Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Eternal Prey--chapter 13

The biggest issue I have with this book is the filler factor. Everything that happens between Lia's change and when the bad guys finally get taken down is filler that does not effect the plot in any way whatsoever.

It drives me nuts. I have the same issue with a couple other series I'm reading. Long-running series tend to have this issue if the writer isn't careful. In CW's Theories On Writing (consume with grain of salt) you have two plots in every book: A macrocosmic plot--this is the universe as a whole--and a microcosmic plot--this is what is happening with the main character. Sub-plots are microcosmic plots that happen to characters who are not the main character. They ought to be plotted the same as the main character and ought to take the same amount of time and effort to resolve; you just don't see the in-between bits. In a single book, the macrocosmic plot and the microcosmic plot should be given equal importance. In a series, your micro-plot IS the plot for that book, and your macro plot is the one running through the whole series on slow boil. If you get the balance right--and this is very hard to do--then your macro plot's build up will be seamless with your microcosmic plot--ie in Harry Potter, Riddle's diary is introduced as the climax of the second book AND as build up to the seventh book's quest for the Horcruxes--and the reader won't pick up on the macro-plots twists until you're ready to reveal them...and they also won't be overly surprised.

This book's biggest problem is that Nina is alternating between macro plot-points and micro-plot points, and it is OBVIOUS. She might as well have a sign posted next to certain scenes saying "THIS WILL NOT BE RESOLVED IN THIS BOOK, READ THE NEXT ONE".

The first scene in this chapter is one of those scenes.

Apparently Fin decides to stick around in the rose garden after the Dino boys and Kione kicked the crap out of it, because he's got to clean it up so humans won't notice. Hey, his character isn't very well developed past "immature". How about we get another character trait in there?

Now it seemed as though Utah was walking down the same path (Note--of falling in love with a human. CW). Fin recognized the signs. Maybe there was still hope, though. Lia was vampire, and Utah might not be able to get past that. Too bad Fin didn’t have a close relationship with his men. He could tell Utah that love was a bitch who walked away from you when you needed her the most.
...misogynistic asshole was not what I was going for.

Seven is still in the garden when he gets there, and it turns out the two of them have a history. A romantic history. And Seven/Christine apparently walked away from Fin when Fin walked away from the "Destroying things on earth to make way for other things" movement. And Fin is not happy about it. And none of this has one shit to do with this book's plot.

Now, it should be time to have one of those "Asshole with a heart of gold/I'm only this way because I was hurt/I need a co-dependant woman to make me all better" scenes.

She called his name. The name he hadn’t heard for millions of years. He paused but didn’t turn around. 

“Come back to me.” Her voice was soft with all that had been between them. The need to turn around, to go back to her, almost won. Then he drew in a deep breath and closed his eyes.
 “That name belonged to someone from a long time ago. He’s gone. Forget it. Forget him.” And every word dug into his heart— the heart his men believed he didn’t have— and he bled.
I'm gonna confess that I actually do like that trope--Beauty and the Beast, the dangerous asshole--but I understand that dear fucking GOD is that a dangerous plot to run. It re-enforces a very, VERY dangerous idea--that a sick man can be Healed By Love if you love him enough--and needs to be handled very carefully. (My theory is that you have to treat the romance, not as the mechanism for healing, but as the reward for both people working on their issues. They're more healthy then when the novel started, and they've shown that both parties are willing to walk away the second things get unhealthy, so they get to be in love right now. You can like the bad boys/girls as long as the bad boys are working on being safely bad. But call them on their shit, kids.)

Yeah, I wouldn't want to have a relationship with Fin. Or Utah, for that matter. They're bad boys, but they're immature bad boys. You get the idea that they'll break their toys as soon as they get a little irritated. Who do I like?

You know, his entire motivation changes when you realize that an IRL labyrinth is a twisting path with no alternatives, leading to a single destination. Once you walk in, you're only going one place. Kind of good if you want a spoiled rotten teen to make a solid 180.
After showing us that he's Really A Person In There (gag) he goes back to the condo and finds Lia standing outside with a cooler full of bagged blood.

It really says something that this is the first modern day vampire book I've read where the main vampire goes to a blood bank. This solution ought to be freaking obvious.

Also, Lia tells Fin that she had to talk real fast to keep her daddy from hunting Christine down and making her a dead not-a-vampire.

She randomly calls attention to his ring while they're talking. Great. Either that's the Object she needs to kill Seven, OR that's YET ANOTHER FUCKING PLOT POINT that isn't going to get resolved in this book.


 Lia repeats: She fed off Zero and now she wants to kill Utah and doesn't want to hunt Christine anymore.

It takes Fin two pages to realize Lia has been brainwashed. WE ALREADY KNOW THIS; this just makes him look stupid.

We switch to the next day, when Utah wakes up. He heads to the common room, where everybody and their wives are there, and we get this lovely conversation:

Kelly poked him with her elbow. “In her own subtle way, my sister is hinting that your backbone is a little rubbery.” She turned to her husband. “Speaking of poultry, did you know that scientists believe chickens are the descendants of the mighty T. rex?”
Given that Ty, like Utah and Tor, ought to be covered in feathers to be scientifically accurate? This should not be a big surprise.

Ty, however, is mortally offended.

Utah and Lia spend a few pages wallowing in sexual tension while Utah eats bacon.

Fin reveals that he and Christine/Seven have a history, and that she's going to have a big celebration in Pittsburgh before the book is over...and that it won't be nice for humans. Because you really can't foresee that a book will have an explosive climax. It's kind of unusual, that whole "climax" thing.

Plot Point That Won't Be Resolved In This Book: Apparently the dino-guys are remembering whatever they were before they were dinos, and it was a "nightmare world" and Fin is fully justified in keeping this from them.

Were they Cthulhu? Cause otherwise, Fin is still an asshole.

 Utah and Lia get a personal conference, where everybody spends a few minutes proving who the biggest and baddest thing in the room is (it's a tie, and not because they're all that powerful) and then Fin convinces Lia that she's been brainwashed. Which we already knew.

Wow, that whole brainwashing plot sure was epic. It took three chapters for it to get partially resolved!

Adam has summoned them too, so they all get shipped out to Vampire Central with Greer the Therianthrope/Otherkin at the wheel. Because they need a human at the wheel and I guess souls don't count.

They get there and Kione, who has been missing for ONE WHOLE CHAPTER, shows up outside of Adam's place! And then the chapter ends, so I guess we're supposed to hear dun-dun-dun and flashing lightening.

Not exactly.

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