The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead. As I settled in with the book, I thought back to a question that I've had time and time again: Why do I like this series?
It's no secret that I'm not the hugest fan of paranormal romance. Urban fantasy I like, but I've had trouble with PNR. Sometimes it's hard to differentiate between PNR and UF, and that's fine, but when PNR stays closer to its own tropes, trouble ensues (for me). The Bloodlines series does shake up the PNR foundation quite a bit, but is that enough? I don't know - maybe, maybe not. That's not actually why I like it as much as I do. I like it...
Because of the characters. Because of their quirks, and how those simple things make me feel like the characters are familiar. Angeline using a butter knife to make shorts, texting in all caps. Adrian medicating himself, painting while under the fervor of spirit, crafting flippant responses to deflect attention. Sydney naming her cars, clutching her cross, pushing food around her plate, constantly wearing office attire like khaki pants, ensuring that no hair is out of place. Those character quirks also work double time to point back to the world Mead has created - Sydney's khaki pants and cross being typical in the Alchemist world, etc. etc.. Better yet Mead uses those character quirks to create a signature style of humor, which is evident even from the first time when Adrian and Sydney meet and he makes some deadpan comment about her clothes.
The Queen's Thief series -- or tailors specific behaviors for specific people, it's almost a guarantee that I'll at least be interested in the characters because they'll feel that much more real to me. Plus the humor and world-building opportunities -- there's so much that can be done with character quirks!
Do you notice and/or care about character quirks while reading? Who are your favorite characters and why? Are you enjoying The Fiery Heart? (I did something bad. I flipped to the end. Couldn't help it -- after all the review mentions, I had to know.)
PS - bookish rounds tomorrow.