Wild Ride

Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie;Bob Mayer Ah, Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. Probably the only two authors I can think of who can create a somewhat likable cast of characters and somehow weave demonic teddy bears into the spectrum of things.Wait...what?"Wild Ride" is much like it's title, sporting a large cast of crazy, quirky characters in an amusement park called Dreamworld. Yet the perspective characters revolve around two individuals who aren't romantically involved but share a bond in a supernatural nestegg. One is Mab (Mary Alice), a woman who isn't interested in people as much as she is restoring Dreamworld and committing herself to her work. The other is Ethan, a former soldier who clings to life (having a bullet embedded in his chest) and returns home to live out his days close to his family. But neither of them expect the kind of experience that Dreamworld provides them.Dreamworld is truly a demonic prison in disguise, as five demons want to crawl their way out to freedom. It's actually a darker story than what people would expect from either of these authors. Granted, if you're looking for humor, there's plenty of it here, but it doesn't follow a romantic form that one might be used to. It mixes paranormal elements on several levels, and while it's an ambitious effort, sometimes it can become overbearing for the reader to take in, especially in the first 150-175 pages. After that point, it starts to even out, and I'll admit I grew attached to the character from there on out. I wouldn't say it stands out as strongly as Crusie's solo effort "Maybe This Time" in terms of paranormal synch, but it does have its charming and sweet moments.And there are demonic teddy bears in here. Seriously, I'm not kidding. There are other crazy things included that might throw people by the wayside, but I'm still reeling over that.If you're looking for traditional romance and a light atmosphere, it's probably not a book that will grab you, and it does tend to meander in its large scope even for a person like myself who does (somewhat) enjoy paranormal fiction and fantasy, so I would definitely say it's not Crusie and Mayer's best collaboration (Agnes and the Hitman was brilliant for that), but it is enjoyable if you're willing to take the ride to the end. (Pun intended.)Overall score: 3/5