Friday, February 7, 2014

Review::The Death of Miss Mind Shift (Emerald City Nights) by Jayme Beddingfield

The Death of Miss Mind ShiftThe Death of Miss Mind Shift by Jayme Beddingfield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Death of Miss Mind Shift (Emerald City Nights) by Jayme Beddingfield

I loved this story almost as much as the previous. There are a few issues I took, but a lot of that is personal and should be taken with grain of salt. What I really enjoyed was the complexity of the character of Ruby aka Miss Mind Shift.

In the previous book Jayme took us through the mundane life of Ruby to introduce us to someone who had been seduced into the criminal way of life. Using her powers to rob and in some case murder. She was beginning to have doubts about that way of life but Madison her now arch foe was her best friend and almost like a mother to her. It was Madison's stepping over the line from petty theft that led to the rift between the two. This led to the death of what few other friends Ruby had left and even the death of someone less involved with her secret life , Charley.

We open this story where the last one left off Ruby is now living in the city with Darcy and Brody and Charley's cat Drizzt. They fight crime while Ruby is waiting for Madison to rear her head again and Ruby is also waiting to die. Jayme takes us on the journey through depression, despair and self-doubt that rivals the mundane of the last novel. It does go on for quite a while but it is handled so well it adds to the depth of the character. Unfortunately it also detracts from getting anywhere close or near the other characters. It's always a hard balance and I think the reader who complains about the depression hanging on too long may be just concerned that the other characters were left as shallow shadows too often.

Along with the depths of despair Ruby has a severe Alcohol, tobacco and pot abuse thing happening. Every-time things get to her she starts into those three and rolls through them all with her family of friends doing nothing better than help it along. To be fair the pot smoking could be considered medicinal because every time Ruby uses her powers she weakens her entire body threatening to bring herself to the brink of death. And it's little help that she has visions of her death all the time and like a junkie she can't quit crime fighting to save herself.

Brody and Darcy are trying to get her to cut back or quit and they say they can handle it all, but things escalate and Madison is back and they need Ruby. Ruby is intent on killing Madison and this further drives her to continue.

The book takes an odd turn toward zombie Apocalypse fiction for a majority of the story adding an element of danger and gore. There was at least one spot that Jayme took me out of my comfort zone. Doing so is not bad, we all need that push out of the comfort zone now and then.

As with last time and with my ongoing efforts to warn those people who have issues with grammar there are over a handful of problems. Mostly missing words, which would work okay in dialogue but not so much in narrative where they were. There were some style issues and a few oddly worded sentences.This one stumped me::
My chest constricts in my chest; my throat falls dry.

Beddingfield, Jayme (2013-12-02). The Death of Miss Mind Shift (Emerald City Nights) (Kindle Locations 2629-2630). Sky Portal Publishing. Kindle Edition. ::/Quote Maybe it was supposed to be my heart constricts in my chest- I'm not sure.

This novel seems to target Young Adults but I would recommend Mature Young Adult for a serious number of reasons. This is great SFF for those who like it light but be aware that the characterization is a bit heavy. Those who like complex characters should give this a look for Ruby's character. Also lovers of Zombie Apocalypse should appreciate the novel. There's some seriously good writing in here although the HeMan reference could have been left out.

One great characterization that unfortunately eclipses the other characters.

I'll be looking for the next installment Jayme.

J.L. Dobias

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