Thursday, October 12, 2006

Even Vampires Get the Blues

It seems to me that Katie MacAlister is kind of hit or miss author for a lot of people. I like her. I really like her sense of humor. It's wacky, but I don't find it forced or corny, like I do with some other "funny" authors. There's always a couple of genuine laugh out loud moments in her books. Her paranormals work far better for me than her contemporaries, which I've pretty much given up on. I've enjoyed her "Dark Ones" series, which seem to be a tongue in cheek homage to Christine Feehan's Carpathians. MacAlister's heroes are Moravian "Dark Ones", born without souls. They cannot go out in the daylight, and they require blood to survive, plus their souls can only be redeemed by "joining" with their one true soulmate, their "Beloved." This process takes seven steps, and in the meantime wacky hijinks ensue. And I mean that in a good way. The first book in this series, A Girl's Guide to Vampires, was merely eh, in my opinion, but I loved Sex and the Single Vampire and Sex, Lies and Vampires. I adored the heroes, liked the heroines and felt that they had a nice balance of silliness, sex and genuine emotion. But the excerpt for the fourth book, Even Vampires Get the Blues didn't grab me at all. I didn't bother with the book until I found it for 75 cents at the library. Verdict: I'm glad that I waited for the bargain. This was quite disappointing.

I'm not going to bother with a synopsis. Here's the back cover blurb. Gives you the basic idea.

The problem with this book was the hero, pretty much, which was the feeling I had from the excerpt provided at the author's website. Paen Scott, supposedly sexy Scottish Dark One was, well...a douchebag. Although he has a howling void for a soul, and can do nothing but brood and be detatched, he insists that he is perfectly happy the way he is, and that he doesn't need no stinkin' Beloved. He doesn't believe in emotional involvement with a woman yada, yada, yada. Get over yourself. It's kinda dumb. So I'm waiting for the revelation of his past heartbreak or some shit that turned him against women, but no, he just doesn't really want one for more than sex. So despite his professed lack of interest in a Beloved, he goes through the joining with half-elf Samantha, then rejects her. I call douchebaggery!!! Douchebag! I ended up feeling bad for Sam and not really respecting her. She forgives Paen super quick when he changes his mind, which nearly gave me whiplash. I didn't buy that particular scene at all. Tsk, tsk sister, you can do better, sexy vampire soulmate or not! I just couldn't get behind them as a couple at all. When the basis for the romance is an instant, deep connection, there had better be some good chemistry.

I think the other problem was the first person point of view. MacAlister writes exclusively in the first person, as far as I can tell (one exception is the prologue of this book). One problem of this style is that, for me at least, the heroines can begin to run together, similar snarky voice and all that. Also, it can be tell-y, not show-y, if you know what I mean. I just didn't really buy the connection between them, even though we were repeatedly told by Sam how much she lurrrved him. And I wonder if Paen would've seemed like less of an ass, if we had gotten any of his POV.

There were some funny moments. I liked Beppo the monkey, and Sam's cousin/business partner, Clare, who's in the denial about the fact that she's a fairy.

Ah well. A C for this one. This was a miss, but I'll give future ones a try. The next installment of her Aisling Grey series, Light My Fire, is out in November. I like this series too, but it's a bit of a guilty pleasure b/c the heroine's rather TSTL, and the hero's kind of a douchebag too. I would rec Sex and the Single Vampire and Sex, Lies and Vampires as paranormal romantic comedies to try, though.


~ames~ said...

I couldn't get past the first chapter with this one, and I usually like KM's work. Really, I couldn't get over his name. I'd mentally stumble over it everytime I read it, and then finally said to myself, why do I want to read a book where the hero's name is PAN? Made me think of PAM, and cooking spray is not romantic. hehe

Devon said...

It's mentioned later in the book that his name is pronounced like "pain", which is better than pan, but kind of a silly and heavy handed name for such a "tortured" hero. I didn't like the name myself. Is it Scottish for real? Never seen that spelling before.

~ames~ said...

LOL I wouldn't know-just seems silly to spell it like that anyway.

Anonymous said...

shoot.. this is on my TBR pile.. maybe i'll just push it back further in the pile..