Friday, February 11, 2011

Are You A Good Witch Or A Bad Witch?

Hi Flower.

When did witches, vampires and long lost manuscripts get so boring? So pedestrian? Perhaps when every fourth book in a publisher's catalog is sold to you as either "the next Twilight" or "Twilight meets The DaVinci Code". When your sales rep begins to use phrases like that you know that you are in for at least five years of Vampires being the hot thing. So be it. I don't have to read them I only have to sell them, right?

Once in a while (actually more like three times in a while) I fall for the next this or this meets that sales pitch and actually want to read what they are pushing as the next hot thing. Occasionally it does work out. Last summer I drank the company Kool Aid for The Passage, think The Stand meets The Road, and enjoyed that book. So... when A Discovery of Witches was pushed into my hot little hands I succumbed. I was waiting to read it, I was eager to read it, I read it.

Two words, my friend, Ho Hum. There are: witches, vampires, daemons, secret manuscripts and a long hidden curse... Hey guess what? The witch and the vampire fall in love. Oops! Sorry. Spoiler alert. Yeah right. Author Deborah Harkness can write. She has the mechanics to create a world with it's own paranormal rules and myths but not the imagination to make it fresh and new.

I can accept that books like everything else follow fashion and sales. I have been in the biz too long not to know that for every Angela's Ashes, The DaVinci Code and Harry Potter there will be thousands of wannabe misery memoirs, religious what if's and wizard wars. Nothing wrong with that. It's the way sales works. A few of the followers will be terrific, a few will be pretty good, a few will be OK and a few will be horrifyingly bad. Then somewhere in between all of those some unique, individual books will be published that won't let you afford a vacation but will delight you and reinvigorate your book lust.

P.S. The cover? Are you kidding me? Is this a novel or some quasi-scientific pile of silliness from Llewellyn about bringing the witch you were in another life into your current life? And. the U. K. cover? Hideous.

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