I picked up the first of a new urban fantasy series on the weekend. You probably know the one. It comes out every few months in different guises, by different authors and with different titles, but you'll know the one when you see it. It's had a lot of hype. It's got fancy packaging, sassy cover art and kick-ass blurbs. It's had gushing reviews, everyone says it's new and original and a fresh twist on the genre and the BEST thing EVA.
You pick it up in the store, and hairs lift on the back of your neck. The cover's stunning. The cover copy sounds fantastic. The premise sounds fresh and interesting and full of yummy potential. The characters and the world don't sound quite like anything you've ever read before. Excitement tingles your skin, and you can't stumble to the counter to buy it fast enough. You rush home with a dopey grin on your face, itching with anticipation to read something different.
Finally, you curl up on the couch and begin to read.
And by page five, your delight is shattered. The heroine is the same wisecracking kick-ass creature-hunter you've read a million times before. The hero is generic and alpha, dark and handsome and freakishly sexy and the same as every other frickin' hero you've seen the last eight hundred books. The writing is fine, sure, but the dialogue is tired. The characterisations are bland and old. That magical fresh premise is wasted on boring characters that could have come from any UF book.
In short, the book is nothing new. What you thought could be your new favourite book of the year is the SAME. OLD. STUFF.
Sigh. Disappointed. I'm not going to name names. But this was a DNF for me.
On a brighter note, I did finish an ARC of a cheeky fantasy mystery called The Sword-Edged Blonde. Now THAT was something different. Crazy goddesses, psychotic crippled dwarves, ruthless kings and murdered princes and a baffling mystery -- and most gratifyingly, NOT your standard fantasy hero. Mr Eddie Lacrosse, witty, smooth and clever, seriously kick-ass, but with this shy little wounded heart that just charmed the socks off me.
I'll have the author, Alex Bledsoe, here tomorrow to show off his book. Please drop by and say hi.