And Then It Lost Me

This one is probably going to get me in some hot water. Sigh. I think that I have dropped another series from my must-read list, and it saddens me. I have been following Alyssa Day‘s Tiger’s Eye Mysteries since it started back in 2015, having faithfully followed main character Jack Shepherd over from her Poseidon series. I found that he sort of got the shaft in the Poseidon books, so I was really happy to find out he was getting his own spin-off, even though it wasn’t my usual “type” of read – it has always felt more like a cozy mystery than a PNR to me. But I found I was always looking forward to the next release, I waited not-always so patiently through all the push-backs (speaking of which, I believe the next book, Eye of the Storm, has been delayed), and I always read on release day. Until now?

I was quite happy to wake up and find my copy of the latest book, Eye of Danger, on my ipad, and I started to read right away. But as I started reading, I kept waiting for – something. The same something I felt like I had been waiting for for the last couple of books. Some sort of advancement in Jack and Tess’s story, some development or change or…something. But it felt like a bit of the whole “same-old same-old”, as mush as I don’t like to write that. Maybe I am trying to apply PNR “rules” to a not-quite PNR series, but I guess I was expecting more on the romance front. But what was really pulling me out of the story was my reaction to the main character, Tess. Bluntly put, she bugged me.

Tess has always been the quirky-but-cute Southern belle who seems to stumble into one crazy situation after another, but here? It was sort of in overdrive. And where it was kind of cute before, I found Tess straying perilously close to ditzy. But she completely jumped the shark for me as a character with one small paragraph. I am going to keep this spoiler-free, but Tess and another character are being held by the bad guys, their lives threatened at gun-point, and Tess manages to get the other person released. She has been slapped around, the other person has been beaten, is tied up with a gun to their head, and Tess? This is what she says…“Look at me. Run to my house. Get in my house and lock the door. There’s pie in the kitchen.” Wait, what?

There’s pie in the kitchen? I stopped. Looked around. Went back a couple of pages. Read it again. I thought it must be code for…something. Some wink-wink nudge-nudge that I had missed. Nope. I thought it would be explained that this person was to go to Tess’s kitchen to find something, or do…something, but nope. It was just about…the pie. I know it was supposed to be funny and cute, but with those 20 little words, Tess jumped right to the top of my TSTL (too stupid too live) list. And once on that list, it is pretty hard to come off. I hold a grudge.

Alyssa Day recently announced that there will be at least 15 books in the Tiger’s Eye Mystery series, which I really hope works out for her. Book 5, Eye of the Storm, was originally scheduled for release this week but Amazon is now saying September 27th. Will I be picking it up? Maybe. I’m not sure. I don’t really feel the need to right now, but I might see how reviews for it shape up. What series have you found yourself cooling on lately? Anything teetering on the edge? What finally makes you pull the plug on a series you have followed from the beginning.

5 thoughts on “And Then It Lost Me

  1. library addict says:

    There’s a long-running category mystery series I’ve been following since 2003. There have been multiple below average books in the latter half, but I’ve kept going because of nostalgia for the early books. But the latest installment made me really mad. The next one is November which I will read. But if it’s another meh book, I plan to quit.

    We’ve talked about Feehan’s GhostWalkers (I’m still on board but leery) and SeaHaven series: Drake Sisters/Sisters of the Heart/Torpedo Ink (I’ve broken up with that one).

    Basically I will give my auto-buy, long-time authors a lot of chances. Going by my past experience, it takes a good 6 or 7 years for me to actually break up with a individual series and an entire decade or more to break up with an author (barring them doing something horrible or turning out to be a creep in real life).

    What finally pushes me to pull the plug? There’s a few things. Either the author has taken a series in a direction I cannot get on board with or the author keeps writing the same story over-and-over with no advancement of the overarching storyline. Also, there has been a few times when I’ve just felt I’ve outgrown the author. In those instances it’s more a case of it’s-me-not-you.

    It’s tough to admit with a long-time favorite that you’re paying money to be bored by their books. But it can be freeing to finally do so. As I’ve gotten older the nostalgia factor for older reads has lessoned somewhat, but I still have a few blind spots. I just have to remind myself that just because I’m not buying the most recent book doesn’t take away anything from my old favorites. And that if things change I can always buy them later and catch up.

  2. cheryl says:

    Blind Spots. Yep, I gotta remember that one because blinders hit me with the nostalgia of thinking that it may not be as good as the other books in the series but it can’t be horrible, right? No, nope, no it can be bad. I just read a murder mystery from an author that can take some time to set up but usually creepy but good. I got 3/4 of the way through the book and realized that the story revolved around 2 things— the main character constantly talking to herself about her doubts and she was just imaging the bad things and the second part was like standing in a room a waiting for the new coat of paint to dry ( the main character trying to find her missing sister but absolutely blind about the clues in front of her and the fact that no, the cops having looked 3 weeks earlier for clues at the location she was at — totally missed any leads). I stopped just stopped and wanted to toss my kindle and I don’t even care how that sucker ends– I didn’t read the last chapter to know the end which I will sometimes do when frustrated with a book. How can you have a book where the story just stagnates and goes nowhere?
    I can’t seem to completely give up on some authors and others I just outgrew and my tastes have changed ( and then feel guilty for not reading them anymore and supporting their craft).
    Guilt is weird and yep, makes me think I am nuts. HA HA
    I still struggle to find new favorite authors that I will loyally follow …. it is like one or two books are good and then bam .. latest release is so so boring. — Or they are delayed until I forget about them completely.

  3. snapdragon says:

    The SP Series…absolutely no forward movement for 20+ books I stopped buying after book 14.
    I still try through the library but no, I do not buy. They are not even funny anymore. Everyone just stays is stasis…so frustrating.

    Which is completely different from the In Death series — I am looking forward to book 50. Everyone changes and connections are moved forward. The characters still get my attention and I am invested on the ongoing storyline.

  4. Lidy says:

    Why I break up with series/authors? Well, before anything, when reading the series/authors ceases being pleasurable. Last year, I broke up with several authors because reading their books was getting frustrating. Of course, I only break with authors when their writing style remains the same in every book they write, instead of differing between series (like, all characters, male and female, young and old, mortal and immortal, talk the same way; every character has the same personality, which often leads to the same dynamics between (what should be) different couples and so on).

    Arcs that lead nowhere and the never-ending circle of starting series/dropping series also make me drop the author, perhaps to start over if the series is finished.

    Authors not obeying their own world rules. Like, say, if Author says in all books “my vampires can’t be turned, they must be born vampires because they’re another species” and then, because the plot demanded it, a character is turned into a vampire, so the rule becomes “well, we didn’t know it, but there’s an exception to the rule but we don’t mean to do that again”. Same for cheap plot twists.

    There’s also the matter of broken trust: if it’s romance, don’t ever, EVER kill off the main characters; not after their book, and certainly not during it. I don’t require the characters to be so happy as to cause the death of a diabetic person, but I expect their HEA to be real. Also, I tend to not read books/novellas that come after the main history, especially if it shows the gang reuniting in Vegas where everyone will be subjected to a Hangover sort of “adventure” (i.e. “did Hero cheat?”).

  5. monadh says:

    I actually find break-ups with my favorite authors rather painful and traumatic, almost like ending a relationship. My way of coping with it is that I continue to buy their books (at least for some time) and they then sit on my Kindle unread, but at least they are there if I ever want to resume the relationship 😉
    Also, I don’t exclusively blame authors; I think partly it’s also me. As I grow and expand my horizons, my reading tastes also change and things I used to like I can’t abide anymore (for instance I have more and more problems with military romance, especially the one’s where the (US) military is romantized. Also, I can’t stand the virgin trope, or secret baby, or all the good-looking gazillionaires (except Roark).
    Some of my casualties are Christine Feehan (I have about 7 unread books of hers on my Kindle) and I am quite saddened by this as I read Dark Prince back in the day when it came out and PNR was hardly a genre yet. But it really started bothering me that each subsequent hero was more tortured and more powerful than all the ones that came before him. Also, I felt that her heroines got more and more like doormats that drew their entire self-worth from their relationship with the hero…
    Laurell K. Hamilton, argueably one of the first female UF authors: I still love the first 8 or 9 Anita Blake books up until the time she caught the “ardeur” and everything became one sex orgy after another, with Anita having sex with about everybody but her lovers not being allowed to have other lovers (which seems kind of unfair to me, if you are advocating that type of relationship).
    JAK (Jayne Ann Krenz, Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle): I think I have read (and in many cases re-read) at least 200 books of hers and sadly in her case I have come to dislike what I really used to like, namely the predictably formulaic nature of her books. But it got so bad that I was unable to keep protagonists apart (including dust bunnies), because they were/are all the same with the same characteristics and personality quirks. I still read some of her books from time to time, but I don’t feel the urge to grab her books on release day…
    And it’s not the number of books, because I am also among those who are still looking forward to each and every new installment of a new in Death book, precisely because the characters and their relationships keep growing and changing…

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