As some of you may remember, when I started my blog two and a bit years ago, I reviewed exclusively paranormal romance and one of the authors who generated my love for this genre was Nailni Singh, author of the Guild Hunter and Psy/Changeling series.
My taste in books has branched out somewhat but Nalini has remained a firm favourite. Her characters have depth. Her story lines steal your breath away. She is an incredible writer and this is why I’ve ditched today’s review and opted for a discussion over the toxicity that has suddenly emerged within her fandom. I know this isn’t something exclusive to Nalini’s fandom, though, and it’s shocking how people call themselves fans of any author but still post vile things about them and their work.
Now, I’m a member of Nalini’s official fan group on Facebook. I don’t participate much in discussions, but I do read posts and try my best to avoid spoilers (not jealous of the US at all for getting her books first). Today, I came across a post criticising individuals on Amazon for giving Nalini’s new book, Archangel’s Prophecy, one or two star ratings not because it was written badly but because it didn’t have a HEA ending. I went over to Amazon to have a look and sure enough…
I was seriously hoping that the extent of it had been exaggerated but no, there are literally people slating the book because it ended on a cliffhanger instead of sunshine and rainbows. It’s gotten so bad that Nalini tweeted this:
Can you imagine how much it must hurt to have spent the best part of a year writing a book only to have so-called fans have the audacity to be angry because it ended on a cliffhanger?
Get a fucking grip.
The first thing I’ll say is that these people will be doing Nalini a serious favour if they stopped reading her books because there is no place for such petty negativity in her fandom.
The second thing I’ll say is that it would be unrealistic if each of her books had a HEA ending because that just doesn’t reflect life. I mean, sure, we don’t necessarily read books because they mirror our own reality but the struggles of the characters within the books we read make those characters relatable; we find a little bit of ourselves in them and we stick with them throughout the course of their series as a result. If we read books in a series in which characters overcame adversities in the space of two hundred or so pages before going back to their hunky dory life and then to have that repeated in the next book and the next, we’d get bored. Well, I would anyway.
It’s almost laughable how the reader in the first review says that the world Nalini has crafted is “harsh” and that they read the books for “happiness”. Sure, I relate to reading a book for happiness but at the same time, this is such a self-centered comment. Nalini doesn’t write her books for specific readers. It’s not like the harshness of the Guild Hunter universe is something that has only just been revealed in this newly-released book. Right from Angel’s Blood we’ve been presented with a bloody and cruel world inhabited by sadistic killers. I mean, has this reader forgotten what Uram did in the first book? His scenes don’t exactly make for happy reading so the events of Archangel’s Prophecy should come as no surprise. Plus not every single one of Nalini’s books has a HEA ending. Sure, an adversity specific to that book may be overcome but there are still unresolved, unhappy issues yet to be resolved in future releases (like how the Cascade is going affect Illium, for example – Archangel’s Enigma’s epilogue, the literal ending of the book, has Illium almost torn apart by the raw power surging through his body. Illium is a fandom favourite so this is by no means a HEA ending).
The reader in the second review rates Archangel’s Prophecy a measly two stars because it ended on a cliffhanger and they felt “cheated”. Sure, feel cheated if this was the very last book in the series but it’s not! The cliffhanger is an age old technique employed by everyone from the writers of soap operas to Hollywood movie directors and Nalini is well within her rights to end her book on a cliffhanger. It generates discussion and fan theories among her readers and ensures her next Guild Hunter release will be eagerly anticipated.
To give a book a poor rating because, essentially, you’re angry that you’re gonna have to wait another a year to see what follows is unfair and, to be quite honest, childish.
Have you seen this type of behaviour within other fandoms? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!