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REVIEW: Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day

Dear Ms. Day:

I felt like that there was a kernel of a really great story here but the story I wanted to read and the story I read were at such odds with each other. The story that I felt was trying to be told was of a man who had an enduring love which he pursued despite all of the rules of his world and despite the fact that it might bring about his ruin. Unfortunately, the story I read was about a man who had strong feelings for someone for which he broke all the rules while he ruined the lives of others around him for breaking those same rules he refused to live by. The story I wanted to read was about a man who was struggling with the edicts that had formed the basis of all his actions in the past, the rules which demanded he hunt down his fellow angels, rip off their wings, and strip them of their souls. The story I read was about a man who shrugged off the hypocrisy of his actions and enforced a cruel rule upon his fellow angels without any real thought to why.  My take away was that this story was about a raging hypocrite who was more villain than hero.  But, unfortunately, that was only the beginning of my challenges with this book.

Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day“Touch of Crimson” has confusing world building.  There is a huge cast of paranormal beings.  This is epitome of the “No Paranormal Left Behind.”  The book opens with a glossary and contains these two definitions (among others):

FALLEN—the Watchers after the fall from grace. They have been stripped of their wings and their souls, leaving them as immortal blood drinkers who cannot procreate.

WATCHERS—two hundred seraphim angels sent to earth at the beginning of time to observe mortals. They violated the laws by taking mortals as mates and were punished with an eternity on earth as vampires with no possibility of forgiveness.

The Fallen and Watchers are the same group of people but it took me 8 chapters to figure this out because in this book you have good angels, bad angels, vampires (which are angels), human vampires, lycans, reincarnated humans, demons, and dragons, werewolves that are demons but different than lycans although both were made from demon blood, and zombies.

The “hero” is Adrian, the head of the Sentinels who are angels sent to Earth to watch the Fallen/Watcher group and ensure that they …. don’t do anything? And to make sure that the other Sentinels who are sent to watch also don’t fall in love with humans and mate with them.  The punishment, meted out by Adrian, is to hunt down the fallen Sentinels (who are a different bunch of angels than the Watchers but who then become the Fallen) and rip off their wings and strip them of their souls.  These angels then become the Fallen, vampires who cannot procreate and have no souls.  What the “no soul” means is not articulated in the text. It sounds ominous but the Fallen seemed like a group no different than the Sentinels other than the fact that they drank blood and liked to  have sex with mortals.   They could still feel and they didn’t act amoral.  If there was any villain in the story, it was Adrian.

Adrian falls in love with the daughter of the head dude of the Fallen, soulless vampires. Adrian has sex with her which should mean Adrian is hunted down and stripped of his wings.  The head “bad” tries to turn his daughter, Shadoe, into a vampire so she will be immortal but Adrian prevents it by killing her.  Unfortunately, he killed her too late and her soul became immortal.  She reincarnates at intermittent periods.  Adrian lives for those moments that he has with her, sometimes it is 20 minutes, sometimes it is 20 years. She never remembers, but he always finds her. Destiny brings them together.  I’m not sure if he kills her every time, but she dies every time although it’s not explained why. Or it was and I totally missed it.

I want to emphasize this. ADRIAN LIVES FOR THE MOMENTS SHE IS REINCARNATED.  Everything he does between the periods of dormancy is await her return.

Two hundred damned years. She’d been gone long enough to make him dangerous. A seraph whose heart was encased in ice was a hazard to everyone and everything around him. He was a danger to her, because his hunger for her was so voracious he questioned his ability to restrain it. When she was gone, the world was dead to him. The silence within was deafening. Then she returned, and the rush of sensation exploded around him—the pounding of his heart, the heat of her touch, the force of his need. Life. Which was lost to him when she was.

Unfortunately, her soul is gaining dominance and this time, she is exhibiting very real supernatural abilities. In her latest incarnation, Shadoe is sharing a soul with a red haired, fair skinned woman named Lauren.  She senses “otherness” about people. She has been killing vamps and demons for 10 years. She senses that this guy named Adrien she meets at an airport is an “other” and Adrien recognizes immediately it is “Shadoe”. She agrees to go with this “other” to his highly reclusive compound and eat dinner with him.  She doesn’t drive herself.  She leaves the airport to go with someone she recognizes as “other” (and thus ordinarily will kill) to their private compound in his car.  This is not classic TSTL behavior?

When she gets to his compound she is amazed by its beauty and wealth:

She kept her bag close to her side and faced him. “What’s not to like?”

“Good.” He gave a regal nod. “You’ll be staying here indefinitely.”

His imperiousness was stunning. “Excuse me?”

“I need to keep you where I know you’ll be safe.”

I need to keep you . . . As if he had the right. “Maybe I don’t want to be kept.”

Where’s her fear, outrage? Why this meh acceptance of being held captive in some strange “other” compound?

Adrien can’t wait to have sex with Lindsey/Shadoe despite the fact that he was CREATED to administer punishment to those angels who decide to mate with humans.  When questioned about this he responds:

“They are responsible for what they are. They made the choices that led to their fall.” He studied her with those fathomless eyes. “Yes, I administered the punishment. I stripped the Watchers of their wings. Wings and souls are connected, and the loss of their souls led to their blood drinking. But I’m not accountable for their mistakes, any more than a police officer is responsible for the crimes committed by offenders.”

At one point in the book, one of the sentinels came to him, confesses she loves her lycan guard and asks for mercy.  Adrian gives her one hour lead before he hunts her down and kills her lycan and if she has had smex with him, he will rip off her wings and she will become a watcher. This is, of course, minutes after he has had smex with the heroine. He regrets his hypocrisy but this is his charge.  Agghhh!

If an author sets up two factions and has one faction standing on the neck of the other “for the good of the world”, the author is asking the reader to make a qualitative judgment about who is standing on the right side of the line. When the head guy standing on the right side of the line is doing everything he can to violate the line but still maintains the need for the suppression of an entire set of beings, how can you make that qualitative judgment?

I’m not saying that a book needs to be all black and white, but if the author is exploring gray areas, then that exposition should be in the book. Why is Adrian not grappling with this? Why is it okay for him to fuck the brains out of the heroine but he’ll ruin any one else who takes the same liberties? Why doesn’t he question the rightness of his position? Instead, this is what he says:

“You and Helena can’t be the only ones to form attachments,”  Jason said.

“No.” Everything seemed to be coming to a head at once. Or maybe it felt that way because he was still reeling from Lindsay’s decision to leave him. She was being selfless for him. He had to try to be the same  for her, which might mean letting her go.

“You can’t be surprised,” Jason went on. “We’ve been on this mission forever.”

“I’m only surprised it took this long.” Adrian looked at Damien, who lifted both shoulders in an offhand shrug that neither confirmed nor denied whether his opinion aligned. “But what are the alternatives? Dereliction of duty? The forfeiture of our wings? Preying on the mortals we were created to protect? Who the fuck wants to live that life?”

But but but. He is living that life.  He is engaged in doing exactly what he despises in others and has so little remorse for it.  Why does he have anyone who obeys him? Who follows him?

What possibly makes this book even more wall banging is the resolution of the reincarnated soul issue.  I’ll say obliquely that if an author chooses to end the story in this fashion, then why the hell is there a reincarnated storyline in the first place.  Why make such a huge friggin’ deal about how Adrien cannot live during the periods Shadoe is not reincarnated?

[spoiler] Shadoe comes back slightly different everytime but her soul is the same until about 80 percent of the story is over.  Shadoe  and Lindsey’s soul are both in the same vessel and Adrien decides he no longer loves Shadoe because she was flawed. She liked to tempt him! oh noes!  But Lindsey respects the sacrifice that he must make (or that he should make and never doees).  Lindsey and Shadoe grapple for control and Lindsey convinces Shadoe to let go because Lindsey will love him forever.  So Shadoe lets go and fades into nothingness and Adrien and Lindsey have an HEA.  Yes, the reincarnated soul just dies off.  Worse, Shadoe was originally Asian and her ethnicity is eroded in the reincarnation process and then ultimately Adrien falls in love with Lindsey, the red haired, fair skinned, blue eyed girl.  What the ever loving hell. [/spoiler]

Toward the end of the book, there appears to be a fracturing of the world that has been in existence for thousands and thousands of years.  The lycan, who are under control of the Sentinels are rebelling.  There are groups who do not want to be under the thumb of the Sentinels (and frankly who can blame them?).  There is a discovery about the Sentinel blood that will turn them into hunted instead of the hunters.  That this discovery has just now occurred makes me think that these are the dumbest paranormal beings ever.

Finally, I’m going to talk about the racial depictions in this book.  I want to state at the outset that I don’t think that what was shown in this book was in any way intentional but the way in which race was portrayed made me uncomfortable.  I also want to note that I believe that you are half Japanese and I only state that because I suspect someone in the comments will say “Day can’t be racist, she’s half Japanese”.  And I am not making a claim that you are racist, only that the depictions of race in this book seemed to elevate blue eyed, classically featured characters over “exotic” or people of color.

Let’s start with the heroine.  She was once the spitting image of her Asian mommy. Now she has red hair blue eyes and fair skin.  This is an authorial choice.  The reincarnated soul has no rules in this world.  She did not need to start out Asian and then, through reincarnation, become more and more Western in coloring.  This is a paranormal story. These characters could be anything, any color, any race.  But for some reason the heroine started out as Asian and when she became the true and forever love of Adrien, she was red haired and fair skinned.

Now his daughter was stripped of her genes along with her memories. Once the spitting image of her mother, her incarnations bore the trademarks of someone else’s lineage.

All the Sentinels and I believe the original Watchers  are blue eyed although the hero has “olive toned” skin.  When the Seraph “fall”, they change from blue eyed gods to “amber” (I’m not sure whether this is a result of blood drinking or not as it is never expressed).

Sentinel descriptions:

Jason:  “Despite the roar of the aircraft’s engines, Jason didn’t need to raise his voice to be heard. He also didn’t cover his seraph blue eyes, despite the pair of designer shades perched atop his golden head.”

Adrian:  “His eyes were the most unusual shade of blue. Like the vivid cerulean at the heart of a flame. Set within olive skin and framed by thick dark lashes, they were mesmerizing.”

Damien:  “Damien’s seraph blue eyes returned to her. He was gorgeous: long and sculpted, with his dark brown hair cut short, and sleek, framing eyes nearly as blue as Adrian’s.”

Helena:   “He knew what the hostess saw—a stunning, statuesque, radiantly beautiful woman with waist-length blond hair and seraph blue eyes.

Salem:  “He’s young,” Salem said beside her, momentarily distracting her with his latest blinding hair color of primary blue. It was fortunate for him that he possessed classical bone structure; there was a regal quality to his handsome face that transcended whatever crayon hue adorned his head.”

All the Sentinels had the same flame blue eyes, although only Adrian’s ever gave off heat. The Sentinels were works of art, really. It was rather intimidating being surrounded by dozens of perfect, gorgeous beings.

Fallen (who were all Angels at one point):

Vashti:  “Hello, Adrian,” she muttered, her lips curved in a smile that didn’t reach her eyes. Sunlight fell over her pale bare arms and chocolate-colored hair. Her amber eyes glittered like tiger’s-eye, but he remembered when they’d been blue like his own.

Shadoe, the daughter of a fallen angel and a human:  An exotic and breathtaking woman.

Shadoe’s brother, Torque:  “His brutally short hair stuck straight up in opposing directions, the thick Asian locks bleached nearly white at the tips. It was a style that suited both the exotic features he’d inherited from his mother and his sharp-edged lifestyle.”

Another guy but with questionable alliances, not a Sentinel:

Raguel:  “The archangel hesitated a moment, then dipped his head with the expected deference. His smile was dazzlingly white within the framework of skin as smooth and rich as the finest milk chocolate. There was a smattering of tight gray curls at Raguel’s temples, but that telltale sign of aging was an affectation to disguise his immortality.”

Lycan (set up to be a bad guy although may be a good guy in future books):

“It was a quiet surety inside her. She knew the fallen angel who stood across the room from her, looking far too young to be her father. He was gorgeous. Tall and elegant, like a Sentinel, but much darker. Definitely dangerous. Not just in his looks, although those were dark and dangerous, too. His black hair and caramel-hued skin were paired with eyes the color of toffee, making him stunning in a wholly exotic way.”

So why is it that all the “good” angels have blue eyes, classical features and most have golden hair?  Why not a huge variation of racial features on the “good” angels.  Why are the “good” angels and the “bad” guys in the stories differentiated by phenotype?  It’s noteable that the only time skin color is mentioned is when it references a non white person.  The default then is that the characters are white if not “olive skinned, caramel hued, milk chocolate” colored.  Maybe individually, these things wouldn’t have rung my bell, but with the heroine’s ethnicity “stripped away” through reincarnation (not to mention what happens in the spoiler) along with how all the Sentinels are blue eyed, classically featured, then yes, it all becomes very uncomfortable for me.  If they are of different skin color, different races, why wasn’t that described?  Why was the heroine’s ethnicity erased so that by the time she gets her HEA she is no longer an “exotic” beauty (as she was described in the book).  Overall, this book disappointed me on many levels but having the heroine’s ethnicity erased was the topper.  D

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

36 Comments

  1. Christine M.
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 07:20:10

    I think I hurt my brain just reading your review.

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  2. Jane
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 07:37:28

    @Christine m was it the length or something else?

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  3. DS
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 07:46:12

    I am very impressed that you read all the way through this and then parsed it out. I think I would have been found sitting in a corner putting straw in my hair if I had tried.

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  4. Christine M.
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 08:03:27

    @Jane: Just the mere complexity of the plot and the protags’ motivations. Not the review itself. :)

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  5. Jane
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 09:16:13

    @DS My history with Day books are complicated. Her historicals haven’t worked for me but I have enjoyed her contemporary novellas. (She’s written two of them in anthologies for Berkley) and I thought that this urban fantasy/pnr would hit the spot. Her voice works far better for me in this setting but the world building, the character depictions, the ethnic cleansing of the heroine, and the reincarnation storyline really sent me over the edge.

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  6. Jane
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 09:16:36

    @Christine M. The review is about 3 times the length of an ordinary review of mine so I wondered if the length of it was simply tl;dr.

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  7. CK
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 09:21:28

    Bummer! I second Christine M, my brain is hurting. Not from the review but the hypocrisy of the hero. I’m such a cover slut that I was really hoping this would be a fun ride. Alas, it seems I’m going to have to keep waiting for a cool angel/angelesque story (tho I do have Meljean on my TBR ;).

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  8. Christine M.
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 09:24:31

    @Jane: It’s fine. I think the review is well structured and the different parts flow well together considering all you had to say about the book.

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  9. Sue T
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 09:47:49

    Wow. I’ve been eyeing this book for some time because of the cover but just haven’t picked it up. With this review, I definitely won’t. Hero sounds horrible – I’m just shaking my head over him and his behavior. Other than her ethnicity being stripped away, you don’t say a lot about heroine. Not that it matters since I read for the heroes mostly but am curious if that is because she was okay otherwise. Or just sex fodder for the hero (which so many paranormal stories seem to be more about right now).

    The convolutions in the story hurt my head too – not your review – that was perfect. :)

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  10. Jane
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 09:50:22

    @Sue T I viewed her as primarily sex fodder for the hero (and that is a great term by the way). Other than the struggle for domination of her soul which appears in the latter 20% of the book, she’s very much there for sex and to provide the requisite sounding board for what is going on in the world.

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  11. Sunita
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 10:20:29

    I don’t read PNR much, so my questions may be really stupid. But on this reincarnation thing: in each reincarnation, doesn’t Shadoe just come back as whatever being she’s reincarnated as? So sometimes red-haired and pale, sometimes dark-skinned, sometimes Asian? Or does she keep some of her physical characteristics but they fade over time?

    I guess our hero is lucky she wasn’t reincarnated as Danny DeVito at some point. Although that might have made for a more interesting tale.

    Obviously in this story reincarnation can work whatever way the author wants it to. I’m just trying to figure out what the rules are.

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  12. Jane
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 10:22:52

    @Sunita I guess I’d refer you to the quote above. This was from Shadoe’s father’s POV:

    Now his daughter was stripped of her genes along with her memories. Once the spitting image of her mother, her incarnations bore the trademarks of someone else’s lineage.

    To me that meant her incarnations were moving away from her ethnic origins.

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  13. MarieC
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 10:36:07

    I was excited when I saw this, then I read the review. Darn, I was hoping this would be like her “Eve” books.

    Thanks for the review!

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  14. fairyfreak
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 10:44:41

    Per your spoiler:

    I guess I’m confused by the reincarnation talk. I’ve always thought of reincarnation as the same soul born to a different body and not necessarily remembering who they used to be. If there are two souls in the body who can “fight” for dominance, isn’t that possession?

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  15. Jane
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 10:47:48

    @fairyfreak: I don’t know. The two souls battling it out didn’t arise until later in the book and the characters in the text refer to her as being reincarnated.

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  16. Sunita
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 10:54:50

    @fairyfreak: @Jane: Yeah, that’s the same problem I’m having with it, I think. Without going into the spoiler-y details, I’d say this is not your standard type of reincarnation. So asking why the author chooses the ethnic type she does for Lauren is very germane.

    I’m more bothered by the endless blue, I mean “seraph blue” eyes. They sound disturbing rather than beautiful and sexy.

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  17. Lori
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 11:02:00

    Wait, how can Shadoe be a daughter of the Fallen if the Fallen cannot procreate? Did I miss something?

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  18. Jane
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 11:04:40

    @Lori: The Angels mated with humans and had kids. Then the Sentinels were sent to punish. The only procreators in this book were the lycans. The Angels can make vampires. I suppose the Sentinels could have children before Adrian gets his hands on them.

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  19. Elyssa Papa
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 11:18:08

    Oh, god. I really don’t like the reincarnation trope as is but the plot and characterizations of this book makes no sense whatsoever.

    I keep thinking, WTF, WTF, WTF.

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  20. Maili
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 11:19:40

    Adrian falls in love with the daughter of the head dude of the Fallen, soulless vampires. Adrian has sex with her which should mean Adrian is hunted down and stripped of his wings. The head “bad” tries to turn his daughter, Shadoe, into a vampire so she will be immortal but Adrian prevents it by killing her. Unfortunately, he killed her too late and her soul became immortal.

    That confuses me. I may be a thicko, but I do wonder. Shadoe’s mother is an Asian human and her father is a white (I’m assuming white is the default colour as there’s no mention) fallen angel/soulless vampire. So, this makes Shadoe a half-human half-vampire/fallen angel, and half-Caucasian and half-Asian?

    And her father tries to turn her into an immortal/vampire presumably for shagging Adrian, but she becomes an immortal soul instead. If this is right, where does her vampire-half go? Left behind with her old body?

    Or were Shadoe and Torque human when they were born without any side effects of having a fallen angel/vampire as their biological father? Shadoe goes on to die and become an immortal soul and her brother goes on to become a soulless vampire like their daddy? (Whatever happened to their human mother, anyway?)

    Was all this explained/clarified in the book?

    Also:

    White people = classical and blue eyes.
    Asian people = exotic.
    Black people = Starbucks drinks.

    Got it.

    Kidding aside. That set-up of racial depictions is so common in romantic fiction that I’m somewhat surprised you have an issue with it this time.

    Or is it Day’s revival of a racist stereotype (non-white dark-eyed people as baddies and white blue-eyed people as goodies) you have an issue with?

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  21. Maili
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 11:21:30

    @Jane: Oh, that has partly answered my question above. Sorry for typing too slow!

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  22. Jane
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 12:26:28

    @Maili: Black people = starbucks drinks is kind of lolarious. In the Jill Shalvis book that is coming out this month, the hero’s skin color is described as mocha.

    I don’t recall all vamps being white and all non good guys being people of color in all the other PNR books I’ve read, but it could be. I think what set off my trigger was the erasure of the heroine’s ethnicity and the visual of the heroine climbing up the ladder from vile offspring of the soulless to being the hero’s one true love and the downfall of Sentinels to amber eyed beings.

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  23. Klio
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 13:40:37

    @Maili: You win the internet today, and the Starbucks Venti of your choice if we’re ever in the same place at the same time (where, odds being what they are, there will be two or three Starbucks within book-throwing distance).

    It’s a shame about this book. The cover is definitely a draw. The background premise seems confusing. And the “exotic” descriptions push it right out of the running for me ever to read it.

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  24. Amy
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 13:48:57

    I gave up reading the review half way in due to the hero’s logic.

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  25. Jamie Michele
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 16:33:11

    Fascinating review.

    “He was gorgeous. Tall and elegant, like a Sentinel, but much darker. Definitely dangerous. Not just in his looks, although those were dark and dangerous, too. His black hair and caramel-hued skin were paired with eyes the color of toffee, making him stunning in a wholly exotic way.”

    (Sorry; I don’t know how to fancy-quote such things.)

    I’m alarmed by persistence of this dark skin = dangerous equation. Aren’t there more sophisticated methods of characterization available to authors? And I don’t just mean a twist, in which the white/blond/blue-eyed man is the baddie. That’s just as disgusting, for it’s predicated on the author’s presumption that the reader would never expect a light-colored individual to be bad.

    People can look dangerous; I believe this to be true. But I do not believe that this danger can be communicated through such simple things as the color of one’s skin, hair, or eyes. I believe humans to be far more subtle and complicated than that, and I would hope an author of this caliber would find it more interesting to access that subtlety and complexity.

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  26. Jane
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 20:51:50

    @Jamie Michele Tall dark and dangerous I suppose is from where we draw the dark skin = dangerous equation? I don’t know but it gets more disturbing with time.

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  27. Klio
    Oct 03, 2011 @ 21:12:23

    @Jamie Michele: Dark = dangerous is such an old idea, but the “exotic” description really gets me, and I can’t stop picking at it/hitting it with a hammer. Exotic compared to what? From whose perspective? How is the reader supposed to approach this? I’d have hoped authors, and their editors, were past calling people “exotic” by now. Of course, the exception would be if it’s presented strongly from a specific character’s perspective. A Viking who’s never seen a dark-skinned person. An angel who’s never gotten out of… I don’t know… a small town in Iceland. Something, anything, other than an author succumbing to using a cliche. Or, worse, an author not fully understanding literal meaning of the word she’s using.

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  28. Grace
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 08:19:13

    “…His black hair and caramel-hued skin were paired with eyes the color of toffee, making him stunning in a wholly exotic way.”

    He sounds more like a cookie than a person.

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  29. Christine M.
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 08:35:05

    @Grace: I LOLed. He’d make one great-tasting cookie, I must say!

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  30. Denise
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 09:54:06

    I absolutely loved Day’s paranormal “Eve of ..” books and I just finished one of her historicals that I really enjoyed. I figure I’m up for the challenge in regards to her world building so I’m definitely buying this new book.

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  31. Misty
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 10:50:38

    I just re-read Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series and I was just looking at this book to continue the sexy men with wings kick that I seem to be on, Thanks for saving me some money. *Sigh* and such a nice cover too.

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  32. Jamie Michele
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 13:27:23

    @Jane I suspect the dark = dangerous equation has a more insidious origin than the reduction of a common phrase. It feels so obviously racist; why does it persist? Why do authors do it? Why do readers buy it? It’s so painful, I do not understand why this sort of thing is still occurring. I really don’t.

    @Klio Yes, I was thinking along those lines, as well. Exotic isn’t a race; it’s a state of contrast to one’s own experience. Too many authors use it as shorthand for “non-white,” and I’m saddened every time I read it.

    Describing all non-white characters as “exotic,” regardless of which character is viewing them, means the author presumes that her readers would also view this person as “exotic.” But isn’t that a rather racist, or at least white-centrist, presumption?

    I find it particularly confusing that this all comes from an otherwise bright and talented author who is herself half-Asian.

    I should say that I am disturbed, but I don’t think that the author is intentionally advancing some sort of of racist agenda. Rather, this all seems very deep-seated, and I hope she becomes aware of this subtle strand of racism so she can work to eliminate it from her work.

    I hope all of us can, really. These things are worth talking about, as uncomfortable as they can make us.

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  33. Kris
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 23:37:45

    Gah, I just finished the book and was looking for concurrence if anyone else was bothered by Adrian’s hypocrisy. Why wasn’t he even ripping off his own wings when he had his first affair with Shadoe?! I like Ms Day’s writing but the basis of this whole story sucks.

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  34. Jane
    Jan 09, 2012 @ 09:07:31

    @Kris Yes, that disturbed me the entire book (among other things).

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  35. Book lover
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 12:01:40

    Almost the whole book was about Adrian’s unwavering love and loyalty to Shadoe and we are suppossed to buy that he no longer loved her because he had sex with Lindsey whom by the way he only spent 2 days with total out of the whole book. She spent all her time with Elijah. Really Ms. Day the book was confusing and the hero sucked

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  36. Kirby
    Jun 05, 2012 @ 14:01:38

    Not to dig up dead threads, but this really confused me. What would happen if she were reincarnated as a dude? ‘Cause, if you’re reincarnated like twelve times, odds are you’re going to be another gender unless that just doesn’t happen in this world or something, and then I just have to roll my eyes. Normally, this is what I think about with these “fated to love” or “reincarnation” stories.

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