Oh, rant away, Melissa. If you haven't offended me yet, I doubt you're likely to now. ;-)
Oh, rant away, Melissa. If you haven't offended me yet, I doubt you're likely to now. ;-)
Proud Member of the SSMKA, GBOCL & A.M.A.D.A.N.
Keepin' the board alive, one post at a time.
It didn't change mine...but I can see where it would change them for others. It didn't for me specifically because the way they behaved was SO completely out of character that I've basically mentally dismissed them from participating in Shadowfever at all. It did take me a few months to finally reconcile this in my head though. And I believe [personal opinion, not based on direct evidence] that their odd behavior in the plot is a direct result of KMM not writing the book as it came to her, but changing the plot to save Drustan. The Keltar became cardboard caricatures of themselves at that point. You might as well have brought in a random Druid biker gang to assist with capturing the Book for all the similarity they had to the original lads.I hated seeing the Highlanders in Fever, it has forever changed my feelings about them - and not in a good way).
*Ponders the idea of a Druid biker gang...hmmm...potential? Makes note to follow up.*
I do think though that the suggestion of "a different publisher" has merit, especially since we were told all along that this wasn't going to be a tale of absolute good guys or bad guys. Bad guys--even really bad ones--can occasionally do kind things. Really good people can still do awful things at times. And I do think that V'lane could easily be cast as hero if the story had been slanted that way, without actually changing who he is or what he did. Yes, he and Barrons are both sociopaths by our standards...but since neither is human, can you really judge them by human norms anyway?
One of my favorite scifi/fantasy authors, L.E. Modesitt, routinely writes books where for one or two books, you see the viewpoint of one character on one side of an ongoing war. The next book or two will show you the exact same events...from a character on the other side. The point is to show that no matter how bad a character appears from one viewpoint, the "enemy" doesn't always see him that way, and that often the opposing sides have more in common with each other than not. I'd love to see that happen here.
"If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real
than people with bodies and heartbeats."
--Richard Bach, Illusions
I am not really sure how to respond here except I know I would hate the series you talk about. I want the story you wrote, the way you wrote it and I want you to stand behind it; not re-write it and publish it again from a different viewpoint.
I absolutely agree about good people being capable of bad and vice-versa - that is part of what makes V'Lane's character so well written. We get small glimpses of the man (faery?) he could be, but in the end, that is not who he is, or why he did what he did. Who he is, is out for number one and he makes no apology for it.
Just for the record - Karen is not the only author I have seen do this sort of thing recently; there is a favorite of mine who is "up-dating" some of her books for re-release. In effect, she is making them more pc by today's standards and is going to great lengths to explain it to her readers before the publication. Another author I read just killed off a major character in one of her most-loved series and readers are up-in-arms about it. For me, it made sense for this character to die given the direction the story has taken in the last couple of books - shocking? You betcha. But after giving the book time to mull in my brain, it makes perfect sense and guides the story where it needs to go. Others don't see it that way and now Ms. Author is back peddling and and using sentences that begin with "what if?". Again I will say, write your story as you envision it and then stand behind it as written.
I think this may be a side issue of the internet era we live in. Years ago when I began reading what I knew about an author was what was written in the blurb in the back of the book - and I was okay with that. Now-a-days, what is know about an author is just about everything, which isn't always a good thing especially if your favorite author comes out for or against the same politics/world-view/ideals/morals that you hold dear. It can really color your view of the author, which can in turn color your view of their work.
Just one more thing - the issue of Barrons and V'Lane not being human and therefore not being held to human standards comes up often and no offense to anyone, but I call bullsh!t. No, they aren't human, but they are living in the human world and dealing with human beings, so yes, they can be and should be held to human standards. To me that is comparable to the immigrant coming to the US and then refusing to conform to US laws and languages. I don't care if you immigrate and I don't expect you to disavow your heritage, but I do expect that you will abide by the laws and customs of the place you have chosen to live.
And okay - just one more, one more thing RE the Highlanders - Did you read them before or after Fever? And if before, how much before? Because I think that makes a difference. If you hadn't read them before Fever, you don't have any version of them in your head - no knowledge of their behavior or of just how ALPHA they are, so it would be easy for a reading of them after Fever to negate their characterization in Fever. (Does that sentence make sense?) Having read them way before Fever and having them firmly in my mind as they are in their own books, the characterization of them in Fever is awful. To me they appeared to be bumbling idiots unaware of how serious the situation really was and incapable of helping to diffuse it, and Adam Black's appearance just showcased him as the selfish, self-centered fae he was.
So I do understand what you're saying on that score. And I completely agree with your assessment of how they come across in Shadow--as jayzee, Vic, Kat, and Deb can attest, since they all had to listen to me rant about it for hours the morning after in New Orleans. LOL (Well, Vic probably doesn't remember it, since she was still in shock. *pats head*)
As far as the judging Barrons and V'lane thing--I can't completely agree with your analogy. Yes, by all means, try, convict, and punish them for their actions by the laws of the land they're in, because no one is above the law. (Good luck with that in this case...LOL) But I cannot find it in myself to judge their morality against my own, precisely because they aren't human.
To me, it's similar to teaching a dog not to bark. I set the rules. The dog is rewarded for not barking, and reprimanded for barking, because I said so, and I am law around here. I say it is wrong to bark.
But the dog will NEVER understand right and wrong as concepts, because they're uniquely human constructs. At best, he'll understand that he gets treats for one behavior and yelled at for another. Both are arbitrary in his mind--there's nothing wrong to him with making noise. He thinks it's important to tell me, in the only way he knows how, that there's a bunny in the yard, or that the big brown truck guy is in the neighborhood.
I say it's wrong for him to kill the bunny. He is well fed and doesn't need the rabbit out of hunger. But he would do so in a heartbeat if I let him out now. And he will never think that such an action is wrong, because he's absolutely incapable of that kind of thinking. Right and wrong don't even exist in his worldview. His moral code is NEVER going to match mine. And neither is that of the Fae, or the Nine. There's no point in worrying over whether their motives are right or wrong by our standards, because they aren't going to change to conform to them.
(Yes, I've reduced Barrons and V'lane to schnauzers. Dageus, of course, thinks that's rather amusing.)
The bunny in the yard is very cute, BTW.
But a dog is not a sentient being in that he does not know right from wrong as it pertains to humans. Having lived with and among humans for thousands of years the Fae do understand human morals even if they don't prescribe to them and both V'Lane and Barrons would know how Mac would respond to their actions.
Let me ask this - if the roles were reversed and Mac mirrored V'Lane's action on Earth while they were in Faery, would you hold Mac to the human convictions or to the Fae ones? Or would you excuse her behavior and say - oh well, she is human not Fae so therefore we judge her actions differently.
('You' in this case not being specifically Victoria, but a general 'you' in that I am interested in any and all answers to the question).
*I* would hold her to human moral standards, but would expect the Fae to deal with her in their lands according to their laws (if they were capable of doing so.)
And intelligence of the species involved doesn't enter into the morality equation. There's a fair body of evidence that says dolphins may be smarter than humans. Their "morality" (if it existed) would still differ greatly from ours. I do not expect the Fae to act in accordance with the moral standards of a species they consider inferior to them.
Intelligence also doesn't necessarily equate to understanding. Just because the Fae and the Nine have observed humans and can surmise their reactions doesn't mean they understand the rationale or emotions behind those reactions. (And most of them probably don't want to, even if they were capable of doing so.) Same thing with the dog: he's learning to predict my responses, but he has no real idea of WHY this is important and he never will.
I, too, am interested in others' comments on the subject.
OVP, I found your opinions on the Keltar in "Shadowfever" interesting, but don't forget that the story is being told through Mac's eyes, and the brothers are HER perception of them. Maybe that's why they seem so out-of-character?More of Marnie's necromantic right-to-assemble nonsense which she does honestly believe and which is the secret nasty truth about this story line: Nobody ever thought they were doing evil, not once in history or time has anybody thought they were the villain. And the worse we get, the more we cling.
Melissa, do you think KMM is backpedaling with V'Luce? I totally didn't get that at all -- I think that V'Luce ended up in "Shadowfever" just the way she intended him to since "Darkfever", absent any autonomous actions that we writers know our characters will take upon themselves. Just mho. I think she's asking what if just 'cuz it's interesting to speculate. I hear you on the accountability question. I think both sides have a point, that there's a line that can be crossed. After all, V'Luce isn't running around Dublin in all his nekkid Fae glory. He conforms to human standards. There are just some things that are totally beyond and alien to his comprehension. Do I excuse his actions? No. I'm just saying I get the point. Can we blame that same immigrant for breaking U.S. law if the law is only written in English and they haven't learned the language yet? As to the argument that V'Luce has been around long enough to learn, I look up to OVP's post above mine 'cuz she says it so much more articulately than I could. Sumone dun hit her wit a smarty stick. :c)
This is the bottom line that I've gotten from the argument -- it is NEVER O.K. to kill a bunny.
Backpedaling? No. Being wishy-washy - kind of, because I agree that he ended up in Fever exactly how she intended him to be, but when asked her response was a "what-if" statement. Not sure if she was just being cagey about her response or if she was attempting to appease some less-than-thrilled readers who didn't want their favorite character to be the bad guy.
History is always written by the victor. Therefore history is skewed to a certain perception. It is just the way it is. How different would our perception of the Normandy landing be if Germany rather than the Allies had been victorious? An author chooses to write a character in a certain way for whatever reason the author chooses. Therefore we know V'Lane and his actions based on Mac's perceptions because that is how Karen chose to tell the story. To me the author should then stand behind the character as written, not propose what-if alternatives in the face of fan disquiet.
(And again - not specifically talking about Karen, though using her comments about V'Lane immediately following the release of Shadowfever to illustrate a point. I participate on a number of author boards and this sort of thing seems to come up every once in a while and I find it curious).
I believe that V'Lane (and Barrons) fully comprehend the consequences of their actions and how they will affect the humans they interact with - and they choose to act on them anyway because it serves their purpose. Not saying that is right or wrong - just saying that I don't agree that their alien-ness gives them a pass on those actions. And for the record - lack of comprehension of a language doesn't get you a pass for breaking a law; it is your responsibility to learn the law of the land in which you live and follow it regardless of the language in which it is written. So yes, the immigrant would be blamed.
So I wasn't gonna post cuz I'm sure I'm really in the minority. But I just didn't like the scene. I dunno, I had it in my head that when we found out we'd be getting a Barrons sex scene, it'd be something like when he de-priya-ed Mac. Maybe I misunderstood the context of what we were going to get. But I felt kind of let down by the scene. And then to end it with a "was it real or not" made it worse. And it wasn't even really a sex scene. It was more of a rape scene to me.