Friday, February 24, 2012

Paranormal Cinderellas

'Cinderella's Royal Table' photo (c) 2010, HarshLight - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Looking at so many Paranormal Romance series the title of this post isn’t just a cheesey line from an 80s hair band (don’t judge my taste in music), but for the female partner in so many of these stories, an accurate summation of their lives. Time after time, we see these women live unpleasant, hollow, painful or just plain dull and uninspiring, hopeless lives and suddenly, all is saved and rescued by the man - who is sexy and exciting and magical and special and gives them a reason to live again! One could call it, saved by the penis. We see it so often - in JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, Anya Bast’s Elemental Witches, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter Series, Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling Series, DB Reynold’s Vampires in America Series and so many more - this post was actually getting ridiculously long from the examples we were adding

In Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter Series we have Grace Alexander (the worlds most unqualified sex therapist, all sad and lonely), Amanda (messy break up, arsehole ex, actually dedicated to making her life as dull and boring as possible), Astrid (the justice nymph who has lost her faith in their being any innocent men in the world), Cassandra (literally on the run for her life, hunted by Daimons and doomed to die in a few months anyway), Bride (bad breakup, low self-esteem), Susan (career and love life in tatters): even Marguerite (living her father’s expectations, not her real life) and Tabitha (aimless and drifting) were somewhat lost.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood - I’ve already touched on in detail, but again we have Beth, Mary, Marissa, Bella, Ehlena, Cormia, Payne - the same pattern, women with miserable, unfulfilled and generally unhappy lives before their men swoop in. They’re lonely, they’re sad, they’re desperate - they’re even ill or severely injured (Mary, Payne) or shunned and ostracised (Ehlena, Marissa) and frequently they have been physically rescued from kidnapping (just about every damn one of them).

In Anya Bast’s Elemental Witches, Mira has a dead end job, has come from a messy divorce and doesn’t even know she’s a witch. Isabelle exists for revenge and has no life outside of avenging her friend (which she doesn’t even achieve!). Clare is a demon’s handmaiden and is, yes, rescued into a completely new life and Sarafina? Yes, again rescued from kidnapping.

And do I need to talk about Nalini Singh Psy/Changeling Series? The Psy women are living in societies that are slowly destroying them and repressing them. They’re cut off from their emotions and Faith and Sascha are literally being driven insane by the lives they are forced to live. In fact, except for the 2 shapeshifter women, Indigo and Mercy, all of the women of the series are being rescued or healed from something.

Read More