I am conflicted about urban fantasy lately. Maybe that will change when Butcher finally gives us the next Dresden story, but my last encounters with the genre were unlucky. I couldn’t get into October Daye, Iron Druid Chronicles books were boring, pretentious disaster, Laurell K. Hamilton is ancient history better left forgotten.
Oh, there is also Ben Aaronovitch, and hopefully his next book will be published this year. Regrettably The Rivers of London have their place in paperback part of my bookshelf and so I won’t be able to read it for a good while. But it’s completely different pair of shoes than Ilona Andrews and their Kate Daniels series.
It turns out the only urban fantasy series with female lead I enjoy is Patricia Briggs’ Mercedes Thompson. Mercy I adore. Strong female protagonist that stands on her own, romances a guy, marries him and don’t spend pages after pages fantasizing about musculature of werewolves around her. Or, when does, the rest is interesting enough that I don’t mind.
Kate Daniels… I find annoying. Increasingly. Ola promised it will get better, and I wanted to be patient, after all Dresden Files I appreciated after a few books. And I invested some money into my attempt, I already have books 1-4 on my Audible account. Two or three hours into book three I’m not hopeful.
It’s a product. A solid one, but heavily targeted and not at me. It’s not strictly speaking a romance novel, action to flirting ratio is high, but it discusses the attributes of most of the males Kate interacts with too often and in too much detail for my liking. It does not objectify men as Hamilton’s Anita Blake novels do, but it’s still enough to spoil my fun. And I don’t say books like that have no place on the market, after all, the reverse situation is common in genre and non genre fiction alike, but I don’t have to like everything, do I? It’s not an ambitious feminist novel that would confront me with some hard truths about society, literature and myself. It’s just entertainment and I’m not entertained enough.
Don’t get me wrong. On the continuum 1) urban fantasy – 2) paranormal romance – 3) bizarre porn it’s situated between 1) and 2), probably even closer to 1).
But, so far, it’s nothing special. Maybe if it was the first series of its kind I’ve tried… but there’s nothing really unique so far. Another fantasy with some story explaining appearance of magic, pretty standard plots, and a sarcastic protagonist that tries too hard to be funny. Netter then Iron Druid or October Daye, but it’s not a very demanding competition.
I want a book about an evenly matched power duo told from the third person perspective…