So, I was cutting up veggies for my lunches this week and thinking about what book to read next. Do I reread an old favorite or should I take a chance on a new book (I’ve had a rash of bad luck and way too many set-aside books lately)? I could reread Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files or CE Murphy’s Walker Papers or maybe go back to the beginning of the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton…and I got to thinking about my loyalty to some authors.
If an author hooks me with whatever first book of theirs I pick up, I’m most likely going to pick up another by them (yes, I know this is pretty obvious — you all no doubt do the same thing).
If an author consistently produces strong books, they’ve earned my reading loyalty and I’m 99 percent likely read anything they produce, even if it’s in a different genre or under a pseudonym.
If an author I read loyally produces a crappy book or a couple that don’t live up to previous novels, I’m still willing to pick up the next book and the next and maybe even the next…until I just can’t anymore. But even then, after a series of consistently not-good books, I still get the urge to pick up that author’s next book, just to see.
Take Laurell K. Hamilton for example. I loved her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series and when she released her Meredith Gentry series, I was all over it. A long-lost fairy princess story? Yes, please. Anyway, I devoured the Anita Blake series, loving the action, the world and the storyline. Until around Book 8 (Blue Moon)/Book 9 (Obsidian Butterfly). It was at this point that the storyline seemed to disappear into a morass of sex, sex and more sex. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a steamy sex scene as much as the next gal but when it overtook the story and became all about the heroine’s magical cootchie, I just…couldn’t anymore.
Still, I didn’t give up on Anita until Book 18, Flirt. Seriously. I hung on in there, hoping that things would return to the great storyline that hooked me at the beginning of the series. Even now, whenever I see another Anita Blake story releasing (like Affliction, Book #22, which came out in July of this year), I get the urge to pick it up and give it yet another shot. (I didn’t read Affliction, in case you were wondering. Though I’m curious, despite the crap reviews.)
The same STD happened with the Merry Gentry series around Book 6, Lick of Frost (great title, as one of the MCs was named Frost). Merry’s magical cootchie brought all the boys and girls to her yard and, with her sexual prowess, she started performing miracles. Seriously. But, though common sense would dictate otherwise, I held on and have read every one of them, hoping that Merry wouldn’t turn into another Anita, with a nonstop sexual marathon every day and night to satisfy her myriad of lovers. The last Merry story released in 2009, with no indication of continuing (I hear there were issues of some sort but I don’t really know what happened.)
However, as I was linking Hamilton’s books through Goodreads, I came across one of her posts that says a new Merry Gentry is expected to be released Summer 2014. Will I purchase it? Maybe. Will I pick it up at the library? Maybe. I really don’t know. I’ve lost some faith, been bitten too many times… my loyalty may be lost.
But here’s the thing. Should Laurell K. Hamilton put out a new series, I’ll most definitely try it. Am I crazy? Is there such a thing as too loyal (or is that called blind stupidity?)? Tell me, how loyal are you?
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