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SEP's Heroes Are My Weakness

 
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bijoux



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 395

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:50 am    Post subject: SEP's Heroes Are My Weakness Reply with quote

I don't think we have a topic for this, but point me in its direction if there is one.

I read some positive reviews and after not being enamored with her latest two books, I was ready for some classic SEP. That's not really what I got. The bones are there - the down on her luck, wisecracking heroine - but there's a tonal shift. It's not something I can pinpoint exactly but it could be a pointer to a new direction for her. I felt like Annie and Theo's story was both grislier (which goes with the gothic theme) and sweeter than SEP's other couples.

I loved how Annie used her ventriloquist training for good and evil both(cue evil cackle), the play on the haunted house, the twists on both mysteries. I didn't guess either and that's great.

I notice that once again there's no secondary romance and while some of her secondary couples are my favorites, it feels right for this book.
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Blackjack1



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 724
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this. I'm looking forward to reading this one as I felt pulled in during the first chapter, which I read early online.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 516

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://dearauthor.com/book-reviews/d-plain-reviews/review-heroes-are-my-weakness-by-susan-elizabeth-phillips/#comment-775285

The dearauthor reviewer didn't like it at all. There isn't even a secondary romance from what I understand. There have been a few SEPs that were saved for me because of the secondary couple.

And the cover is very unattractive.

The heroine annoyed me in the preview chapter I read. Not a good sign for me.
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Blackjack1



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 724
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jamie...
Quote:
"The dearauthor reviewer didn't like it at all. There isn't even a secondary romance from what I understand. There have been a few SEPs that were saved for me because of the secondary couple.

And the cover is very unattractive.

The heroine annoyed me in the preview chapter I read. Not a good sign for me."


Thanks for the DA link. The reviewer definitely felt annoyed, especially with the characterization of Annie. When I read the first chapter, Annie didn't strike me as much different from other SEP heroines and so nothing stood out as either annoying or even particularly appealing. I, for some reason, am also not bothered by puppets per se, and clearly the reviewer here is. I too really like SEP's secondary romance, as she has a definite skill with them, but I don't think I would necessarily miss them if the primary story is strong.

Also, I love Gothic romances. I see that some readers mention that there is a resurgence in Gothic romances - is that true? I hope so! I'm still drawn to this book and really want to read it as soon as it arrives and am keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn't disappoint. I've long been feeling a desire to read a new SEP, so I'm still pretty excited.
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bijoux



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 395

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually expected to be supremely annoyed with the puppets but thought they were clearly facets of Annie's personality and as she adjusted her view of herself (something both she and Theo needed to do and did over the course of the book) so did the prominence of the individual puppets' voices. That's another thing I liked. I can't tell that Theo and Annie actually change, it's more a matter of both of them seeing their true strengths and weaknesses clearly. Speaking of weaknesses, one of my favorite moments involving the puppets comes from Leo, the villain, in response to Peter, the hero, saying that Annie could save herself. It's the moment where I, as a reader, understood that she finally saw this for herself, and that it was nothing new. She was her own hero all along.

I understand a lot of the reviewers misgivings because, frankly, I expected to have pretty much the same ones. Only the reading experience itself was tinted differently for me. She for instance points out that the lack of the hero's perspective worked for her in Call Me Irresistible, whereas I found Ted being so underused to really hinder my reading enjoyment. Theo's presence, and we do get into his point of view as the story progresses, felt right to me within this story.

As for the spoiler, I didn't mind the characterization at all. It was a play on the mad wife in the attic trope and given Theo's history with his twin sister, the wife made sense in that context. They were clearly disturbed women who didn't get the help they needed. The one mystery I actually got right was guessing Annie's teenage tormentor.
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