Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy discussion

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message 1: by Lisa X (last edited Apr 19, 2010 05:20PM) (new)

Lisa X I know my topic is rather negative but there are so many threads out there that recommend paranormal romance series and books that when I actually read them...well they suck.

So do you have a particular series or book that comes highly recommended but when you read it you felt it was awful?


Here is mine:

The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld, #1) by Gena Showalter Lords of the Under World by Gena Showalters
I couldn't get into this series although I did feel Showalters had some great ideas, her writing, I felt was slow and drawn out. Couldn't get past book #2.


message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate (kshiv) | 96 comments I couldn't stand the Christine Feehan Carpathian books. Way too..Wordy? I'm not sure if that's what I'm meaning but I just didn't like it.


message 3: by Lisa X (new)

Lisa X Yeah, I read one of her books but wasn't that impressed either. I think it was #10 of the Carpathian series. If I run out of series to read I think I'll start at book #1.


message 4: by Keri (new)

Keri | 50 comments The Anita Blake series! It drives me crazy yet I continue to read them. It's not really the stories that I don't like but rather LKH's writing!!! Someone needs to get that woman a Thesaurus. The constant repeating of words/sentences not only throughout the book but from book to book. AGGHHH.


Rachel- Goodbye Borders (rachelgoodbyeborders) | 161 comments I dislike Christina Feehan's writing style. I've tried several of her books and have the same issue.


message 6: by Nita (new)

Nita (gillnit) | 697 comments I have a few series, I could not get into that people seem to really like -

Undead series by Mary Janice Davidson. I read the first book and gave it three stars. I keep thinking I need to go back and change it to two stars; I was too generous. I just could not stand Betsy at all and she ruined the story for me.

The Sisters of the Moon series by Yasmine Galenorn. I tried the first two in this series, and have no desire to read the rest. I didn't like any of the characters and wasn't intrigued by the plot or world building at all.

Celta's Heartmate series by Robin Owens. I didn't get past the first book. I usually give a series a shot by reading the first and second book, but that is not going to happen with this series. Just not my cuppa tea.


message 7: by Lenore (new)

Lenore  (lenorenrr) | 528 comments I read A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole and it was not my favorite. I didn't hate it per say, but it wasn't good. I bought No Rest for the Wicked, but there is no telling when I will get around to reading it.


message 8: by Pickles (last edited Apr 19, 2010 06:26PM) (new)

Pickles (angstypickles) | 219 comments Let's see. I'm with you on the LOTU series. I tried to read the first one and couldn't finish it. I didn't like it at all. I've been told that I should give it another try and I might, but probably not any time soon since my TBR list is so big.

I also tried the first book in Kenyon's "Dark-Hunter" series and Hamilton's "Anita Blake" series and didn't like either enough to read any more.

I did finish the first book in the "Women of the Otherworld" series ("Bitten") by Kelley Armstrong and I thought it was okay, but I don't have any interest in reading any of the subsequent books.


message 9: by Lenore (new)

Lenore  (lenorenrr) | 528 comments Stolen was really good Harper. Like you Bitten was okay for me. Dime Store Magic, well I couldn't read past the second chapter.

Kenyon's books are a hit and miss kind of thing. Some are better than others.


message 10: by Lisa X (last edited Apr 19, 2010 07:24PM) (new)

Lisa X I just read The Demon's Daughter (Tale of the Demon World, #1) by Emma Holly The Demon's Daughter by Emma Holly which I thought was kind of hot but also a hot mess.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I can't stand the Undead series by Mary Janice Davidson or The Sisters of the Moon series by Yasmine Galenorn.


message 12: by Pickles (new)

Pickles (angstypickles) | 219 comments Lenore *--*Phierce*-- * wrote: "Stolen was really good Harper. Like you Bitten was okay for me. Dime Store Magic, well I couldn't read past the second chapter.

Kenyon's books are a hit and miss kind of thing. Some are better th..."


Hmmm. Maybe I'll get "Stolen" from the library and give it a try.


message 13: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (dawnv) | 320 comments Nodding my head at the sisters of the moon series.


message 14: by Davina (new)

Davina D. | 103 comments Hate is a strong word, but I've never been able to appreciate Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters. Besides the poor writing and a host of other complaints, I don't find the men all that sexy. They all come across as stupid, dumb college jocks to me. *ducks* Sorry, that's just how I feel. Apologies to the fans.

I certainly don't hate Ward's BDB, but I'm not a mega fan. While they are entertaining (some more than others), I don't think they're all that great and I don't get all the hype.

I've just started Feehan's Dark series. I finished the first book a few days ago and I liked it. Very wordy as someone pointed out and there were certain aspects of the book that made me cringe, but I think the series has promise. I'll read a few more before I decide to jump ship, if I decide to jump ship.


message 15: by Samantha (last edited Apr 19, 2010 08:15PM) (new)

Samantha | 117 comments The Darks series is a hit and miss. I think you definitely can't read them back to back. That was my problem when I first started. I read the first four and then I hated them. I read them every once in a while, though I have to say that Dark Slayer was good.


message 16: by Shelleyrae (new)

Shelleyrae at Book'd Out | 145 comments Ive given up on Feehan's Carpathian series - the writing drives me nuts - 101 ways to describe dark eyes, or repeat the charcters story every time you mention them by name. I just read #20 Dark Slayer which I was hoping was going to be very different - the story is but the writing is as shocking. Ive read a few now and have just decided to give up because its more frustrating than enjoyable.

I am not a big fan of the DarkHunter series either - again because for most - Archeron being the main exception - I find the writing immature.

I always feel I have to read at least 3 of a series before i make a decision as to if i like it or not.

What about a favourite under-rated series - I loved the Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine
Ill Wind (Weather Warden, #1) by Rachel Caine it doesn't seem to be mentioned much around though.


message 17: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 75 comments Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, and Mary Janice Davidson don't write paranormal romance. The first two are urban fantasy. Not sure how to classify Mary Janice Davidson, but she's closer to urban fantasy with a bit of chick lit thrown in there.

Lumping the urban fantasy and paranormal romance together isn't really fair to either genre. They both may include vampires, werewolves, and witches, but they tell entirely different stories.


message 18: by Desperado (new)

Desperado (lethallovely) | 453 comments mlady_rebecca wrote: "Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, and Mary Janice Davidson don't write paranormal romance. The first two are urban fantasy. Not sure how to classify Mary Janice Davidson, but she's closer to u..."

You toke the words right out of my mouth.I would never compare the Anita Blake series to say the Immortals After Dark series.They do involve supes & love interests but IAD is more focused on romance whereas Anita Blake is more UF.Though for the last 7 books its been turning into soft-core porn.As for BDB, in the beginning I could see it being classified as PNR but the further the series progresses,the more it seems like UF to me.


message 19: by Nita (new)

Nita (gillnit) | 697 comments mlady_rebecca wrote: "Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, and Mary Janice Davidson don't write paranormal romance. The first two are urban fantasy. Not sure how to classify Mary Janice Davidson, but she's closer to u..."

I think most of us are aware of the difference between the two genres. Most of us are fans of both and tend to talk about both in this group. I don't see anything wrong with answering the original posters question with both PNR series and UF series. We aren't comparing the different series with each other, but talking about different series we do not like.


message 20: by Shelleyrae (new)

Shelleyrae at Book'd Out | 145 comments "Lumping the urban fantasy and paranormal romance together isn't really fair to either genre. They both may include vampires, werewolves, and witches, but they tell entirely different stories."

Its a hard line to draw sometimes - I think Kelley's blur it considerably - there is usually a relationship HEA for each book - Elena and Clay, Lucas and Paige, Jaime and Jeremy etc

This defination is posted in the Urban Fantasy group:

According to the Romance Writers of America, the main plot of a romance novel must revolve around the two people as they develop romantic love for each other and work to build a relationship together. Both the conflict and the climax of the novel should be directly related to that core theme of developing a romantic relationship, although the novel can also contain subplots that do not specifically relate to the main characters' romantic love. Furthermore, a romance novel must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending."

AS OPPOSED TO:

Urban fantasy is a subset of contemporary fantasy, consisting of magical novels and stories set in contemporary, real-world, urban settings--as opposed to 'traditional' fantasy set in wholly imaginary landscapes. The urban fantasy protagonist faces extraordinary circumstances as plots unfold in either open (where magic or paranormal events are commonly accepted to exist) or closed (where magical powers or creatures are concealed) worlds. A romantic subplot may or may not exist within the context of the story.


message 21: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments For me, LOTU. The writing is too syrupy for such angsty demons, imo. I don't hate Feehan's series, but they're too wordy for me.


message 22: by Pickles (new)

Pickles (angstypickles) | 219 comments LethalLovely wrote: "As for BDB, in the beginning I could see it being classified as PNR but the further the series progresses,the more it seems like UF to me."

Oh, yeah, she's made the switch over to UF. I just mentioned that in another thread, actually. LOL. The first four books were definitely pnr and then it started leaning more and more toward UF.


message 23: by Pickles (last edited Apr 19, 2010 10:33PM) (new)

Pickles (angstypickles) | 219 comments Nita wrote: "I think most of us are aware of the difference between the two genres. Most of us are fans of both and tend to talk about both in this group. I don't see anything wrong with answering the original posters question with both PNR series and UF series. We aren't comparing the different series with each other, but talking about different series we do not like."

I agree with you, Nita. I'm fully aware that both the "Women of the Otherworld" and "Anita Blake" series are considered UF. I started thinking about different popular paranormal series I've attempted to read and went from there (not just romance, but series with paranormal elements, which both of those certainly have). I don't think any of us necessarily meant to imply that paranormal romance and urban fantasy are the same thing. I do agree with Shelleyrae, though. Sometimes it is a fine line.


message 24: by Shelleyrae (new)

Shelleyrae at Book'd Out | 145 comments Today's blog post at Dirty, Sexy Books tackles the issue
http://www.dirtysexybooks.com/Dirty_S...


message 25: by Crystal (new)

Crystal Sloan (crystal_sloan) I didn't like the Black Dagger Brotherhood books at all. After all the hype I expected to really like them, but I thought they were pretty bad. I read the first three and everything. Oh well.


message 26: by Pickles (new)

Pickles (angstypickles) | 219 comments Shelleyrae wrote: "Today's blog post at Dirty, Sexy Books tackles the issue
http://www.dirtysexybooks.com/Dirty_S..."


Thanks for posting that link. I liked the article.


DarkHeart "Vehngeance" (darkheart) | 737 comments If we're talking straight PNR, I'll have to agree with others in that I couldn't get into Feehan's Carpathians. I found the males to be too overbearing for my taste. However, I'm a big fan of her Ghostwalkers (well, with the exception of the last two).

And I'm not sure if Ghostland is UF or PNR, as I couldn't finish it. I know a lot of people loved it, but I didn't get the attraction between the characters and was put off by the horse genitalia descriptions.


Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim) (jim_formerly_photojim) | 80 comments Mary Janice Davidson's Undead series is always just sort of meh for me. I just don't like the main character.

I'm not going to win any friends with this one, but I really can't stand Lora Leigh's Breed series. Over the top cavemen males force themselves on unwilling females. Introducing a chemical compound into the woman's system that makes it extremely painful for her if she doesn't have sex with her 'man' is seen as a good thing. The whole bestiality aspect also turns me off. The hero never changes and is still an asshole at the end of the book. The heroine on the other hand has always submitted to his will and her dependency and gives in completely by the end of the book.

Just my take on things.


message 29: by Desperado (new)

Desperado (lethallovely) | 453 comments That's funny bc I just commented on how I can't read her Breed's series anymore in the Fave/Least Fave Things About PNR thread.I don't know how to link so I'll just copy & paste."I used to really love Lora Leigh's Breeds series but now I'm so sick of it that I refuse to buy another one. Basically all the novels go "Breed finds mate/breed tells mate they are mated/mate or breed or both fight the "heat"/breed & mate give into the heat, the end". And maybe there's some half-assed assassination plot thrown in for spice. "


Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim) (jim_formerly_photojim) | 80 comments Couldn't agree more LL. I'm a Lora Leigh fan, but just not the Breed series.


message 31: by Desperado (new)

Desperado (lethallovely) | 453 comments Likewise.I'm kinda over her Seals/Elite Ops ones at the moment but I've liked the Bound Hearts ones I've read so far & will check out her Nauti series soon.


Jen  ~The dreamer~ | 649 comments Kate wrote: "I couldn't stand the Christine Feehan Carpathian books. Way too..Wordy? I'm not sure if that's what I'm meaning but I just didn't like it."

I agree, I couldn't get through the first book and thought it was too wordy as well. I just couldn't get caught up in it so I stopped.


message 33: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 566 comments I agreed about Yasmine Galenorn, didn't care for her full sized book but thought her short story was better. Also I cannot get into Cheyenne McCray at all.


message 34: by Pamela, Moderatrix (new)

Pamela (foxglovewitch) | 614 comments Mod
I tried to read Showalter's Lord of the Underworld books, but I couldn't make it through the first one. All of the guys were assholes, the women drove me crazy, and halfway through the book, ten more characters suddenly pop up out of the woodwork. If I need to make a list to keep track of the characters, that's way too many. Her writing style didn't seem to work for the subject matter, either; her style is kind of fluffy and light, and it totally didn't go with the "I must commit violence constantly because I'm a tortured demon!" subject matter.

On the more UF side of things, I started out loving the Anita Blake series, but after the sixth or seventh book, when Anita started screwing everyone indiscriminately (and making excuses for it, like "I have to have sex or I'll DIE!" instead of just owning up to loving sex with multiple partners), getting new powers willy-nilly, and LKH started building her cast of thousands, none of whom are ever in danger of dying, I gave up.


message 35: by Desperado (last edited Apr 20, 2010 08:43AM) (new)

Desperado (lethallovely) | 453 comments TDF Pamela wrote: "I tried to read Showalter's Lord of the Underworld books, but I couldn't make it through the first one. All of the guys were assholes, the women drove me crazy, and halfway through the book, ten m..."

I understand exactly what you mean with LKH's Anita Blake series.It died like 7 books ago.But yet I persist in reading every new addition.I'm in an abusive relationship with LKH,& she treats me like shit, but I keep coming back for more.

I don't like the Doomsday Brethren series.The guys come off as either asshats or doormats & the women go far beyond TSTL territory.Two other's I couldn't get into were the Final Prophecies series(so boring) & the Argeneau series.I can't put my finger on it,but there is something about Lynsay Sands writing that makes it painful for me to read.

As for UF,I gave up on Kim Harrison's Hollows series after book two although I might pick up the third book for my Chubby Challenge*shudder*.I also couldn't get into Patricia Briggs Mercedes Thompson series.But I'm going to give her another try with Cry Wolf as it was recommended to me for the April Pick-It-For-Me Challenge.


message 36: by Heather (new)

Heather | 60 comments Angela Night?

Kiss of ---------- series.

I tried to read one of them and I was bored out of my mind!!!

Anita Blake is getting too rediculous for me. I mean how many powers can she have? Also the whole sex with everyone she meets is getting old real fast. And I can't stand Micha and Nate!!!!


message 37: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 79 comments I guess I'll be the minority in this group. I love LOTU, Immortals After Dark, Dark Hunters, BDB and Midnight Breeds! I could not stand Carpathians and I'm still trying to get into Psy-Changeling. I hated the first book and I'm trying very hard to get through book #2.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 461 comments I don't hate any series, but I decided not to keep reading The Others by Christine Warren. I think they are more paranormal sex than romance. She has great ideas, but she drops a storyline to show lots of sex scenes. I liked the first book, but the second book seemed more like sex scenes with a thin faerie storyline. It had potential that was wasted, in my opinion. It frustrated me.

I know this isn't the place for defending series, but I wanted to say that the first Lords of the Underworld book is pretty weak. I have come to really enjoy this series. I think GS is kind of switching gears and is going from writer lighter to darker paranormal writing.

I agree that Christine Feehan isn't for everyone. But I really like her writing. I read her when I'm in the mood for wordy writing. I think she has very strong, emotional stories and interesting paranormal elements. I think she writes women very well. They aren't annoying uber-alpha nitwits that give me the hives. As DarkHeart alluded to, it's not really fair to judge her by the Carpathian books alone. I started reading her with the GhostWalker books and branched over. I think the GhostWalker series is one of the most interesting series in paranormal right now. But if you don't like very-alpha, possessive heroes, she's not for you.

I have found I don't love the Midnight Breeds series. I'm not really fond of the alien aspect of the story, and it's just not as rich in content as some of my other favorite series.

As for the UF's listed:

I was very sad that Anita Blake did a 180 and decided to write a group sex/menage series. That was not the series I read initially and what introduced me to UF, which is probably my second favorite genre.

Kelley Armstrong probably isn't for everyone. Her books are very character-driven, and they aren't that easy to read casually. But I was blown away by Bitten, and I liked the short story about Hope. I'll read everything she writes now.


message 39: by Pamela, Moderatrix (new)

Pamela (foxglovewitch) | 614 comments Mod
I've had the first three Kelley Armstrong books on my shelf for years, but I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. I'll have to pick the first one up after I finish up this semester. I love character-driven writing. :)


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 461 comments You will probably like Bitten then, TDF Pamela.


message 41: by Laurie (last edited Apr 20, 2010 09:25AM) (new)

Laurie   (barklesswagmore) I 2nd, 3rd or is it 4th the vote for Yasmine Galenorn's books. I can't say as I hate them because for reason I seem to keep reading them but they're very B-movie like. They do make for fun reviews however! Especially this one: Witchling (Sisters of the Moon, #1) by Yasmine Galenorn


message 42: by Tina (new)

Tina I think I've tried most of the popular para/UF writer series out there. I don't hate any of them, but there were quite a few writer's works that either that I couldn't get into or couldn't even finish.

I read Twilight. I did not enjoy it and did not read the rest of the series.

I could not even finish the first book of Gena Showalter's Lord of the Underworld series. I had a TON of problems with that book. It scarred me so, I can't pick up another one of her books.

I've tried a couple of Feehan and they never ever grabbed me. I have never been able to read her stuff.

Ditto with Lynsey Sands' Argenaux series. I started two of the books but couldn't finish either one.

I read the first two of Kresley Cole's IAD series. I wish I could like them but I didn't.

I stuck with Kenyon's series that featured that Archeron guy waaay too long. I can't pick up any more of her stuff either.

I feel like I should like Kelly Armstrong but Bitten never sucked me into the story and I had too many issues with the story.

Laura Adrian's series I couldn't make it past the first several chapters of the first book. I kept playing hunt the similarities to other books. That distracted me too much.

I liked Jeanine Frost's Hunter series first book. but I didn't LOVE it so I probably won't be picking up the rest of the series.

I can't even begin to talk about LKH's Anita Blake series. I am to heartbroken over how awful the series has gotten from it's early promise. I pretend only the first four or five books exist.


Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim) (jim_formerly_photojim) | 80 comments Tina wrote: "I pretend only the first four or five books exist."

Sort of like it is too bad they never made a sequel to The Matrix.

http://xkcd.com/566/


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 461 comments What's left to read, Tina? :)


message 45: by Tina (last edited Apr 20, 2010 10:12AM) (new)

Tina LOL. Danielle. Oh... there are some great ones out there -- Viehl, Ward, Briggs, Ione, Bishop, Mead, Andrews, Singh, Laurenston, Thurman, Carriger, Brook, etc.


 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 461 comments I'm just teasing you, Tina. Hugs. I love your list, btw.


DarkHeart "Vehngeance" (darkheart) | 737 comments Oh yeah, Tina, Lynsay Sands. I know she's really popular, but I just couldn't get into it. I only read one, but I kept waiting to find the humor in it and I didn't find either of the two leads particularly engaging. Meh...


message 48: by Pickles (new)

Pickles (angstypickles) | 219 comments Photojim wrote: "Sort of like it is too bad they never made a sequel to The Matrix.

http://xkcd.com/566/"


So true, Jim, so true. That comic made me LOL.


message 49: by Kelley Anne (new)

Kelley Anne | 286 comments I have issues with the House of Night series. For the first few books, it was a real love/hate relationship. I couldn't put the series down, but at the same time it drove me out of my mind! Finally, when I had to wait for a book to be released, I broke the series hold on me and haven't read the last two books.


message 50: by Cassie (new)

Cassie (cassielo) | 37 comments I don't hate many books, but I absolutely hate the House of Night series. I cringe whenever I read the name.

Among my mere dislikes are the Rachel Morgan series, Anita Blake, Women of the Underworld, and The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole. I didn't hate them exactly, but I will not be reading further into any of them.


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