What makes a New York Times bestselling author? This is something, as a writer and an avid reader, that I've often wondered. Good writing, surely, or at least a great story, or maybe even an author with something to say. But I have to be honest. These ideas were all shot down for me after reading, Sherrilyn Kenyon's “Dark Side of the Moon" recently.
In all fairness, I have something of a personal bias. I tend to stay as far away from romance novels as possible and at its core, “Dark Side of the Moon" is most decidedly a romance novel. So perhaps in part I have a bone to pick with the publisher, St. Martin's Paperbacks, because on the spine of the novel, where the genre is delineated, it says only: novel. Though the back blurb led me to believe that there would, indeed, be romance elements present in the novel, romance elements are a far cry from a novel written strictly within the genre of Romance.
"Dark Side of the Moon" has a plot, sure, although it's at times convoluted and often seems to exist solely to support steamy sex scenes and decrees of emotional longing. This is the story of Susan Michaels, once a hotshot journalist and now relegated to tabloid work due to a scandal. In the course of her new tabloid career, she manages to entangle herself with Ravyn, a Were-hunter who'd had the misfortune of getting himself locked up, in all places, at the local animal shelter while in the guise of a cat.
The fact that the novel seems convoluted stems in part from the fact that it's part of a series, a fact I didn't realize when I purchased the novel. “Dark Side of the Moon" is a Dark-Hunter novel. I only wish they'd proclaimed such a detail in slightly larger print and in a more prominent spot on the cover. As part of a series, Kenyon spends large chunks of prose attempting to summarize what appears to be a rather complex world of the Dark Hunters. Honestly, much of it came across as a series of absurdities involving Gods, Atlantis, shape-shifters, vampires, and a whole host of other speculative fiction standbys that seem to have been lumped together to form some kind of discombobulated whole. Forget suspension of disbelief. Even as a devout lover of speculative fiction, I found the sheer number of genre goodies to be difficult to keep track of, disorienting, and downright laughable.
Romance or not, series or not, the fact remains that this is a poorly written novel. Between atrocious dialogue and points of view shifts that were nothing if not jarring, this novel was a difficult read. The skeletal feel of the actual plot gave little to cling to, and for me, the relationships of the protagonists, ultimately the heart of this book, were entirely unbelievable to the point of being ridiculous.
Mine is, of course, merely one point of view. Sherrilyn Kenyon, as the cover of “Dark Side of the Moon" touts, is a New York Times Bestselling Author. But please don't ask me why. I haven't a clue.
Lisa is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Writers .