Tuesday, March 4, 2014

City of Jasmine (City of Jasmine #1) by Deanna Raybourn

City of JasmineThis is a desert adventure, complete with camels, shootings, Bedouins, sheikhs, thirst, and hidden relics. As a romance, it's very weak in my opinion, but I don't pick up books for the romance anyway, but the story within.

The best thing about this book is its heroine. She's as strong as they make them.

"I smoke cigars and I barnstorm and I wear red lipstick and I do as a I damned well please. And when this all over *content deleted so as not to spoil it for anyone* we won't ever have to see each other again. But at least you'll know what you were missing."

I love her sarcasm, her wit, her bravery,  her stubbornness. She even makes a moving target of herself...did I mention she's a pilot? Though honestly, there's very, very little flying. I'm disappointed in that.

But oh, goodness, I love, LOVE Aunt Dove. That's two incredible heroines. Aunt Dove made me laugh. I want a novel solely about Aunt Dove's exploits, from the kidnapping of the Aegean young man to her acquiring her parrot. I want her memoirs, not matter that they're fake. She's a true delight.

Sadly, she was only involved in the first quarter of the story. Once the heroine leaves Aunt Dove and gets "lost" in the desert and begins searching for a relic she really doesn't care about, I don't think, I began to get frustrated after a while. Despite all the exciting things that happen to her and her companion, I found them unemotional and I didn't care about the relic myself so I guess I didn't see the sense in the adventure. I also can't stand the hero. I'm glad I read the prequel, 'cause I'd gone solely by his character in this...well, I never would have seen what she saw in him.

I even learned something from this novel, however. Quite a few things actually, mainly about the relations between Britain and Arabs and Turks after the war, the promises not kept and such. So I found a lot of this interesting, just probably not what I was supposed to find interesting.

We meet an interesting cast of characters too, from Germans to British to Bedouin to Austrians, some with ill intentions and out to kill the heroine. As I said, there's no end to the excitement; I just felt its telling was unemotional.

Conclusion: Love the women; love the beginning, grew bored in the middle, when the book began to feel as if it would never end and Aunt Dove wasn't making any appearances, and enjoyed the ending.

I received this via Netgalley.


  1. Interesting . This is the second average review I have heard about this book. Is this a case of the author having a big success and then not being able to move away from that series easily?

    1. Hello, Marg! This isn't part of that mystery series you're thinking of. It's a new series, but I don't see what all the hoopla is about. However, most of my GR acquaintances all gave it a five. I'm the outcast.