Saturday, April 9, 2011

Nalini Singh - Big Strong Mens and Romantic Death Threats

Who are dangerous, which is another trope that is being done to death.

Not only do we have fragile woman after fragile woman being healed by the Big Strong Mens and their Magical Healing Sexing. and if the men have hard pasts it’s always Soticly Handled like the Big Strong Mens while the Delicate Female Flowers get to collapse and cry and whimper and be SAVED by the Big Strong Mens who hold them with Crushing Strength!

Not only that, but all the men are DAAAAAANGEROUS. Sascha gets her werepanther who frequently threatens her with death. Faith gets Vaughn, her were-Jaguar who stalks her and hunts her and, again, threatens her. Brenna, a were-wolf is teamed up with Judd a Psy who can accidently rip her limb from limb with a stray thought, Tailen, the delicate human is teamed with Clay who causes her to be frightened about 3/4s of the entire book. Ashaya gets Dorian who starts off hating her, threatening her and she even thinks of as “the sniper”. Katya gets Devraj who is her prison guard and *yawn* yet again threatens her with death.

Honestly, is this a new avenue of het-romance I’ve missed? It’s not love without death-threats?
The one book out of 7 where the woman’s life isn’t threatened by her lover is with Mercy and Riley - and even then Mercy, the Sentinel were-leopard, the elite soldier - has to find a man who can take her down and has to look outside her leopard pack because she needs someone more dominant than her.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Marjorie Liu: In The Dark Dreams

In The Dark Dreams is the latest Dirk and Steele novel.  I seemed to have read it out of order and should have read Dark Dreamers instead which is an anthology.  I went into this book believing that it was a continuation of the novels and so I expected the standard supernaturals.  I was absolutely not prepared for a rich undersea world that included mer people.  This is the very first urban fantasy book that I have read with mermen and mermaids.  That fact alone drew me into the story.

Of course this book would not be a Marjorie Liu book without love at first woo woo.  You know the kind of love where you know someone for five seconds and then pledge the rest of your life with them and then seal the deal with some vanilla sex.

Jenny is a little girl and she is on the beach when she spots Perrin a male mermen. He is hurt and so she takes of her shirt and presses it to his wound.  She sings him a little song to calm him because he looks scared.  Suddenly a man walks naked out of the water and he pushes her away.  He encourages her to run and she does as the man, who would later turn out to be Perrin’s father Turon dragged him back to the sea. Apparently from that little meeting the fall desperately in love.  They spend years meeting in their dreams until the threat of the Kracken, (an undersea creature) waking from a deep slumber drives them together.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fangs for the Fantasy Podcast - Episode 9

This week we discuss: Being Human (US), Anya Bast's Elemental Witches, Marjorie Liu's Dirke & Steel, Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series, Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl and the Ring and Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris.

Nalini Singh - fragile women and supportive men

Continuing on from previous side-eyes about the first 2 books with the aggressive men and the fragile women.

First 2 books we have the emotionally nul Psy woman being “aggressively seduced” by changeling men to save them from themselves. Poor, fragile Psy women. No we could have just handwaved this by saying “well, the Psy are messed up, they are damaged, they do need saving from themselves” which is justified by the plot (which, by the way, rocks and is awesome). But in the third book we have an emotionless, repressed Psy man and a changeling woman. A reversal? Is the woman going to be strong and dominant and help him for his own good? No – because she’s the victim from a previous book and is fragile and hurting and needs his support and healing. And in the 4th book we have changeling man and human woman…. who is fragile and delicate and hurting and damaged and needs healing and protecting and support.

I love these books to death, but 4/4 now we have desperately fragile/broken/hurting woman being fixed by the mensssss (who, also, often have tragic pasts or breakages, but are still in the active fixing role) is a little bit of a tiresome repetitive trope.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Elemental Witches Reads More Like Porn

Yes, yes I know I am bad for not sticking with a series right through the end.  Over the last two days have I have read Witch Fire and Witch Blood By Anya Bast.  They are the first two books in her elemental witches series.  I thought that I would take a break from Liu and love at first woo woo and try something new.  Bast appealed to me simply because I have not read a lot of stories in the genre that had to do with witches outside of Harrison and Rice.  I was ready for some new tales.

After reading two books, I can tell you that I am still waiting for new and interesting stories.  Basically, there are four types of witches and their powers all correspond with an element.  In the first book when they are not frantically humping they are fighting a warlock cabal.  It is so bad that I think the first 50-70 pages are basically one long fuck.  There is also the justification of quick love between strangers because their magic makes them attracted to each other.

In Witch Blood, Bast finally decides that porn does not equal plot unless of course you are Laurel K Hamilton.  We learn that witches are a mixture of human and demons.  Demons it seems live on their plane of existence and come in four different groups. The entire book is about the head witch (Thomas) attempting to keep a water witch (Isabelle) from being kidnapped and murder by a demon who wants to use her blood to open a door between the two worlds so that he can return home.   Basically this story could be told in 100 pages.  The book is actually 200 pages long and the rest of it is used to describe them have sex, which would not be so bad if Bast even had the smallest bit of imagination.  Every single sex scene is the same.  The positions are the same and even the order in which they perform acts on each other is exactly the same, every time they have sex.  By the third scene if you are skipping through the pages, I humbly suggest you have a touch of masochist flowing in your veins. I think that someone needs to buy Bast a copy of the kama sutra and a thesaurus.

I have decided to go back and read the fourth Marjorie Liu book in the Dirk and Steele series entitled Dark Dreamers.  I think that I am going to have to back and forth between the two stories to finish both series.  If I read too much of either women, I might be tempted throw my precious e-reader across a room in disgust.