Sunday, June 13, 2010

Having trouble with that book?

So right now I'm in the middle of reading Rachel Caine's latest installment in the Morganville series "Kiss of Death." Normally, I devour this series - sort of like a lite snack as it is a YA novel. However, I'm finding myself taking several days to read this and now I'm stuck with about thirty pages left and short of something drastic, who knows how long it will take me to finish!?

I could go into why this book is troubling me but then that would spoil the review, I will say that a beloved character is acting like a very spoiled child and I'm very tempted to figure out a way to Thursday Next myself into this story so I can smack her.

This is not the only book by an author I enjoy that has disappointed me with their latest books. C.E. Murphy is one of them - "Demon Hunts", her latest Walker Papers installment left me with a severe case of "WTF!",
"HUH?!" and "No really, what?!"

It is tough being a writer so I understand sometimes putting out a piece of work that your audience will either like or not like. What I'm not understanding is why it keeps happening to my favorite writers (yes, I'm going to take the completely selfish road here and believe that all writers know that they are writing for my enjoyment)?

You know what it is? It's the fact that you wait for about a year for an author to come out with something and you want to read it so badly that you can taste it, and maybe due to the hype, you expect something amazing. You're not even sure that amazing will be, just that you're expecting it and therefore it has to happen. Then, when you start reading the book and it's dragging and building up to a plot which you're sure will be anti-climatic, not to mention the characters are acting weird and the character sub-plot you've been hoping for has been derailed for the time being, you're stomach drops about three feet because you realize that some of what's been written makes little sense and "wait, why is my (insert favorite character name here) being strange?".

Then about ten pages away from the end, the plot ends and it's done right, in the sense that there is very little left hanging and formula wise A+B = C but the je ne sais quoi that made you fall in love with the book has somehow been left to dry on the clothesline of 'wait until the next book'.

To sum it up , it's just disappointing. Victoria Thompson's Sarah Brandt series has done that to me too. The latest book to come out in paperback "Murder on Waverly Place" has petered out in my opinion. Why? Because the author was very clearly setting up something between the mid-wife, Sarah (who's family is loaded and associates with Astor's and Roosevelt's at the turn of the century) has a penchant for getting herself into trouble and helping to solve mysteries with tough Irish - American Sgt. Frank Malloy. The feelings between the two of them are insanely thick and yet by the 8th book the author literally brings the brakes to a halt, introduces other characters that frankly, I could care less about, and tries to tease the readers into thinking something is going to happen between the two of them. You know what? Don't. It's stupid and frustrating and I now have the latest pb on my shelf and I don't think I'm going to be reading it any time soon.

I love Stephanie Plum but Janet Evanovich does the same thing to me. It's what I like to refer to as the Stephanie Plum affect. We all know who Steph should end up (based on Stephanie's own 'inner-thoughts', Janet's hints and the male in question's 'declarations') but 16 books later and no one is growing up or moving on or doing anything that would make sense.

The problem is when a relationship or a plot is written into the book so as to be important and enticing but then halts for no other reason but perhaps longevity or personal issues. I am willing to forgive a bad book if the author is having a bad time (which in this day and age, you can find out by going on the author's website or blog) but if they are screwing with a plot or a relationship just for the sake of sales, well that's annoying and slightly cruel.

What books in the past few years have annoyed you enough that you've decided to put them down? Which books are having the "Plum Affect"?

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