Saturday, January 4, 2014

Webs Of Power by Darlene Quinn

Title: Webs Of Power
Author: Darlene Quinn
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group
Rating: WARTY!

DISCLOSURE: Unlike the majority of reviews in this blog, I've neither bought this book nor borrowed it from the library. This is a "galley" copy ebook, supplied by Net Galley. I'm not receiving (nor will I expect to receive or accept) remuneration for this review.

I agreed to read a sequel to this, and I decided that if I were going to do that, I really ought to read the first book (in what is now a quadrilogy) beforehand. Note that these novels are, as far as I can tell, written as stand-alones even though they're connected, so you don't have to read them in sequence or have to have read one, two, and three before you can read four, but it seemed a good idea to me. Unfortunately I really disliked this first novel and could not finish it.

I made it through about 25% of the novel (the first 25 chapters or so), but even then I found myself frequently skipping screens here and there because it was utterly uninteresting to me. Maybe impoverished people who are desperate for some glamor in their lives might find this appealing in the way it's appealing to squeeze hard on the back of your neck when you have a headache and are waiting for the ibuprofen to kick in, but it's better not to do whatever it was that tensed you up and gave you the headache in the first place. If so, good luck to them, but it's not my idea of a good time and life is way too short to waste it on un-entertaining, un-engrossing unrealistic stories.

Set in the 80's, the novel focuses upon three women who's entire life (based on what I read) apparently consists of nothing but being an accessory to the men in their lives. They're obsessed with the high life and with designer clothes, and with snotty clothing labels and conspicuous consumerism, as indeed it would seem, is the author. I thoroughly detest and abhor the pretentiousness and snottiness of novels of this nature. I could not even remotely begin to identify with any of them, nor respect a single one of them, nor find any reason whatsoever to take any interest in, let alone root for any of these spoiled brats - so why read on?

Paige Toddman is married to a CEO of a mega-corporation and finds herself pregnant with a child which may or may not be her husband's (the writing made it hard to tell). But at least it will have a designer crib, and designer clothes, and designer toys, and designer foods. Maybe it's even a designer baby, and what on Earth could be more important in any child's life than that it has well-known and clich├ęd names in its all clothes and possessions?

Ashleigh McDowell is pretty much a cookie-cutout of Toddman. Viviana De Mornay is yet another cutout, but older and heavily into "cosmetic" surgery so she can maintain the lie of youth and steal the fabulously wealthy husband of some other rich chick. Who cares?

Every other line in this novel contains a name-brand or someone whining about something. No one drives away in a car, instead, they drive away in their [substitute conspicuous name such as Porsche]. The corporate exec kinda guy doesn't stand with his Chivas Regal by the pool, but by the Olympic-sized swimming pool, because just any old pool couldn't possibly be rich enough. He doesn't put on his tailored suit, but his Armani suit. It is seriously stomach-turning to read this page after page and paragraph after paragraph. Did the author get sponsored to write this novel? I'm sorry but I simply cannot get with a novel that parades sponsorship names like a racing car - they're always non-starters for me.

All three of these women are in crisis all the time when they're not obsessively lusting after the guy who owns them. Yes, owns them. If I had to draw a conclusion about Quinn based solely on this novel, I'd be completely convinced that she's convinced that no women has anything going on in her mind other than rich designer names and what they can do to please their owner next. That's apparently all they're good for: to be dressed up as dolls by a guy who owns their every thought, waking and sleeping. This novel is worse than an insult to women: it's evidently a 369 page rape and subjugation of women. Oh and there's some unimportant and irrelevant stuff about corporate take-overs in there.

This novel is WARTY. Hopefully the sequel I was originally planning on reading will be a thousand percent better than this one was.!