Parallel Desire
by Deidre Knight, fantasy (2007)
Berkley, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-451-22244-2


Oh, it's probably my fault for not reading the previous two books in the author's The Midnight Warriors series first, but Parallel Desire has me completely lost from the first page. I don't know what is going on at all. I have read Parallel Attraction, the first book in the series, but the setting has evolved so much in the last two books because it's like a different setting altogether here compared to the first book.

Okay, the story opens with Scott Dillon wailing and weeping because some guy named Jakob Tierny killed his wife and their unborn child. He somehow kills and takes over Jakob's body and is sent back in the past where... he's supposed to kill Jakob? But since he's contacting his then-alive wife back in the past and is told that he cannot be in the same place as the Scott Dillon of that time or everything will go kaboom, I wonder how he can be in the same place as the then-alive Jakob Tierny to kill that man. And why is it that all the good guys that matter in this story knows about this Scott/Jakob? Won't that ruin the future by changing the present permanently?

Our heroine is Shelby Tyler who also knows Scott from way back. Or is that way in the future? Oh, my head.

I don't know what I am reading so I just turn the pages and just wince at the author's horrific mish-mash of four-letter words (no doubt an attempt to sound hip and cool like your generic urban fantasy author) and juvenile phraseology. Ms Knight writes like a fangirl in training. She loves to use words like "precious" in a story where children smell like "innocence". Scott's wife is called Hope. Oh, how deep!

This is my favorite scene in the story:

Wailing, Shelby watched as explosion after explosion rocked the warehouse. "Jakob!" she shrieked, hitching her arm through the accordian-like extension of the gangplank and holding tight for her life. "Oh, gods above, Jakob! My lord, my king!" She wailed and sobbed, inching backward until she sprawled on the floor of the transport.

Isn't that simply the funniest botched attempt at a melodramatic tragic scene? "My lord, my king!" My god. The use of the word "wailing" is also too funny. It is a good thing that Ms Knight is an agent when she's not writing instead of an editor or my faith in humanity will forever be crushed.

If I take away the confusing spillover of subplots from previous books and the appearance of so many secondary characters from previous books that serve only to clutter the scene with pointless "Remember us? Come see us shag, hold hands, and make babies!" fanservice moments, I may get an actually interesting story of a man trying to prevent his wife from dying by killing her killer while inhabiting the body of the killer (heh). But since I can't take away those distracting elements, I never get to appreciate that story. Mark this one as a book you should read only after you have read the previous books in the series.

Rating: 40


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