|Merlin fascinates me but he sure arrived late in the story. It is true that there was more sex and talking and emotional stuff than story line in this book but it held my attention and the sex was not too graphic. This book introduced London and Cookie and I like them. I find myself searching ahead to find out if she does Sampson and if he turns into a siren. I want to know what happens with Requiem…I wish she treated him better. I have hopes for London and wish I knew right now what happens to him in her life. That is the essence of a good writer, they make you invest yourself in the characters so that you want to know what happens to them in their future. It is why fan fiction exists…if the writer doesn’t give you the future you want you write your own. I find myself doing searches online for spoilers…only to find she never does resolve Sampson’s problem ten books out. Now that is a disappointing thought. So I am still deep into Anita’s world. I even bought myself a penguin mug and a penguin hand soap dispenser (both with Christmas scarves as a theme). My Anita character file just keeps getting bigger.
Okay, now on to 2018, rereading for the umpteenth time.
Readers sometimes forget or don’t grasp the timeline of the entire series of books. I was feeling a bit ticked about unfinished bits or lack of closure to many things in the Anita series. For example…did the Naga regrow his skin?
I was also thinking about the lack of actual fleshed out plotted stories in most of the later books. The comparison that came to mind was meeting a gorgeous woman in a layers and layers of poofy clothing. You proceed to undress her…and the clothes come off like peeling an onion and when you finally take the last piece off you are left with what looks like a famine victim….no no no you back away, in grave disappointment, I don’t like skeletons.
I write every day, reams and reams of journals, diaries, rants, reviews and emails. I do not go on Twitter because I am incapable of expressing myself in 140 characters. If you write me two or three lines in an email….you get two pages in return. I am a teal deer. People are always saying…you should write a novel. Well I can’t because I cannot plot to save my life. Oh sure, I could start with…someone died, the cops came, a thousand pages of something else, oh by the way this guy did it and we killed him/arrested him, case closed. I spent years reading fan fiction and even wrote a ton of it myself (it is my drawer fiction) that never saw the light of day and it all reads exactly like LKH’s current bunch of novels. I dug out one of the binders filled with printouts of stories and, I kid you not, there is no significant difference between my own overly descriptive, talky stories, right down to the sex (it was slash fan fiction after all) and I never shared it because I felt and still feel it is not worthy because there is no story. I, personally, do not feel that it is totally fair to a reader, especially a reader who has bought a specific genre, to give them next to nothing of that genre in the book. I also do not believe it is good writing.
I have read the entire series right up to the latest oeuvre ‘Serpentine’ and I have been bothered by questions all along. At this point, when I realized the timeline was so short, I thought okay, she can still tie up loose ends like the naga, and we will get to see whether Sampson is a siren, and whether Narcissus actually manages to give birth, does Dolph’s son become a vampire (maybe they can have a surrogate have that much desired grandchild), and on and on and on…endless questions that I realized today…if my memory serves….by book number 25 were still not answered. People come and go so quickly. I want to know London’s backstory. I want to know what happens to him in the end since what I did get in the existing novels is not enough for me. We got more on Requiem but I still want to know about his future. Some of the things I want to know still have a chance of being told…since the timeline is so short at the moment but some I know LKH has probably just left behind forever.
LKH felt that her critics should just quit reading her books if they didn’t like where she was taking them but readers become invested in characters and want closure with those characters and so we keep returning book after book hoping for tidbits of information about the characters we have come to care about. She fails us time and time again and so we bitch about all the sex and angst and …well you get the picture. I, as a reader, am already fairly accepting of the 20% rushed story line to 80% emotional angst fests…since that is what I write myself so it is very familiar to me. But, as a reader I want closure, I want answers to my questions; I want all the ends tied up neatly. Okay, so sue me, I want a happy ending for all my favourite people or at least an ending. LKH has created a world of characters, so many of which need more fleshing out, so many of which have interesting catches, almost all of which leave the reader wanting more information. That is fine, we can be patient, if we had the idea that the writer was actually going to come across and fill in the details. I think a lot of the readers have lost faith that she will do it or have forgotten the timeline is still very short.
What I would really like is a book of short stories, each story about a single event or character to revisit them and tell what happened to them from some time in the future…like looking back through a family album and telling someone who the people are, what happened to them, where they are now, how they are doing and what happened to them in between. Just a tiny gift (maybe posted online just for download) specifically for long term fans who have spent all that money year after year after year for everything she has ever written.
I sometimes think LKH has forgotten us, that we are an important part of her life. As someone who has to write (and read) every day like a compulsion, I have met a lot of people who write like it is an addiction. Perhaps, LKH is like that and out of the millions of us writing fan fiction and drawer fiction, she got lucky and got published and is making money from her addiction. She is nothing special, she is lucky and we are part of that luck. As a reader, I am grateful to her for feeding my second addiction…so maybe she thinks it should be one sided…I should be the only one grateful in the exchange and accept whatever she puts out without quibble of any kind. Some of her critics are really more nasty than she deserves and some don’t seem to have read the same book I did or see events totally different from me. I understand that is like ten people watching a car accident from different points on the street…you will get ten different witness statements. Readers are the same…their lives, their affiliations and opinions (feminism, misogyny, homophobia, fundamentalist religionist) all their different points of view and they bring those opinions and views to her books and see through the glass darkly sometimes. LKH is just another point of view and sometimes they clash but just as there are trolls in cyberspace that get pleasure out of causing pain and confusion, I feel there are reviewers who have the same mindset.
I hate that Haven dies.