Friday, April 10, 2009
In the past, I read most of the Wild Magic quartet and totally adored it. The remainder of the series is now waiting in my TBR pile (the one that threatens my life as I sit here at my desk). So when I found both of these books in the library sale pile, I was ecstatic. Pierce is a genius and I love her world she's created and used throughout her several series. It's fun, it's got magic, and romance, and all sorts of great characters. I launched into these fully expecting to love them. Sadly, that just wasn't the case. I read them, and both had really good, satisfying endings, but I really couldn't get behind the main character.
I spent most of the second book trying to figure out just what it was that had me so bored with her and the whole situation. The set-up was great--revolution, war, corrupt rulers and a queen trying to regain her throne with the aid of a really smart, adept spy (Aly). It's just that, well, it was too pat. Aly was always a step ahead and I never saw her really struggle. I don't particularly want to read a book about someone who can handle every curve-ball thrown at them--it's boring! I found myself rooting for the opposition about halfway through the second book, just so I could see Aly squirm and have to find a new, creative way out of the mess.
Here's the other thing I thought about while reading: making that MC identifiable for the reader. A character that's so strong, so smart, so cunning, that it's almost annoying? There's no way any teen (let alone adult!) who's going to be able to feel like they can get behind her and root for her. She doesn't really need rooting for! Now, don't get me wrong--I love strong female (and male!) characters. Capable young/older women who know what they're doing and work to do it. But there's a fine line between being a strong character and being one that's just too strong, leaving the reader to just feel like they're following along, not really pushing for her (or him) to figure it all out. It creates a lack of conflict, and a lack of interest. That's what really made me frustrated.
Anyhow, that's my take. Hubby bought me City of Bones for my b-day and I honestly can't wait to read it!