See Ya Later 2013 and Hello 2014
Or don't let the door smack you on the way out.
The year is quickly drawing to a close and as with most things we love looking at what has happened in the previous twelve months and what to look forward to in 2014. It's been a year of book highs and book lows for the Wenches. One book series that united us ended in a sea of pus. Yet we discovered new series and expanded on the love we already had for other series we were reading. Let's take a look at what we are relieved to say goodbye to and what we can't wait for next year.
Check after the jump.
What made us grit our teeth 2013?
TyposAre there more of them or is it just us? Is it the need to publish as quickly as possible? Is it bad editing? Is it this need to have information at the click of our fingers? We don't know, but we think typos are definitely on the increase. Perhaps this is part of a world wide trend that is seeing a decrease in the importance of spelling in this technical age?
Continuity Errors are a major bugbear in these parts. Please try to remember what happened in previous installments when you are writing a series. The Book That Shall Not be Named and it's Evil Spawn were clear examples of this. Your story needs to make sense. I can't believe so many readers were expecting complete different outcomes to what the author presented. We loved you and you trod on us.
The Book That Shall Not be Named devastated us. We are entitled readers and proud of it. Don't lead us on a merry dance and expect us to still be standing by stoically when our dreams go up in flames. Seal sex and brain bleach became our bywords for 2013. The author of this series lost many followers and they won't be reading any future works this author might publish. See we are still so traumatized we can't even mention the book or author by name. This review on Amazon is the perfect and hilarious reason why we remain flabbergasted.
Blah! Vomit!You meet someone. First day, first date the stars collide, your loins explode and you know it must be love. Then in the next breath you start calling them baby. Just don't do it!!!!! You're two strangers. Be a bit more realistic. I have a problem with the word baby and first dates.
M/M needs to freshen up a bit. We got bored of the same old, same old. We want better written stories and we want depth and substance. We don't want to read books that have the same formulaic pattern that the author can churn them out every two months. Write one or two great books a year and let the reader appreciate you more. That's not to say we don't appreciate some of the shorts that authors have released, it's just we are finding wading through the good from the bad a bit tedious.
We've given up on the Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward. We didn't enjoy Lover at Last and honestly after such a long Qhuay build-up, it was a massive disappointment. The story felt weak and J.R. Ward was too busy setting up future plot lines to give Qhuinn and Blay the attention they deserved. The series has gone on for too long and admit it, you don't even read any of the Lesser scenes.
Black Dagger Brotherhood
DivergentAs much as I liked and was intrigued by the first two books in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth I hated the third and last one for number of reasons. There was one major issue which bugged the crap out of me. It's too spoilery is disclose, but suffice it to say it soured the series for me. Such a disappointment and I'm glad they were only three instead of thirteen...Oh and my 14-year-old daughter feels the same way about the final book and she's read the first two at least eleven times and I'm not kidding. She FLOVED them. She's the reason why I started reading them 'cause she said I had to because no one she knew (at the time) was reading them and like she said "I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT THEM!!"- Beta
Into the WildernessInto the Wilderness by Sara Donati was one of our disappointing reads in 2013. Maybe because the recommendations said it was similar to Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, I thought it was going to be fantastic. I couldn't finish it. The plot was too predictable. I don't know maybe I'll give it a second chance. - Naomi
We want older heroines. We aren't all sweet, young things in our early to mid twenties. We are strong, grown women who are 30 plus. We want to read about women in our age group as well. We want kick-ass, capable heroines that aren't following the usual tropes.
We haven't lost our ability to have fun or partake in the supernatural / contemporary world, and we aren't all complaining as our breasts head south. Check out Wench Zee's fantastic post on tropes that many of us want to see end or livened up. All we ask for is to refresh us, surprise us and knock our socks off with something new.
Please don't use the love triangle as a trope in a book, unless it makes sense. It feels overused. And this is coming from someone who loves a good love triangle. Give us angst, give us drawn out romance. Don't make our heroines completely irresistible to every man and woman on the planet. This happens too many times for me to even start to count.
Fewer Love Triangles
Self publishing is an area that continues to increase and there are some great self publishers out there. However, this increases the risk that many books that would never have seen the light of day are invading our reading hemisphere, thus making it harder to sort out the excellent from the mediocre. Many of us are becoming reliant only on recommendations for our reading material.
Waiting so long for a new book in a series is something we hate and/or dread? All these authors leave us with cliff-hanger endings just to keep us on our toes.
Additional Items of Discontent.
Mark Darcy is dead. The world has tipped over on its axis. RIP Mark.
What we are looking forward to in 2014.
Written In My Own Heart's BloodIt comes as no surprise that Donna's most-anticipated book for 2014 is Written In My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon. "My trust and faith in her is so strong, I don't need to worry about what she has planned for the future of the series. I'm just happy to be along for the ride. It seems kind of strange that I've been reading this series for over ten years, and it's becoming more and more popular. When I say 'strange' I guess I actually mean 'surreal.' This is my favorite series and has been since Claire first went through the standing stones. For a long time, it was like a secret I had hidden away. I wasn't looking for anyone to share my love of reading, and this series in particular, with. Gradually, I got my sister, my father-in-law (yes!) and a co-worker hooked. Over at the old Sookieverse blog we started talking about other books we loved, and that's when I first mentioned Outlander. Fast forward a few years, and anticipation has reached a fever pitch - both for MOBY and the television series. I have a feeling both will be awesome."
Outlander Television Series.I'm going to jump on the same band wagon as Donna to elaborate a little more about Outlander. My biggest disappointment this year was the delay of Written In My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander #8), but that just means the book will be even better when I get my hot little hands on it in June. Consequently, it's my most anticipated book for 2014. But I'm not bored with the waiting, not a bit. I've become a complete raving fangirl for the Starz TV show that has begun filming in Scotland. And that has been the best surprise for me in 2013!! Lots of new online fan groups have sprouted up in just a few short months, to join the many long-time fan groups, providing continuous entertainment: hilarious Twitter banter, juicy teasers and photos from behind the scenes, spot-on casting, costumes, and sets…my goal is to survive the next few months without spontaneously combusting at the latest photo of Jamie in a kilt until I can watch the real thing! And I am thrilled beyond words that the director, producers, and writers are huge fans of the books themselves!! Their goal is to make the show for the book lovers—if we love the story and characters that Diana Gabaldon wrote, others will too (duh!). After being deeply disappointed by certain shows that claimed to be based on book series and then largely rewrote the plots, characters, and relationships—they know who they are—I am thrilled beyond words that real-life fans of my favorite books are trying to bring them to the screen!!! This is a trend I'd like to see continue with other favorite book series in 2014!! - Kathi.
Books We Can't Wait For.
My most anticipated book besides Up from the Grave and the two Chicagoland books Naomi already mentioned is, of course, Ball & Chain! And, hopefully Nick & Kelly #2 - Anne
For myself, I can't wait for Brent Weeks to release The Broken Eye (Lightbringer #3) in August. I've discovered Weeks's writing this year and as followers of the blog are no doubt aware I'm an avid fan now. Alas I've hit that point where I'm up to date with everything he has written and now must wait like a good, little fan for the next book to hit the shelves. So when I'm not stalking Weeks's website for titbits, I'm planning my next reread. The other book I can't wait for is The Undead Pool (The Hollows #12). Again, I only discovered this series this year and it's been refreshing, entertaining and a worthy recommendation by Donna. The other book I'm dying to get my hands on is A King's Ransom by Sharon Kay Penman. It continues the story of Richard the Lionheart. The first book, Lionheart, was compelling and I'm sure this book will be as well.
Image of Jamie Fraser from Starz.
Let us know below what have been your low points reading wise this year. What can't you wait for next year? Is it a TV series or the next instalment in your favourite series?