by Lynn Kurland, historical/time-travel (2005)
Jove, $7.99, ISBN 0-515-13948-3
Egads, Dreams Of Stardust, the latest entry into the author's convoluted de Piaget series, is like a fanfiction of a precocious thirteen-year old girl who believed that the thirteenth-century is exactly like what she saw in that movie A Knight's Tale starring her future husband Heath Ledger. The hero and the heroine are archetype Mary Sue characters - beautiful, perfect, rich, spectacular, splendorous, et cetera - and the story doesn't really serve any purpose other than to drench the reader with the residues of the de Piaget self-love going on in this book.
In 2005, our super-duper richest, handsomest, duperest dude with the mostest, Jackson "Jake" Alexander Kilchurn IV, is traveling around in a paper chase when his Jaguar flips and he is sent back to 1227. He falls in love with twenty-one year old Amanda di Piaget of Artane and, er, that's it for plot. Pages after pages detail Jake's adventures where he easily conquers swordplay, language, and even becoming a knight. Since he is rich, handsome, athletic, and talented, he naturally excels in everything. Am I supposed to find his adventures rivetting? He isn't even worried about being trapped in the thirteenth century as he intends to make his way back to the future, grab his money, and come back to the thirteenth century to party some more. I suppose it is possible that someone would rather stay in a time with no modern plumbing or penicillin.
Amanda is one of those irritating modern women transplanted into medieval era because her family is amazingly liberal in letting her run around and play with swords. Ms Kurland, however, can't seem to make up her mind whether Amanda is supposed to be a hellion or a spineless ninny (being a well-rounded realistic character is, I suppose, out of the question), so when Amanda is not moping around wanting to be free - ironic really considering how anachronistically liberal her family already is - or crying like a pathetic ninny. She really won't stop crying, ugh. Maybe if I bitchslap her hard enough, I'll send her straight to 3005 where she may be happier.
When Jake is not conquering another Everest in his adventure and Amanda is not crying or moping prettily for love to come make her a real woman, a cast of dozens or so of secondary characters clutter the story with pointless scenes that have no bearing to Jake and Amanda. After a point, this story is like a very boring TV show featuring two boring one-dimensional plastic characters with commercial breaks taking the form of snippets from the home videos of very irritating relatives.
And when something actually happens, the action takes place "off the stage" and is recounted by the characters of this story after the incident is over!
I don't know what the point of this book is. It is stultifyingly dull, like a geneology treatise gone ugly, with main characters just moping around while secondary characters clutter up the story pointlessly. With no story to engage my attention, this book is like a revolving door in the story of the di Piaget clan. Unless you are seriously enamored with this fictitious clan to the point that you try to get your last name legally changed to di Piaget, I suggest that you take your $7.99 and go buy a book that has at least a plot within its pages.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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