*Warning – Long winded, potentially spoilery whine session about to commence in three…two…one…
A couple of years ago, just after I had finished and made public the character guide for Christine Feehan‘s Ghostwalkers series, I was sent a couple of messages. You see, I had been a bit confused because in the course of the book Mind Game, there is a character named Todd Aikens. A while later, there is a Trace Aikens. No explanation, just Todd in one part, Trace in the next. My assumption was that there had been a mix up and the error had perhaps not been caught by those who were editing (anyone remember the whole Kaden Bishop with an E, who became Kaden Montague, who later became Kadan with an A “Bishop” Montague?). I was informed that it was not an error, that Trace and Todd Aikens were two separate characters who happened to be brothers. I thanked the person who pointed it out, as I do appreciate it when others let me know things I missed (although there is never any mention of them being brothers anywhere in any of the books). But, the second message I received was not quite as helpful. Basically, what the messenger said was that it was irresponsible for me to make public something like the Ghostwalkers guide if I had not double-checked all of my facts, and it was rude of me to suggest that an author like Christine Feehan would be so careless as to make a mistake like getting a character’s name wrong (uh, again, three versions of Kadan?). The last line of the message always stuck with me, as the writer closed with…
Best-selling authors do not make mistakes like that!
Obviously, they have never read Lora Leigh.
Another day, another character guide in the works, this time for Lora Leigh’s Breeds series. I love the Breeds, they are my ultimate guilty pleasure. I know exactly what I am getting in a Breed story, and I am totally ok with that. But when I read for a guide, I read not for enjoyment, but for facts, details and descriptions. Up until this point, I have dealt with a few errors, a few changes – things like Sherra’s eyes change color three times over the course of the first few books, Dane’s hair and eyes have changed color a few times – little things that you might not pick up unless you are looking for them like I am. A typo here or there over the course of a book is annoying, but not the end of the world.
And then I hit Mercury’s War.
Good lord, I don’t even know where to start. A couple of random things from Mercury’s War…
- captured Genetics council scientist Beldon Amburg is now Jeffery Amburg. Unless Jonas has two scientists in his basement dungeon?
- there is a two paragraph section that details the pain Taber caused when he betrayed Sanctuary. Wait, when Taber what? Oh, you meant Tamber. Right idea, very wrong character.
- but the worst thing is that Mercury’s entire back-story was changed. In previous books he was the 6 foot 6 Breed with the strongest senses, the one closest to his animal, raised without a pride. In his own story, he was Alpha of his pride, his animal has been drugged and pushed so far away his senses are little more than that of a human, and he shrunk 2 inches.
At what point do the careless mistakes start to take away from the pleasures of reading the books? I haven’t gotten there yet, but I do know that I am becoming less forgiving for mistakes that are cropping up, and much more appreciative of the authors who manage to make writing a huge, detailed series look so easy. If it is my responsibility to make sure that all of my details that I post on this blog are correct, is it not the author’s duty to make sure that a book is as free of errors as possible?
I have chickened out on writing this post a couple of times, since I really don’t like to be negative about the authors that I enjoy. But I realized I was not alone in my concern when Cassandra sent over a Reader Question. She said…
I was wondering if you might be interested in posting a question on the Breeds series. I am still reading and it was once one of my favorite series, but I have not thoroughly enjoyed a book in the series since Lion’s Heat. The plots seem so convoluted lately and characters not nearly as interesting. I know stuff happens sometimes, but I still cannot get over the left-out scene in Navarro’s Promise. Part of the reason I would like a discussion is because I honestly I am sure I understand the most recent story arc. It seems like some antagonists reappear and disappear without explanation (I am thinking here specifically of Patrick, I think). Other authors, like Nalini Singh and Kresley Cole, have very complicated and interwoven plots, but I am rarely confused or frustrated the way I have been lately with the Breeds series. This new story arc set in New Mexico just seemed to come out of no where and I am mostly lost in what direction the series might be going.
I went to send an answer about my take on the current New-Mexico story arc, and then I realized that…I was lost, too. Cassandra also sent a link to a passage Lora has upped about her upcoming novella, found HERE. I read it once, then again, and then again…and still no clue what the blue hell it is about.
Have you lost faith yet in the Breeds, or are you like me and still holding on? Does creative liberty over-ride continuity? Do the mistakes and changes in backstory put you off, or can you go with the flow? And have you gotten a handle on where the current New Mexico story arc is going, ’cause all I have gotten so far is that Amber needs…something, from…someone. Maybe.