May 15 #BookReview Muse by Susie M. Hanley an urban fantasy set in modern times

Muse by Susie M. Hanley

3 out of 5 Black Cats

Muse by Susie M Hanley is an urban fantasy set in modern times in a world similar to ours, except in this world, muses are real, and they have superhero like people called Guardians that protect them. The book is in first person point of view from the main character, Shelby’s POV. A description of the book from amazon is below.

Shelby has worked hard to make a life for herself. Her parents died when she was young, and her husband left her with two kids. When her ex-husband comes back to town, he has more to say than just “I’m sorry”: he's a Guardian, and his new assignment is her. She is a Muse now, one coming into her own no matter how hard she fights it, and trouble stalks her wherever she goes. Her ex-husband can't keep up and, with their history, she doesn't want him to. To complicate matters, there’s another Guardian around when she needs help, and they are falling for each other. He has a dark past that’s trying to reclaim him, and Shelby is in the way. But she has to accept her Museness and figure out fast what being a Muse really means if she is to keep herself and her children alive.

The book is well written and well formatted. There are, however, many sentences with missing words. I would find one about every other page or so for around 37 editing issues. This book could use another editing pass.

I did enjoy the book and knew I’d read the whole book just from its beginning pages, but it does have issues. Muses and Guardians exist in this world and everyone knows about them. They aren’t a secret. So why does the main character know nothing about them. It seems to me in a world like this Muses and their Guardians would be like celebrities and news about them and movies and media about them would be everywhere. Most likely, they would teach about them in school, too, hence the encyclopedia at the beginning of each chapter. Even if Shelby hates Guardians and wants nothing to do with them, she would still have picked up some information about them from TV and other media outlets. Her being clueless doesn’t make since unless they are secretive and nothing in the novel suggested they were secretive.

I like that Shelby the main character is a strong single mom, does what she wants, and doesn’t let the ex-husband stand in her way. Young Adult books need more strong female characters like this one. One problem I had with her decisions dealt with Tiffany, the way Shelby rolled over and did what Tiffany commanded seemed out of character. Yes, Tiffany had items that supposedly belonged to Shelby’s children, but there was no proof those items did. I think Shelby should’ve at least questioned it first before suddenly changing over. Tiffany could have purchased duplicates at a store.

Near the end, we start to get a lot of action. Shelby rescues herself from something horrible and finds out her son is in danger. You would think they’d be on the road ASAP to save him. It takes forever for the characters to get through their personal stuff and organize to go save the boy. Putting the boy’s mortal danger on the back burner like that seemed again out of character for a strong mother.

I like the main character and secondary characters and their personalities. I think they are well developed and have baggage just like real people would. I did groan a bit when the girl with two guys plot made an appearance. It seems like every YA novel coming out has the same love triangle and I’m ready for something new. Please writers, I beg you, stop the girl torn between two guys theme and all its variations.

So, overall, what did I think of this book? I did like it and would recommend trying it. It has an interesting idea and world that has lots of potential. Will I read the next book? I’m not sure. The author as a proven ability, she can write. I’m worried that the next books will be full of the two guys playing tug of war over Shelby. I’ve read that story before, in Twilight. I enjoyed the twilight series, but I don’t want to keep reading it repeatedly in other forms. At this time, I’m not sure if I want to continue with the second book. I am interested in other books the author may put out if the description promises something new.

About the Author

Susie M. Hanley is a native Oregonian where she has always slept best curled up with a good book and the sound of the rain pounding against her window. Her love of worlds beyond her own led her to complete a degree in communication and cultures and to begin creating worlds of her own for others to enjoy. When not working on Shelby’s next impassioned quest, she can be found chasing her kids, cuddling her hubby, and randomly organizing everything into submission.

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