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Saturday, July 01, 2006

*** Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts. Contemporary paranormal romance. Re-read.

I always wonder why I dislike this one when so many people absolutely love it, so I tried to analyze my feelings during this re-read.

First off, I deliberately ignored the fact that I didn't like it when I read it before. It worked with Ceremony in Death, after all. But no such luck. I just never really connected with this book.

This is what I came up with:
  • It starts with the story of Lucian and Abigail, who are not the main characters. In fact, they're long dead, and tragically.
  • There is zero conflict until about two-thirds of the way through the book when ****spoiler****Lena's mother shows up**** but that turns out to be pretty much a non-issue.
  • We get told a lot that Declan fell in love with Lena at first sight, and even get a list of things he finds admirable about her, which is nice, but I didn't see any chemistry between them, despite the sex scenes.
  • Lena does that tiresome I'm-afraid-of-relationships thing that is the absolute lamest excuse for conflict in a romance novel and makes me want to chuck it against the wall.
  • We don't find out until over halfway through the book that the whole point of it is for Declan to figure out what happened to Lucian and Abigail, which is kind of pointless, since we readers have known since the beginning, and there are no consequences if he doesn't--the ghosts are annoying, but not threatening.
  • The reincarnation stuff again didn't have a lot of point to it, and made an already lackluster romance between Declan and Lena worse because it seems they had no choice in the matter anyway.
  • I'm not a POV purist, by any means, but since one of my biggest problems with Midnight Bayou is that I didn't connect with the characters, and since that's one of the consequences of headhopping, the fact that there is a lot of headhopping might have something to do with it.
So. I feel better because I think I've given this book a fair shot, and now I can identify reasons why I didn't like it. And no, when Declan****spoiler**** "remembered" giving birth**** it didn't endear him to me as it did so many readers.

Why three stars? That last 3rd of the book moved pretty well, and the characters were engaging by that point.


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I think as far as Midnight Bayou is concerned that Darla and I agree to disagree. I loved the reality/paranormal flow. Declan is one of my fav Nora heros and one of the reasons is what Darla posted as ***spoiler***. :)

Jill, who is remembering The Tennessee Seven with very fond (and teary)memories.
Yes, me too, Jill. {{{{hugs}}}} I wanted to write a tribute, but I just can't do it--it's just too raw yet.

I don't mind agreeing to disagree. :) It's fascinating how we can have different impressions of the same book. r
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