Sunday, March 19, 2006

Popularity contest

What makes someone popular? The adulation of others, yes?
And some writers have followers that will buy their books no matter what. The "auto buy" option. I have a handful of those on my list. And I'm proud to say that I have a handful of people who "auto buy" me.
But I've come across something new and different this past week. LKH has a new book out. Micah.
I have heard nothing good about it. From the cover to the content. In fact, Mrs. Giggles, has rated it a 02 on a scale from 0 to 100.
I've never read LKH. But I know enough about her books to know it's the Anita Blake series. Heavy on the undead and sex. Lately she has taken a lot of flack over everything. Her characters are stale. Her writing is lacking. Sites are popping up that take shots at her.
What went wrong? I am honest to goodness serious. I want to know.
Has her writing simply detiorated over time? Has she gone back to the Anita Blake writing well one too many times? Is she starting to become a parody of herself?

Because writing is like everything else. It comes and goes in cycles. And only those that know how to reinvent themselves will survive. Hell, Stephen King is the Cher of the horror genre. It's all still scary and immensely well-written. But he has evolved. He's writing about terroristic cell phones, people. The man keeps up.
I like James Patterson's Alex Cross novels. There are a lot of similar plot lines in them, but something about them keeps them fresh. And he's not afraid to kill a major character off. I can appreciate that. And for Stephen King, it's almost a prerequisite.
I'm still iffy on Nora Roberts. She likes threes. And I can understand that. It's a great motif. But the minute she introduces all the men in the first book, you know who matches up with who. It may be comforting to some, but I find it cloying sometimes.
However, JD Robb continues to fascinate me. Eve and Roarke are together. Forever. Peabody and McNabb are paired. Mavis and Leonardo. That dynamic doesn't change. But everything else does. And that's what keeps her at the top of my "Who I want to be when I grow up" list.

It's good to push the envelope. Take some risks. Shake up the status quo.
But do it with style. Knowledge. And accuracy. Because reinvention keeps it fresh. And who likes a stale read?


Tori Lennox said...

I used to read all the LKH books. Love Anita Blake & Co. But after awhile... it just got to be too much. Too much sex. Too much undead. Too many werewolves. Too much everything. Talk about an overload! But I've read almost all the J.D. Robb books and I can't get enough! Same with Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple mystery series and Carole Nelson Douglas's Midnight Louie series. I'll be very sorry when/if they ever end.

Tori Lennox said...

Actually, upon further reflection, it wasn't the sex so much as too much kink. A little goes a long way. *g*

Rene said...

I lived, breathed & ate LKH...until "Cerulean Sins."

Her books started out this exciting paranormal suspense. Anita was a tough chick who solved crimes while trying to balance her life in the paranormal world. Then LKH brought in all of this ultra-magic and power plays, forgetting all about Anita's career. Then the ardeur happened which makes Anita a nymphomaniac. Okay, I love a good gratuitous sex scene as much as the next person, but LKH's are so dull and lacking in sensuality, they bore me. I wouldn't read "Micah" if you paid me. He's one of the reasons I quit reading the series. What also bothers me is LKH's attitude. She is quick to slam her detractors in an almost paranoid way.

I enjoy Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse and Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan books. But they aren't into their 13th books. Who knows, I may not like them by then.

chryscat said...

Tori: I understand completely. I know that Eve is freaked out about Mavis' child right now. And I'm wondering how that will play into future books for her.
And the kink? LMAO There was an overload, eh?
Rene: Thanks for the rundown. I really had no idea of the specifics. Or hell, the generals. I heard that LKH's Micah dedication is in bastardized Latin, and it paraphrases to "Kiss me ass." Nice,huh?

chryscat said...

MY ass! MY ass! Sheesh. A leprauchan typo. Do any of your hear Lucky speaking when you read that?

Silma said...

Funny that you posted about this on the same day I bought Micah. Although I've grown disenchanted with the Anita Blake series, I thought about giving it one last chance.

First, let me tell you that the Anita Blake books, from Guilty Pleasure till Obsidian Butterfly, are great reads. Very little sex. Heavy on plot. However, the following 3 books (Narcissus in Chains, Cerulean Sins, and Incubus Dreams) lack plot, and yes, they're heavy on sex. On one hand, I understand that the character of Anita Blake is turning more into the monster she used to hunt. Meaning, she is acquiring many of their traits. On the other hand, I've not seen the character growing. She is a total hypocrite who dares to condemn other people's moral, but she doesn't want anymore to condemn hers. The character is all double standards. I find her lack of responsibility for actions and childish attitude jarring now.

Let's see if Micah turns things around. If not, I won't be reading another LK Hamilton book. BTW, I read the first two books of her Merry Gentry series. They resembled a porn movie - all sex, no plot.

Danica said...

Well, thus far, I haven't found a convincing argument to try the books. Maybe one of these days, when I get through my TBR, I might think about it. And at over 200 and counting, I hardly think tha'll be anytime soon.

chryscat said...

Silma: I've heard about that hypocritical trait. And I don't mine sex with plot. As long as there's some plot.
Danica: Whoa, woman! You ARE backed up for a ways, aren't you?
I'm still waiting on the convincing argument myself. I don't see it happening.