Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Madeline Hunter's By Possession
This book jolted me from a rut. A rut wherein just the introduction of the hero instills confidence and calms any doubt about the HEA. When Hunter's hero, Addis, first meets Moira, he is menacing at best. And not inclined to give Moira more than a passing consideration; the briefest remembrance.
Where I recognized and felt her loneliness and isolation early, I felt little empathy for Addis until much later in the book. Even when I 'understood' him, I remained unimpressed and unmoved by his stoicism. Still dug into my rut, I expected him to 'right' things, realign stars and planets if necessary.
This changed, effectively bouncing me out of that rut, in one pivotal moment, when Addis enters Moira's room while she sleeps and slumps down against the wall simply to be near her. This is where I felt his isolation. And the depth of his need for her. This is when I gave credence to his own burdens and stopped faulting him for not assuming control. For not 'righting' things.
In By Possession, Hunter drew me into a love so poignant, it hurt. I wasn't carried gently through the story on whispers of hope (evoked by love powerful enough to overcome). Instead, I labored heavy-hearted, burdened by the same sense of powerlessness, injustice and uncertainty that blackened the skies above Addis and Moira. In the end, the HEA delivered bone-deep relief, not an overwhelming joy. And after I turned the last page, the melancholoy lingered.
Would I recommend By Possession? Well yeah. These characters provoked emotion. Just because they mucked around in misery, killing any chance for a light and happy mood, is no reason to deny their appeal. It is safe to say that I will begin working my way through all of Hunter's titles.