Readalong: Dragon Bound (Part Three)

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Why, god, why? Read this: Sign up post

I’m five days late with this post, which means no one will read it or comment on it, yet I’m up past my bedtime COMPELLED to sum up this experience. Not that I have much to say about the book. I’ll do my usual point form babbling below. It’s just that this book has made me question myself. Like Dragos, I feel that I don’t know myself anymore. Unlike Dragos, I will attempt to deal with this through writing rather than through kidnapping, murder, and boring, repetitive sex (who has the time, amiright?)

At various times in my blogging career, I’ve embraced, rejected, and mocked the “book snob” label, but overall, I’ve moved away from it. I’ve read articles about literary privilege and why adults read YA and I’ve challenged myself to read outside the classics/litfic genres. I’ve joined a book blogging community that really does embrace all kinds. My Edmonton crew of book bloggers have been instrumental in my attitude adjustment . I’ve been coming to the conclusion that snobdom in any form doesn’t really serve any purpose and usually just makes the snob look like a douchebag.

But.

The read-alongers in this group have spoken: thumbs down. No stars for you. Finish him. Etc. But we are four voices among a crowd of fans. Yes, fans, rating this book five stars, writing breathless reviews, clamouring for the sequels. I am not cruel enough to take down one particular review line by line (though ‘twould be fun) but here are some excerpts. (And FYI, I’m not even touching the issue with reviewers spontaneously orgasming over an emotionally abusive mindfuck of a relationship, because, as the kids say, I Just Can’t Even.)

extremely well done world-building

Nope

great character development

Nope

One million romance bloggers can’t all be wrong

They can

scorching sexual tension

Well I have a tension headache…

The writing was good

And here it is. It’s not good. It’s just not. It’s objectively BAD. The perspectives are confused, sentences don’t make sense, plot points come and go with no apparent reason. The characters are one-dimensional. Adjectives are overused and the same damn ones are repeated over and over. It’s just not good! The fact that people, MANY people think it is good makes me angry and sad and frustrated and it makes me want to go rushing back to the security blanket of calling myself a book snob and pretending that I don’t have anything in common with these readers.

I’m pretty desperate at this point to find a good romance novel, or even just a borderline competent one, before I write off the whole genre, because writing off a whole genre feels like a snobby thing to do.

So all this to say: this shitty book has me questioning my identity, my values, and my purpose in reading and blogging. What the fuck. Maybe this is all a weird meta-commentary on literature and Thea Harrison is a misunderstood genius. Or maybe I’m up too late and need to go to bed with a good novel, I don’t know anymore.

*weeps*

The Good

  • No. Not this time.

The Bad

  • Pia is a unicorn! Of course she is.
  • Ancient powerful beings who don’t understand birth control. Right.
  • Calling the baby peanut. Gag.

The WTF

  • Pia has pregnancy symptoms literally two days after banging Dragos. No. That is not how that works.
  • The weird PSA on IUDs. I mean, the thought of shoving a piece of metal into my uterus doesn’t get me particular hot and bothered, but that’s just me.
  • Presented without comment: “Except now Dragos was in her life, pouring everything into her, flooding her with his Power and semen over and over again”

Another month, another read-along: Join me for The Moonstone Read-a-Long hosted by LitNerd in November! I’m almost certain there will be no magical unicorn pregnancies or semen floods.

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14 comments

  1. madamebibilophile

    This review was hilarious! Needless to say, I won’t be reading the book. If it’s any consolation, know that torturing yourself with this novel made for a very funny post that has brightened up a grey and dreary morning for me here in London!

  2. Heather

    Oh my god, I can’t even either. That last line made me gag.

    There is a difference between being a discerning reader and being a snob. If a book is bad, it’s bad. That can be subjective OR it can be OBJECTIVE, and I’d say that all of your complaints have been objective. Seriously. This book just sounds horrendous.

    (And you know it’s bad when the person who STARTED the readalong gives up. Heh.)

  3. overlookedonlookers

    I agree with you that being a book snob is bad, but I also feel like some people need to have their reading standards raised if this is what they think is good writing. The way you feel is the same way I feel about Twilight and, to an even greater degree, 50 Shades of Grey. I read the former and read excerpts from the latter and then I heard people falling all over themselves to praise these books as works of art. It’s enough to make me lose faith in humanity. It’s one thing to see books like that as a bit of escapist fluff, but it’s another thing altogether to laud them as examples of brilliant literature.

    As for this book, that last quote you put in should have disqualified it from ever even getting published.

    • lauratfrey

      I actually hated this a lot more than 50 Shades, which I hate-read this summer. At least with 50 Shades I felt like I could participate in the giant cultural phenomenon and not just be a fake book snob pooh-poohing it b/c it wasn’t literature. No, now I can talk about how shitty it was with authority! 🙂 But this book? Well it appears to have made an impression on many readers but thankfully, our culture seems to have some boundaries and dragon-smut hasn’t become the Next Big Thing.

  4. Kristilyn

    Being pregnant, I get the pregnancy symptom thing, so when I saw that Pia was having symptoms just a few days after the deed, yeah. Not realistic! And what was with all the IUD talk?? Crazy.

    If I could suggest, I’d say try out Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. It’s one of my favourites!

    Oh, and yeah … the unicorn. Gag.

  5. Rick @ AnotherBookBlog.com

    “So all this to say: this shitty book has me questioning my identity, my values, and my purpose in reading and blogging. What the fuck. Maybe this is all a weird meta-commentary on literature and Thea Harrison is a misunderstood genius. Or maybe I’m up too late and need to go to bed with a good novel, I don’t know anymore.

    *weeps*”

    This is, hands down, my favorite thing you’ve written on the blog. I am dying laughing right now.

    Mostly because, if we don’t laugh at this experience, we’ll probably cry about it.

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