Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Hunger Like No Other

Oh wait, hold the presses, this is a blog about BOOKS? Not DVDs? Not Kitties? Yes. And believe it or not, I have been reading and finishing books. Maybe not as fast as some of you high performance readers, but I have. And three of them are the first three installments of Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark. Does it seem strangely like I only read books that everybody else has already read? It does to me.

In a lot of ways I was predisposed not to like this series. I’d read a few tepid reviews, then heard the only good one was the first, then it was the third. Though some people like these quite a bit. Then I ordered #3 by mistake and I was like, shit, now I have to read the first two or I’ve wasted my money. I bought the first and lovely soon-to-be MBA Sula lent me #2.

So anyway, that is the pall under which I started #1, A Hunger Like No Other. Add to that I sort of sensed the hapless, gadget obsessed, slightly shallow-seeming heroine, and I don’t tend to like that sort of heroine.

But wow, this series totally grew on me. You know when you look back on books, and you have a kind of image or feeling about them? Maybe with one book it’s a nice feeling, or another it’s just blandness, like, what the hell was that even about? Or for me, Lara Adrian and BDB is dark broody sexorin. 

I look back on these Immortals and it's brightness and newness. To me, they’re these bright, clever reads that don’t take themselves seriously, but are quite fun and smart—in a way that sneaks up on you.

This is the story of werewolf Lachlain MacRieve of the Lykae Clan. This guy was chained under the catacombs of Paris for decades by vampires, where he was repeatedly burned to death, though being that he’s an immortal, he always revived for it to happen again. So it’s this terrible torture, and then he finally gets this new energy to be free when he sense his predestined mate walking the streets above him. And it’s Emma, a half vampire.

So he's mad, since all that kept him alive was visions of retribution against vampires. And she’s not into him either, as he seems like a big, backwards monster freak to her - okay, here, from the back: “…her fear of the Lykae—and their notorious dark desires—ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.”

Can I just say that’s some fine back cover copy? Also, I must say there were a lot of scenes where I was like, OMG, I can’t even believe this author is doing this. Various shower scenes come to mind. Yet I found them enormously fun and dirty! 

I really liked this book. I think of the three, it was my favorite, and Emma is my favorite of the heroines, and Lachlain MacRieve is my favorite of the heroes, too. I know people are partial to Bowen (Ana). In fact, bring back DIK and Lachlain would have been in my hero mix. Who got him anyway?

But Emma had such a strong character arc; she grows out of her timidity in a way that is very satisfying. I also like the writing in her sections. Like this, from very early on:
Starving in Paris. And friendless. Was there ever such a predicament?

Couples strolling hand in hand along the gravel walk seemed to mock her loneliness. Was it just her, or did lovers look more adoringly at each other in this city? Especially in springtime. Die, bastards.

She sighed. It wasn’t their fault that they were bastards who should die.
There is just a kind of coy darkness to the sections on her that I really like. Also, I enjoyed the Valkyrie…after a while. More on that later. With this book, there were moments when I wearied of their standoffishness, but on the whole, wow, grand and unexpected fun!


Katie(babs) said...

If you enjoy Kresely's paranormals, you should read her historicals. They are just as wonderful.
BTW, I love your kitties... :P

lisabea said...

Book two is THE best..well I have yet to read book four. But of the three I've read. Yes. WAIT till you get to the Hie.


back to writing smut.

Carolyn Jean said...

KB: Thanks for the tip!

LB: I already read it. I liked #1 best. But last night after writing this post, I had a dream that the kitties were in the Hie.

Ana said...


sula said...

yay, the gift that keeps on giving! lb sent them to me, I sent them to you, and the circle goes on. :)

I myself am partial to book 2. But they are all great fun. Much more romping goodness to be had, very irreverent.

Thanks for reminding me...I need to get the demon boys' books.

lb, hang off on buying book 4. a little birdie told me that it might show up for you in SF. ;)

ChariDee said...

I've never read Cole. SHHHHHHH, don't tell everyone! Although, that little snippet makes me want to. Die Bastards. LOL. That's sweet!

Carolyn Jean said...

Ana: I KNEW you'd say that.

Sula: Luckies. I need to get me that book 4. So where does the circle go from here ?

Charidee: You might like these! I'm glad I didn't go all spoilery now.

Anonymous said...

I now read all 5 novels in this series, and I wonder what I would think about "A Hunger" now should I read it again. It was nearly a DNF (sorry!) and the shower scenes were partly responsible for that. But I liked the other 4 (book 4 the most) and I like what you wrote about their "brightness and newness" and cleverness. It captures the appeal perfectly, I think. So now I wonder about "A Hunger" ...

And I'm always way behind with my reading, so it doesn't seem strange. It's my normal state. :)

Carolyn Jean said...

Taja, I can see why somebody wouldn't like the shower/bathroom scenes. They were sort of out of my comfort zone, and in a way, that's why I enjoyed them, I think, but they were somewhat...oh, you know, eyebrow raising.

naida said...

I havent read this author yet, but its on my TBR list :)

Katie(babs) said...

The perv that I am enjoys the shower scenes. Or better yet, tub scenes.
Rub a dub dub, I have a spot that needs to be scrubbed.
Your Scandalous Ways has a fabulous tub scene.

pidute said...

i am in the minority here and i am almost scared to say it but i absolutely HATED that book .
I was the first time i really wanted for the heroine to DIE !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Part of my problem with the shower scene (and Lachlain's character in general): I understood why he behaved the way he did. But this understanding was just a head thing and not a heart thing, too. Sort of, I wasn't shown enough of what he'd been through to make scenes like that work (not that then I would think it okay/right) and so I just focused on "this behaviour is so not ... urgh."

I shut up now. :)

sula said...

I don't have the book in front of me (heh, for obvious reasons) but I seem to remember quite enjoying those illicit shower scenes. naughty!

Overall, I liked the hero lots more than the heroine in this book. I kept wanting to strangle her. lol.

CJ, I bet the circle could end up back at ya. lb has been known to share. :)

Carolyn Jean said...

Naida: You might like this series. The first book seems the most controversial, as you see!

Pidute: Even though I didn't have those thoughts, I can definitely see how a person would. And you aren't alone, for sure! (see Sula)

Taja: Don't shut up! That's a great point. I think when an author doesn't successfully connect behavior to character, what do you really have?

Sula: With these three, though, should I spread the love to another, or maybe back to LB? I'll ask her. Yes, she was strangleable at times!!

LesleyW said...

Yeah - another Bowen fan here. What I love about this series is that I enjoy each book more than the last.

Christine said...

I love Emmaline in this book. She was insecure and vulnerable, yet fierce!