Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On finding the crux, or why I hate AB:VH in 5000 words or less

Official Kindle ownership sorted; celebrated by spending 3.5 of the four days I had off absolutely cut off from all communication with the entire world apart from occasional nods to my husband and occasionally feeding my cats. Nice fuh me.

Over the long weekend, I finished books five through most-of-nine of the AB:VH series, treating this task as something to be endured and put behind me as quickly as possible. I am not savoring these books, you guys. I am speeding through them with frequent twitching and very frequent mutterings of “seriously?” and “what the bleeding fuck” to my empty living room.

Before I unleash my recap/review of Book 2, I wanted to try and put out there exactly why I have a barely-love/mostly-hate relationship with this series. Bear with me on this one, it could get messy.

Let’s start with the character of Anita Blake, whom as I get further and further along have realized is not so much a real character but simply a projection of what the author’s, like, fantasy life would be. LKH didn’t really invent Anita Blake – Blake is just a super-maxed version of everything LKH wants to be, and it is obvious enough to be embarrassing; especially since the character is so ridiculously flawed in both personality AND execution. It’s narcissistic, but kind of pathetically so.

Like, I get that this character is the center of the story. I understand that these are tales spun to me in that glorious First Person voice (more on that later) of this character, so yes, of course it is going to be All Her All The Time, and of course she (as a character) is going to feel that it certainly should be that way. What bothers me is that every other character, great or small, seems to feel the exact same way. I can believe in this alternate universe of vampires and were-fucking-everythings. I can believe in the completely-not-real details of this world, of these people in it, their politics and laws. It is called suspension of disbelief, and it is what you expect out of any piece of fiction. What strains my suspension is not the zombie raising or the black magic or the unnecessary overuse of fake words – it’s the concept that not one single inhabitant of this story has mild or neutral feelings towards the main character. Every person or –thing that crosses her path is either hopelessly in love/lust with her, thinks she’s the second coming of Bad Ass Murder Christ, or hates her with a passion … that burns in their loins. It doesn’t make sense. She has not been fleshed out enough as character to be remotely that compelling, even just to other characters. She wears polo shirts, like, a lot! No one who wears that many polo shirts is that fucking attractive!

And she continues to get more and more ridiculous as the series goes on. Now she’s a necromancer! Now she’s a witch!  Now she controls the shapeshifters with nothing but her unmitigated powers of SHEER AWESOMENESS. It feels like a cop-out. It feels like LKH has made this woman some kind of preternatural (yet human! Still human! LEST WE FORGET) superwoman because she’s too goddamn lazy to figure out a way to explain how Anita Blake could possibly A) still be alive, and more importantly B) why anyone should actually give a shit.

[to be continued ... ]

1 comment:

  1. i completely agree with your post