• Well Red

Falling down a rabbit hole

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

Please note that I wrote this while tired and on the tail end of flare up, so there are probably multiple grammatical and spelling issues. Please ignore them!

When the UK lockdown began and I was sent to work from home, we all thought it would last a couple of weeks. Five months later and it’s become a way of life. Along the way, I picked up my kindle again (a Christmas gift that hadn’t had much use, as I’m permanently on my phone!). I purchased Kindle Unlimited…and suddenly, I was unlimited! I read about 60 books in 6-7 weeks, completely glued to my kindle between working hours. I’m very fortunate to have found a community where that number isn’t met with disbelief – I don’t read particularly fast, but I will sit for 3-4 hours straight and just finish a book in one go.

What happened, however, is that I found down an interesting rabbit hole. I discovered a new sub-genre that I’m dubbing ‘paranormal prison romance’ to polite company (which is hard enough to say) and ‘paranormal prison harem’ to those who read these kinds of novels. I’ve dubbed it this because I first came across the series ‘Nightmare Penitentiary (Paranormal Prison)’, which set me off down this road. This series has been summarised by Good Reads as: ‘Reverse Harem series based on female characters placed in a paranormal prison and they try to escape it with their harem of murderous men’. This series (if you are interested!) is all set in the same prison (Nightmare Penitentiary) but each book is authored by a different writer and follows a different character.

A distinct motivation for this entire blog was in fact delving into this sub-genre because there was so much to unpack and my best friend was frankly having enough. Fortunately for you, I will not be writing a review on it. Maybe eventually, but there’s…so much to say, and I’m not sure if I’m currently brave enough to be up to the task.

Anyway, this blog post is not about so much about this sub-genre (I read about 15 books linked to it, before moving on), but about exploring sub-genres in general. I mostly stick to the same genre (fantasy, urban fantasy) plus a several authors that I read when I was a child (influenced mainly by my mother and father’s book collections), but it is interesting dipping into new areas. A whole new genre can be a lot, but a sub-genre lets you test the water and explore things you don’t know if you are interested in. For example, I’m not a massive romance fan, but ‘paranormal prison harem’ books are certainly chock full of romance!

In an age of technology there are so many more platforms for amateur writers as well. Wattpad and the like allow fanfiction and authors starting out to have a platform, whereas before most people only had access to material that publishers choose (and publishers are gatekeepers of a certain demographic). There is so much more out there to investigate and explore nowadays, for everyone’s benefit.

I’d always recommend to people to try different genres (something I sometimes have been hesitant to do, because I know what I do and don’t like), even if that means sometimes delving into a seemingly strange sub-genre. Books teach us so much, and sometimes when challenging our reading habits, we can be exposed to a whole different way of thinking and view of the world that we need to help us grow as people. As I’ve began this blog, I’ve also realised I hold a certain amount of snobbery, unfairly, towards certain genres. It’s something I’m trying to work on.

So I would say – explore away! And remember that reading preferences are subjective; not everyone likes the same thing, and that is A-Okay.

Well Red Reviews

Listening to: Lady Maisery and US country music

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