I’ve got a couple of books reviews I want to get written up for Tender Morsels and Sisters Red, and a couple more vacation updates (I KNOW, WON’T THEY EVER END?!) but right now, Infinite Days and Fallen are speaking to me more, and what they’re saying isn’t particularly complimentary.

Now, I’m only about halfway through Fallen, and you know, it’s not BAD, but unless it secretly becomes ZOMG AMAZING in the second half, I just don’t see myself continuing on with the series. Also, I am not only COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED by the Love Triangle, after this and Hush, Hush I am OVER fallen angels. The only saving grace for this book is that I’m pretty sure the main character is being wooed by Satan.

And, I’ve already told Char that Infinite Days managed to keep me entertained and quasi-engaged for a few days, but there is NO WAY I’d seek out any follow up books. It just wasn’t very good, and I’m glad I only paid one pound for it (Waterstone’s was having a buy 1, get 1 for 1 pound sale that included Sisters Red, so OF COURSE I had to find a second book. I should have gone with I’d Tell You I Loved You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You; it was much more better).

However, I was struck by how similarly both of these books begin, and I realized it’s a literary device often utilized by authors when dealing with vampires/reincarnated spirits/eternal … love or bonds or shit like that. Hush, Hush does this too. The prologue is set in some way back time, usually the 18th or 19th century, something ~*MYSTERIOUS*~ happens, and then FAST FORWARD to present day upper-middle class America. Infinite Days actually goes back and forth between the past and the present the entire book, but the gist is the same. And you know what? It’s a little boring.

Perhaps this is more a commentary on the books I choose to read, but I feel like this trope (is it a trope? is that the correct word for it?) is in 2/3 of what I read, and it’s not particularly INTERESTING. Even Sisters Red (which I loved) started out with something similar, though the prologue was a memory set only 11 years before the rest of the book.  Just once, I would like to read a novel that starts out this way and then KEEPS GOING. I would LOVE to read a (good) YA vampire novel that is set in the 18th century! But then it would probably just flash back to even earlier times.

Now that I’m really thinking about it, this is something that shows up in very nearly all vampire media. Buffy and Angel used it, pretty sure I remember Anne Rice doing it in that one vampire novel of hers I read (The Vampire Armand for those interested; it was for school), Vampire Diaries does it … and now I’m blanking on any other vampire stuff I’ve ever encountered, but the point is, it happens a lot. And I get it, I do, it easily demonstrates age and longevity  and that supernatural shit is going down, but mostly, it feels overdone.

One book that has these kind of flashbacks that I WILL recommend is Dust of 100 Dogs. It’s about a woman pirate who has a voodoo curse placed on her that she has to live the lives of 100 bitches before she can be reunited with her One True Love. The difference in this book, to me, is that the flashbacks serve a greater purpose than just setting up that something supernatural is going on.  They alternate with the modern chapters and shorter chapters that describe living as different dogs, which are just DELIGHTFUL, and tell the story of how she came to be a cursed pirate. What’s also interesting is that the “modern” chapters are set in the 70’s and her family lives in a trailer park, so there’s none of that fancy, rich boarding school ultra slick modern nonsense that is in so many other books. I definitely feel like another author could have made this book read just like so many others, but A.S. King found the interesting path through a common trope.