Friday, February 5, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Baby Dolly by Ruby Jean Jensen

About the Author

I couldn't find much about Ruby Jean Jensen, so I'm just going to write what was in the back of the book. Ruby Jean Jensen lives on twelve acres near Rogers, Arkansas with her husband and two dogs, a pug and a German shepherd. Writing novels is the fulfillment of a dream begun in childhood. She writes horror because so many individual lives seem to teeter on its threshold. Jensen has written a lot of horror novels, many of them featuring killer dolls. Here's a list of her novels:

I think the pic of the cover is too small to see this, but at the top it says "In the chilling tradition of V.C. Andrews." Which is strange because this novel features no incest, it's about a killer doll.

Baby Dolly is about a baby doll that sucks the life out of people, specifically several generations of the same family. The book begins in 1882 with a girl, Sybil, receiving the baby doll and being disappointed because she thinks she's too grown up for dolls. So she places the doll in her sister's bed and the next day her sister is dead. When Sybil realizes that the doll did it, she hides it in the attic. The next part of the novel takes place in 1910, when Sybil is grown and has a family of her own. Then, 1950 when Sybil is a grandma and, finally, the present (which was 1991) where a family has inherited the house - and the doll.

Baby Dolly is the standard evil doll story: doll kills someone, no one suspects it, when someone does no one believes him/her, and when they finally believe they don't know what to do about it. Except this novel is like three short novels where the formula repeats itself. The book is 477 pages, which is too long for the simple plot.

The pace moves quickly during Book One, mainly because of the character of Rose, who is an unwed teenage mother in 1882. What her mother, Sybil, does to get rid of the baby is horrible. And the baby doll makes a few appearances. During the middle, the pace slows down a lot. The novel could have went from 1882 to the present day. We already know the doll is evil, the middle doesn't add anything new, and it's boring. But near the end, the story becomes really creepy when the doll starts crawling around and (somehow) opening and breaking down doors.

The characters aren't given much depth. There isn't much back story for any of them, except for Sybil who was cruel therefore I hated her and Gertrude who was nice, but dull, so I never really cared about her. But I did like Rose.

Baby Dolly is an okay entry in the killer doll subgenre, but it could have been better if the middle part was eliminated.

Rating: 3/5

1 comment:

KenPaul66 said...

I read an article somewhere about a fan contacting her around 2000 shortly before her death. She gave him a pristine copy of one of her titles that he'd been unable to locate.