Have you ever been so disappointed in a book that you can’t even describe why it’s so bad? So you need to go to goodreads in order to find a review that accurately describes why it’s terrible?
Oh, also, this post won’t be very well put together. It’s mostly a rant describing how angry I am.
So, with that said, I read the All Souls Trilogy, though I’m not sure anyone actually calls it that. I finished Book three – the Book of Life just the other day and I cannot even begin to describe to you how disappointed I am.
WARNING: EVERYTHING BELOW CONTAINS SPOILERS
First, I’m so confused about the main character, Diana. Is she a Damsel in Distress or a Mary Sue? Because she’s both in some weird paradox of the world. She has, essentially, ALL THE POWERS! and yet, she’s constantly being rescued and her husband claims that because he has this “disease” (which is cured by being totally Zen, btw…) and because he’s a vampire, he must always know where she is at all times. He also claims that she has to be an obedient wife to him.
Color Me Disgusted.
Oh, oh, oh, and – AND – Vampires are very similar to wolves, so there’s an Alpha Male. The third book encompasses Matthew’s struggle with becoming the Alpha Male. Essentially, the entire last book seems to be an ode to how men and women were supposed to act in the 1600s.
I will say, however, at least Diana’s not a stay-at-home Mom. As soon as she gives birth, she runs off to find The Book of Life, while Matthew runs off to get caught by his sadistic rapist son.
The dialogue is terrible and cliche, and just sings cheesy romance book. And we’re reintroduced to every character a million times. This is the third book, we don’t need to be reintroduced to every character – a reminder, sure, but not a full-blow description. And we don’t need the theme of the book – and the information about weavers and blood rage – to be repeated over and over and over again.
AND we spent the last couple of books talking about how creatures need to stay safe ad hidden. And suddenly, in this book, we’re telling EVERYONE we’re witches and vampires? AND none of them freaked out? Excuse me, but that makes no fucking sense. Diana told her best friend, a classroom full of college students, and a librarian that she was a witch, but no one batted an eye? They were like “Oh, cool.” It’s not even logical. How do you go from not believing that something exists at all to be totally fine with someone you know being that something?
But I digress.
The issue I have is really with the confusion of Diana. Sure, one could say that everyone is a combination of Mary Sue and Damsel in Distress, But what makes it even more confusing is the constant theme of her being this matriarchal figure in the family, while also being forced to obey all of the men in her life. She must obey Phillipe’s wishes, do what Baldwin says, and follow her husband’s every move.
She can be empowering – there are moments when she “tries” to disobey, but then the moments when she does, they’re only undercut by the male characters who then force her to obey them anyway. It’s disturbing how much freedom and power she has that must be then taken away.
She may has saved the day at the end of the book, but that doesn’t make her a strong female character. Strength lies within all of us, but her strength is consistently cut down to satisfy the needs of others. Why does she have to hide? Why must she bow behind the men in her life, protecting them with the greatest power in the Universe (I’m assuming here – she is a Mary Sue, after all), but answering to them at all times? It’s the worst combination.
Maybe I read it wrong. Have you read it? What did you think?