walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
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_A Hunger Like No Other_, Kresley Cole (kindle)

Look! Fiction! By a new (to me) author! Genre fiction! A romance novel (yeah, sure, _Storm Glass_ is technically romance too, sort of. Like this is sort of urban fantasy. Whatever).

The authors of _The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance Novels_ made some remarks about the Immortals After Dark series, of which is this entry #1. One of the SBs was using this series as a nice escape from working on the book and the rest of her extremely busy life (forgotten now which one). I thought, okay, I'll give it a try.

You may or may not be aware that there's an entire subgenre of romance novels that are Scottish. Generally, these are historical, altho probably not always. But "Scottish" is a subgenre of romance not unlike "pirate" is a subgenre, and werewolves/vampires/other paranormal critters is a subgenre. There's a trend in romance to have interconnecting books that share a "world", like fantasy novels or science fiction novels share a "world". This particular "world" is contemporary (iPods exist in it, for instance), and has a hidden community of werewolves/vampires/other paranormal critters. Many romance novels are connected by a large family -- a bunch of siblings all getting hooked up, one per novel, for example, or a "family by choice" of people who live in a small town/work at a bar together/whatever. In this case, the connecting family is a family of Valkyrie. Really. So we have aunties, and they eat electricity.

Points to Cole for layering in a _lot_ of current trendy goodness into one series.

The romance novel is, in general, still quite white and heterosexist, altho increasingly we're seeing gay or lesbian couples as background characters/secondary romances within the novel. While there are explicitly interracial in the sense of white/black/whatever, there are hella more interracial in the sense of vamp/werewolf/necromancer/whatever. This probably says something about the romance genre that I'm not even going to touch. Oh wait, I just did.

In any event, this particular novel includes the following: large, all female family (coven) of Valkyrie raises a half-Valkyrie, half-vampire, all wussy girl who goes off to Paris to attempt to figure out who her vampire father was. She fails, but is found as the One True Mate of a Lykae (Scottish werewolf), who kidnaps her and spirits her off to Scotland. Antics ensue, including the Lykae having to wrap their beasty brains around the idea that she is a vampire (well, half) and yet NOT teh evil that must be killed instanter. Then the auntie-in-laws freak out about the Lykae. And somewhere in all of this, wussy girl stops being quite so wussy and decides she's going to do something about this father problem she has. And yes, it includes a Darth Vader reference. Whoa.

Cole has a nice tone. Occasionally, our Lykae hero loses his accent in a somewhat distracting way, but that's more or less par for the course (har de har har golf joke oh never mind) in Scottish Romance Novels (which, I might add, are not ever, as near as I can tell, written by anyone even remotely Scottish. Well, maybe remotely.). As is oh-so-typical of the subgenre, we get to find out about how everyone had to deal with serious damage/trauma in the past (their whole family annihilated, themselves tortured, blah blah bleeping blah). But it is all handled with a light touch, so while a reader looking for a really great emotional roller coaster might be disappointed, at least a reader doesn't get to the Happily Ever After feeling like it is way tacked on and not nearly good enough.

I got the sample first. I keep forgetting I can do that, since for so long I was out of kindle's coverage area. They make it very easy to buy at the end of the sample! I also picked up a sample of Tanya Huff's _Enchantment Emporium_, which shares some characteristics (extended family of women with magical powers, blah, blah, bleeping blah) and did not make it through to the end. I've picked up the second in the _Immortals After Dark_ series (Kaderin the Cold-Hearted is cold-hearted no more, once she meets Nicolai Wroth's younger brother, Sebastian. More interracial dry humping. Whee.) and it is more of the same.

Should you read it? I'm sure by now you have already answered that question for yourselves, and whatever that answer might be, I fully support you in it.
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