Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I gorged myself on Shelly Laurenston last month. I'd read a few of her "Pack" books (shapeshifters) previously and in June managed to get my hands on a few more. I'm usually a stickler for reading a series in order but apparenty these are very popular books and so I've been picking them up piecemeal.
The most recent book I read, "When He Was Bad" is actually two stories, one by Ms. Laurenston, and one by Cynthia Eden. Ms. Eden's story has Miranda Shaw as the heroine. She's a human who falls in love with a shapeshifter.
Here's where I'm confused: I thought Miranda Shaw was Mitch Shaw's sister? Mitch Shaw the lion. Am I wrong? Ms. Eden wouldn't write a story in the same book as Ms. Laurenston and use the name of one of Ms. Laurenston's characters, would she? (Okay, I just spent half a day meticulously going over Ms. Laurenston's website. I think Mitch's sister is Marissa, not Miranda. But still, that's pretty close, right?)
Which leads me to this: Do you have trouble keeping track of characters in a series? (Let's just not even mention Anita Blake, okay? I can't remember who's been where with her from one page to the next - with her books you'd need a diagram on those clear sheets so they can overlap each other)
Most series I'm okay, if it's the same basic characters recurring (for example, Charlaine Harris' Sookie books or Rachel Vincent's Shifter series). It's when the H/H switch in each book that I tend to get confused. Using Ms. Laurenston's books as an example, there's the lions (the Shaws, right?), the jackals, the wolves (the Van Holtz?), the wild dogs, the bears....I guess I should have read them all in order *sigh*, but I love these books and didn't want to wait!!! And each pack interacts with each other, so it's not like their in separate "worlds".
The other thing that gets me, obviously, is when the character names are similar. Don't give me an Alex, Aaron, and Andrew all in the same story. I just can't do it!!!!!!! I'm all "OMG, Yvette is sleeping with her boyfriend's cousin? No, wait, that isn't the cousin, it's the neighbor, no wait..oh, that IS her boyfriend. Oh, okay."
I wish authors would put diagrams of their characters relationships/families on their websites. Just sayin'. (I've actually seen one author do this but of course it was a series I didn't care for, damn it!)
How do you keep them straight? Do you really care or do you just enjoy the book you're reading at the moment and not worry about the rest? Are there any series that you just can't remember who's who?