Sunday, 15 February 2009


So this week things are going to be a little bit spooky. There's going to be a review of Dark Needs at Night's Edge by Kresley Cole, and my impressions of Being Human episode 3.

So what do these two things have in common?


If I had to pick a least favourite fantasy/UF creature, ghosts would probably be it. Okay, that's not strictly true. Zombies would be right at the top of my least favourites list, but ghosts are a very close second. And there are more ghost protagonists than zombie ones.

Why do I have a problem with ghosts?

Mainly I think because they're probably the hardest creatures to write a convincing and believable ending for - I'm talking about romance and relationship fiction here. It doesn't really matter what the author does the ending usually has to be wanked* (contrived) in some way to make it work. Especially if it's only one half of the couple who's on the spirit plane. And as soon as that contrivance takes place I lose some faith in the story.

I'm not sure I would ever buy the first book in a series if I knew the hero/heroine was a ghost. So whenever I've read ghost protagonists they've kind of been snuck up on me as part of a series. Of course if anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear them. :)

* wanked as opposed to fanwanked as it's the author who has to make it work in the first place.


Jenre said...

Great post, Lesley. I agree with you about the ghost thing. I haven't read the Kresley Cole book because I didn't like the fact that the heroine is a ghost.

Naomi said...

I also find a ghost as a romantic interest hard to swallow. I think Anton Strout handled it effectively in Dead To Me, but (spoiler) the ghost doesn't end up with the hero in the finish, so I'm not sure if it counts.

Sarai said...

It's not a series but you might like A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb its a ghost story that's kind of cool.

LesleyW said...

Jenre - hope my review will be useful. :)

Naomi - but at least that feels realistic. One of the few ghost couples I've liked were the gay couple in Phaedra Weldon's Wraith - at least they were two ghosts together.

Sarai - lol, you won't believe this but ACSOL is on my Amazon wishlist. It's been on there a while though, one of those books that I'm not quite sure how it ended up on there

Nicola O. said...

Yeah, actually that was my least favorite IAD book, for that reason. Jane's ghostliness doesn't do a lot for me in Ward's Lover Unbound either, although I'll concede that there's a decent enough construct for it.

The best ghost romance I've read was one of Lynn Kurland's time-travel Artane books.

LesleyW said...

Nicola - I'm trying to pretend that Jane isn't actually a ghost, because it doesn't work for me as a reader. The Kresley Cole story works better for me because I think that series started out as more fantastical, whereas the BDB was a much more 'real' set-up.