cruel, alas. Jackson interrupts the ritual, however, and in the process inadvertently causing Ondina to be stuck in mortal form. You can guess what happens next, I'm sure.
This very short story could have been a pleasant read, but the author's characterization is somewhat off in this story. Jackson is supposed to be this stiff-lipped guy who doesn't like indulging in softer emotions. But when it comes to his protective nature with regards to his sister, he overreacts, making him come off like a control freak. He doesn't just distrusts Ondina, he flies into a quiet rage and makes bizarre accusations. Jackson seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Ondina is supposed to be this ancient goddess, but she is ridiculously naïve and simplistic when it comes to the human heart. Then again, she behaves like a know-it-all teenage girl who spends her time making caustic remarks left and right, so maybe I shouldn't wonder. She's the young adult book version of a goddess.
Even if I take into account the fact that Ms Hayes may not have the space and opportinity to develop Oh Goddess into a longer and more substantial story due to length constraints, the characters make it hard for me to take it seriously. Clearly, I'm just too old to muster up the patience to tolerate these supposedly adult characters who behave like children.
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