As some of you know, I got sucked into rereading the Carpathian novels (at least the first few) by Christine Feehan. I discovered the series at a time when I was NOT reading romance and paranormal romance was an unknown “species.” 😆 I found one of her books in a bargain bin, decided it looked interesting, and bought it. I think, if I’d read the books from the beginning, and back-to-back, I would have picked up on things much quicker. Maybe. Since I first started reading them, I’ve also learned a lot about the craft of writing. That makes a big difference, as far as I’m concerned.
First, I’m not belittling Ms. Feehan in any way. She has legions of fans–including me–and is a NYT best-selling author. What I’m saying here is something many of her fans are aware of and choose to ignore. I get that. 🙂
In the beginning of the series, there is a lot of repetition–in language and in plot. The young, virginal heroine is fighting her destiny, the alpha hero is overpowering but it’s all due to his DNA and instincts to protect her from her own folly. It’s not until the fifth book that this starts to lessen somewhat. Oh, and the sex scenes. Yeah, once I started skipping over those, I read the books in no time. FYI, there are a LOT of sex scenes. And they are very similar. Because, seriously? How many ways can you describe Tab A and Slot B when the H/H are going at it like rabbits? Not to mention the fact they stop to have the sexxy-sexxors at like the WORST possible time–the evil vampire is hunting them, the sun is almost rising, one of them has been hurt… I mean, srsly?
The good thing about the series is there is intricate world and mythos building. That’s my thing. If that foundation is there, and it’s good, I’ll overlook a lot of other sins. Ms. Feehan has that in spades. And her heroes are pretty darn yummy, too.
The problem becomes, however, especially with a reread, is that the “art” of paranormal romance has grown by leaps and bounds. Jen Lyons’ Wing Slayers, Larissa Ione’s Demonica series, Nailini Singh (though I haven’t read her), Jeaniene Frost’s Cat and Bones…they all grabbed the idea, expounded and expanded, and ran with it. Their writing, characterizations, and plots are more sophisticated. It’s hard to go back and not nitpick all the little irritating things. Like “black magic,” “black velvet,” to describe the hero’s voice. And OMG, EVERYTHING is dark. His dark eyes, his dark mood, his dark heart, his dark hair, his dark emotions, dark possessiveness…ad infinitum ad nauseum. Oh, and “masculine,” “feminine,” and erotic.
Yes, I know. It sounds like I’m really ripping this series but I’m not. This was ground-breaking stuff when it was released. Publishers were trying to cash in on the LKH/Anita Blake popularity (which is a whole ‘nother deal!) and Feehan’s Dark Carpathians was a credible venture. I read almost every book, up to a point. I stopped when the books became too repetitive for my liking. Ms. Feehan branched out, pulling in a group of leopard shifters into the Carpathian world, added a series about genetically enhanced soldiers and women experimented on as children (Ghostwalkers), and her Seven Sisters, about witches. I enjoyed those series, though I’ve fallen behind as other authors grabbed my attention.
Should I mention that I have 3 books waiting for me to pick up at the library, 3 book were just downloaded to my Kindle from pre-orders, and I’ve found an Allison Brennan Lucy Kincaid book I haven’t read yet because it got lost in the shuffle? *headdesk* This should tell you that I AM a fan of the “Dark” series because I was drawn in to rereading the first 5. The rest will have to wait–even though I’m curious about book 7, which was the first one I read in the series. I have other books to read.
So…is there a series that you find irritating but you keep reading anyway? If so, why? What compels you to pick up a book to reread it or grab the new release? Is it the hope it’ll get better? Or is there something that keeps sucking you back in for more? Yeah, I get that. 😆 I want to know what you think!