25 May 2010


I started Blaze of Memory (Nalini Singh) yesterday. And it's...OK. Yeah, OK. Not the response I was expecting from myself when I picked up the book. I love Nalini's books...they are so rich, so emotive the words fairly leap off the page. And normally, I'm completely invested in the journey the hero and heroine are on. But with this book I just feel...disconnected. The hero, Dev, is human, yet he's having all these protective urges...just like the changelings, except he isn't...a changeling. And he and the heroine, Katya, are getting way too close way too quickly IMHO considering their respective starting points - it feels more like mate than natural behaviour, and it just feels...wrong.

I hate thinking such thoughts about Nalini's book. I feel...almost disloyal! And I'm worried I'll feel the same about the next book, which also has a human hero. So, I'm curious, have you ever picked up a book by a favourite author and had it not work for you? And did you feel...guilty that you weren't enjoying it?


  1. This has happened to me several times:

    Christine Feehan: loved Dark Prince, Dark Desire, Dark Gold and Dark Magic. Dark Challenge was OK. Loved Dark Fire and Dark Dream (novella). Dark Legend was OK. Loved Dark Guardian. Enjoyed Dark Symphony and Dark Descent (novella). Disappointed with Dark Melody. Enjoyed Dark Destiny. Loved Dark Hunger (novella), Dark Secret and Dark Demon. Enjoyed Dark Celebrations. Loved Dark Possession, Dark Curse and Dark Slayer. The odd bad book hasn't been enough to put me off this series. I didn't enjoy the first 2 books in Christine Feehan's Drake Sisters series, but each new book did get better as the series progressed so I kept reading. I love Christine Feehan's Ghostwalker series.

    Stephanie Laurens - I enjoyed the first 9 books of the Cynster series. Although I have read the other books in the series, I haven't enjoyed them as much as the first 9 books. I keep telling myself that I won't read anymore because I think the series has gone on for too long but I do still read them - I just don't buy the books as soon as they are released. Same goes for the Bastion Club series, it just seems a rehash of the Cynsters and fortunately there was a final book in that series. I have, however, loved the first two books of the Black Cobra Quartet.

    I try to persevere for as long as possible, but sometimes you just have to break up with authors. I'm almost at that stage with JR Ward - I tried to read the first book of her Fallen Angels series but just couldn't get into it and with the BDB, Lover Mine will probably be my last. All the new characters introduced in Lover Mine just don't interest me enough. I'm also nearly ready to break up with Sherrilyn Kenyon - the last book I really enjoyed from her Dark Hunter series was Unleash the Night back in 2005. I can't recall the last new release of Jude Deveraux's that I read, and I only enjoyed Julie Garwood's historicals.

    My loyalty has it's limits. I read for pleasure and for entertainment. If I'm not entertained or getting any enjoyment then I give up and I don't feel disloyal for doing so.

  2. ooops. Sorry, that post was a little too long!

  3. I liked Blaze of Memory - totally didn't pick up on the things that bothered you.

    But I think that happens pretty regularly with a series. Sometimes it pulls me out of the series entirely and I don't go back. Sometimes I pick up the next book without any trouble.

  4. Okay, Orannia, you've had two of the same reactions I had reading this this book. It was good read (not great), and what the heck was up with Dev having those reactions? I didn't get it. He's supposed to be "human" with Psy characteristics not Changeling... so why did he react like a Changeling? I was rather confused. This is the first time that happens to me with a Singh character -- he didn't fit. :(

    I enjoyed the worldbuilding as always, the Forgotten, etc... but the main couple was just hmm... OK for me.

  5. I definitely got that way with later JR Ward books, and I'm not sure, but I *may* be heading that way with the first book of the Sundered Lands by Michelle West... it's not that it's bad, it's just not nearly as good so far as anything else of hers I've read. I'm going to stick with it a while and see where it goes from here though...

  6. ShellBell - your comments can be as long as you like :) Great comment BTW! And it's nice to know that within a series there are ebbs and flows - not the author's writing (because I think the writing in Blaze of Memory is good), but your connection with it. I haven't read any of Christine Feehan's book. I did try one, but it didn't work for me. With the Cynsters - I loved the first one, but all the others felt rather interchangeable, and it irritated me that all the women were stunningly beautiful. It's like - heaven forbid a Cynster ends up with someone less than perfect! So, ATM no Stephanie Laurens books for me. I want one that feels different.

    Chris - I get that :) I think it's a 'me' thing, and it's probably just this book. Don't get me wrong, the writing is good. I just feel...disconnected and far more interested in the secondary characters and plots. *shrug* Fingers crossed I'm more than back in my groove with Bonds of Justice :)

    (((Hilcia))) Thank you! And yes, Dev just doesn't fit...maybe I was expecting something and so was thrown out when I got something else? I don't know. But yes, I'm enjoying the worldbuilding and all the secondary threads, but the hero and heroine just don't work. And it's all so fast. I miss the time Lucas spent seducing Sasha...it's not there with Dev & Katya.

    starfire - sorry to hear that the first Sundred Lands books isn't working. Maybe it's a case of first bookitis?

  7. Yes! Actually, this happens to me all the time, so generally I don't get too upset about it, but I did feel really bad about not liking LJ Smith's new Vampire Diaries books, and the last Elizabeth Peters book.

  8. Great post Orannia! Yes, I have definitely felt this way. Eloisa James is the first author that pops into my head. I enjoyed so many of her books, and then something changed and I just couldn't get into the stories, no matter how hard I tried. I was disappointed again and again.

    And yes, I do feel very guilty about it too! Even though I cannot help my reaction, I still feel bad about it.

  9. I felt the exact same way. To be fair, I only just discovered Nalini Singh around the time this book came out, and I read the whole series back to back in less than two weeks, so part of my feelings might just be burnout.

    I still love this series, and I've never been into a series like this before. Any series I read is because I like the author and that's what she happens to be writing...I never feel any attachment to the series itself. But the changeling/psy series? Wow! I'm completely invested in this world that Nalini has created...I NEED to know what's going to happen with the whole changeling/psy/human alliance drama. The romance has become secondary for me. I'm already bored with the characters in the next book, but I'll be reading it because I find their world so compelling.

  10. heidenkind - PHEW! Sorry, but it's nice to know I'm not out here on my own :) It feels so....wrong to not like this book. I guess I just need to accept that it's happened and enjoy the parts I do enjoy (and hope that it doesn't happen with the next book :)

    Stacy - thank you :) Hmmm...maybe it's author burnout? I haven't read Eloisa James for a while...I'm somewhere in the middle of her Duchess series, but the book I wanted was the one released last. Isn't that always the way *grin*

    Leniza - welcome :) You read the whole series in 2 weeks? WOW! *impressed* And I do think burnout happens - usually I find I burnout with specific genres, and downtime helps me bounce back. And yes, Nalini's worldbuilding is amazing. I think, in a way, the humans suffer in comparison to the brilliant Psy and the vibrant Changelings... The book after the next one is all changelings *grin*

  11. I felt like this for the Petit Morts that JCP and Josh Lanyon wrote. For some reason I just wasn't feeling the love I usually feel for JCP. I mean I freaking LOVE her, but just wasn't feeling it for her shorts. It made me sad :( But me being me, I got over it quickly ;) I just re-read her other books and all was well.

    I gave this book 4 stars in Goodreads because I couldn't give it 3.5... I didn't really love the main characters, but the advancing of the story (the council, the conflict, the secondary characters) was great.

  12. ::whispers::I never finished Blaze of Memory. Like you, I LOVE Nalini Singh's writing, and I picked BoM up the week it was released. Yet, I put it down about 50pgs in and never picked it up again. It wasn't a dnf so much as a "meh". I'll probably try again when the next book in the series comes out and read them back to back.

    Also like you, I just wasn't feeling Dev, and am not sure if it was that I missed the Changelings, or that the book just wasn't drawing me in the way they usually do.

    I think it's human nature to want to root for authors we connect with. Most of us want to like the books we read when they are by authors we like. I felt the same way with Charlaine Harris' most recent. It was ok, but I was sort of bummed that it wasn't great. I wanted it to be great, so bad.

    Great topic, Orannia! :-)

  13. Mariana - you've nailed it. I didn't love the main characters either, but I did enjoy the advancement of the overall plot arc. I just feel that the Psy and Changeling characters are very well delineated, but Dev...ok, so he's not exactly human but...he felt like a...mish-mash of Psy and Changeling, and not Psy and human...

    I do like Max though so am looking forward to the next book. I just hope though, that he doesn't go all Changeling possessive...IIRC he's definiely human, but with strong shields, so he should act...well, human!

    Renee - *whispers* That's OK *grin* And you've hit the nail on the head, I so wanted to like the book, like the characters, but I couldn't get over Dev's Changeling vibe and how he and Katya were intimate so quickly.

    Dev and Katya's relationship felt more mate like, and while I have no problem with that aspect when the Changelings are involved, I wanted to see and feel the humans, how they developed a relationship. I guess after reading Lover Mine I was hoping for a book in which the humans would stay true to who they were. It's almost like being human isn't good enough...you have to be more...which makes me think that I need to be more to be good enough. Sorry, OT, but...what's wrong with being human?

    I wonder what will happen in the next book?

  14. I felt the same way about Blaze of Memory. I've enjoyed most of her books but just could not warm up to this one. I'm hoping it's just this book and the next one in the series, I'll be back to my regular enjoyment.
    As for leaving authors, I'm afraid there is a trail in my dust of authors I stopped reading for one reason or another.
    Lorraine Heath because she left writing Westerns. Laura Lee Guhrke because I noticed a gradual change in her writing style, Karen Ranney, Madeline Hunter for no real apparent reason, Julia Quinn because I OD'ed on Bridgertons - etc, etc, etc.