Beneath The Skin
by Savannah Russe, fantasy (2007)
Signet, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-451-22063-9


On the bright side, the third book in Savannah Russe's series The Darkwings Chronicles, Beneath The Skin, is the most painless read of the three books so far. On the other hand, this is because nothing happens in this story other than the heroine Daphne Urban acting like a braindead lead character on that soap opera Passions. It is not a good thing when a book is tolerable only because the characters in it aren't as irritating as they were in previous books.

The "plot", if I can call it that, is Daphne having to protect a very liberal politician on the presidential campaign trail from being assassinated by someone called "Gage". But the main bulk of the story is Daphne wailing, whining, complaining, and piling on the angst about the state of her love life with Darius della Chiesa, easily one of the most irritating and death-worthy characters I've come across, and St Julien Fitzmaurice. I'm so pleased that the two men don't show up until very late in the story, especially Darius because that character had degenerated so much in the previous book that the mere mention of his name has me instinctively starting to hurl.

But this means that Daphne's one-woman angst show is repetitious and monotonous. The plot about the assassin is shoved to the background until the last few chapters when the author has Daphne pretty much stumbling upon Gage's identity while daydreaming sadly about which man she wants to marry. No, I'm not kidding. The only good thing to emerge from this tedious bore of a story is that Darius acknowledges to Daphne that he's been a colossal jerk and he's going to go away and give her some space. In the meantime, I have to endure Daphne's constant angst, plenty of childish "I'll make you jealous" antics that these adults should have long outgrown, and other nonsense.

The fact that the book ends with Darius wanting to change is probably a good sign, I suppose. Not that I will stick around to find out. I'm only reading this book just to see if third time is the charm. It isn't and I'm definitely out of here.

Rating: 55


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