mlady_rebecca's Reviews > Mona Lisa Blossoming

Mona Lisa Blossoming by Sunny
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In broad terms, there are three types of "reminds me of".

The weakest level is when you don't think about another story while reading, but you see comparisons when trying to review the book. Of my recent reads, comparing Ann Aguirre's "Grimspace" series with Sara Creasy's "Scarabaeus" series would fall into that level.

The middle level is when you see elements of one story in the other story. If the writing is good, this level of "reminds me of" tends to fade as you read the books. Linda Robertson's "Persephone Alcmedi" books reminded me of Laurell K. Hamilton's "Anita Blake" books at this level. By the third book, any "reminds me of" faded away and the series stood completely on its own.

The most intense level of "reminds me of" tends to never fade. It includes such strong comparisons that you are regularly kicked out of the story. I'm afraid these books are going to remain in this level, for me.

In the author's notes for the first book, the author mentioned being influenced by Anne Bishop and Laurell K. Hamilton. Having read two books, so far, I think her mimicry of Anne Bishop will eventually fade into the background, but her mimicry of Laurell K. Hamilton seems as intense as ever.

I should mention that Laurell K. Hamilton's "Anita Blake" series is probably the series I've re-read more than any other. I'd guess at least a half a dozen times with the early and middle part of the series (through say "Blood Noir").

I could go through and list each specific plot point, or ways a character behaves, that kicked me out of the story. I'll try, but I'm sure I'll be missing some. In the first book, the "Merry Gentry" allusions were stronger, but here I was seeing more "Anita Blake".

Mona Lisa having sex with Amber, had elements of Anita/Richard and Richard's confession that he has to hold back (because of his strength) with anyone else, for fear of hurting them. It also had illusions of Anita/Nathaniel and the office scene where Nathaniel controlled Anita's beast by biting her on the back of the neck. (Mona Lisa and Amber are both kitty cat shifters.)

I've decided Gryphon's gift doesn't remind me of Jean-Claude's ardeur, it reminds me of Requiems gift of metaphysical foreplay.

Oh, and Mona Lisa has a gift like the one Anita Blake inherited from Obsidian Butterfly - the ability to drain another preternatural creature.

There were a lot more, but I'm blanking on specifics.

It feels like Sunny is trying to mimic Laurell's lush description style and her one to many female to males setup. It also feels like she's pulling lots of specific character traits and preternatural abilities. It's not a one to one ratio, but a case of breaking up and scattering puzzle pieces throughout.

I think the one to many female to male setup alone would fade with multiple books. The style comparison, not so much. But the irony about it, is that it's not working for me.

Laurell is most know for her "walk off the stage" characters. None of Sunny's characters feel that real to me. There was a particular character death that should have had me crying (and I'm certainly hormonal enough to be crying) and I didn't. I don't think the characters have become real for me. Maybe they never will.

As a result, the sex scenes are falling short for me. They're boring, because I don't care about the characters. Like I mentioned in my progress note, people who try to mimic Laurell's sex-charged style seem to forget that with "Anita Blake" it came after many books of charged foreplay. All the characters I care about in that series had to wait 5-7 books before getting sex with the main character. We knew them, and loved them, before seeing more on stage.

So yeah, after all that, I'm still vaguely curious as to where she'll take the story. Haven't decided if I'll continue this series, or not. My 3 star rating may be high, considering my complaints, but the fact that I'm still intrigued is bumping it from 2 stars.
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Reading Progress

10/21/2011 "Authors who try to mimic the one female/ multiple males dynamic in Anita Blake tend to forget one important thing -- the beloved male characters all had to wait and prove themselves before any real intimacy. (See LJ for full thought. I was too wordy.) Flocked: http://mlady-rebecca.livejournal.com/..."

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