01/30/2005 Entry: "Anne Bishop's DREAMS MADE FLESH--Great, with Big Problems (Preeti)"
DREAMS MADE FLESH is four stories of various lengths, but let's face it, most of us are reading it for the two longer stories: the Marian/Lucivar courtship story and the epilogue of the Daemon/Jaenelle story. Bottom line: the stories are OK-to-good, with problems, on their own but are absolute must-reads for anyone who's a fan of the Black Jewels Trilogy. A big thank you to Anne Bishop for gifting fans with two hot, sexy, funny (not to mention dark) stories about Daemon and Lucivar that tie up loose ends from the Black Jewels Trilogy. A lot of authors wouldn't have bothered.
My three huge, major problems with the Lucivar and Daemon stories are the following:
1.) Immature, selfish, covetous women as villains got old real fast. Going from a Dorothea or a Hekatah to these minor witches as villains was anti-climactic. These bad girls regretably weakened the power of both stories, which would have been better served not to have such pettiness demonized to villainy.
2.) Is it possible for Daemon to seem like a complete joke? Yes, it can. Daemon, we all know that you're too sexy for your shirt, so sexy you hurt. And powerful. Now stop acting like such a tool with the icy rage.
3.) And did I mention constant repetition, constant repetition, constant repetition? Midnight voice, anyone? Crooning, anyone? The multiple scenes of characters struck with terror when they realize they've been messing with the wrong overly-power-laden hero/heroine getting old to anyone? And, heck, if I never saw the words "dreams made flesh" again....
Unlike with the original Black Jewels Trilogy, where I was utterly absorbed in the narrative, I was often tempted to snicker or roll my eyes at scenes in "Kaeleer's Heart," Daemon's and Jaenelle's story, in DREAMS MADE FLESH.
4.) Lucivar's rut-fest was amusing, but edged from sexiness into silliness for me. But this was a minor point in a generally good story.
WHAT I LIKED:
2.) Jaenelle is made into a reasonably-powered character, which was nice to see as I'm sick of all the all-powerful types in fantasy literature. The fact that Daemon can outlive Jaenelle by thousands of years was avoided, but that's such a downer, I'm not surprised it didn't have a place in a story about Daemon and Jaenelle's love being cemented in the aftermath of years of turmoil.
3.) Despite my problems with some aspects of the stories, the thrilling romances of two really sexy guys are really the star attraction, and on that level, DREAMS MADE FLESH delivered handsomely. Anne Bishop wrote some hot, hot scenes for our lovers. (The stories that showed the creation of the first Blood creature and the other about a turning point in Saeten's history were fine, but not why I'm reading this collection.)
And hey, despite, everything I say I didn't like about DREAMS MADE FLESH, I immediately re-read the book upon finishing it, then skimmed/read the Black Jewels Trilogy again, and then read DREAMS MADE FLESH a third time. That's the power of Daemon for you.--Preeti
Replies: 3 Comments
I noticed some of the same things you did.
Personally, I was really glad about the way the Twilight's Dawn arc worked out. I've read a lot of books (*cough*Rhapsody
I agree with you on the repetition point, but it was all the "bitch" in the scene with Karla, Lucivar and Saetan that got to me. They use it like seven times in half a page.
The most surprising thing for me was actually all the graphic sex scenes, and it made me nervous because I have seen authors do the same thing Bishop is doing– for a while her books have really interesting love scenes that never get old (because we just get tastes of them, à la the love scene in Queen of the Darkness) and then everything that happens gets spelled out and some of the power and magic is lost. It wasn’t (quite) lost here, but I worry about what happens if her next book has that same level of graphic sex– will the power and goodness be gone because there’s nothing left for the reader to imagine?
The Prince of Ebon Rih was by favorite story by far (I must have read it three times before I went on the the others) and I thought it did a good job of showing the attraction between Lucivar and Marion. I still wish she had a little bit more anger/spine in the beginning, and I go back and forth on whether Marion was exactly the type of woman he would fall in love with or not. (Before I read Queen of the Darkness I was totally rooting for Lucivar and Karla to get together.) But regardless, their interactions are hilarious and funny and real. ("Give us a snarl. Grrr.")
Additionally, I love the Surreal/Daemon interactions. It was nice to see that their friendship recovered, and while I feel bad for her about the breakup of her relationship, I though it was done very realistically in that it wasn't anybody's fault, really, and how she thought Saetan would be the best person to inform. *Giggle*
Overall, this book is fantastic (I nitpick because I love) and I would recommend it to anyone who read and loved the Black Jewels Trilogy. –––Red Brunja
Posted by RedBrunja @ 01/30/2005 03:54 PM ET
Preeti, I haven't read the book yet, but I have to compliment you on the great review.
I especially loved the "Daemon, we all know that you're too sexy for your shirt, so sexy you hurt." part. :D
Posted by SK @ 01/31/2005 02:45 PM ET
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about DREAMS MADE FLESH, RedBrunja. I agree with everything you say. The sex scenes, while they did raise my eyebrows because I didn't remember Bishop being that explicit before, didn't bother me. I did send up a brief prayer she doesn't get LKH syndrome, though, letting her libido run amok in print.
SK, if you're a fan of the Black Jewels Trilogy, I don't know how you could stand not to read DMF right away. Do it soon and post back!
Posted by Preeti @ 02/01/2005 01:17 AM ET