Top critical review
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Not up to her usual standard, but still a reasonable read
on 11 July 2006
I like Amanda Quick¹s books (and also the books she writes as Jayne Castle). I think they¹re fun, lighthearted, amusing - even if they can be rather samey and a bit, well, cheesy.
Second Sight seemed a little different to her other Regency/Victorian books.
Although the basic story is the same -¬ romance mixed in with a murder mystery and a bit of psychic/mesmerism included as well, like Wait Until Midnight and some other books, this one felt a little... well... stale.
It started off a little differently, with the requisite giving up of virginity to tall, dark, handsome rugged stranger at the beginning of the book rather than halfway through, and somehow the rest of the book didn¹t quite ever catch my attention fully.
Our heroine Venetia is a photographer and she has a special talent in that she is able to view people¹s auras. Gabriel Jones, the tall dark rugged man, is a secretive chappie who takes her virginity and then gets himself killed. Venetia pretends she¹s his widow so that she can make her way in her photographic business more successfully than being a spinster ¬ but then Mr Jones turns up alive and they start investigating murders and missing relics. It¹s all similar stuff to that which Amanda Quick has churned out before, but it doesn¹t quite have the magic that some of her other books have.
It¹s noticeable that the chapters are shorter in this book and that there aren¹t any real cliffhangers ¬ things resolve quickly, moments of scary fighting only last a page or two, and the resolution trundles along as expected.
Some of the vocabulary in this book is remarkably similar to that in Amaryllis that Jayne Ann Krentz wrote as Jayne Castle. The `hunting', `primitive', `throwback' descriptions of Gabriel Jones seem very like Rafe Stonebraker in that other novel;¬ is she running out of ideas?
Overall this book is a perfectly acceptable read, and none of her novels are great literature, but I usually find them better than this and Ghost Hunter, her latest Jayne Castle, was way better. This is still a step up from the Lavinia Lake books she wrote as Amanda Quick, though.