Warning: snark ahead! (But no, I didn't hunt the snark [LOL] - it found me!)
Caveat: I don't mean any disrespect to either the author or her work, so I apologise in advance if I cause offence - it is not my intention to do so.
Note: spoilers for Lover Unleashed ahead.
So, you may have noticed that I'm currently reading Lover Unleashed (JR Ward). It is...to put it mildly...doing my head in. (Although any of you reading my status updates on GoodReads will have noticed that already :) The thing is, I'm seriously beginning to question why I am reading it. Where to start?
All of the issues that have annoyed me in previous books (To Brand Or Not To Brand, Evolution, Rant and Wanted - I've got a lot of issues, haven't I? *grin*) are front and centre in Lover Unleashed. There is the word shortening (binocs for binoculars and photog for photographer), the product placement (for clothes [e.g. Jackie O. and Gucci] and cars [e.g. Porsche...I keep wanting to direct the characters to Top Gear's cool wall] and...just about everything you can think of) and the slang (e.g. piehole and coffin nails). There is the constant referral to humans as weaker or 'less than'... Every human that makes an appearance on the page appears to be a drug dealer (or their employee), a prostitute, a mindless drone looking for their next high (be it alcohol, drugs or sex) and/or incompetent [well, except for Jose, who I like, and Veck, who knowing my luck with be 'special' in some way, shape or form!]). Oh, and all of them are completely oblivious! And anyone who does not fall into one of the above categories, who is 'special', you just know is going to end up enveloped into the BDB world. Just for once I would like a human character to be shown some respect. The thing is, I've come to the realization that the word shortening, the product placement and the slang...it's not there to position the vampire characters, it's there because the author likes it. Which means it is here to stay.
Plus, maybe it's me, but the introduction of yet more characters? (I must confess to liking what I have seen so far of Throe, but any characters that seem to have no problem with rape - and that would be the rest of Xcor's merry men [although I read last night that Xcor himself does not (I can't find the right word)...commit such acts] - has me wanting to go all Z on them!) There are so many characters now that the others get barely a mention and, including the lessers, have exited stage right! Phury has completely vanished. So has Z and Rhage...and all their mates. And I'm confused as to why Ehlena has been in scenes in Lover Unleashed and yet never says anything!
And so far, Lover Unleashed doesn't feel like it's furthering the main storyline. And perhaps it's because I love the whole estate rehabilitation trope, but...I'm beginning to wonder if Safe Place is making a difference and if perhaps Jane (and eventually Manny, because I know he's going to end up in the BDB compound) are taking their skills out into the community. And Iron Mask is mentioned, but what about Rhevenge's two colleagues...who IIRC are a whole different species. And wolfen? Another new species? *heads desk*
And I'm sure that the vast majority of you are now wondering why I am still reading? After all, if all these things are annoying me I should just stop, right? Well...yes. But, the thing is, ATM the moment wanting to know how the story ends, wanting to know what happens to certain characters (specifically Qhuinn, Blay and Saxton) [yes, I agree Qhuinn & Blay should end up together, but I really like Saxton and I want him to have his HEA and not end up dead!] is outweighing my annoyance. Just! With the Anita Blake series I came to the realization that I no longer cared about the story or the characters enough to keep reading. (And I honestly think the author will never finish the story/tie up the multitude of loose ends.) With the BDB books...well, I'm still holding out hope. Although Lover Unleashed is seriously causing me to question that belief.
So, what is your tipping point when deciding whether to continue with a series?
Edited to add: I do love to rant about this series, don't I?