If you recall, I have mentioned few times here and there that I’ve found myself a writer I want to rant about.
Given, my own writing has swirled down to nothing, so I thought I might as well try this. Even publishing the book has come to a stop to this point and in most light I can only blame my own eagerness and lack of seeing in the future, because I think I might have missed some lecture on how to put this whole thing together and I’m still trying to figure that out. I will, eventually. The second part to blame is my second wisdom tooth. It drove me crazy this past few weeks and well, with tooth ache your brain simply does not work. That will get a sad solution this Friday, but will cost me a week more of pain. How I adore that little rudiment… I truly, truly hate it. I have given up on Nano for the time being, because of that. Although I’m not thinking of letting it go just yet, but… Well, we’ll see.
So, as I don’t have much else my mind wraps around right now, I took up a new author to “read”. I say “read”, because they are audiobooks a friend of mine lent to me a week ago and I’ve been really into them after listening the first one. Thank god he had a nice number of them, because I am thrilled and exited.
First of all, Andrew Grey writes gay romances. I was reading a punch of sci-fi stories and classic horror, but at some point I had enough and was suggested to check him out. So I went and did. And I’m glad I did.
I started off with Eyes Only for Me. It’s a standalone and I was impressed by the characters he had. A bit too idealistic in their upbuilt, but oddly it didn’t bother me at all as I found myself wanting to listen it from the start to the end. It left a good taste in my mouth, so to say, and after few days I realized I really liked Clayton – knows how to cook, yet doesn’t come off anything like a dandy or twink or however they call them. No weird expressions, no open toss-to-your-face stuff that often drives me off from gay romances. Over a long time I actually felt like I’d gladly have this guy as my friend. He had common sense, sense of reality and knew how things worked in real life, which was very refreshing.
So, being impressed by that novel, I went back to my friend and asked for others. He had 4 more series – By Fire (out of which I’ve listened one), Carlisle Cops (listened two), Senses series (waiting in the line) and Good Fight (listened them all) and 1 stand-alone book One Good Deed After visiting the author’s homepage, turns out he has way more and I am listing him up next to Diana Palmer as someone I want to start reading from his early writings up to date.
Ok, so I’m not gonna dwell in each and one of them, but there are few notes.
His writing has good story mode. I am not usually fan of “he said, she said” type of dialogs, but it didn’t seem to bother me so much. I seriously fell for how he uses words and how the dialogs didn’t sound too weird. What I really liked with his writing, is how he uses action descriptions – he gives you details and he really writes them straight in order, like he goes to car, takes something, walks back and then does something else. He doesn’t skip and yet it doesn’t feel overpowering either.
However, what did bother me most of the time, is the fact that if the book had accent in it, the narrator sure went for it. Like One Good Deed – oh my hellish gosh! I understand the MC is Serbian, but that imitation of an accent! Theatrical and so… wrong! I have met my share of Serbians, and also those, whose English is really bad and I’m yet to meet any of them, who sound like that. One Good Deed was so far the only book by him, that I put down and plan never to take up again. It was promising and I liked the start, but I was so angry at the narrating accent that I couldn’t get past that. Maybe I’ll pick up a written version instead.
I’m afraid the Good Fight pretty much carried the same problem to me. I have great respect for Native Americans, but this one did them no favors. I adored the stories – Bryce was adorable despite being a bit idealistically represented, Jerry was sweet to the core, Akecheta full of warrior spirit and Paytah was awesome and I so wanted to visit his shop. So when I listened the narrator giving them accent, I was rather taken how they all sounded as if they were constantly drunk on drugs… It wasn’t as bad as the Serbian story, but still it bothered me a lot. I guess what I mean is I liked them, yet they were too idealistic for me. In a sense that they were set up in oppositions – ugly versus beauty, silent versus loud…
But not as much as The Ugly White Woman thing. I know one point of the story was to tackle with racism and issues against Native Americans. So… when John, Akecheta, started with this… Well… I guess it doesn’t hurt to mention that racism goes both ways. And what I saw there turned once a wonderful character into someone I would have probably cut out of my circles. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t understand the reasoning of setting up the enemy, it was the fierceness of how she was targeted out and turned into something she probably was not despite all the effort put into creating her. Might be because i have been in the other end of the stick and know how easily you can be blamed for representing the system, but I found it astonishingly disturbing. For someone, who has been in constant receiver of other’s hatred, he sure couldn’t recognize he was doing the same. Thus, when Jerry just picked it up and went with it without even seeing the woman first was disturbing as hell – really, that easy to hate someone?
I really didn’t like Grey handling that like this at all. I was so perked by it I was planning a somewhat writer’s revenge by writing HER story, and then I happened on Fire and Ice and gosh if that wasn’t palm to my soul! So adorable and I was having deja vu’s all the way to the end, where I thought of all her arguments to John should she be allowed to open her mouth – all were there!
So yeah, instead of reading the whole Good Fight series, read the first book from there and then the second book from Carlisle Cops. And then continue with the Native American series, for Bryce took my heart and locked it up.
I like Andrew Grey’s books. They might be not everybody’s cup of tea, but compared with the rest of the books I’ve read lately with sex involved, they really surprised me with their subtle, yet powerful descriptions. Although, let’s be honest – they don’t leave much for imagination. Still, he somehow managed to create them to be realistic and individual and not only “tossing hair and whatnot else”. He has somehow managed to create characters that despite being obviously bigger-than-life manage to be real and close to home. Although, it really feels that he comes from place, where people are judged by their looks a lot. Or perhaps that’s the personality of the writer. Which I sincerely hope is not the case.
I didn’t pick him up, because he writes gay romances. For that I often read the first book and never go back for others, because they don’t hold so much attention for me. I did go back for his style, his characters that have reasonings that don’t involve crying eyes out and running like a teenager and because his dialogs and descriptions are rich.