From the NLS annotation:
Since his father’s untimely death, seventeen-year-old Cas and his Wiccan mom have continued the family trade–hunting down vengeful, murdering spirits. But when Cas goes after ghostly Anna, an unexpected occurrence changes everything. Violence and some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2011.
Let me guess…it’s LOVE isn’t it? The unexpected occurrence is that Cas has feelings for “ghostly” Anna. Is she GHOST-ly, I mean, is she sort of like a ghost, or is she an actual ghost? Wait wait don’t tell me. I’m sure that I’d rather be shocked when it’s all revealed 30 pages in to the 320 page book.
You know, if I were a teenager I would be super pissed that YA classified books almost exclusively have to do with either the supernatural or falling in love–typically both. I know the whys and the wherefores to writing supernatural for young adults; spare me the lecture. I’m just saying that as a reader of books and a librarian, I’m just wondering if somewhere teens are getting burned out on being constantly bombarded with the SSDD (same shit…).
Anyway, today’s offering is called Anna Dressed in Blood and it is the first book in the…wait for it…ANNA series by Kendare Blake. Yes, Kendare Blake. Let’s all make a little offering to the Goddess in hopes that Kendare is her pen-name. And “Blake?” Please. We get it, you’re material pays homage to both the Gothic and the Romantic periods.
Today’s entry comes from the book Laced With Magic of the crapity-crap-crap, who-gives-a-crap (Sugar Maple Chronicles) series by Barbara Bretton.
From the NLS Annotation:
Part-sorceress, Chloe Hobbs, from Casting Spells, discovers that her boyfriend Luke was once married and had a daughter, Steffie, who died two years ago. Chloe wants to help Luke with Steffie’s spirit but also fears for the town’s safety. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. 2009.
This book was written in a post-Harry Potter world so I’m going to call BS right off. How is a person going to be “part-sorceress?” Sorcerers aren’t an ethnicity. You can’t be part-one. You are either a sorceress or you are a mortal (or Muggle, if you will). Period. And besides, it says on book one that she is the daughter of a sorcerer not a sorceress, so, like, is she part sorcerer, or was her dad, the assumed sorcerer, a transvestite or MTF post-transition? Get your damn masculines and feminines straight people…this matters.
And besides, who cares whether or not her dad wore dresses. If she does magic (or witchcraft) then she is a sorcerer or sorceress–she can’t be only “part” magic. You either are of your aren’t. No “parts.”
Thanks, that’s all.
Book 16 in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series is on it’s way to an NLS library near you! What does this mean? I have no idea. I’ve never even read any of these books. But, I feel comfortable telling you what I already know I don’t like about them. Too much! As in, there are just too many things going on in the annotation for Breaking the Rules. As in, Suzanne Brockmann has too many letters in her name! As in, naming a series the Troubleshooters series is also, just, TOO MUCH. Too many letters! Too long of a word. Too ridiculous. From the NLS annotation:
Izzy Zanella helps fellow navy SEAL Danny Gillman and Danny’s sister Eden–Izzy’s estranged wife–rescue their gay brother Ben from their abusive stepfather. Ben’s new friend, sixteen-year-old Neesha, also needs their aid after escaping kidnappers and eight years of forced prostitution. Violence, strong language, and explicit descriptions of sex.
Is this for real? So, according to above 50 words, Breaking the Rules, in 528 pages (too many pages!), covers the following concepts:
- Navy SEALS
- marital problems
- teenagers (am I right?)
Obviously that is TOO many bullet points for one novel!
So, Izzy Zanella is a boy? I just pictured him as a her until I read about “Danny’s sister Eden–Izzy’s estranged wife–” and I was like, wha-huh? And this is book 16 in the series. So these two Navy SEALS have been running around in these convoluted suspense novels 15 other times?
Now, I’m not sexist (yes, I am) but I’m a bit dubious of a woman writing a book about Navy SEALS and not having it be a romance. This is mostly why I assumed that “Izzy” was a girl. For those of you not in the know romance novels in which good looking, dashing, daring, Navy SEALS get the girl have a HUGE following. So, when I see a Navy SEALS novel about two SEALS in a sweaty adventury suspense novel with no romance, I’m going to assume gay subtext. But then when I see that a woman has written the many adventures of this dynamic duo, I’ve got to pause. Either there IS gay subtext (I believe they call it “slash” in the fanfic world), or Suzzaanne Brockkmaann is just writing crappy “suspense” novels that are really just romance vehicles.
Somebody who has read this series about
Batman Izzy and Robin Danny comment here and let me know? Romance? Honest suspense? Overly convoluted story lines? Gratuitous sex, violence, and strong language? Inquiring minds want to know…
This week’s selection comes on the suggestion of a fellow LBPH Librarian friend of mine, MW. I haven’t started cataloging this month’s selection of audio turds, so MW helpfully passed along this overly complicated Victorian Romance novel.
Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory is set in Victorian England and sounds like a room-temperature mess. I’ve heard that in England you can’t get cold water because they haven’t invented ice, or something, so everything is room temperature and all the food is boiled. So, this one is a room-temperature mess, not a fully “hot mess.” From the NLS annotation:
1890s. Returning to England to claim his inheritance, Stuart Aysgarth, the new viscount Mount Villiars,
accidentally runs over one of widow Emma Hotchkiss’s lambs. Emma schemes to recoup her loss while Stuart concocts his own plot involving revenge on a usurping uncle. Includes recipes. Some explicit descriptions of sex.
I count 4 periods in this annotation, but there are really only two sentences. Yet somehow, in these two sentences, this annotation manages to confuse the crap out of me. It seems to be mainly made up of just keywords: England, inheritance, viscount, widow, revenge. Add to that the following ridiculous words that really don’t need to be part of any romance novel: runs-over, lamb, schemes, recoup, concocts, usurping. But the most bizarre of all is the phrase: “includes recipes.” Recipes for what? Lamb? English food? How does this story, as I understand it from this annotation and the Publishers Weekley review found at Amazon.com, lend to effing recipes?
Then you’ve got these ridiculously named characters: Aysgarth and Hotchkiss. Have we run out of traditionally “English” names for romance novels? While people in the “real world” may be naming their kids “Haylee” and “Joarden” and “Tyffany” and even some “Apples, Suris, Bronxs”, et. al. I see no defendable reason to start giving the characters in books set prior to the 20th century these whacked-out, overly spelled and underly considered, monikers.
What may recommend the book more than the plot, run over lambs, and recipes(?) is the sex. All the sexy, sexy, sex. The PW review on Amazon makes reference to this “sensual tale,” a series of “sexual games,” some more “sexual interludes,” and an overall, “warmly spiced” atmosphere. No mention of food though. PW did mention that the heroine is found out to have “cooked his books” but I’m pretty sure that it isn’t a sex- or cooking reference.
PW does mention something that really grates on my nerves and I’m glad they did, because even if the stupidly described plot hadn’t been enough to warn me off, this did the trick. The reviewer mentions “expository and noticeably anachronistic prose” and I’m telling you, that burns me up like nothing else. Either keep your dialogue and exposition brief so you can’t funk it up, or LEARN TO SPEAK VICTORIAN ENGLISH. It isn’t difficult. Just read half a dozen actual Victorian novels. If you write your book fast enough after reading, you can’t help but achieve the proper lingo.
As usual, reading is not something to be taken lightly. Always use the proper safety restraints. Check your mirrors, and watch out for lambs.