Friday, September 16, 2011

My Reading List (So Far) and Some Opinions

Reading from September 1-15

LORA LEIGH
Megan’s Mark
Harmony’s Way
Dawn’s Awakening
Tanner’s Scheme
Mercury’s War
Coyotes Mate
Bengal’s Heart
CHRISTINE FEEHAN
Dark Predator

And I have just a bit to say about these books… (especially since I promised some mention of how I liked Dark Predator after I read it!)

First – after discovering last week that the latest Carpathian novel was released, I read a couple reviews from advance readers and readers who picked it up as soon as it hit the shelves.  I was somewhat surprised by what I found.  One of the reviewers actually said that she was disappointed with Dark Predator on the whole and went on to say that after waiting for so long to see/hear Zacarias De La Cruz’s story, she felt that what we got was flat and lacking.  It has been commented on in the past couple of years that the last several books that have come out in this series just weren’t as good as the earlier ones.  To a certain point I can agree. 

The first five, six, or even eight books in the series did a lot of setting up the plot line for the future.  Then we had a few books that were transitioning, and introduced other, new races besides the Carpathians and revealed the overall ‘evils’ that the Carpathians faced.  The last couple of books while different and evolving, are just that – different.  If the stories were all the same, with the same situations, the same problems and dilemmas, and the same resolutions, we wouldn’t keep reading them, especially when you’re considering a series that includes 22 books, so far.  So yes, if you’re judging the “worth” of the book based solely on a template of the earlier books, I can agree that it’s not quite as good in that sense.

BUT!!!!!!!!

But, ChristineFeehan’s Dark series is as much about immersing the readers into the paranormal world of the Carpathians, as it is about showing the ‘human’ side of the Carpathian’s themselves, or their ability to develop a more human-friendly nature.  Does that mean that the latest books – Dark Predator, Peril, Slayer, Curse, Possession – aren’t as good as those that we initially fell in love with?  NO! I loved Mikhail’s story, and Jacques, Gregori’s, Lucian’s, Gabriel’s, Falcon’s and Byron’s.  I love them, but I’m just as fascinated by Zacarias, Dominic, Ivory and Razvan, Nikolai, Vikirnoff, and the other De La Cruz brothers.  From the very first Christine’s Dark novels have been trying to teach us (and them) that change, while disconcerting, confusing and difficult, is necessary.  Did readers really think that the message wasn’t about more than just the situations the Carpathians came to be in?  Or was it just me that saw the possibility?

So yeah, I liked Dark Predator. Did I find fault with it, or have complaint’s, sure.  I would have like to see more interaction with other Carpathians – nearly the entire book has only Zacarias and Marguarita.  Would I have liked to see more vampire/Carpathian battles? Yes, because frankly they are always interesting.  The way that Predator was written, works for this story.  And really, that’s what matters.


LoraLeigh is an author of books that I’ve always seen on the shelves.  Just due to the typical alphabetical product placement that most bookstores employ, I would see her titles every time I was scanning the shelves for some of my (other) favorite authors (for example: Johanna Lindsay, Angela or Deidre Knight, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Linda Leal Miller and K.M. Moning!)  But for years, literally, I didn’t pick up any of her books. 


I have this weird thing where if I’m starting a series that already has several books published, even if they don’t have to be read in a particular order, I have to read them in the right order.  Or as close to the right order as possible.  For a while I would look at Lora’s books and think about getting them, but the first few from the series were just never available. Then last spring (this would have been Spring 2010) I finally picked up Megan’s Mark and Dawn’s Awakening when they showed up on the shelf, and forced myself to order Harmony’s Way.   And I haven’t regretted the decision once.


All of Lora’s books lean more into the realm of erotica than (nearly) all of the other novels that I have.  While my husband (and men/women all around the world) may joke that all romance novels are porn, or pornish (pornesque?), the extent to which her books are more explicit than I was used to, was almost something of a shock to me.  (Not a real shock, I am a happily married woman with three kids, and a semi-adventurous spirit, after all!)  But I’ve been known to skip over the intimate parts of novels on repeat readings because it’s not the sex that I read them for, it’s the HEA- happily-ever-after. 


So the explicit sexual scenes, which Lora frequently puts in her books, were different for me.   I’m not saying that those scenes made the books better or worse, or that all romance novels should have more explicit scenes, but for Lora Leigh and her Breed novels (and actually the Nauti, Elite Ops and the Bound Hearts series as well – which are three more of her series which I have found these types of scenes in.) these more explicit and frankly erotic scenes fit.  They fit with the stories, the men and women the stories are about, and Lora manages to write them with just the right touch! (pun intended!) 


But take this as a warning if you aren’t a reader who can enjoy these types of scenes – none of the Lora Leigh books that I have read to date, is anything but unapologetically sexual, from the tone she sets right off, to the personalities of her characters.  If you don’t like, or can’t handle, reading the nitty gritty of sexual interactions, don’t read these books.  They are awesome books, the stories and the characters that she portrays, whether were talking about her Breeds, the Nauti boys, or the members of her Elite Ops and Navy Seals series, are all amazing, rich and well worth the read.  Just beware.


That’s everything I have to say… And I guess it was more than just a little bit.  Oopps.  See you next time everyone!

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