Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Word of Advice, the Beaten Track Is The Safest

I had not much expectation of getting another post into July, but I think I overestimated my own attention span.  I am about a third of the way through a biggie (more anon about that, of course) but my dear cousin abg did me the favor of picking up my library reserves, which included Meg Cabot's latest, the second in her vampire series.  In yet another reminder of both how boring I am and how old this blog is, I reviewed the first one back in September.  Not only that, I happened to have (I think completely coincidentally) reread my review last Friday, so I know just what I thought about it.  And that was that I was less than excited about Meg Cabot venturing into slightly more action-oriented fare, but that I had hope for her romance writer instincts to make the second book well worth reading.

I kind of thought that there would be three books in the series, but the ending of this second one, Overbite, seems pretty complete, so I'm not sure.  In any case, the romance seems definitively concluded, so I have no desire to see a sequel :)  I wouldn't have much interest in any case, of course, but there was nothing in this book to change my mind.  I thought the action of the last one was overdone, but I was more annoyed about the lack of a romance.  In this one, I was hoping for more romance, less action.  What I got was more romance, but more annoying romance, and *more* action (and I think the book is still shorter :)) So it probably wasn't actually more action, pages-wise, but it sure felt like a lot.  Was it even worse done than the last one? Could be yes, especially because this was definitely meant to be a final flourish type of thing.  And of course, could be I was just in a different mood or have become a more snobby reader :) In either case, I found the plot jump, uncompelling, hard to follow, and pretty boring.  A lot of the time I was just, whaa?

The rest of the time I was like, what happened? Meg Cabot knows what she's doing.  Why is this romance no fun? I really don't know why it wasn't.  Well I do know - the characters were both idiots.  But the characters are idiots in a lot of Meg Cabot books... I mean it was interesting that even without the first person narration, Meena comes off as an overly spunky and "special" type, but she wasn't worse than usual.  I guess the focus was just really not on the romance, and it always felt kind of passed off.  At the same time, it felt like too much of a foregone conclusion.  There's a simple lesson to be learned here... I've said it before, I'll say it again - stick with what you're good at... or you might lose even that.

Verdict: 2/5

Oh one thing though, I watched the trailer for the book... which makes it seem like the whole thing is a joke.  Which makes the writing some what more explicable, but brings up the new issue that if so, please let us in on it! So overall, not sure how much better that would make it.

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