I am coming to the conclusion that I may have a slight aversion to witches in literature. This is a recent enlightenment, and I can’t believe it hasn’t dawned on me sooner.
Kelley Armstrong is possibly my favourite author. Here’s what I thought of each of her books in the order I have read them:
1) Bitten. (werewolves)
Loved it! Felt a connection to Elena; wouldn’t have minded a piece of Clay (and would even have been willing to overlook his arrogant and eccentric ways); found Jeremy a somewhat interesting chap; fell in love with Nick (what can I say? I don’t like my men to be smarter than me).
2) Stolen. (werewolves)
Again, many pages of wolfy-loveliness to be had by all. Right up my street. Couldn’t fault it. The relationship development between the two main mc’s was clear for all to see. Nicely done.
3) Dime Store Magic. (witches)
It just didn’t have the pizzazz of the first two. Yes, the characters were well drawn out. Yes, the plot was good. Yes, I still enjoyed it (although not as much as her first two novels). But the witchcraft and spells just didn’t hold my attention the same as the kick-ass action I found in the werewolf novels.
4) Industrial Magic. (witches)
I hope I’m right in stating (it’s been a while since I read it) this is the novel where Jaime Vegas (necromancer) gets called in to help out with the issue, as well as the pack from the first two novels (because the characters throughout Kelley’s novels all end up interlinked at some point). I hate to say to say it, but the show of the all the other characters are what made this book interesting to me. Sorry.
5) Haunted. (hmm, a witch half-demon who tells her story from beyond the veil … because she’s dead)
Again, another well drawn character. Female. Strong. More than able to take down an irritating gum-popping geezer just because they’re driving her insane (no, that’s not in the book, but you get the idea). So why didn’t it sing out to me as loud as my favourites? Do I go with the assumption that Eve’s (the MC) witch heritage background put the damper on it for me? Dare I say that? Or should we wait for a stronger case to be built?
6) Broken. (werewolves)
Yep, the werewolves make a reappearance in their own novel again. My opinion? Loved it! See a pattern emerging here? My only gripe is the amount of times the zombies chasing after them recurred. The first time I read it, it wasn’t a problem. On my third read-through (yes, with breaks in between), it started to get to me.
7) No Humans Involved. (Necromancer)
Another one I loved. Jaime Vegas, in her high heels and perfected looks, is far from a typical heroine. Maybe that’s what makes it special. Or maybe it’s the visit from pack Alpha, Jeremy? ::shrug:: Great tale, well told.
8) Personal Demon. (half-demon)
Another good one with a character of a younger age. Likeable mc, loveable male counterpart/s, good twist. I enjoyed it.
9) Living With The Dead. (a bit of everything … seriously)
Written from more than one pov, and pulled off very well. No glitches to her switches that I spotted. Was it the differing perspectives that made it special? Possibly. It gave the reader the scope to pry into so many more minds and scenes, which they’d have lost out on had she stuck to one pov. Nicely done.
10) Frostbitten. (werewolves)
Imagine a huge (HUGE!) character development from your initial meeting with them to where they are now, and you have from Bitten to Frostbitten with Clay and Elena. I adored reading how their relationship had altered over time. Quite possibly my favourite of her collection by far.
11) Waking The Witch. (witch, duh!)
I feel kind of bad reporting on this one but … I didn’t like it. How can I say that after I’ve read every one of Kelley Armstrong’s books and struggled to put them down? With this one, I struggled to continue reading. In fact, I think I had to reach about page 200 before that struggle wavered. I couldn’t connect with the mc, failed to feel sympathy/empathy for her. The best bit was when her chum, Adam, showed up to help, but then she ended the book by being horrid to him, which made me dislike her more. Is she a witch? Yes. Is that my reasoning? I have no idea.
I’ve used Kelley Armstrong as my example because, in honesty, it baffled me when I didn’t enjoy something she’d written (as it had never happened to me before); it’s not intended as a personal onslaught.
Now, let me stretch out to my own writing. I write about werewolves. Can’t seem to help myself. However, one of my werewolf novels contains witches … as the bad guys. Yes, one (lesser practising) witch is on the good team. And the mc even has hints of witchcraft in her history. But the bad guys (or rather, girls) are all witches, and I took great pleasure in making sure they all die.
So, based on the influence they seem to have had over how much I enjoyed each of my favoured authors novels, and based on what I write, and have written myself, does that mean I’m anti-witch?
What does your reading/writing preferences say about you?