Tuesday, December 11, 2007

1-5 of the 10 coolest things about Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson Guardian Books

1. They deliver. A friend of ours, when asked why he, a fabulously intelligent person, prefers action adventure movies to art house films, had this two-word reply: “They deliver.” That’s my overall feeling about this series. Steamy sex? Delivered. Violence and thrills? Delivered. Monsters? Delivered. This is my total go-to series in the way the Anita Blake books once were. Oh, the steaminess drops off a bit in book 5 but strong plot thrills deliver plenty of fun.

2. Good creepy bad guys. The bad guys here are bad in creepily creative ways, which I really like. Sometimes the bad guys and their nefarious plans can get a little TOO creepy. Which brings us to #3.

3. The reader doesn’t always get what she wants, and sometimes is put through a bit of hell. I sometimes find the urban fantasy/paranormal romance genre lets the heroines out of awful situations too easily. As a reader in the act of reading, I want things to be easy and tension to be resolved quickly, yet when it is, that drains a bit of drama from my fun experience. When I read urban fantasy, I like to feel like I’ve gone through something. The best book for this is #3, Tempting Evil, with the madman-scientist villain!

4. Strong central quest. I like a heroine who has that. Riley Jenson wants a family and a picket fence. With every book she seems to get further away from that goal, but hey, the night is young. This particular quest is pedestrian, sure, but that doesn’t matter.

5. Wanton sex. Riley Jenson, as a vampire/werewolf combo, is totally into having sex with lots of different partners. (One at a time - not all at once.) Arthur gets away with this because she portrays its being in the werewolf nature so very well. In this world, werewolves go to clubs and dance around naked and have all kinds of sex. In fact, it is dangerous for them not to get a certain amount in during the full moon week, though many eventually settle down with a single partner. I tend to remember reviewer complaints of the implausibility of Riley Jenson having sex with a guy, say, while sadistic bad guys are hot on her heels. Yes, that is a problem in Book #2, Kissing Sin, I think. The most egregious infraction occurs in a scene that involves her riding a horse shifter—they’ve escaped an evil villain’s lair, and they stop by a stream to rest and drink water, I believe, where they have sex. Mind you, they were both in their human forms at the time. See "wolf sex vs human sex" below for an enlightened discussion of that topic. Anyway, yeah, yeah, inappropriate for the action and tension level. But I got over it.

Coming soon: 5 more


writtenwyrdd said...

I guess you like this series, lol.

I liked it too, but I am getting a bit tired of it and haven't been able to get into book #5 yet.

I think that the relationship between the vampire boyfriend and the werewolf protag is that there is no growth there. It's the same thing with Richard the werewolf and Anita Blake in L.K. Hamilton's series. It gets a bit boring and same old, same old. Makes the characters seem a bit TSTL for me.

But the world is cool and the adventures interesting. Plus, the sex isn't overdone IMO also.

Carolyn Jean said...

You know, I can't remember if it's #4 or #5, but I think it might have been #5 that I had a really hard time getting into. It felt same old same old, but then when I went back to it, I was happy. Like, the first 70 pages didn't grab me.

Yes, oh, that Richard relationship. I DO hope Riley and Quinn evolve beyond their current problems. Maybe in real life the same relationship problems hang on forever, but please, not in my fiction. I have to say, I do have reason to believe, from #5, that things could change with them.

Kara said...

Thanks so much for this post!! I have been wanting to get into the Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson books but haven't yet. This just moved them up on my list!

I added it to my "1st in a Series" book challenge so I know I will start it soon. Can't wait to read the other 5 coolest things.

Sarai said...

I read the first from the library on a whim and WOW! Sadly enough life took over and I haven't picked up the others in the series. I guess I will have to now. You make some compling pro-arguements for them.
I miss the old Anita and the old Richard not the whiny I need a bottle and nap Richard!

Tumperkin said...

Woot - you've changed your look again! Nice.

Christine said...

I just searched your blog tonight for 'Riley Jensen' after the comments that were exchanged on MaryKate's DIK post, and look what I found! A list of fabulous insights from CarolynJean!!! I agree 100% with everything you stated in this post. =)

Carolyn Jean said...

Thanks, and I'm so glad you agree with these! Thanks so much for digging these out. I can't wait to see what you think of the new one. We'll have to discuss.