Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Crave, by JR Ward -- Deep Thoughts

Not a Review
I'm working back up to doing actual reviews.  For now, I really just have a topic I want to muse on, which is this:

I think JR Ward is a hellluva storyteller in the paranormal space.

However, I do NOT like her writing about the metaphysical.

Too Deep For Me
I'll credit one particular element of Crave for making that distinction gel for me -- and it applies to the Black Dagger Brotherhood books as well as the Fallen Angels.

The wings, like him and Eddie and Adrian, were neither there nor not there, real nor unreal, tangible nor intangible.

They just were.

Honestly? That's just weak. I have the same issues in the BDB books with the Omega's tampering with time and with Darius's reincarnation into a being that had to have been born before Darius died. 

Furthermore, a fair amount of Jim's character development and scene-setting for future series story arcs are predicated on the corporeal nature of these immortals, including the arch-angels:

Nigel, as with the others, neither lived nor breathed; he simply was. And the food was the same, neither necessary nor extant-- as was the landscape and all that the four of them did to pass their eternity. But the trappings of a gracious life were of value. Indeed, the quarters that he shared with Colin were well kitted-out and the sojourns they took therein were not for any sleep necessity but for recharging of a different kind.

War was exhausting, its burdens ne'er-ending, and at times, one needed physical succor.

Now, the WARDen can build her world any way she wants to, but the thing is, I'm just not feelin' it, to use the vernacular. You can't say in one sentence that the  physical doesn't matter and then in the next say, oh well, but it helps.  I don't get it.  Why would one need "physical succor" if one doesn't need oxygen or food or, hey, the laws of physics?

And the coyness of the reference to Colin and Nigel's relationship really turned me off.  If you're gonna go there, let's just spit it out, shall we?

OH! and can I just say: the fake what-what-old-chap dialog/narration around the archangels SUCKETH MIGHTILY, YEA VERILY HUZZAH. (of course I can.  See? I just did.)

OK, I Guess It Actually Is a Review
Ward's writing and pacing and male characters keep me turning pages, they honestly do.  And Jim is promising, aside from the metaphysical problem.  I liked his engagement with Devina's victim and in general I'm liking his character development.

As for the romance, it's vintage Ward, in both good and bad ways.  Grier and Isaac had good chemistry and an interesting non-supernatural storyline.  But I pretty much felt like the characters were a rehash: poor sad little blond princess, who is so so very good and smart and pretty and good all the way to her patrician blue-blooded bones finds such unexpected, unseemly happiness with the earthy passionate badass damaged Taurus desperately seeking redemption.

All up?  Not that great.

2 comments:

Hilcia said...

I am 'SO' with you on this, Nicola. I stopped reading Ward because the contradictions drove me crazy. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy some of the stories, but yeah... after a while? Those contradictions make the whole world building rather weak, in my opinion.

I ♥ Book Gossip said...

Oh Nicola, you spoke the words from my heart. LOL! I got a bit over her series after John Matthews book. It was the words and the scene that just didn't work for me anymore. The 'slang' is just a bit too hard to see used in an urban fantasy background. It's either speak normally or change the vernacular that's understandable. The word change gets me so lost that I literally skip the page cause I feel like I'm not missing much even if I don't read it. I haven't really read the fallen series cause I thought it would be so similar to the BDB series.

Thanks for posting this Nicola!

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