Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why can't I just put down the book?

Really, what is wrong with me?

I started a series last week by an author I thoroughly enjoy. Only, it did not meet my expectations. I know I’m picky and judgmental about my books, which is why I generally rely on recommendations made by my family and friends. Well, dear friend, who will remain nameless, you have failed me. Miserably.* Now I am stuck in a series that is full of historical inaccuracies** and really really annoying leading ladies. The author’s other series are historically accurate and well written (and set in a different time period). This series, however, is not. There are jumps in logic, a surprising number of typos (which I am blaming on the publishers), and the character development for said leading ladies is horrible.

Has the author written so many books she has stopped caring? Does her publisher figure she already has a fan base and can get away with this?

I cannot stop reading. I have done this, and do this, all the time. Once I start a series, it is very hard for me to put it down. I do like the male leads, the idea is good, and I want to know what happens next, but I probably won’t be looking for Book Three. I will stop myself. Really. Ok, maybe I am lying. The series could get better. Maybe. Probably not.

Why didn’t I just put down Book One? Well, I began reading the series because a dear nameless friend of mine let me borrow a bunch of books she was going to sell to the used bookstore. This stack of books contained Book Two. I, obsessive about reading a series in order, quickly went to my library’s database and placed a hold on Book One. When I realized Book One was bad I kept reading. I figured that Book Two must be better and wanted to be able to understand all of it (after all my friend and I have similar tastes). Now, I am about halfway through Book Two and it is not better.

I could live with the historical inaccuracies (after all it is fiction), a few of the typos, and some of the jumps in logic, but the character development is ruining it for me. I could even deal with the annoyingness (I am not sure that is a word) of the female characters, if they were actually developed.

--For example, I am constantly annoyed and frustrated by Faythe, the leading lady in Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series. But, and this is a big but, I know why she thinks and acts the way she does. I can understand her selfishness, because her life has supported it. Also, in each book she grows a little more, she evolves because of the events affecting her, as she would (hopefully) in real life. Also, when Rachel Vincent states something about one of the characters I know it is true because I have seen it or will see it in the character’s actions.

In this series, however, I, the reader, am constantly being told about the female characters, but never shown these traits they supposedly possess. I am told they are strong and smart, but only see their weakness and stupidity. The male characters, however, seem to grow and change. Their characters are actually developed. I can see their point of view and their reasoning. When the male characters change, I know why. I see them struggle. I see them evolving, and consequently, they are the only characters I can connect with. It is as if I am reading a half good and half bad book.

Earlier today (okay, while writing this) I decided to look at online reviews and see what others thought. It looks like most agree with me. These books are really bad. The reviews also commented that they liked the author's other books, so I am not alone.

In all fairness these books are not the worst I have read. I could still, objectively, give them a 2 out of 5 rating. An ‘I didn’t like it’ opposed to an 'I hated it', but I will not be recommending them to anyone.

Originally, I wasn’t going to post the series’ name and author, as it was originally simply a little rant. But the rant grew and now I have decided I should tell you the author and series, for your own reading protection.

Series- The Masters of Time
Author- Brenda Joyce
Brief Description- Time traveling highlanders, known as Masters, fight against evil and protect innocents.

*If your reading this, I believe we are now even for the several hours of your life I owed you for making you watch horrible movies with me.
**I am not talking about things like ‘Location A never existed’ or ‘Character B’s real life counterpart was not like that’ (which the author actually explains in the back of the book) but things like ‘that was not invented yet’ or ‘someone from that time period would not have understood that’.

PS - If you have read the series and disagree let me know, and let me know why.

PSS- Shannon O'Donnell at Book Dreaming has reached 200 followers! She is now giving away a $20 Amazon gift card and a query critique by Elana Johnson accompanied by a copy of Elana Johnson's ebook From the Query to the Call! I highly recommend stopping by her blog!

Love to ALL!


  1. I've never read that series, so thanks for the heads up. I have to finish a series too, even if I don't like it. I need to read how the story ends-

  2. I hate when I get stuck in a never-ending cycle of books that aren't all that good. Bleh. Makes you feel like you've wasted your life away. And then it makes me think, why am I not published yet. How did this schmuck get published.

    I followed you over from Courtneys blogfest, but you don't have one. I will forgive you. Only because you are caught up in a bad book...

  3. Same thing happens to me. I almost always finish a book, even if I don't like it, just to find out what happens.