Out of Mind (Court of Angels #2) by Stella Cameron
I saw Out of Mind when I was in the library the other day so I thought I would borrow it. I’ve never read Stella Cameron before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I liked the idea of a paranormal romance set in New Orleans so I gave it a chance. Here’s the back blurb:
Her uncanny sight reveals abuse and damage suppressed deep within—little wonder she’d rather close her eyes. Willow Millet longs to deny her family’s exceptional gifts—paranormal talents known to few, shared by even fewer. Benedict Fortune is one such—a connection that should have strengthened the undeniable bond between him and Willow. But her self-doubt has driven them apart.
Married instead to her business, Willow’s concierge we-can-do-anything service is thriving until it is hit by a string of bizarre and fatal accidents—every victim a client. Now her livelihood depends on two enigmatic socialites and their notoriously decadent parties. In this anything-goes atmosphere, Willow and Ben are thrown together again and their need for each other is as strong as ever, but they are challenged at every turn…
For dark forces are staking Willow—coveting her gift as a means of cheating death…and ruling New Orleans forever.
It was hard for me to get into the storyline of Out of Mind since there was a lot of assumed knowledge from the first book in the trilogy, Out of Body. At first, it was steady going since the lead characters, Ben and Willow, were being introduced, as was the threat. But then I felt overwhelmed by all of the information there was to be absorbed once other members of the Millet family start showing up, discussing Embrans, their used-to-be-immortal alien enemies who can change shape and apparently shrink and dehydrate people so that they’re miniature. This is where it went off the rails for me. I felt like the Embrans’ motivations for wanting to take over the world were very one-dimensional and need to be more developed. This type of aliens secretly trying to take over the world plot has been executed in a lot of stories, even within the genre — Cheyenne McCray‘s Magic series with the D’Anu witches and the evil aliens whose race I can’t remember, for example — and I think Stella Cameron could have made them more interesting, especially since she did occasionally write from their perspective.
Overall, I just didn’t enjoy the novel that much. There were a couple of surprises along the way, which was nice, but I found it pretty easy to put the book down, which is never a good sign. I did like the background involved in the Millet family’s curse, which was interesting and a nice balance for some of the touches that were a bit heavy-handed, like Willow’s mysteriously appearing dog, Mario. I also felt like New Orleans was underused as a setting. Out of Mind could have been set in Anywhere, USA with the same result.
All in all, I was a little disappointed with this novel. Perhaps I would feel differently if I’d read Out of Body first but I didn’t and, as a result, I don’t think I’ll be pursuing this series.