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10/27/2004 Entry: "Luna Books So Far? Few Good, Most Not So. (Preeti, Linda, Lynn)"

Each Luna I (attempt to) read just makes me think they're a big, fat rip-off--books with lovely covers, shoddy paper, mediocre stories, and inflated prices. I'm becoming rather resentful of the line, actually. I want to give the C.E. Murphy a chance because she's a new author. Otherwise, I'm steering clear until the Laura Resnicks and Michelle Sagaras get published.--Preeti


As to the Luna books, I admit to being more careful and which ones I'm picking. I've been reading reviews or buying them used. although I'm going to try buying Susan Krinard's SHIELD OF THE SKY new. I might buy Rachel Lee's also...I'm still hoping for good things from the line. I like having a good choice of fantasy to chose from.--Linda


Well, I'm just spouting off, disappointed there hasn't been a real standout among the Luna books for me yet. I'm sure I'll read more of these, especially if they begin appearing in mass market paperback format.--Preeti


Fairy GodmotherLuna books are definitely a mixed bag. The only ones that get a strong positive so far for me are the Brennan, the Zettel, and the Gilman, which I don't think I posted about here. The Asaro and the Lackey I didn't mind having read and were OK, but I'd be a lot happier if I'd paid $6.99 for them. The Lackey was fairly typical "light Lackey" and not as good as what I consider her best, which is the Elemental Masters series. I'm also an easy grader, I think, if there are pieces of the story I like. And if I don't like things, I don't tend to finish them unless I'm committed to doing a review.

I've bought all the Luna books so far. What can I say, hope springs eternal. I don't actually disagree with Preeti's overall assessment, though, and I think they'd be a lot more enjoyable at mass market prices instead of overpriced trade paperbacks.

Camelot's ShadowWhat I've also noticed is that, in general, Luna books aren't succeeding in the romance/fantasy crossover in that at least at Borders they are being put in SF or Romance sections based on the author's history as much as anything. For example, Michele Hauf's and Deborah Hale's books went into the romance section.

I found Deborah Hale's THE WIZARD'S WARD and Michele Hauf's SERAPHIM so unreadable I didn't finish them, hence my lack of review of them. Anne Kelleher's SILVER'S EDGE has disappeared somewhere into the house. I hadn't really started it but am not inclined so far to look for it either. This is probably a bad sign. Christie Golden's ON FIRE'S WINGS I do know the location of. It is on the "give it another try" pile because I'm pretty tolerant. However, I've tried some other Goldens and she hasn't worked for me. I suspect this book will also go on the "unreadable" pile.--Lynn


On Fire's WingsI got close to reading Christie Golden's ON FIRE'S WINGS and Laura Anne Gilman's STAYING DEAD in their entirety but ended up succumbing to skimming both. The Gilman was OK, but I started keeping a whole page of notes on everything that was annoying me about the Golden as I was reading it. I am bummed that I can no longer find that piece of paper. So much for my attempts to be more organized about reviewing. :-)

You already know my feelings on Michele Hauf's Luna book. Ah, yes, I found my email note from back in June in which I said, "I began Michele Hauf's SERAPHIM and thought it was horrible, horrible. Just painful to read." I was unable to proceed further.--Preeti

--Our Luna Books feature page.

Replies: 11 Comments

I read the Brennan book on the recommendation of this site and actually really enjoyed it....though had I not known Brennan is Judith Tarr I wouldn't have bothered. I've tried a few of the other Luuna's and have found them very disappointing in characterization and style. (Even when it has been an author I usually like, such as Asaro.) Maybe a reflection of what a good editor can do?

Posted by mary anne @ 10/27/2004 10:40 PM ET

I have tried a few book in this line. I bought the initial mass market release and was underwhelmed but wasnít sorry I bought it because of the price. I also bought In Camelotís Shadow and didnít get very far. I donít like to judge books before I read the whole thing but it was so boring Iíll probably never finish it. I will pick up a few of the books when they go mass market but Iím staying away from the trade paperbacks for now.

Posted by Dana @ 10/27/2004 11:29 PM ET

Your remark about the shoddy paper caught my eye. I've been seeing quite a few books printed on crappy paper lately and I refuse to buy them. What's with that anyway? Most of them seem to be trade pb. If I have a choice of buying an expensive awkward shoddy trade pb or waiting for a decent mm pb, I'll wait every time.

Posted by Ita @ 10/27/2004 11:42 PM ET

Mary Anne: I've liked the very few Judith Tarr books I've read to date, so I'll probably pick up THE MOUNTAIN'S CALL at some point. I do wonder that editors can sometimes let disasters be published under their watch, but then one woman's disaster can often be another woman's delight and a publishing house's commercial success.

Dana: What mass-market Luna? I'm not aware of any that weren't either hardcovers or trade paperbacks.

Ita: I wrote my comment about the shoddy paper after being freshly surprised in a bad way (yes, my memory is short) every time I opened up a Luna book I'd paid $14 for. Finally, it rankled me enough to stick.

Posted by Preeti @ 10/28/2004 01:51 PM ET

I've read three Lunas so far: the Asaro, Hale, and Hauf books. The Asaro was okay, but I prefer her SF. The Hale book was boring and had way too convenient of an ending. The Hauf I started out hating, but for some reason, I kept reading. It got a little better, but then toward the end, it reminded me what I didn't like about the beginning. The Hale and Hauf books didn't say romantic fantasy to me, they said paranormal romance.

I'm reading The Mountain's Call now and I'm enjoying it so far.

I jumped right in and got a subscription for the Lunas and now I'm regretting it. I wonder if they offer a mass market subscription too. Maybe I'll wait until after the books I've gotten so far are in mass market pb, then start the subscription when the books I haven't gotten yet come out in mass market. BTW, I saw the mass market of the Lackey book at Borders last night.

Posted by Quaisior @ 10/28/2004 01:58 PM ET

Preeti: Charmed Destinies by Mercedes Lackey, Rachel Lee, and Catherine Asaro. The Lackey story was pretty bad but the other two were ok.

Posted by Dana @ 10/28/2004 08:15 PM ET

Let's see. I finished but was disappointed with the Lackey. I was not interested enough to finish the Kelleher. I'd like to try the Zettel (I've read Zettel before) and Gilman releases, but I'm waiting for the mm pbk editions. I did buy the Brennan release; at least Judith Tarr is a known quantity to me and actually I'm enjoying this one so far. I'll at least take a look at the Resnick and Sagara titles.

Posted by DH @ 10/28/2004 09:22 PM ET

The Luna covers are definitely appealing. Pity that the stories inside are only so-so. I've bought 3 and I think that'll be the last for quite a while.

Wizard's Ward was disappointing. It was just too convenient, everything is resolved easily and rather quickly. I'm still not sure what I think about On Fire's Wings as I mostly skipped through it. And I haven't even been able to read Fairy Godmother. Everytime I pick it up, I put it right back down again.

Posted by Wen @ 10/29/2004 11:46 AM ET

Right after I posted yesterday about seeing the Lackey book at Borders, I got a notice that I had a Luna book waiting at the post office. The reprint of The Fairy Godmother is a mass market paperback and those with a Luna subscription are getting it free because of the Rachel Lee book being rescheduled.

I emailed Harlequin to ask how the subscription will work for the mass market paperbacks, but their reply was unhelpful. I tried emailing them again. I would much prefer a subscription for the mass markets only and a subscription saves a bit of money over buying them at the store (unless I find them used).

Posted by Quaisior @ 10/29/2004 03:35 PM ET

I own and read most of them. "Staying Dead" was the first I ended up skimming: the writing was good, but the story lost me after a while. I loved "Silver's Edge" but was disappointed by the Lackeys and Asaros--I expected better from them.

Regarding the paper quality, all trade houses have gone to a cheaper stock of paper to keep costs down. And since the Lunas have fancy covers and interior desgins, their price would be a lot higher had they not used the cheap paper.

Posted by Kari @ 10/30/2004 10:18 PM ET

I have also purchased all the Luna Books to date and have not been impressed. I did enjoy the Asaro and Gilman books quite a lot and don't feel bad about shelling out for them. I like Zettel's writing but found the tone of 'In Camelot's Shadow' pretty grim; I had to quit but intend to try again. I thought the Hauf book was competely unreadable and it's made me very wary about the line. I will continue to buy them all (until the next scheduled Hauf) but I have to say that my support of the line is committment to the idea, and not the execution.

Posted by Simba @ 10/31/2004 12:25 AM ET

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