Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Friday, October 21, 2005

Paranormal Romance:Trick or Treat?

Little Sister has a new way of mocking me(the province of younger siblings)by reading aloud
passages from my paperback copy of Incubus Dreams by Laurell K Hamilton. Granted,certain
lines sound goofy when spoken such as "His sorrow spilled into us like evil chocolate over my
ice cream"(not exactly word for word but I'm afraid "evil chocolate" is straight from the page)
but there's a reason some pleasures are guilty,people!

I will confess my devotion to the Anita Blake series(and the Merry Gentry books,which are
LKH's version of Angel to her Buffy)-many fans are now turned off from the increasing sexual
content of the Blake books and frankly,the cover art doesn't help much to lessen the red hot
doings of the characters. LKH has had more than one publisher so her earlier titles didn't have
the Showtime AfterHours look they do nowadays. Alot of them looked downright cartoony so
the sexed up covers are actually an improvement.

At this point,some of you are going"What the hell is paranormal romance and how kinky is it?"
It's simple,really-Girl meets Boy Vampire/Werewolf/Demon and relationship probelms bloom
with the added bonus of fighting a mutual enemy and sometimes saving the world. Also, you
can have Girl Vampire/Psychic/Witch meet Boy or a combo of both. It's become a new niche
in the Chick Lit market.

PR focues alot on vampires(for which you can blame Anne Rice)but you can also have fairies,
elves,mulitple varieties of werepeople(but no were-giraffes,despite Little Sister's insistence
and cartoon drawings),demons,time travelers and leprechauns. Ok,kidding about leprechauns
but you never know who's trying to publish whatever mythological love triangle story that's
not been done yet.

PR can get very creative with the subjects: some stand outs include Carpe Demon by Julie
Kenner(Soccer Mom comes out of Demon Slayer retirement to save suburbania) andGoddess for Hire by Sonia Singh(Young Indian gal in L.A. becomes the latest incarnation of the Hindi
goddess,Kali). Other writers worth checking are:

MaryJanice Davidson:I've only read her Undead series,which features Elizabeth"Betsy" Taylor
as a reluctant Queen of the Vampires who copes with her newly given status by indulging her
passion for shoe shopping. Think Clueless meets UnderWorld and you get the idea. Very fast
and funny reads.

Charlaine Harris: Best known for the Southern Vampire series or,as I refer to them,the Sookie
Stackhouse books. Sookie is a telepath who is socially isolated by her powers but finds true love
with local vampire Bill(even she finds that name damn funny for a vamp)and gets entangled
with vampire politics and other supernatural doings. Nice lite reading with a good sense of

Kim Harrison:Kim's very new to the game(her website is linked above)-she has only three books in her Rachel Morgan series. Rachel's a newly freelance bounty hunter witch working
with a vampire partner and a fairy consultant. She's also been tricked into alliances with a
demon and meet her current boyfriend when they were both turned into animals that were
thrown into a fighting ring. Not as sexed up as the Anita books but just as compelling.

One of the selling points of these books are the strong female leads-some of these ladies may
be a little airheaded at times but all of them are fighters when push comes to shove. The mytho-
loigies are fairly loose at times but the good books keep grounded with whatever set of rules
are laid down early on. Most of the settings are in the real world with the premise that other worldly beings are among us and have legal rights/status.

So, for a more grown-up Halloween treat,pick up one of these books for a great night on the
town. Much cheaper than dinner and a movie and you won't have to worry about calling the
next day.


Jay Six said...

Little Sister's sense of humour is delightfully wicked. I want to see this Were-Giraffe she drew!

lady t said...

Dude,don't encourage her-today,she drew an Evil Chocolate bar with the slogan"Your Ice Cream is Not Safe!"

Also,she drew a were/vampire giraffe in a pirate outfit,complete with parrot-see how I suffer?:)