Bad Run of Books or Just Being Negative?

So I have had a recent run of books that have been pretty terrible lately. Really terrible books all being in the Paranormal Romance genre. At first I started thinking, is it me? Am I just burned out and am being negative? OR, I have just had a seriously bad run of books. ESPECIALLY the Paranormal Romance genre. I am at the point I don't want to pick up any again for awhile. Actually, they have killed the entire romance field for me. I have never really been a huge romance/erotica fan anyways but I do like my books to have a strong lead, strong story and plot with some sexual tension and some steamy romance BUT I want those scenes to be part of the story NOT be the weight of the story, like a good herb: it compliments without overpowering.

When I was thinking it was me, I picked up "A Game of Thrones" by George RR Martin and inhaled the nearly 900 pages WITHOUT rolling my eyes ONCE! Then, I began "Mistborn" by Brandon Sanderson and have been inhaling it since then. Then I looked back to some of the books I have read an enjoyed lately : The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, The Whole Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris, Doppelgangster by Laura Resnick, Deadtown by Nancy Holzner, Trick of the Light by Rob Thurman by Stieg Larsson, The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay and some recent Georgette Heyer books I read (among many others). Nope it's not me. Especially when I was reading so many great reviews on the books I thought were just weak, weak and more weak and thought Hmmmm. Am I being a snob or are these reviewers even telling the truth? I know, I know... different strokes for different folks.

Here's the issue: Paranormal/Urban Fantasies are flying off the shelves like CRAZY. Authors and publishers are pumping out these books faster then the pumping going on in some of them and feeding the craze without any consideration for plot, character development, dialogue and imagery (except the ABS & PECS on the covers).

A few questions:

What is your observation of the current paranormal genre crazy? Is quantity over quality?

What is your opinion of reviewers who give every book they read a glowing review?

Just some thoughts...


  1. I admit to being a little distrustful of those constant glowing reviews. However, on the one hand, I know a lot of people who, if a book just isn't grabbing them, they set it aside and don't review it. I also know of people who don't review books they didn't enjoy. I am of the argument that a negative review is just as helpful as a positive review, not only to know if a book was terrible, but to see how my tastes align with the blogger's tastes.

    As for successful genre flooding, I'm also of two minds. It sucks I can't find a whole lot of awesome YA fantasy in my Borders (there's some but its tucked behind the paranormal stuff), however, the trends give authors who are good who just happen to write in that genre the chance to shine. I know when I finish a great book, sometimes I am in the mood for something similar to that, which I guess is where the genre saturation comes in. I'm not gonna lie either, I am super excited for all of the dystopia trends coming up.

    ALSO, MISTBORN is awesome HOLLA!

  2. I usually don't review books I don't like as I don't finish reading them, so I seem to all positive reviews! In any case, the book I'm reading now is good but not good; I'm hot and cold on this one. See it on my Sunday Salon.

  3. I think there are some books that hit the mark and some miss it. I think it is just a matter of opinion.

  4. I sometimes give a lot of good reviews, but I also tend to only select books I think I'd be interested in... although I've gotten better about that. I agree that quantity is surpassing quality though. I've read some serious crap lately and it blows my mind. It's like everyone wants to be Stephanie Meyers... which is tragic, since she herself can't write. Even my own mom said to me one day, "She was just a housewife who wrote a hit book series! I should try that!" And then she had me read a few pages of something she wrote... You can't imagine how painful that was.

  5. Thanks for all the input!

    I was wondering if maybe I was in a snob like mentality as every other book I read was just missing the mark (I haven't posted many reviews lately as I am working myself up to it). I know that sometimes if I am not in the "mood", I am not going to get in to it, I will set it to the side and try again later and see if that helps.

    I guess maybe I should rephrase my question about reviewers NOT posting negative reviews. I was posting mostly positive reviews when I first started and as you all stated, I didn't review them if I didn't finish but my problem has been since most of the books have been books sent for review that I THOUGHT I would enjoy. I feel obligated to post the review, positive or NOT, as that is why they sent me the book. What do you all do in regards to review books/blog tour books and you despise the book. The last two reviews I posted have been less than stellar books and hence less than stellar reviews.

    Thanks again!

    Oh and VABookworm... oh gawd help us all with all the Stephenie Meyer wannabes!

    And April, I need to check out the dystopian invasion. I will watch for some of your reviews!

  6. I completely agree with you, hun. This is exactly what I've noticed lately and it is why I completely avoid that whole genre now.

    I used to love anything to do with the paranormal genre - even before the paranormal/romance genre surfaced. Then when a few books of the p/r came out, it was new and edgy and different and I really enjoyed it.

    Now everyone's doing it. Authors are releasing 1-2 books a year and, for me, that spells out that they're doing it for the money and have no real creative thought that goes into their work. Everything's the same now. There's the human female or the vampire hunter female, etc. who'll end up falling in love with the dark and mysterious vampire/werewolf/angel, etc.

    Been there. Done it. Read it. Boo. Let's move on. At least one thing's for sure - With my own little boycott of the genre, I've come to discover new genres that I never had an interest in before. :)



  7. I have had a bit of a rut myself but not in the paranormal category... I have had a few books I was sure I would love and they fell flat. I started to question if certain genres were just not doing it for me anymore like they used to..... am I changing genre preferences?

    As far as your questions - I have not read many of the paranormal books so I may be not the best person to ask but from the outside it looks to me like it is quantity over quality.... the books are cranking out like crazy and from what I see and hear there are a lot of duplicate story lines out there.

    I know most of my reviews are good because as I have went on in my blogging I have become more choosey in what i read.... but - I do have reads as I said above that fall flat and I do say so in my reviews. I dont think anyone can find a win in every book they choose.

  8. Paranormal romance/fantasy is my favorite. I have yet to read one that deserved less than three-stars. (Well, except for the Twilight series, but I don't like YA.) Now, that won't always be the case, I'm sure. I loved Masked by Moonlight, and that's the truth (sorry!). Max was very appealing to me because he wasn't your typical "hero." I also loved the Sookie Stackhouse series. To each her own...

  9. Well, Jaime, I do not write negative reviews at all. If I do not like the book, I set it down now as there is too much out there to read. What I do try to accomplish is pointing out some things that I may not like (if that is true for that particular book) while saying why I like the book as well as I did. I hope I am accomplishing that.

    As far as paranormal is concerned...i overdosed on that genre last year. I have no desire for it now. Yes, I agree, many of those books felt too rushed, that the characters had to get it on, and where was the story??? Hmmm...

    I think Sheila made a good point, maybe we need to change up our reading genres from time to time to keep things fresh. For instance, GRRM books are doing it for me, and I am now reading the Wheel of Time books...on book two which I think is better than book one. I will still always read my historical fiction, but the era changes up. I also am in the mood for some sci-fi reads. Every now and then... a *good* romance novel is in order...seriously, those novels do fill a void that occurs when reading "big books" and books with lots of detail.

    For the reasons of your dilemma is why I do not pursue ARCs, book tours, and whatnot. I never want to feel uncomfortable with having to write a review. If I am uncomfortable then I want the option to not post at all.

    By the way, Am I taking it correctly that you loved Game of Thrones, and Mistborn? If so, FABULOUS! YAY! And...I now need to read Mistborn. :D

  10. I know how you feel about being in a rut. I had about 3-4 reviews in a row that weren't positive at all, one was just plain horrible. Luckily I was able to switch over to a book I knew I would like (Agatha Christie) and so far I'm back on track.

    I have no problems writing a bad review and though I feel bad about it, because I don't want to hurt someone's feelings, I feel that since we are being asked our opinions (on review books at least) that authors/publicists should expect some of those opionons to be negative.

    As far as the whole urban fantasy genre goes, I'm still a little leery about which books I want to read. Most of them have way to much sex and the plots don't seem to be all that origonal. So I've been a little choosy in which ones I want to read.

  11. Hi Jaime. I feel awkward myself when so many of my reviews run in the 4-5 range. There are a few 3 or 2.75 to 3.25 but not so many. On the other hand, I get to select most of the books I review so I tend to pick ones I expect to enjoy.
    I think if you read a few reviews by a particular reviewer you get a better feel for their style. I try to give enough in my reviews so people will know if the book is "up their alley."
    I'm glad you are getting some books you like better now.

  12. Isn't Game of the Thrones one of the best books ever?? I love George R R Martin, can't get enough of his stuff.

    sorry I'm late to the party,I found you through bookblogs.ning.

    I've read a little PNR, and quickly found it wasn't to my liking. there just wasn't enough "there" there, do you know what i mean? So yes, I do think the craze involves a lot of quantity of quality, a lot of pulp, a lot of rehashed plot lines with just the names, places, and type of demon changed. The stuff is fun and easy to read, so of course it's selling like hotcakes. Who would want to read James Joyce or Robert Jordan when you can read something fun and fast?

    All I can say about the PNR, is I hope the cream floats to the top.


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