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I think I’m Possessed?

November 29, 2013

I often think I suffer just a little from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Especially when it comes to reading. I’m a purest; if an author has taken the time to write more than one book about a character I think it’s only polite to read them in the order they were written. Series build as they go along. Each book adds to your collection of knowledge and rounds the characters off. The author doesn’t waste pages filling in the back story and if you read them out of order, all sorts of plot spoilers pop up. I remember not paying attention and reading Patricia Cornwall out of order. One of the characters died and then in the next book was very much alive, and it ruined all the other books for me because I knew he was going to die. A salutary lesson indeed, although Patricia didn’t help by killing the character off and then bringing him back anyway, rather like that scene in Dallas where Bobby had been in the shower for the whole series and it was all just a dream.

Now where was I?

J R Ward

J R Ward

Series. Oh yes. The new J R Ward novel “Possession”, a Fallen Angel novel, arrived on my desk after much anticipation, and I immediately reached for the catalogue and ordered the previous four. What followed was a fest of reading and a cautionary tale. These books are great. They can be read singularly, but why would you? There is so much information in each book that isn’t repeated or mentioned again, and the spoilers if you read them out of order, oh my gosh.But I digress.

“Possession” follows the battle for soul number 5 and is as grown up and filled with adult content as the previous 4. If you blush at Maeve Binchy, you probably won’t enjoy these books. The language is like the characters – hard and uncompromising. The scenes are graphic. Jim, the hero is as much an antihero. The characters he’s surrounded by are strong and aggressive and big, in every sense of the word, and the angels and demons that populate his life are just as richly drawn.

I love these books but there are a few niggles, which probably wouldn’t be a problem if I read them with a decent gap between, but one after the other shows up inconsistencies and poor proof reading. J R Ward (aka Jessica Bird) writes well. Her characters are rounded enough that you care what happens, but I think she may have gotten a little lazy by book 5 and might be coasting just a little. There’s a lot of repetition in the writing and the use of acronyms is simply annoying. I come from a military family and most of us have had some exposure to acronyms but really if you want to pepper them through your book provide a glossary, it detracts from the story when I have to try and guess what they stand for or worse Google them to get an idea. Then there’s the sloppy editing. In this book, one of the characters laments that he doesn’t know the heroines surname, yet not two pages before (and about half an hour in book time) she told him her full name!  Shoddy. That’s not as bad though as a main character in book 4,  who in book 2, stood on a land mine and lost the lower half of his leg and then, lo and behold, just walks with a limp in book 4 because obviously it grew back.

There are some good twists in this latest book but I didn’t enjoy it as much as much as previous ones. The characters seemed less likeable or maybe I just stopped caring, gasp. I can’t wait for the next two books and I’m sure I will read the whole lot again so forgive me if I repeat myself in a year. Blame bad editing or poor proof reading. The small annoyances do not detract from a stellar series and if you’re into paranormal and good old fashioned good versus evil give these a go, but please read them in order and maybe with a brief gap in between.  Check out the catalogue now!

Until next time…

– Corinna

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