Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Enough already...

I'm currently reading Through a Crimson Veil by Patti O'Shea. This is my first go at one of these books, which have been around since last year. In the world of Crimson City(created by Liz Maverick), humans, vampires, werewolves and demons live together very uneasily. Different authors take turns writing different entries in the series. It sounds like a cool concept, but some of the reviews I've read made me put it off. I decided to give this one a try.

Through a Crimson Veil is the story of Mika Noguchi and Conor McCabe, both half-human, half-demon. Mika has spent her life crossing the veil which divides Crimson City from Orcus, the demon world, and though she feels like an outsider in both worlds, she is far more at ease with her nature than Conor. Conor absolutely hates his demon side (he is the result of rape), and has spent his adult life hunting demons. These two crazy kids meet when Mika is sent by the Demon governing council to retrieve a spell from Conor, which will lower the veil between two worlds, and enable the spellcaster to enslave all demons. As soon as Mika sees a picture of Conor, she suspects that he is her vishtau mate. The vishtau is a preordained soulmate bond, which is characterized by overwhelming sexual desire, which later deepens into a emotional bond. Once Mika meets Conor, it's adventure, fighting, sex, running, blah, blah, blahcakes, the usual.

Now I haven't read the entire book yet, and I plan on abandoning it for Devil in Winter. When/if I finish it, I will certainly update or edit my thoughts if need be. But I just need to comment on something that's really getting on my nerves in paranormals: the soulmate thing. The idea of having one true mate, who you were destined for and who will love and cherish you for all eternity, b/c he or she has no choice, is an enticing one, I admit. But in so many books, it just seems to be the ultimate shortcut. Who needs character development? Who needs plot development? They're soulmates, they will end up together because it's destiny. I don't know, it just seems like in these sorts of books all kinds of annoying behavior (usually the heroine's) is excused, because the hero will fall in love due to hot sexin' and forces beyond their control. In this particular book, Mika is all over the reticent Conor's ass, because it is the vishtau! And he will feel it too! I'm not a fan of forced seduction and it made me uncomfortable. It was like, get your hand off his junk, bitch, he told you ten times already. Although, at one point, Mika does realize that her actions are crossing the line (b/c he wants her! no he doesn't! yes he does!no...), so she lays off a bit, and that made me like her better. But in this book, as in others, the relationship seemed like the good old device of undying love as the result of really good sex, with some mumbo-jumbo to make it more convincing. I think paranormal authors need to give the soulmate thing a rest.

Now, I'm not trying to diss on Patti O'Shea in particular, this just happens to be the most recent one I've read. I do want to point out that I really like the fact that Mika was supernatural also, with stregth and powers of her own. I imagine it's for purposes of reader identification, but I do get sick of the powerful, ages-old creature falling in love with average, innocent girl on the street. Really, after the dust settles, what are they going to have in common? Do you picture Blade the angry vampire at Walmart, pushing a cart with two screaming toddlers? (More importantly, should you? Too much reality? Perhaps just that's my own weird habit of picturing what happens after the HEA.)