Apprentice Writer is suffering a reader ailment.
She 'discovered' the Urban Fantasy genre some time ago. If she has understood correctly, stories in this niche involve no-nonsene protagonists who deal with decidedly non-everyday realities by discovering or unleashing their super-human talents. As a rule, tremendously creative world-building is involved, and it is this aspect that usually draws AW's interest - as opposed to straight Paranormal tales, which also involve non-regular humanoid beings, but seem more narrowly focused on the romantic attraction between characters. That isn't enough to hold AW's interest; not helped by the fact that she is not a vampire-, werewolf-, or zombie person.
AW has now read enough speculative fiction & UF novels to discover a pattern: being highly impressed with the creativity of a debut book, and then reading the second and having lukewarm rather than excited anticipation for the third.
Gail Carriger's 'Parasol Protectorate'
(Victorian steampunk romance: female protagonist is soulless)
Enjoyed the humor and contrast between stuffy society rules and outrageous situations in the first a lot, liked the second but was more irritated by author style idiosyncracies.
Read the 3rd? Yes, but more because of weak resistance to a beautiful cover than anything else.
Stacia Kane's 'Unholy Ghosts'
(Dystopia: female protagonist is a government-employed witch)
Loved the carefully thought out world of the first, second held AW's interest but developed opinion that the series is better described as horror than UF.
Read the 3rd? Undecided. AW is really not a horror person. Yet, anti-hero secondary character is compelling.
Ilona Andrews' 'Kate Daniels'
(Alternate universe: female protagonist is an uber-trained killing machine)
Loved the energy and dry protagonist attitude in the first and second, both elements still good in third but became irritated by third new group of antagonists introduced in as many books with not enough depth of understanding of where they came from, how they work, why they're such fanatical opponents. Gives the series Jackie Chan syndrome, i.e. no one cares that the bits in between fight scenes range from silly to absurd, because they're just empty filler for the main event.
Read the 4th? Yes, but not rushing out to get it.
Seanan MacGuire's 'October Daye'
(Urban fantasy; female protagonist is half fey, able to move between human and fairy worlds)
Delighted with exquisite world-building and alternate races in the first, which was still good in second, but became seriously irritated with heroine herself.
Read the 3rd? Undecided.
Claire Delacroix's 'Guardians of the Republic' (Dystopia, female protagonists are members of different social classes in a totalitarian big-brother society)
Loved the worldbuilding and suspense of the first, felt somewhat dissatisfied when the nature of the story dwelt heavily on relationship of protagonists in second where this reader really wanted more detail of the society.
Read the 3rd? Yes, since the female protagonist promises to be the most interesting yet.
Jennifer Estep's 'Elemental Assassins' (Urban Fantasy; female protagonist is an assasin with magical ability)
First and second held reader's interest, yet somehow, not inciting a 'When is the third one out?' reaction.
Read the 3rd? No strong opinion either way.
Then there are the series in which AW liked the first and yet hasn't moved on to the second in the series:
Kat Richardson, 'Greywalker' (Urban Fantasy; heroine has capacity to see and move in next world after a brief period with no vital signs)
Devon Monk, 'Allie Beckstrom' (Urban Fantasy; heroine has magical ability)
In these two cases, the matter is actually one of author skill that may be too good - the protagon ists' stuggles with headaches and nausea, as the price they pay for their abilities, seems to induce same in this reader.
Gentle Reader: What's your advice? Should AW grit her teeth and keep going? Are any of the next in these series not-to-be-missed keepers? Or should AW simply give UF a break and go to historical fiction 0r mysteries for a year?
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