I’ve been doing that a lot recently, and the latest victim of my reading blues was Kresley Cole. This was particularly sad as I truly enjoyed her Immortals After Dark series last year; I even glommed.
What set me off (other than a generally grumpy disposition)? The Glossary of Terms preceding the story. In it, The Vessel is described thus
At the cusp of each Ascension, a chosen female will beget a child who will become a warrior of either ultimate evil or of ultimate good –
- depending on the father
Way to strip the female of even the faintest whiff of autonomy.
Riled, I continued on and sure enough poor Holly the heroine/ vessel is summarily stripped naked and placed on a ceremonial altar by evil demons, so that she might be raped/ impregnated. In the first twenty pages. Later that night, Holly’s bare legs are ogled on by the hero, who admires their smooth, sleek and toned perfection.
(Yeah, I thought sourly. If I were unexpectedly kidnapped by demons and stripped naked, my legs too would be smooth and sleek and worthy of admiration. Except, no, they wouldn’t.)
Cade, the ne’er do well demon hero veers towards the obnoxious. Any guy who ends the majority of his sentences with a ‘yeah?’ would probably drive me nuts, but then he has the temerity to label an amorous lady bar owner ‘a slag’ to dispel Holly’s suspicions, which – hello, if anyone’s a slag, it would be the unrepentantly lecherous and horny Cade, whose reputation as a man-slut precedes him.
But it’s different for boys.
Cade also has the cheek to say:
“For the record, male Lorekind have higher opinions of females than human males do. The playing field’s more equal in our world.”
This coming from a breed of Demon who ‘claims his female’ by turning fully into his demon form and biting her into submission… plus, Vessel, anyone?
The other thing that really irked was all the rampant consumption that goes on between the covers of an Immortals novel. Burbury, million dollar sports cars, Ipods, Wiis, Bentleys, and expensive silk and lace undergarments that are the staple of any self-respecting virgin heroine’s attire.
I found myself hoping Holly and Cade are affected by the global financial crisis in a brutal way. (Also tiring: nauseating articles about how the mega-rich are really glum about losing their money.)
And while I’m on my nit-picking rampage – why does Holly have to be delicate?
What exactly is a ‘masculine jaw’?
What is a ‘feminine scent’?
Grumpy Romance reader will stop there.
In tomorrow’s post: why I loved Dark Desires After Dusk despite everything.