Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Review of Wild Thing
First, in the grand tradition of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, let's talk about this cover. WTF is going on underneath the title? It seems almost like a reflection, but one that doesn't apply to his hands. It makes his torso look weirdly elongated, like he's some sort of snake bird man.
Also, having read the book, this cover has pretty much nothing to do with any of the short stories therein. I don't know why I'm surprised by that. There's one winged character, but it's a female.
I got this book out of the library because Amazon told me I would like it. Shame on you, Amazon. It contains 4 paranormal short stories--or rather, soft porn masquerading as urban fantasy. Sigh. I was clued in to the dubiousness of this book when I picked it up from the library and it had a "romance" sticker on the spine. Hm.
Not that I have anything against steamy love scenes. I just want them to be well written, and typically I don't want them to be the only thing in the book/story of any interest. The Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey does a great job at this--steamy and yet full of plot twists and intrigue. Oh, and the protagonist has a brain.
This book, on the other hand, featured pretty subpar writing, which made the love scenes even worse. I could see how some of the ideas behind the stories were good (a vet who can mentally communicate with animals, a guardian angel helping out a vampire, a woman covered in tattoos that protect her and leave her body to become demons at night, and warriors from lost Atlantis who protect humans). The tattoo story was the main reason I chose the book, and while it was probably the best, I don't think I'll be pursuing this author's work. The Atlantis one was probably the worst--crappy dialog, terrible writing, and it was hard to track what was going on; it seemed like a chapter in a larger novel set in the same world, hastily edited into short story form.
Also, and this is my own bias against short stories, the characters pretty much jump into bed with each other right away. I know there's not a lot of time for development in the short story format, but I found it all a little hasty. Take a girl on a date first, why don't you?
In summary, I do not recommend Wild Thing. Read at your own peril!
Next up: Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton. Totally looking forward to this one, since I love his blog.