Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Diss on Demon Romance

What is it with paranormal books lately?

I didn't mind the influx of vampire and werewolf/shifter romances. I liked most of the themes and the conflicts they presented.

However, lately I've been reading more and more about demons. Demons with heart, demons that buck the systems of hell and demons living and romancing within the rules of hell.

I've read five books/novellas set in this new direction and I'm not loving it.
I'm finding they are trying to write romance within worlds where backstabbing, moral perversion, ethics corruption, hedonistic pursuits with soul stealing strings and torture/mayhem/ and various forms of disrespect are, well, respected. Those negative human traits are sought after and held in high esteem. Heck, even murder is ho-hum.
Echoes of Dexter? What the heck is happening? Desensitizing?

I'm not talking about redeeming them, having them save their souls or the power of true love saves all. There is no saving or changing. They remain as they are, demons. They remain in that world and their loving seems to embrace promiscuity, infidelity, mind/body/soul rape, and a twisted view of what love and the pursuit of romance is all about.

I am not entertained. I am not accepting of this new line of writing and it makes me very uncomfortable in thinking new readers just getting into the racier levels of romance find themselves cavorting with demon lore as though it's normal, acceptable and desirable.

I tolerate a LOT with vampires and werewolves. There's a decent thread among those stories that have much in common with what you'd expect from romance.

I also find the marketing ploy of putting two established authors who write very well and are much loved by me with two newer writers who focus on this new demon line, tacky. Probably profitable, ( which is the bottom line, isn't it?) but I'm not happy. Are they trying to seduce me into reading these? Are they trying to entice me into accepting them by virtue of the other authors?
Not working.

OK, so I read them to give them a fair shake. I have been thinking about this for awhile but after reading these, I think I've read enough to cultivate a personal view.

I give kudos for trying to find an untapped niche. I find some of the writing styles and capabilities are to be admired and acknowledged, but the topic, of making me sympathetic to life and love ( I use that word loosely) in the world of demons, is not creating a fan out of me.

The closest I've come to is reading books with demons are books by Kim Harrison or L.A. Banks. There is a line I won't cross and their books straddle it.

I have no idea what others think about this. I don't know if anyone has noticed this new trend or even if they have an opinion.

I do. And I have shared it here.
No. I do not like this latest fad/trend/story arc.

Anyone have a different opinion?


Brandy said...

I hear you. The ONLY demonish books I've read that I liked were the latest Woo-Woo Inn book where she was a Harpy and the other was by, gosh can't remember the name of the author but the main character was a Succubus who used to be mortal. Both were about as close to Demons as I can see myself reading.

Other than that, I hope things are well with you and yours.

Michele said...

The Woo Woo Inn?
Nina! Nina wrote that!
I lurve Nina Bangs' books!

Great choice!
She has a new series coming out in a couple of months and it sounds AWESOME!
Thanks for stopping by and reading my rant, Brandy!

Chris M. said...

Okay, you're not the only one who thinks this. I don't like thinking I'm going to read a book about redemption and LOVE and instead getting suckered into reading about twisted thoughts.

I don't usually have an issue with stuff that is on the darker side of things, but don't sell me Dark Erotica by telling me it's Erotic Romance.


Michele said...

right, Chris!

I want my romance and It needs to make sense.
And evil is in no way romantic or good.
Demon Romance is an oxymoron.

I think that is the crux of my issue.
Thanks for reading!

Brandy said...

I just remembered the name of the author I was telling you about, Richelle Read. And I knew it was Nina Bangs. *G*