My newest read might not be my cup of tea, meaning that I don’t think it’ something I’m going to finish.
So, I finished Aerie, the 4th book in the Joust series by Mercedes Lackey. In my opinion, the book feels very forced and contrived. I didn’t feel that it fit with the rest of the story. I honestly believe this story was to fulfill a contract and wasn’t a labor of love in any way. I didn’t foresee the ending, which was just off from the rest of the series. Oh well. I will still read other books by her in the future. I still believe she’s a great storyteller. The first book in the Joust series proved that to me. But if a series starts to feel done and the next one just doesn’t have the same feel, then I’m likely to put it down and let the series end where I felt she wanted it to.
As for the book I’m reading now, I’m not going to mention the book title or the author because I’m just not sure I’m going to read much more in it. The character, with the story being written in 1st person, tells all about her hair color and how she matches her nail polish to it and color coordinates in her 3-inch heels, but then when a nasty spell grabs onto her a few pages later, all the reader gets is that it’s a dark spell that won’t let her go. Really? Oh, and then we find out that an abusive husband is involved. Cliché! And I, as a reader, am just supposed to believe that she’s going to take this case just because a spell latches onto her and her boss thinks that seeing this spell is going to make her angry. Really? I didn’t feel any anger from her, not even a hint. I suspect that she’s angrier about her hair getting mussed while trying to free herself from the spell. Oh, and there’s another character that is supposed to be psychic, but has never figured out the main character’s secrets — secrets which she keeps from herself apparently. Sorry, if you’re writing in 1st person, you can’t gloss things over like that. Go on. Think of your deepest, darkest secret that you’d never tell anyone. Then try to stop thinking about it without every detail running through your mind. Yeah, doesn’t happen. The memory comes jumping right to the front of your mind.
Now, I don’t know where this book was written in this author’s career, and the author has had a good career. I often get asked if I’ve read this author, and told that I’d like the books. I just don’t see it. Maybe a decade ago. But now, I’m afraid that I’m going to send it back to the library. I’ll give the author a few more pages to hook me in, but I’m done with the fluff. Don’t give me pages of self-centered style from the catalogue and then give me bare minimum on the element which is to get the story rolling. Okay, yes, it’s very much getting under my skin. Worse, my creative voice is working on making a better story.
And that’s not fair because I’m sure the author did the best job the author was capable of at that moment. That’s all any writer can do.
I might have to go to another series this author wrote and try something a little further down her career. Let’s face it, my first book is not nearly as well crafted as my newest. I don’t dare claim to be perfect and free from mistakes. I learn too. (Endings, anyone? Yeah, there is definitely a craft to writing a good ending and I’m still working on that, though I hope I’m getting better.) But I think I’ll look for something in 3rd person next time.
I do have a couple other books to keep me occupied if I put this one down. I’ve been reading one of them in tandem with the previously mentioned one just because I was afraid that I wouldn’t like either book. Jury is still out on the second book. I see what the author is trying to do in that one and I am asking myself why, is there a reason for it? I suspect that I know, but I keep asking why. It, quite frankly, makes the book boring and I know this writer to be a good storyteller and very intellectual, so I just don’t know why this book has to be written this particular way.
Sigh. I hope I don’t have two strike outs.
The third book which I haven’t touched yet is from another popular storyteller who I’ve listened to speaking a couple times and read a writing craft by him — yes, I learned lots too, so that bodes well. I always figured this would be the book that would catch me out of the three.
Well, time to go read a bit.