Now and then I have to push myself in a new direction. Reexamine why I think a certain way or like or dislike something. The unexamined life is not worth living and all that. Elsewhere in my ramblings here, I've mentioned that I don't care for soul mates as a trope.
So, in this new reviewing mode, I had to think about that. I've been running from the trope if it's explicitly stated ahead of time, and gotten grumpy if it popped up late. Soul mates gets used a lot, especially with vampires and were creatures, and I come from a fandom background of vampires and weres, so I don't really want to leave all that behind. Maybe I'm being too harsh.
Two books I've read recently have used the trope in wildly different ways. More extensive reviews to follow on both. Sorry about the reviewing silence, BTW, Dark Divas and I have been getting the details worked out, and I have a few reviews uploaded for editing, so hopefully we'll be back on track here shortly.
One book uses the trope so subtly that I didn't even realize it had gotten in there until just now. Very likely because the association of the two characters in certain ways was required by the greater plot arc, but getting sexual was their idea. They are fated, in a way that is about as big as it's possible for FATE to get, to deal with one another, but they are choosing how to do it. So I feel like the author did something truly new and unusual here. I'm waiting for more, not running away.
The other has vampires and werewolves, and you've seen the story before. So have I. Lots of times. One vamp, one wolf. Much sex. But it did make me think -- why exactly does this bother me?
Short answer -- because in all the "you are meant for me" posturing and sex, the probability for the characters to do something magnificently stupid in terms of the greater plot is really, really high. Stupidity is not something I find attractive.
It happens a lot. And the rest of the time, I'm braced for it.
So, I guess I need to be more open about the concept in general, because I've just proven to myself that if it's done well, with something new and different, I'll like it. And if it's tired and obvious, I still probably won't. If it's the traditional method, even if done really well, I'm not sure I'll get over being braced for something preventable, but the surprise could be good.