Eri & Alexis’s not-a-podcast podcast was filmed in front of a live studio audience of Alexis’s dog and her very loud portable fan. A transcript has been provided below for your reading pleasure.
Alexis: *taps on nonexistent mic* Okay so.. It’s been a while. It’s been a really long while since we’ve made any posts. Eri’s last post was in March and mine was in, like February. Very scary. We’ve been really busy this year. We’ve had a weird year I think.
Eri: I’ve read like 30 books, which is usually what I read in 2 months so…
*in unison* Alexis & Eri: NO!!
Alexis: I’ve been in the same boat. I haven’t read anything that’s not for school school. With the exception of Kate Daniels, which we’ll talk about very soon.
Alexis: Why are we even here today? Do we want to preface on why we’re together talking into my phone mic for this recording that will be transcribed and posted on the blog in Tumblr text post format?
Eri: We went to the iconic and delightful Hello Kitty Cafe. After like months of planning an outing to their Afternoon Tea, it finally happened and it was pretty much a dream come true. Literally, if I lived closer to Alexis, I would be at the Hello Kitty cafe everyday. But unfortunately, I can’t do that. So I’ll settle. *wearing Hello Kitty graphic tee from Uniqlo*
Alexis: Since we’ve been gone we’ve read our way through the Kate Daniels series in, like, how many days? 2 weekends, really. We were possessed by the spirit of Ilona Andrews. It was a situation.
Alexis: There’s something about Ilona Andrews that draws me in..
Eri: …a fever dream?
Alexis: Yes. Every time I start a new series I become possessed. I read Hidden Legacy in one weekend after having DNFed the audiobook of Burn For Me awhile back.
Eri: We’re not fans of the Ilona narrators.
Alexis: Yeah… That opener is an awkward tone too, at least in my opinion. Plus, I’m kind of spoiled with Paranormal Romance Narrators. There are other PNR narrators I love like Tavia Gilbert and Robert Petkoff. Mediocre narrators can’t compare. Honestly, I worship Tavia Gilbert. Eri and I really do appreciate a good narrator.
Eri: We could go on and on about Tavia Gilbert’s narration for Night Huntress. Tavia also still sounds really good at 1.5x speed, in case you’re like me and want to speed through an audiobook.
Alexis: Eri is committing a sacrilege. I’m a true audiobook connoisseur, unlike Eri, and I will listen to and worship Tavia’s voice at the speed it was intended to be consumed at.
Eri: Some people just have a gift. Tavia has that gift.
Alexis: [jon snow voice] she. is our queen.
Alexis: Anyways, back to our Kate Daniels fever dream. Eri had some specific favorites from it, but I don’t know if she wants to reveal herself or if she’s gonna bide her time so she doesn’t sound more pathetic than she already is.
Eri: Unfortunately, even though there’s been 5 or 6 novellas in Kate Daniels, my favorites, Julie and Derek, only got one. And a trilogy that didn’t get started. It’s truly tragic. We’re going to petition Ilona to write more books for them.
Eri: We also started the Hugh series….and you finished it. Iron and Magic didn’t have enough of my favorite characters to pull me through. Also, I’m notorious for starting a million books and just forgetting to finish them if I don’t read them in one sitting.
Alexis: While I’m a big Hugh stan, I did struggle with his book. Partly I’m sure due to the series not being completed yet so I couldn’t marathon it like I did with Kate’s books.
Alexis: We’ve read another PNR series [insert Eri laughing at me] that gave me the same feeling. Yes, we’re going to talk about it. Don’t look at me like that. Night Prince (by Jeaniene Frost) and Iron Covenant (by Ilona Andrews of course) both are spin offs with fan favorite male characters. And they both were victim to similar problems. I wish there was an simple term for this situation exactly because they mirror each other.
Eri: [continues laughing at me]
Alexis: But, both of these fan favorite male characters, Vlad and Hugh, are paired up with ‘new to the story’ heroines. I don’t know if that decision itself is what created problems or the fact that it wasn’t done well. I think it’s probably both. Its incredibly difficult to 1) live up to fan’s expectations and 2) write a heroine into the universe that is able to become equals with an already established, powerful character who has left their mark on the story. Or, more so in the case of Iron Convent, are a powerful in-universe force that haven’t been mentioned before. It almost cheapens the world building. To be far, I don’t know how you avoid that particular situation… unless you plan out who every side character would hypothetically end up with before even knowing if you’re going to write a branch off series. Weak writing or writing one’s self into a corner… the world may never know.
Eri: Honestly, it’s almost an expectation that you get when you’re reading lengthy romance series, whether it’s paranormal regency or contemporary, you’ll see that secondary or side character you know is going to get a book. And you (im)patiently wait for the book featuring your favorite. I think in the instance of historical or contemporary romance it’s easier, because they tend to be more self-contained romance stories? But the thing with both of these paranormal series that we consumed is that the worldbuilding and narrative sets up these high stakes and there are paranormal laws and politics that are directly affected with enormous consequences because the characters and protagonists are just that powerful! It’s really hard to introduce brand new characters and an entire side of that world after several books following a couple who literally reshapes a lot of the established world conventions in a series. *drifts off into thinking about mediums that make this kind of storytelling easier*
Eri: Gideon’s Riders by Kit Rocha is a recent dystopian series that has an enormous cast but introduces side characters and potential pairings really early on and well. Because there is a wealth of worldbuilding and an interconnected web of relationships established very early in the series, I look forward to each one. I think there’s been about three books so far, but I can already recognize set up for several characters in sequels.
Eri: We’re really big fans of power ups in the series. This is why we loved Kate Daniels.
*MAJOR SPOILERS FOR MAGIC TRIUMPHS BELOW*
Alexis: Oh my god. This is like major spoilers if you haven’t read Kate Daniels. so RUN NOW!!! Curran getting that god power up. That’s like my favorite trope. I love when characters become literal gods. Although, I didn’t totally love the execution of it because I usually prefer when the “divine” path means the character’s doom in some fashion. Kate Daniels being a series with a HEA simply wasn’t going to have that. But that reveal and subsequently related scenes were some of my favorite moments in the seres. Ilona’s mind!
Eri: Our interests did dip towards the later half of the series because it is a long running series. But the last book gave Alexis enough bait to continue stanning Curran and Kate. And it gave me some Julie stuff. You can see the build-up for potential future Julie content.
Alexis: Crossing our fingers.
Alexis: While we’re on the subject of power, Eri and I do love some political drama in our PNR. You get some of that with Curran’s time as Beast Lord. I wasn’t always satisfied with the presentation of power structures, as I’ve alluded to before, which is also one of the reasons why Hidden Legacy works better for me than Kate Daniels. I’m okay with the lack of explanation for things in Hidden Legacy because it’s obviously intentional and set up to be dealt with as the series continues.
Eri: Definitely. It does help that because we know Hidden Legacy has concluded with Nevada/Connor so we may still be in their universe but it’s a completely different set of characters and dynamics at the front in the next few. I still do want more from the Kate Daniels verse in that with Julie’s character we could really explore the next generation and legacy….something we love to read and discuss. Ilona Andrews please write a Julie series one day, I want to escape the void of knowing there was a series in the works and hasn’t moved forward. *insert a metaphorical wail because Eri is of course too dignified to whine in real life*
Alexis: I feel empty inside and dead now that we’re caught up on Kate Daniels and Hidden Legacy.
Alexis: Eri and I are looking for something to fill the void. If you have any series-
Eri: Seven to Eight books long maybe.
Alexis: The more spin offs the better.
Eri: …you know. We’re impatiently waiting for Sapphire Flames.
Alexis: Yeah, cause that’s really soon. That’s really really soon. We’re.. at least I’m at huge Catalina fan. And Diamond Fire was so good. I’m really excited to see what Catalina’s story brings, especially with regards to learning more about the Baylor family history.
Alexis: And. Oh my god, the grandma. Victoria Tremaine. I’m in love with all of the potential revelations and plot lines her existence brings. It all plays into my love of destiny, dark family secrets, and vague Generation Xerox. You just know she’s gonna start shit in Sapphire Flames. I’m dying to see what.
Eri: I’m excited for the youngest sister, Arabella. And Leon.
*several seconds of dramatic contemplation ensue as Erilexis ponders about what Sapphire Flames could bring*
Eri: We should just become Paranormal Romance bloggers.
Alexis: Honestly we should. We don’t talk about it much on twitter, but we really do think an unhealthy amount about these PNR series. It’s on our minds constantly.
Eri: We will literally FaceTime for 2 hours just to talk about PNR.
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