Hello and welcome! :) It’s time for another discussion here on Of Dragons and Hearts. I know you’ve missed my rambling posts (right?) and here I am again. As usual, I’m linking this up to the Discussion Challenge, where great posts are collected by two awesome ladies who are hosting it.
This time, we’re chatting about SUPERNATURAL LOVE INTERESTS. In paranormal romance or fantasy (am I missing any other genres?), the species of the protagonists is often something other than human. I won’t go into the deep symbolism of each of the creatures I’ve listed below, though that could be a fantastic post to write, as well. I won’t go delve into why male protagonists are more often inhuman while the woman (the heroine of the story) is often a “weak” human, though that does rub me the wrong way sometimes, too. (So many possible future discussions!)
Personally, I have to admit that I prefer that love interests are warm-blooded and human-looking at least part of the time. Not all creatures are created equal and though I’ve heard of things like tentacle erotica, they mostly just make me shudder in horror. What can I say, I’m a traditionalist. I like to imagine supernatural love interests as humans with some supernatural abilities – because I like humans a lot.
Now, why would anyone even want to read about a human falling in love with an inhuman? I think that in paranormal romance, it’s the thrill of, er, doing something (or someone) forbidden with a set of attributes (like extra great stamina or, um, extra great parts of the male anatomy) that human men lack – or so these romances would have you believe. *sigh* In fantasy, however, a partner of a different species can offer a chance to explore issues like gender and societal expectations. If you have any good examples of this, I’d love to hear about them!
This is a list of the supernatural love interests I could think of, along with some examples of novels where they appear (where I reviewed the book, the link goes to that review, otherwise you’ll be directed to Goodreads).
- Vampires. Hello, obviously. This is probably the most common supernatural creature in paranormal romances I’ve read. I see why they are attractive to a lot of people but if I had to pick one species, vampires definitely wouldn’t be it. Something about them being dead just gives me the creeps (am I the weird one here?). Try: Twilight (haha), A Discovery of Witches, Dark Lover, The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires.
- Werewolves. Again, obviously. These guys are probably the second most common ones? I like them better than vampires, especially in their modern reincarnations, where they shift form at will, not just at full moon, and they retain some humanity and reason even when they’re furry. Try: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf (seriously, Molly Harper is the best), Shiver, Soulless.
- Shifters. Every possible kind of werecreature. Werecats, werebadgers, werebears – I’ve seen them all. I can’t even remember where they popped up but there were even wererats. I think they weren’t meant to be seen as sexy but there you have it.
- Witches. These are probably the most humanoid. I mean, they are just humans with magical powers, no pointy ears or animal attributes or fangs or whatever. I like witches, they can be seriously badass. Try: A Discovery of Witches, Half Bad, Book of Shadows, White Cat, Uprooted, The Near Witch. So many good ones here!
- Aliens. This one is probably the most disturbing to me. How cocky are we to assume that aliens would be humanoid and capable of having any sorts of relations with humans? *sigh* Try: Obsidian, Saga (okay so there aren’t any humans in this one so far but still).
- Demons. Ooh, demons. Maybe my favourites? There are just so many types of them. And okay, I wouldn’t want to meet an actual demon, like the servant of Satan, but they can be pretty cool. Try: Dark Desires After Dusk.
- Angels. Angels are interesting because in both series that I’ve read that feature them, there’s a big debate over whether they are all good or not (not) and whether being a gorgeous winged person means you have the right to rule over humans and other creatures (nope). Try: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Angelfall.
- Fae. The Fae are just amazing. Along with demons, they are my favourite supernatural creatures. They are usually described as gorgeous and alluring but they are, in fact, not human at all and have little patience for mortals. *shudder* Greg discussed them recently if you want to take a peek. Try: Darkfever.
- Valkyries. I only read one series (Immortals After Dark) with valkyries, but they were significantly changed from the maidens who welcomed warriors to Valhalla in Norse mythology.
- Stars. Okay, a star. Because I can only remember one, from Stardust.
- Dragons. Okay, so these are kind of awesome. They have human forms, of course, but are capable of turning into full-fledged, winged, fire-breathing monsters. So COOL! Try: Nice Dragons Finish Last, Talon.
- Demigods. Okay, so this one is more of a middle grade novel, not a romance, but there’s still some falling in love! :) Try: Percy Jackson.
- Trolls. This is a really weird one I can’t get my head around. I only read one series with trolls and excuse me, but aren’t trolls grey and enormous and relatively unintelligent? Eh. Try: Stolen Songbird.
Have you read any of these? Do you have other (romance) recommendations for me?
Do you like reading about supernatural creatures or do you prefer your hero(ine)s to be human?
I’d love to hear from you! :)