Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Good, The Bad and the Highly Readable

Yes, more books.
My addiction strikes again.

My hyper-focus on vampire romanctic heros led me to some interesting reading.

First , allow me to say that writing for an anthology can not be an easy task.

All story telling elements must be covered and no words can be superfluous. The literary effort must produce a mood, a connection and an enjoyable reading experience without leaving the reader feeling short changed.

Please don't let the following statement turn you off on some of these authors . I picked up the books because they were in the anthology. Past history has given me many enjoyable hours visiting the worlds that they've created.

The first is:
IMMORTAL BAD BOYS by Rebecca York, Rosemary Laurey and Linda Thomas-Sundstrom.
For me, Rebecca is an auto pick-up -so when I read the story I had high hopes. Everyone, in all aspects of life, has a moment that leaves the people who know them scratching their heads while thinking " HUH??" My conclusion ... "Why bother?", the sex was good, but it was not enough to carry the story. That is my impression and my opinion - to my dismay. I adore Rebecca York - just not in this.
Same with Rosemary Laurey. She has written some awesome stories that I' ve raved over here. Can't do it this time. Nope.
The last author was a complete unknown to me. Had no idea what to expect, but what I got was utter confusion. At the end, I understood what it was all about, but the delivery left a lot to be desired. The idea was actually quite good - it just didn't touch me. Not even close.
All in all, the title was appropriate - however I would adjust it to "immortally bad".

Same with
Lords of the Night by Janice Bennett, Sara Blayne and Monique Ellis. ALL unknowns to me. Same problems. Big idea in too short a space. Add to the mix - it was a regency period theme and I had to contend with all that fancy and disjointed phraseology. GAH!!
The only bright spot was the last story, The Full of the Moon by Janice Bennett. There was a surprise twist in the end that delighted me. It was as if there was a fresh zephyr filling the room at the last minute and I breathed it in deeply, "Finally!!"

For the Good area I would chose: The Burning by Susan Squires.
Once again we visit vampires with The Companion. I had a problem with all the flashbacks, but then I usually do so this isn't a new gripe. That is just my personal prune.
Her character, Ann, was on the verge of going over the cliff of TSTL. It was a toss-up but eventually she pulled through. I choked on the fact that she needed a man to save her from that literary fate, but no matter. That she did, allowed the story to have a satisfactory end. As with all of Susan's books, you know it is NOT the end. Kilkinney's story must be told. And Rubius really needs his ass kicked. So even if there are stutters in the story telling, I have still been brought to the point of caring for the characters. Isn't that one of the earmarks of success?

Now I come to the Highly Readable:
Vamps in the City by Kerrelyn Sparks
Once again, Kerrelyn pulls off a vampire romance filled with satisfying romance and fun with a light touch of angst. The bad guys aren't very pronounced in this story. The focus really is on the romance. I enjoyed watching it evolve. I will also venture to say that Kerrelyn has toned down considerably her use of one-liners and pop culture cliches. They are there, but not quite as numerous and are well placed within the story. I dare say, she grew in her craft and it shows.

There you have it. My reviews such as they are.

Perhaps I came off a little snarky and harsh for the first book I mentioned, but seriously folks, if publishers want trade sized books to sell for $12.00 to $14.00 a pop, then they'd better make it worth a readers time and money. If things don't change in the cost of gas for our vehicles and the price goes up across the country to $4.04 a gallon as some places are in California, I sure as heck am not going to waste it on a trade paperback!


Brandy said...

I appreciate honesty in someone who is reviewing a book. And I know that for each review there are different opinions, so don't worry. Although, I will b looking at that Vamps in the city!!

Robin Caroll said... crack me up! Hope I can keep up on the blogs more....hopefully, things will slow down some! SIGH

Michele said...

Thanks Brandy. For a bit I thought I was a bit TOO honest!
But I'm really uncomfortable with tiptoeing around an issue ... use the wrong words and a whole new picture could be painted. Usually, not what you intended.

Robin??!! I crack you up? Here I am , showing my little claws, and I amuse you?
Guess I wasn't over the top after all.
Remember though, Rebecca and Rosemary usually are fun reads ...gotta make that clear. I've given myself a complex.

I'm my own worst enemy. I feel like scolding with one hand, while sneaking in some cotton candy with the other. Very Sybil of me.

Bailey Stewart said...

I've looked at that first book many times, so now I'm glad that I didn't pick it up.

What is this lately with vamps and ... ghosts? Just me flitting on by *gg*

Michele said...

LOL, Eve! I just left a message on your blog too!
Spooky ESP at work...OOoooo

Thanks for stopping by! Oh, and I don't know about the "ghosts" but the Vamps are darned sexy!! *wink*

Gregg said...

Michele- ah .. you never come across as snarky ;-) If gas keeps going up it may be cheaper to burn the books for fuel than pump gas.

Annalee Blysse said...

$3.10 here...

I bought a trade paperback though. But I have to admit, I was thinking that considering I spent $5 driving over there it might be awhile until I returned.