It’s raining today and I’m not particularly focused–thinking about my poor Daisy who got the double whammy of a thunderstorm and vet visit all in one day. She’s due up for her annual teeth cleaning and exam and I felt about 1 foot tall leaving her there. So I don’t have anything genius to offer you today. Not that I have genius to offer you most days, actually. But between my new tactic to stay on my healthy eating regimen at the Mexican place (that would be weighing immediately before going–the shame lasts through dinner, long enough to make me behave and avoid the chip basket) and my mullings as a reader, I figure the reader stuff would be more interesting.
I have this author I love. I shan’t name her since I’m about to discuss some less flattering aspects of her work. She’s got several series, is multi-published and she’s on my auto-buy list (no, not la Nora). Currently I’m listening to the latest in a very long running series. I have loved this series, pounced on every new release. The book before this was frigging AWESOME.
This book. Not so much.
For one, it feels less about the couple it’s supposed to be about than its predecessors. They are supposed to be the main plot and they feel like a subplot. And in general, it feels poorly edited in comparison to the prior books in the series. I say this not because there are glaring typographical errors or anything (like I’d even notice those in audio), but because of stylistic things that weren’t caught. Like LUDICROUS overuse of the word “However.” Seriously. How often do you really need to use this in fiction that doesn’t have a lawyer talking? And how every single time this author chooses to use “his own” or “her own” when it would sound simpler (and more varied) to just use his and hers, in which the “own” is implied. And dear, freaking GOD, how many times do we need to be reminded of the hero and heroine’s hair and eye color? Because I think it’s brought up every time they are together.
There are isolated things I’m enjoying. Cameos by the characters I’ve come to love from the other books. Flashes of the humor that endeared this author to me in the first place. But by and large, I’m just not enjoying this. I’m going to finish it because I bought it and also because I don’t want to miss any details in the metaplot setup for the series because obviously she’s setting up epic things to come, but this just does not meet the expectations she created with all her prior work.
It has the scent of a book that she wasn’t excited to write. Something she was contractually bound to deliver and just slogged through. I’ve been there. I know that feeling. And the idea of being there scares me because I don’t want to do this to my readers. I don’t want to deliver a story that does not live up to the expectations I’ve built with my previous work. It’s one of the reasons (among many) that I haven’t been working on my Mirus stuff. If that’s not where my passion is, it’s not what I need to be writing. And while the readers who love that world want more, they want more GOOD stories, not half-assed, I didn’t really feel like writing this, but I oughtta stories. I figure they’ll forgive me for that.
So what do you do when you have a favorite author who disappoints you? Is it a one shot and done deal? Do you give them a few more books and hope this was a one-off bad one?