Sunday, November 1, 2009

I Shot You Babe

I shot you babe cover

I Shot You Babe by Leslie Langtry

This is not a review, because I don't review books I don't finish.  Capisce?

So, when I first saw I Shot You Babe in the bookstore, I had to buy it because of the title (secret:  I am a sucker for cutesy titles).  It's a romantic comedy about an assassin who falls in love with an anthropologist.  OH LORDY.  I should have seen the warning signs right there.

Anyway, this is a very unusual romance for several reasons.  First of all, it's told in the first person.  Second of all, said person is the hero.  A romance novel from a male perspective?  Hmmm, okay.  It could work (I thought to myself).

The hero himself is very unusual.  His name in Coney Island Bombay.  For realsies.  Coney--or Cy, as he understandably prefers to be called--is part of the Bombay family of assassins.  The Bombays have been in the assassinating business since Ancient Greece (yes, for realsies), and no one has ever escaped the family business.  Ergo, Cy is an assassin.  During his free time, he's a carney.  As in carnival.  He has a pet guinea pig that he's in love with, and his hobby is knitting.  Oh, and he also holds a Ph.D. in philosophy (his excuse for not teaching: he didn't want to be tied down to one place.  Peter Pan complex, anyone?).

Cy first meets Anthropology Girl, who doesn't have a memorable name, while working as a carney.  She's doing research on her dissertation, and Cy finds her snobbish academic attitude to be cute.  Mmmmkay.  Then he just happens to meet her at an ├╝ber-ritzy Miami hotel where he's been sent to eliminate an obnoxious diplomat.  Veronica (aka anthropology girl) just happens to be staying there for a conference.  She and Cy do the imagine-meeting-you-here thing, and she gets totally wasted from one glass of whiskey.  Eventually, Cy has to take her up to his room because she's too drunk to remember where she's sleeping.

Now, at this point I was pretty sure Veronica was some sort of spy or secret agent sent after Cy, because who in their right mind would act as dumb as she does.  I was even more certain that was the case when Cy meets her IN MONGOLIA (another secret: I'm kind of obsessed with Mongolia; that location is actually what sold me on the book).  Yes, you see, Cy is training for some sort of Mongolian version of the Olympics, and Veronica just happens to be in Mongolia too!  Doing research on, I don't know, transient populations or something.  Now, if I was an assassin, or even just a regular person for that matter, at this point I would get suspicious.  But Cy doesn't!  Nope, he thinks Veronica is just too adorable.  And, not to spoil it or anything, but it turns out Veronica isn't an agent sent after Cy.  She's really just an annoying anthropologist.

The problem I had with this book is that the plot (and I use that term loosely) seems completely and utterly random.  But even more than that, I could not see the attraction of Veronica for Cy at all.  She's annoying, utterly uninteresting, and a little bit psycho.  She's like the anti-guy magnet.  I just couldn't see myself reading pages upon pages of Cy's training-for-the-Mongolian-Olympics regiment without some sort of pay off; but as far as I can tell, there isn't any pay off.  There are a lot of good ideas running around in this novel, but they're not executed in a cohesive format.  The author needs to control the impulse to put cutesy things into the book and focus a bit more on making plot of the story clever, as opposed to just random elements.

But, as I said, this isn't a revew.


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