Most helpful critical review
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Three Writers, Three Sisters, Three Stars
on August 27, 2007
This is the story of the magical Fortune sisters, each with a gift. Dee, the eldest, is a shapeshifter. Lizzie, the middle sister, transmutes things, and Mare, the youngest, can move things with her mind. For the past 12 years, they have lived a nomadic life, fleeing when their powers drew attention, or when their aunt Xantippe found them. After Xan murdered their parents, Dee took her sisters and fled, hiding out in small towns. Now, their aunt has found them again, only she has also sent each sister the love of her life as part of her evil plans. For Dee, it's Danny James, in town to research the Fortune family for a book. Elric is a powerful wizard who is sent to Lizzie to stop her from destroying the fabric of the universe with her experiments. Xan sends Jude Green to Mare, only at the same time, Mare's old love Crash returns after having left town five years before. Mare should be falling for Jude, a vice president for her employer, Value Video!!, but he leaves her cold. Instead, it's Crash who stirs things up again, rekindling old memories while making her want him anew.
Unbeknownst to the Fortune sisters, Xan has a plan to strip them of their powers and take them for herself. They slowly uncover her plotting and scheming, only Dee and Lizzie are so crazy in love they don't care where their men came from. Mare can't quite get over the fact that Crash left her for five years, and his feelings for her may not be real; they may just be the result of Xan's love spell, which isn't enough for her. As the sisters fall deeply in love, they suddenly attain some control over the powers that had so long controlled them. It's a good thing, because they're going to need everything they've got to put a stop to Xan.
Unfortunately, Jennifer Crusie seems to be another victim of the current publishing craze of having a new book on the shelves every few months. She has the integrity not to let her writing suffer by choosing to collaborate and share the burden, spreading herself thin in a high quality way. The parts of this book that Crusie wrote are engaging, even featuring a few laugh-out-loud moments. Her co-authors, however much they may have attempted to mimic her writing style, do not have her chops. Those parts of the book are noticeably inferior, at times even boring. The book dragged in the middle and, because each author wrote from the perspective of a different sister, everything that happened occurred three times. First Dee met her match, then Lizzie, then Mare. Then Dee discovered burgeoning feelings for her man, then Lizzie, then Mare. This got repetitive when each phase of their new relationships was experienced three times in a row. Three first kisses, three detailed sex scenes, three confessions of their secret powers. They didn't even bother to mix up the order of events from sister to sister. The only departure from the formula was the fact that Mare had a preexisting relationship with Crash. Actually, everything about Mare was good because it was written by Jennifer Crusie. It was the rest of the book that wasn't up to par.
Collaborations are a fun idea, but they'd be more fun for readers if the authors involved were all of the same quality. Jennifer Crusie is a wonderful writer with excellent books to her credit, so I have to wonder why she keeps sharing her skills with others. I'm all for experiments and trying new things, and I admire her for helping her friends get some recognition by coauthoring this novel. Unfortunately, they just don't have her skills. I'll always look forward to a new Crusie novel, but I wish she'd go back to working alone.