I did some reading this week, which pretty much means I'm procrastinating and not writing like a should be. But they always say you should read in your genre, and since I rarely have time to read my email, let alone actual books, I don't feel too guilty about it.
Anyway, I'm about a hundred pages into this highly recommended urban fantasy and, despite a few irritating plot quirks, I'm really enjoying it. (I can't stand it when the characters refuse to give the protagonist any information and then crucify her for making mistakes) The book has a great world and premise, is well-written and a true attention grabber. From start to finish, in fact, it was a 'gripper."
But,about half-way through the book, the heroine suddenly does something horrible. Okay, not just horrible, but--in my opinion--completely unforgivable. I read a little further, hoping that there would be a twist that revealed things hadn't happened exactly that way. Nothing. I stopped and thought about it. Can the author fix this? Can she do anything with this that will make me like this character again? Nope.
I finished the book. Mainly because I held out hope that the writer would be able to pull some miracle out of the pages that saved the situation for me. When I was done, I thought about it...and thought about it, and decided that I really hated the book.
I hated it. Which is a sad thing, because it had so much going for it. Still, somewhere around that mid-point, the author lost me forever. I don't trust her anymore. I don't trust that protagonist. I don't believe that she's feeling what she's supposed to be feeling, that she's not about to do something horrible again.
As a heroine/character, she is irredeemable.
A lot of people like this book. Maybe they don't have the same ethical boundary that I do, maybe they have a higher tolerance. But, I'm no sweet and gentle fan. I like my heroes a touch evil, my villains a touch heroic, and yeah, my heroines a bit: snarky, edgy, gritty, even wounded.
Except, apparently I have this invisible boundary that, once crossed, can't be erased, and now I know that, I've added unforgivable, irredeemable heroes to my list of things never to write into my manuscript. (yes, you have to have a list--these things sneak up on you)
What about you? Is there anything in a character that you can't forgive? What about in an author? How much immorality can you accept in a hero, and when would they lose you completely?
How about if an author kills a character you love? If it's a really great, meaninful death, can you forgive/trust them again?