Anne Stuart. DO YOU HOW LONG HAS HER NAME BEEN HAUNTING ME?
Anne Stuart. Boy, it’s perfect for the kind of books she writes; gives you all kinds of premonitions about them, and they turn out to be true, mostly. Or maybe I’m just intuitive. Or stupid.
Anyways, she’s been a stranger in shadows, or out under the window when it’s raining, being all creeptastic yet my affected sensibilities create this romantic notion that she’s actually a mysterious guardian, or watcher, or some fantasy shit, heralding a safe passage for yours truly in to a truly fucked up world. Sometimes, my imagination runs amok.
Cutting on the crap, though, I got around to read two of her books earlier in the summer, and just finished two others in a rapid succession. Her writing style is absolute 90% pure crack, in the ways of urban fantasies and Nenia Campbell. At least, where I’m concerned.
I don’t love or like her books, or even have a distinct sense of satisfaction; just pure hunger for more. I pick them apart snarkily while devouring her words, marvel at them, and that’s the most fascinating thing. What separates her stories from the rest, make them stand out and could actually persuade me into liking them, also end up being fraught with possibilities and issues. Every differing aspect is two-fold.
In the four books I’ve had the opportunity to read, there was a certain formula followed to a T by all. It should get tiring but surprisingly, it doesn’t. That is, if you read one book at a time. Her stories remain thrilling, not for the plot or sharp corners, but the writing that simply pulls you in. She forgoes the extremes: prose and simplicity, remaining in a gray area which, of itself, wouldn’t be as beguiling, but when you have a whole book of that, well, you’re goddam hooked.
Her main characters stand out against the world of adult characters I’ve read, and yet they’re all so similar to each other. With a few rounded edges here, sharpness there, her female characters essentially remain the same. Same goes for the anti-hero romantic interests. Some are worse, less apologetic than others but in the end, I got them all confused right before I thought to write up this post. Kind of like spots on a giraffe, honestly.
HOWEVER(again) they are crack. Addictive. I CANNOT HAVE ENOUGH. Well, right now, enough I has, but give it a few more days.
And the fucked-up families. Stuart’s completely embraced Leo Tolstoy: Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. They’re all fucked up and fucked-up in their own ways. One thing that differs book to book. One of the reasons I read them so much. The main characters be like this: the female, a nice womanly survivor and the male, a hardened, mad/bad survivor. And by the end, you trace it all back to their respective families, by blood or otherwise. It’s all so very educational and romantic and shit.
But the main thing about her books: the foreshadowing. The drama. THE FUCKING THEATRICS. To be frank, I think this is what has me coming back all three times. Although I’ll be damned before admitting to liking this brand of drama, there’s something about how she writes it all. It puts me over the edge, turns me off of the story at times, but it’s like a wave. Back and forth, back and forth. Or you know, something else that fits the shoe…
(If you couldn’t figure it out, put your mind back in the damned gutter. Why on earth would you pull it out? Honestly people!)
The devilish romantic interest keeps dropping hints as to why he’s bringing down hell[read: formulaic] and it can go either way, depending on both the length of the book and consequently, how soon things actually start to go south. Too long, and it’s down the drain and at the right moment, it’s perfect.
Her stories are stark, brutal and clear cut. Themes aren’t softened for the faint of heart or to create a heart-warming story, thank the fucking inspiration gods. There’s isn’t the usual romantic bullshit that plagues books of this genre, but her very own bullshit that I’ve gotten that tired of yet: I could bear another two books, I guess. 😀 There are several themes that I HATE in other books, but the way they’re written-the same damn thing, really-in Stuart’s words, I don’t mind. Weirdest fucking shit ever.
So there you have it: I went in, probed and lo! Stuart actually did prove to be who she was. I mean, I could have done without the formula seeing that it gets tiring to see the male come back after a long period of estrangement and the female lap it all up, and I’d rather at least one of them makes him beg or cry or get his ego blown like a balloon from helium hell, but it’s the all’s well that ends well crap. There are ups and downs, fights I want to have, eyes to scratch out, but it’s good brain candy.
Store it away for later, if not now, and it’ll prove to be a good investment.
Venues of observance of concerned subject:
Happy reading! Or whatever you’re doing. Except for poisoning. It’s boring unless done at the right time, right scene. You gotta have the stage set, you know. So stop the poisoning and set your stage first.