So as noted in my prior post, I love urban fantasy. I love fantasy. I can pretty much keep reading through thick and thin, and am a great fan to have (in my opinion). However, there are some things that can turn my favorite series sour, and things that I just can’t stand. Below I will elaborate on these issues that ruin my favorite series.
The first thing I’m going to talk about is sex. Sex is fine and dandy in an urban fantasy novel. It can be hilarious, it can be well-written. But at a certain point an author may make a deadly decision and change from an urban fantasy novel to a pornographic novel. One fine example of a series that went from urban fantasy to fantastical sexuality is the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton. What started as a murder/mystery urban fantasy slowly turned into an orgy. In the book Micah I played a game. I would turn to a random page and read the first thing I saw. In that book, like all of the later books, every time was a discussion of genital sizes, orifices being penetrated by said genitals, and varying degrees of bestiality. It was not the series I had grown to love. It was grotesque, and lacked any sort of the subtly present in the earlier novels. So in conclusion, there is such a thing as too much sex.
Secondly, bad writing. A series could have an amazing premise, a great set of lead character, or a great reputation, but terrible writing is a major turn-off. I don’t want to talk too much about it, but Twilight by Stephanie Meyer is a major injustice to the urban fantasy genre. She had a good idea: Vampire loves human girl, struggles with himself, other characters try to seduce her away…Classic good urban fantasy elements. However Meyer wrote like an obsessive fan-girl putting herself in as a Mary Sue. It’s badly written, and the worst part is that it’s totally possible to see the great things it could have done. But because of how she wrote it, it’s terrible. I could write a whole ‘nother article just on Twilight, but that would be cruel.
Another thing (and final, to continue my list of three-per-article) that burned me in an urban fantasy series is a general problem. I’m a big fan, and I also like it when authors let their fans produce fan works based on their characters. When an author sues her fans because they write a fan-fiction, or draw fan-art, it really bugs me. Laurell K. Hamilton and Anne Rice are two really big writers guilty of this, and it makes me not want to read their stuff because they are such jerks about it. Why they don’t want to support their fans really baffles me, beyond the legal aspect of it. So if they read this…give your fans some love and stop suing us!