BSV Forum - General - Off-Topic

Anita Blake the Mary Sue?

Mar 06 2007 09:35 am   #1Scarlet Ibis

 I heard someone mention on another thread (I forgot which one) that Anita Blake evolves into a Mary Sue.  I've only read up through "Blue Moon," which I haven't finished cause I know she's gonna somehow end up doing Richard, who I don't so much like, and I hate that cheats on Jean Claude, and I'm not sure I want to continue reading the series... Anyway, how exactly does Hamilton ruin it and cause Anita to become a Mary Sue?

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Mar 06 2007 07:46 pm   #2Blood Faerie

Don't ask me, I happen to like the later books with its much smut and cuddle piles >.<

Unfortunately, we had big vampires in the next room, and I didn't think they'd wait while we had hot monkey sex. ~Cerulean Sins :: (Anita to Jean-Claude)“Is there anything your bloodline does that doesn’t involve getting naked?" ~Danse Macabre :: I’m dating three men, living with two more, and having occasional sex with two others. That’s seven men. I’m like a pornographic Snow White. I think seven is plenty. ~Danse Macabre
Mar 06 2007 09:32 pm   #3LisFayte

 Anita really is the very definition of 'Mary Sue' and I will try to tell you why without spoiling you too much. In every new book Anita gets some new fab power, she has every man who meets her in love with her, and she is a better investigater than the police, in other words, she is perfectly perfect.

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.--- e e cummings

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Mar 06 2007 10:15 pm   #4Scarlet Ibis

Well, that just sucks.  Just tell me this- does she ever get back with Jean Claude?  If so, what book?

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Mar 07 2007 02:47 am   #5Blood Faerie

Yeah, um she does get together with Jean-Claude as well as Asher... and Micah and Nathaniel... blech, I hate Richard and she was going to give the furry poof another chance last I read. Oh yeah and there's also Damian.

Unfortunately, we had big vampires in the next room, and I didn't think they'd wait while we had hot monkey sex. ~Cerulean Sins :: (Anita to Jean-Claude)“Is there anything your bloodline does that doesn’t involve getting naked?" ~Danse Macabre :: I’m dating three men, living with two more, and having occasional sex with two others. That’s seven men. I’m like a pornographic Snow White. I think seven is plenty. ~Danse Macabre
Mar 07 2007 02:49 am   #6slaymesoftly

I read the first couple Anita Blake books and bailed on her after 1 1/2 of them.  I know a lot of people like them, so I will keep my opinions of the books and the writing to myself...sort of.  Let's just say that being a Mary Sue is the least of her problems!

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 07 2007 03:27 am   #7Scarlet Ibis

Elizabeth Anne- in which book does she get back with Jean Claude?  And is it *just* Jean Claude, cause then I might skip ahead and read that one.  And Asher?!  But that's Jean Claude's FRIEND- he should've been off limits!  OMG- what's wrong with her?  Smuts one thing, but dammit, there are rules! And Damian?  Gosh, when I read about him, I thought about Carrot Top for some reason (don't ask me why), so gross that she slept with him...

Slaymesoftly- it appears that one of her problems is that she becomes a big ol' ho bag... Yuck. 

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Mar 07 2007 03:42 am   #8Blood Faerie

And this is where I bail from the thread, sorry. We are all allowed our opinions so instead of starting a fight I'll just stop reading a thread where basically my favourite series is going to be bashed. So yeah.

Unfortunately, we had big vampires in the next room, and I didn't think they'd wait while we had hot monkey sex. ~Cerulean Sins :: (Anita to Jean-Claude)“Is there anything your bloodline does that doesn’t involve getting naked?" ~Danse Macabre :: I’m dating three men, living with two more, and having occasional sex with two others. That’s seven men. I’m like a pornographic Snow White. I think seven is plenty. ~Danse Macabre
Mar 07 2007 05:34 am   #9ZoeGrace

The thing that irks me about the Anita Blake books is...the "perfectly perfect" thing.  I HATE that she is SO damned perfect.  No flaws, no true vulnerability.  She's not real, I can't relate to her.  She shouldn't keep getting new super powers.  It makes me angry, it makes me feel like it's the same male chauvinistic bullcrap because she as a woman is being judged as "strong" based on super powers and not anything like genuine intelligence or wit.

She's got too much damn magic for Pete's sake.  And all the men falling all over her blah blah blah.

Plus I HATE seeing the same metaphors every single book.  Invariably if I read an Anita Blake book, I'll see a reference to the "monster under the bed" metaphor, and also the cuddling like a pile of puppies metaphor.

It's bad enough when an author repeats the same words and phrases over and over, but the same metaphors too?  Jeez.

However there are some good points to the books.  There is lots of sex.  Now if you want good non-predictable plots, go elsewhere, but if you want great smut, Anita is your slut.  And I like the books for THAT. (Which weirdly is the reason most people who dislike the books dislike them.)

Also, along those same lines LKH has done writers a great service by opening the door to more smut in books that doesn't have cheesy euphemisms for body parts.  So that's good too.

But I would love for the repeated metaphors to just go away, and for Anita to just be more real.  She can continue being a slut, that's what she's best at...but please oh god let her not  have any more super powers. 

Mar 07 2007 05:45 am   #10Scarlet Ibis

Zoe, sorry, but I don't see that happening.  LKH is still selling, so I doubt she'll change her "more powers and more smut" formula.  It's possible she's lost sight of what makes a true hero- not an infinite amount of power (which is usually what the "bad guy" tries to acquire...).  Anyway, I liked the beginning when Anita was able to accomplish whatever with not so many powers.  Meh.  That's why I'm creating my own super heroine- there's been quite the drought, IMO.  And she won't have that "holier than thou" or "gotta be the martyr" complex either, damn it.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Mar 07 2007 06:47 am   #11ZoeGrace

oh i have no problem with the more smut.  I'll just skim through the power stuff.

Mar 07 2007 02:02 pm   #12Verity Watson
Smut?! Anita Blake gives in to all the yummy monsters in her 'verse and gives it up? I'm on book 4 - Lunatic Cafe - and she's just told her werewolf boyfriend that she's saving herself for marriage. I was getting a little bored with the series. Now I'll have to keep reading ...

In defense of LKH, while I agree with the comments about Anita Blake in general, I think that she writes some Very Interesting Monsters, and creates a believable version of a world where monsters are real, and we all know it.
You know I've been a good girl, but I hit a limit. ~ Poe
Mar 07 2007 04:34 pm   #13slaymesoftly

Zoe - excellent assessment of much of what makes the books trite and boring for me.  Oddly enough, while I find the sex with everybody and everything annoying too, my main objections would be the repetition and the absurd perfection on the heroine. You are quite right, she is very difficult to identify with or to care about.  The orginal interesting premise rapidly becomes ridiculous as she continues to add powers and supernatual boyfriends.  (And I remember thinking, as I was skipping past large sections of writing, that if I had to read one more item-by-item description of her dressing in her latest slutty outfit to wear while running through the woods after werewolves, I was going to barf on the book. But that's just me....)

LKH has created a fairly believable world and that's to her credit. It's an interesting place with some intriguing creatures;  I just wish she was a better writer and could bring this world to life more believably.  

Scarlet Ibis - yeah, I must have started somewhere in the middle of the series, 'cause she was already on her way to being a ho-bag by the time I met her.

EAS - sorry for trashing a series that you apparently like.  Obviously, I am in the minority or LKH wouldn't be making so much money.

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 07 2007 08:10 pm   #14ZoeGrace

lol Patti, I'm not sure about that.  I think she has a lot of 'negative fans' people who buy and read her books out of morbid fascination.

I buy and read them only for the smut, though these days I tend to just prefer reading dark erotica that's billed as erotica and is honest about being about sex.

Mar 07 2007 08:37 pm   #15LisFayte

 I started reading the Anita Blake series when 'The Laughing Corpse' came out, this is still my fav book of the series, the writing was tight, the mystery was done well and Anita's detective work was top rate. I know many people who will not read anything of hers past Obsidian Butterfly because of the smut. I still read her books, but I am having a major problem with them because of the writing, it has gotten very sloppy, she has stopped even pretending there is a plot in them anymore, the last book was poorly edited and full of typos and misspelled words, people were called by the wrong names. What little bit of a mystery there was in the book was dropped and never solved. The new book is coming out soon and I will probably buy it, but I think this is the last chance I am giving this series, I keep hoping that there is a method to her madness. I don't mind the smut, but when that is all that there is to a book, a series of poorly written orgies connected by a little dialogue, I feel like I have been cheated of my money.

I guess I keep hoping that LKH will remember how to write, or get a new editor, and turn out another book as well written and plotted as The Laughing Corpse.

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.--- e e cummings

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Mar 08 2007 12:53 am   #16slaymesoftly

You've got more patience than I do, LisFayte.   I've never read her earlier books, so I'll take your word for it that she can write.  I would guess that what may have happened is that her early success gave her (and perhaps her editors?) an unrealistic sense of her own wonderfulness and she (and they) quit working to be good and worked instead on churning out more money makers.  It happens to a lot of authors (*cough, Ann Rice, cough*) including some in the fanfiction arena.  Everyone can have an off day (or an off fic) and no one is going to hit a home run everytime, but when you are asking people to spend their money on your work, you need to do whatever is necessary to make it worth what they're paying.  In the real world, just as in fan fiction, the idea should be to get better and better as you go along - not to coast on the  strength of what you did when you started out.  IMHO, anyway. 

Interestingly enough, I am noticing typos and similar mistakes in both "real" books and in magazines of short stories.  I suspect that publishing houses, in the interest of saving money, are using fewer editors and that the editors are using spell check type programs to do what used to be done by human eyes that were both educated and sharp. A sad commentary on our world...

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 08 2007 02:22 am   #17Scarlet Ibis

Patti- start at Lunatic Cafe, if not the beginning of the series (Guilty Pleasures) and then stop at the Killing Dance- cause after that, it seems to go downhill...  And you guys, if she's just doing a piss poor job as an author now, just cause she made it, tell her so.  Give praise when praise is do, but if she's giving out crap, complain- ask for a refund.  At least, I would...

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Mar 08 2007 02:35 am   #18slaymesoftly

*shrugs*  That would be the job of her fans - to tell her she's losing them.  Since I obviously started somewhere in the middle (I don't remember titles - you all do know that, right? LOL  And I am way too lazy to see if I still have the books somewhere.  I think I gave them away.),  I am not a fan, so it's not my place to tell her she's letting me down. The problem with her having gotten worse by the time I found her,  is that I have no desire to read anything else by her - even if someone tells me that it's better than what I've seen.  I will say that she has pretty much turned me off to any of the currently popular "paranormal romances" that are, I gather, books that have come about in part because of her success.  My reaction has been "if this is the writer whom everyone is emulating, why would I want to read their stuff either?"  Which is too bad, because I might be missing some books that I would enjoy.

(On the other hand, with all the reading I do online - either for pleasure or because I have to- it's not like I don't already have a stack of books that I know I want to read piled up on my nightstand...)

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 08 2007 12:29 pm   #19Caro Mio

Slaymesoftly - if you do like paranormal romances that don't conform to "industry standard", but are really good, look at Alinar Publishing. Several of the authors used to be/are Spuffy or BTVS fanfic writers.

http://www.alinarpublishing.com/

I'm pimping because my friend co-started it, but anyone who's been reading fanfic for a while will recognize some titles/summaries from old Spuffy stories. If original fiction versions don't bother you, give it a looksie! They're growing all the time...

What If I'm Not the Slayer? now updated with chapters 22 and 23.
Mar 08 2007 12:44 pm   #20slaymesoftly

Thanks, CM- I'll take a look at it.  I have no idea if I like paranormal romances or not, not having  pursued them; but I'm usually up for anything with paranormal characters/situations.

I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Mar 08 2007 01:30 pm   #21LisFayte

If you are looking for good paranormal series try Mary Janice Davidson's "Undead" Series, the first book is Undead and Unwed, these books are a hoot. Another series is Kim Harrison's "Hollows" Series, the first book is "Dead Witch Walking". These are two series that I would rec highly.

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.--- e e cummings

Come to challengespuffy  post Spuffy fic challenges or find something to write about
Mar 08 2007 02:33 pm   #22Guest

They have all types of romance there, too, so there's something for anybody, and the books are cheap since there's no printing cost.

CM

Mar 08 2007 04:44 pm   #23Shadow

gonna pimp this writer/series...

Christine Feehan - The Carpathian Series...  Yummy vamps... *grin*  damned good writing too...

 

 

Tahlmorra lujhalla mei wiccan, cheysu.