Paranormally Sound

All about those books, those books. Particularly paranormal and dystopian YA novels, but I read other stuff, too.

Maybe it's Supernatural, Maybe it's Mercy

Moon Called - Patricia Briggs

The Mercy Thompson series is one of my all time favorites and this here is the first book in that series.


When I first saw it, I actually thumbed right past it to the next book after having seen the cover and read the blurb on the back. Something about it turned me off, making me decide that I wouldn't care for it.


I still kick myself for that, because I could have been reading Briggs's amazing series forever ago! When I finally bit the bullet and read the book, I couldn't put it down. I devoured page after page, enthralled by the intricate world that had been developed here, falling in love with the characters as they slowly introduced themselves and butted their way in. It's the first book that really made me realize that there's *good* stuff out there in adult fiction that isn't raunchy (which I can read sometimes, too) and is still just really well done.


Call me impressed.


Character development was awesome, pretty impressive considering there were a LOT of major players who showed up in this. But not all of them got a ton of screen time, and I think that's why it worked.


The intricacy and cohesiveness of the story was good, too. When you thought you had things all figured out, Briggs threw you a curve ball and I didn't necessarily see it coming with everything else that was going on (it also happened to tie in really nicely with a spin off series set in the same world. Go figure). An interesting story is important, and I was pleased to find it here.


There was still romance (which, I admit it, I love), but it wasn't so overpowering that I felt like I was just reading about a bunch of horny teenagers that really needed to get laid. It was hesitant, and tasteful, with some passion and intrigue and uncertainty all rolled together.


And finally, the werewolves were werewolves. I'll explain as best I can. They weren't a bunch of cute and cuddly pansies, but they weren't (necessarily) the villains either. They were... well, kinda like humans who got furry once a month. Some were more dangerous than others, but all had the capacity for violence without that capacity making them immediately evil. They had complex feelings and thoughts, making them very real characters despite being paranormal creatures.


Well done, Briggs. I've been keeping up with this series ever since I picked up Moon Called and this first book still ranks tops in my favorites list.


Paranormally Abnormally Unthrilled by this

Forest of the Forbidden: A Paranormal Fantasy Anthology - W.J. May, Chrissy Peebles, Kristen Middleton, CM Doporto, Kaitlyn Davis, Samantha Long, Book Cover By Design

So, firstly, I'll admit I got this book as a free e-book for my reader (because so much of my reading material is in storage right now T_T). That being said, I had a feeling it was going to be bad.


Unfortunately, I was right.


It's one of those anthology collections (read: a bunch of half-assed, unfinished stories that are supposed to encourage you to go out and BUY the next one in whatever series they're attempting to write). The focus is, of course, Paranormal. Romance, specifically.


One of the ways I mark a decent book is how well it holds my interest - and in all fairness, a lot of the time, it doesn't take a lot - and let me tell you, these didn't. They were discorded drivel, pieced together with the hopes that if you throw in a werewolf or a vampire or a gargoyle (insert preferred supernatural creature here) then it's all good and you don't really need much of a story. Or the story you have doesn't have to be intelligible.


It's annoying, because they can get away with it and people will still read it.


But that's not what really bugged me about it.

(Okay, it was part of it. It was a collection from DIFFERENT writers and the only thing they really had in common was how poorly developed their stories were.) What actually bugged me the most was that at one point, I could see the fanfiction in it. Literally.


I believe it was Seventh Mark by W.J. May that had me just beating my head against the wall. Why you ask? Because it was Twilight Fanfiction. I could tell you which characters were which, where she changed the story, and how it went originally.


And the thing is, I'm not against fanfiction. In fact, I think it's an excellent tool to hone your skills - but you shouldn't be publishing anything that belongs in fanfiction as a legitimate, original novel. Why? Because it's NOT. And it's a trend that's really starting to bother me. I don't care if a book was the inspiration for your novel, so long as you changed it enough that it's an original novel now. That's fine. But these? They don't qualify, not when I can go through and pick out the characters and tell you who they are. There's a problem with that.


Unfortunately, the REAL problem with that is, W.J. May was probably one of the better writers in this anthology. For the first half of her story, it was more interesting than a lot of the others and had just a little more cohesiveness to the story. Maybe, in fact, because it was fanfiction, I don't know. But I do know that I didn't care for much of the writing in this collection, I'll probably try more of W.J. May to see if she writes ORIGINAL fiction that's any good, and I won't go out of my way to find the 'sequels' to any of these short novellas.


(show spoiler)


Wish I had better things to say.

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Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
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