*In case you were wondering, this Des’ree album was the first CD I ever bought. Actually it was one of two but the other one was the Aladdin soundtrack, so I don’t count it.
My suspension of disbelief is wacky, it has an ever changing “tolerance line” that can or cannot be crossed as in: it’s ok with me if the heroine is a witch, but not ok if she’s a werewolf. A hero can be a vampire, but not a Greek god. She can be telepathic, but not an angel and definitely NOT a ghost.
What I think I’m trying to say is my Heroine needs to be HUMAN. Well at least mostly human, her most recognizable characteristics, thought processes and personality traits must be those of a human.
Authors have it rough with this “fine line” in paranormals, I would imagine they struggle to keep the humanity in their fantastical characters so we the reader can still connect with them. I think every reader must just have a different point of no return.
Part of my eclectic reading habits include the paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi genres. Especially ever since I discovered book blogs, these are some of the hottest genres right now, and some of the most recommended titles. We all know vampire books have saturated the market, but they are only one small sub-set of the larger whole.
In an effort to ensure I predict which books that I will LIKE I’ve been thinking really hard about what does and doesn’t work for me and why. When I see recommendations for books where the Heroine is a vampire from the get-go? I stay far away.
For some reason I can deal with a vampire Hero AS LONG AS the author makes it work, in a “believable” scenario where it works out for them to be together. For example, I am totally depending on Charlaine Harris to keep Sookie Stackhouse human but somehow figure out a way for her and Eric to live Happily Ever After. Sounds impossible, but I have hope.
Looking back at some of my previous blog posts I saw the trail leading me to this realization. Every reader is different, has different preferences, which is why the literary world is SO incredibly diverse. So these books are some examples that just don’t work for me:
Exhibit A) Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake, Laurie Brown: The heroine travels back in time, meets and falls in love with the hero in the historical past, then they both become ghosts and live happily ever after as GHOSTS. This is a story line I DO NOT WANT. If I had known they would both end up as ghosts I never would have read it. But again, I recognize that in a time travel book it is REALLY difficult to write a good HEA.
Exhibit B) Fantasy Lover, Sherrilyn Kenyon: In this case, it was the Hero not being human that bothered me. He was a lesser god from Greek mythology and many of the secondary characters and sub plots included other Greek gods and goddesses. I like books that are “re-tellings” of fairy tales or myths, but not when they feature the actual gods themselves. I feel like there is something sacred about fairy tales and myths, that we in present day shouldn’t mess with them or use them.
Exhibit C) Sort of on the same path, I don’t like when my historical fiction makes up fake princes or princesses when everything else in the book is historically accurate. Fake Dukes and Earls I can deal with. Royalty? Do not want. Something that would be a matter of such importance and historical record that is completely fictional bothers me. Again I have this weird feeling that royalty is something sacred not to be messed with.
Exhibit D) This is a tired and overused example, but the Vampire Hunter series about Anita Blake by Laurell K. Hamilton. With every additional book Anita becomes less and less human (she had magical powers to begin with) but her humanity disintegrated as her story went on, starting with being marked by the vampire Jean-Claude, getting more magical powers in a menage-a-trois, becoming a lupa with the wereleopards…well this sounds like nonsense so I’ll stop trying to explain.
Are there any paranormal protagonists that just don’t work for you?