Elmore Leonard said: I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances ''full of rape and adverbs.''

Sunday, 31 January 2010

IS IT JULY YET?

I’ve just finished the latest two Guardian novels in two sleep deprived days and CANNOT WAIT for the next installment. Literally, I have sat down and calculated the days to July 6th.

There are a lot of days, people.

So I don’t think I’m going to review the books, per se. That would be too hard a task for this lazy blogger. The one thing everyone will tell you about The Guardian series (lovers and detractors alike) is how very complex and detailed the plotting is, sometimes even convoluted and perplexing.

Instead I think I’ll tell you what I like about the series overall and hope that if anyone hasn’t given this talented, witty and imaginative author a go, they might now.

Mythic Arc and Scope

There’s an immense scope to the series. We’re talking Demons, Angels, Heaven, Hell. The fate of the world hanging in the balance. It’s all very Epic. Whilst I think the series lost it’s way a little in Demon Night, Brooks ratchets up the stakes to suitably apocalyptic levels in Demon Bound and Demon Forged, so that by the end of the latter I was as involved in the on-going story as the self-contained romance between the principal characters.

Similarly, Brook is as comfortable taking us into her magical realms (be it the heavenly Cealum or the hellish Chaos) as Regency England or the medieval world. As a reader, this keeps each story fresh and intriguing.

Characters

Oh, where to begin? The characterisation is crazy good. I think this might be what I love best about the entire series, how very beautifully Brook draws her characters, so that each is as distinct from the next, and unusually unique within the romance genre to boot. Characters like Colin and Savi and Alice and Irena are so wonderfully fresh to me, like brand new people I want to know better.

In Demon Bound, Alice Grey comes to life in an incredibly rich and detailed way, right down to her unsettling walk. I love how every little physical detail about her contributes to my understanding of her character. It’s very impressive.

Romance

Despite all the action, multiple plotlines and insane amounts of adventure, Brook never stints on the romance, with her hero and heroine firmly front and centre of the action, their relationship and conflicts thoroughly explored. Brook is not a demure writer (thank God), but it’s to her credit that the romance I liked best (in Demon Bound, between Jake and Alice) was also the most chaste. When a writer can do that, she’s nailed it.

As a side note, the two weakest romances were Charlie and Drifter (Demon Night) and Irena and Alejandro (Demon Forged). The former just didn’t work for me, but the latter… I think they were the victims of too much happening elsewhere. In future books, Brook will have to maintain a careful balance between her protagonists and the on-going story, which is getting more interesting.

According to her website, Brook says she has mapped the series into eight full -length novels, which is GOOD, because I really, really want to know how it ends. She also has a new series out this year, which is BAD because it means fewer and far between Guardian books…. Less selfishly, I’d be interested to try something different because I think Brook is talented and imaginative writer.

So what are you waiting for? Get thee to a bookshop!

Otherwise, feel free to discuss the burning issues of the day: can Deacon be redeemed? What’s up with Taylor and Michael, was the conflict between Irena and Alejandro too flimsy? Will Becca get a book? Will Khavi??

Does anyone have an advanced copy of Demon Blood?

Sidebar: Although this was not a review by any stretch, the series overall merits an A

4 comments:

Tumperkin said...

I have nothing really to say re your post but (i) I am glad you are back; (ii) I am glad you are reading something you enjoy. :-)

Meriam said...

Hello! Yes, I'm reading again. But I'm taking it easy - when something moves me to blog, I'll blog. No pressure.

By the way: I wasn't so keen on Up in the Air. Some good bits, and the ending left me thoughtful, but I wouldn't really recommend it!

And I can't wait to read your review of Lightening that Lingers. Tom and Sharon Curtis wrote one of my favourite books, Sunshine and Shadow.

Blimey. It's been so long since I did this, I don't even know if my tags will work!

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Marsha said...

Thank you for posting this. It's inspired me to try again with the series - I so wanted to love, love, love it and the one time I tried I just couldn't make it work. This kind of adoration, though, deserves to be explored fully. I am resolved to Try Again. Thanks!