Brenda and Effie Forever!

by Paul Magrs | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 1907777911 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 8/19/2018
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, August 19, 2018
I got this UK-edition hardcover from Better World Books, after enjoying Never the Bride, featuring the same characters. It made me think of E. F. Benson's "Mapp and Lucia" stories, only where the bickering characters actually have supernatural (and very weird) pasts - and instead of one-upping each other over recipes or parties, they join forces to fend off a flood of horrors from an actual hell-gate.

The book is narrated by Brenda, whose comments about her own past reveal fairly early on just who and what she is; fans of horror films will figure this out quite soon, while others may need the actual revelation before they get it. (It becomes much more obvious late in the story, when a reunion with one "Frank" tips the balance of the plot.) This book opens as she's nearing the end of a European holiday with best pal (and occasional frenemy) Effie (who has a complicated back-story of her own, involving the Erl King and, dare I say it, Dracula). They are accosted by a mysterious hunchback (who seems to be the classic "Igor", though his contribution to the story is limited) and a mysterious masked man who goes berserk when his scarred visage is revealed - but he doesn't take the ladies to the Paris Opera, alas. Instead, he offers a terse but unhelpful warning: they must not go home, or disaster will ensue.

The warning is repeated by a dashing Paris vampire, but again without any helpful explanations, so our heroines opt to ignore it and head for home as planned. Meeting up with the three young people they've trusted to manage things in their absence - Robert, his boyfriend Gila (a kind of lizard-esque alien), and Penny, who together sound a lot like a set of "Doctor Who" companions - they find that things are about as weird as usual, with all the foes mentioned in the previous books popping up now and then. Some are very punny - the Limbosine and its Chauffear, for example - and some are just warped (see the cannabilistic Mrs. Claus and her Christmas Hotel), and after a while it began to feel more "grab-bag" and less "story". There is a plot, with villainous goals that may not be all that villainous when you come to think about it, and a series of escalating battles leading to a dramatic climax - and then there's a kind of mild "oh yeah, things didn't work out the way Brenda's memoir led us to believe, so here's what really happened, The End. Or Is It?" So... will I check out future works? Maybe, but I think the amusement value of the setup is beginning to pall a bit for me.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Tewksbury Common in Tewksbury, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Released 5 mos ago (12/5/2018 UTC) at Tewksbury Common in Tewksbury, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book, bagged against the elements, on a bench near the gazebo on the town common; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2018 What's In A Name release challenge. ***

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