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Wild Ride    by Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer order for
Wild Ride
by Jennifer Crusie
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Mary Alice Brannigan has been hired by her uncle, the mayor of Parkersburg, to restore the antique carnival rides and games in Dreamland, the shabby amusement park in the town where she grew up. As a child, Mary Alice, nicknamed Mab, was never allowed to visit Dreamland. Her grandmother sold anti-evil charms and performed exorcisms and her mother picketed outside the park every Halloween with a sign that read, THE DEVIL LIES WITHIN.

Mab doesn't believe in demons. Except for Mab's family, the Batty Brannigans, everyone else in town loves Dreamland, and almost everyone there works at the park. No one believes there are demons, not even on Halloween.

Unknown to the townspeople, Dreamland is also a prison for the Untouchables, five powerful demons who are held in check by the Guardia who own and run the park. The demons are locked in chalices and trapped inside fences of iron.

Mab's story begins one week from Halloween. Called Scream Night at the park, this is the night when the demons are strongest, but with the Guardia to keep them in check, the Untouchables have been locked up for more than a century. This year will be especially dangerous as members of the Guardia are aging and are awaiting a replacement for their Hunter who died recently.

Ethan John Wayne returns from Iraq with a Taliban bullet still in his chest. He doesn't believe in demons either and can't understand why his mother keeps trying to sober him up and get him to police the park with the Guardia. The US government apparently does believe there are demons in the park. Weaver, a beautiful agent from a super-secret agency stalks the park with a rifle especially designed to kill demons.

Although the story is part paranormal, part mystery-thriller and part romance, the paranormal side is the strongest. Good demons, bad demons, and the devil plague Dreamland Amusement Park. Readers will miss the easy humor that usually moves Crusie's books along, but will find in Wild Ride a warm story with a sweet ending.

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