Chatterbox: The Casualness of Death

January 21, 2016 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Books, Chatterbox, Features

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Death is one of the biggest things that we fear. It’s the fear of the uncertain, of losing everything that you’ve ever known and the finality of it that you can never bring back.

So when I read books about death, I expect them to be dealt with in a way that we would react to. But it seems that lately, violence and death are so casually inserted into a book that the emotional connection just doesn’t seem to be there anymore. Are we only reacting now if the death is shocking ala George R.R. Martin style? Do we just not care about death in books anymore?

Death can be a necessary part of books, especially in fantasies. Having a fantasy without death is like having a wedding without a cake.

But there’s been a few books I’ve read, that has me reconsidering the desensitization of death – particularly in Firewalker and Take Back the Skies. Spoiler alert – both of these books dealt with the death of the character’s fathers. One was brushed over so casually that her morning breakfast was given more thought and the other was dealt with in a celebratory way where the character made out with someone over her father’s dead body. I’m not the only one who can see the problem with this right? Even if you were never close to your father, or even if they were an evil human being, shouldn’t you at least feel something?!

At the end of every fantasy series, death is practically a requirement. You almost expect someone to be killed off in an epic battle or as a hero, whether that’s a major or secondary character that you’ve grown fond of. Perhaps this is to humanise those characters again, to make a grand exit, or to immortalise them so that they’ll be forever known as the hero who died saving the world. Sometimes, death is made as a statement to really emotionally affect readers, which frankly I think is a cop out. There’s so many other ways to do it, like the epic hero moments at the end of the Night Huntress series.

So what do I think about death in fiction? There’s a time and place for it, and it can be dealt with properly. As long as there is a reason for it and it fits in with the character arc, and it’s not used as a tool to create emotional connection with the reader or as a convenient way to “do away” with someone. It can be done, like the major death in Crown of Midnight which affected the characters well into the next books.

What do you think about death in fiction? Are we desensitized?

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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73 responses to “Chatterbox: The Casualness of Death

  1. This is such a tough one, I've read some amazing books that dealt with death so well, in particular Me Since You by Laura Wiess really sticks out at me, years after reading. As long as the death is emotional, I can get on board. I hate those emotionless deaths that you just expect, or that are glossed over so quickly you're like "Wait, WHO died?". I also hate that in big series I expect a death – every freaking time. Yes, death in The Hunger Games is probably expected, and in Harry Potter, but why so many? It makes me sad, although I will say, the death in Mockingjay was sad and actually unexpected.

    It's those glossed over deaths that drive me insane. If you're going to do a book about the death of anyone, make it worthwhile or just don't bother.

    PS: Your blog is BEAUTIFUL.

  2. Lunch-Time Librarian

    I've never been a huge fan of death in fiction because 9 time out of 10 it's purely for shock value. If there's a character death I feel it should have a purpose in that it furthers the plot or it has a lasting effect on the character. But often I think there are so many more ways to give your character a sense of loss than killing their dad. Or it feels like a cop out, like if an author creates a love triangle then kills one of competition off, it seems like a way to avoid writing a character that has to make difficult decisions.

    It also kind of feels a bit strange when the protagonist gets used to just casually killing people. Like, am I supposed to relate to this person?
    My recent post The Magicians Book Review – Wine and Cheese with Witches

  3. Jade @ Bedtime Bookworm

    Interesting topic! I definitely think your'e right – in fantasies especially death is treated much more casually, at least for characters we aren't close to you. I think one example of this (where it didn't work for me) is in Falling Kingdoms. People are killed nilly willy in that book and I totally felt like the death's were more for shock factor than to really move the story forward.
    My recent post The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

  4. corrallingbooks

    Interesting discussion! I think that we are desensitised to some extent. For me, deaths aren't a huge thing anymore, because I read a lot, and come across them heaps. However, if a character is written especially well, or holds some meaning to me, and they die, then I'll be really upset, especially if it serves a special meaning. Otherwise, I don't really care about the death, and it kinda cheapens the book to me, because it feels like the death is there for shock value. Anyway, that's just my two cents on it! 🙂
    My recent post All Book Reviews Are Biased

    • I completely agree, I feel like we're faced with it everyday on the news, in the media and in movies/books that we read. I don't mind getting emotionally invested with a character that faces death you know? And then their death is given justice. But if they just die and the characters move on then why were they there to begin with?

  5. jenthebookavid

    Definitely. But I don't know, I wouldn't want to have it any other way. I like the shock value, I like not knowing who's going to make it through an entire series. However, not all readers of YA are my age, and when I'm thinking about actual young teens reading these kinds of books, it's seriously unsettling.

    • I kind of like how some authors aren't afraid to kill off their characters, but at least make it realistic you know? Like those weird movies where a character is talking and then suddenly dies and then there's no mention of them later. Weird lol. I completely agree Jen!

  6. For me it all depends on the author. If I'm emotionally connected to a character then a death can upset me more than it really should, almost taking it personally. It's the unnecessary deaths that irk me. You know when one character poses a problem, like a love triangle or a difference of opinion and the author cuts them to create a smoother storyline.

    Even TWD does it, but those tear at my heart because I'm so emotionally invested in them. Brilliant topic Jeann, really interesting reading the comments and how others feel about it too <3
    My recent post The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

    • Yeah, something that Cassie Clare said stuck with me – she created some throwaway characters to die. Which is fair enough if that's their only purpose I guess. But when characters are built up for no apparent reason other than TO die to make things more convenient for a love interest, that's when I start questioning things. I think recently this happened in Falling Kingdoms and my eyes were rolling out of my head. Thanks so much Kelly, definitely everyone has a different reaction and contribution to this topic!

  7. This is SUCH a good topic! And so true. I feel like sometimes deaths are just thrown in for shock value, which I abhor. Because like you said- it just desensitizes us, and we end up not being as affected by a death that really MEANS something. (WEEPS at mention of Crown of Midnight Death). I mean, yes, in some kind of war or fight, people will die- it doesn't make sense that they wouldn't! But when it just seems random, it's a HUGE turn off.
    My recent post This Week At Midnight (97)

    • Thanks so much Shannon! Yeah, I don't think George RR Martin is for us lol. I absolutely LOVE how SJM does her deaths justice! I completely agree, I mean how do all important characters survive, or at least not get wounded in the end? Like are they untouchable?

  8. Mara

    I'm a fan of character deaths – don't get me wrong, but I like the thought of an author brave enough to kill one or more of their important characters. Take note: "Important".

    Although I like character deaths, those characters need to have built an emotional connection with me, may it be anger or love or anything else, as long as I've grown attached to him/her. Because the more emotional attachment, the more of an i,pact the death will be for me.

    Of course, the death should be reasonable and dealt with properly as well, like you said. Not just something that was kicked in there just to say "Omg someone died this book is so cool".
    My recent post BBH: Can You Recall The Time When You Weren't Reading Books?

    • I completely agree – I could imagine how much an author would be attached to their own characters! I do agree that an emotional attachment with a character works well and can really do it justice. But yeah, if it's not dealt with properly it's just like oh, someone died.

  9. Oh yes we're absolutely desensitized to death – in literature and on TV, in movies. That's why when someone makes you love a character and takes them anyway, it's all the more bittersweet because so many stories take it for granted. I don't know.

    How gross, making out over your dad's dead body! I mean, I'm not particularly close to my dad, but I'm still going to be emotional when he goes and reading characters who just… aren't? Unrealistic and weird.
    My recent post Flash Fiction Friday

    • I completely agree, it's like death doesn't really mean much anymore? Unless it's happening to us, of course. Oh man, that scene just made me so disgusted and angry. I couldn't stand it.

  10. aubreysbooknook

    This is such a good discussion and topic! I think that sometimes deaths are unnecessary in books, and sometimes they are absolutely necessary. It is SO important that characters deal with the death and don't just ignore it though (yes there are different types of grieving but making out with a character? really? that's awful!) Thanks for the great post!
    My recent post Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Made Me Cry

    • Thanks Aubrey! They are definitely a necessary part of books sometimes, especially those in the SFF genre. But yeah, even though it may happen all the time, it feels like they need to cope with it in some way you know?

  11. Funny that this is your discussion this week! I've been feeling like I've read a lot of books lately with ("casual") deaths. If the person who dies in the book got even the smallest little background story or introduction story I'm automatically sad about it. Like in Illuminae, when people died, so sad (that is war I guess 🙁 ). And there was a particular one in Vengeance Road that made me unhappy

    Sometimes, death is made as a statement to really emotionally affect readers, which frankly I think is a cop out. <- This so much!
    I really dislike deaths that seem unnecessary to the story. To a point where I'll round down my overall stars because of it/because it ruins my feels for it.

    Great discussion, Jeann!
    My recent post Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

    • I completely agree, sometimes I'm absolutely confuddled by a death in some books that I just can't rate it highly. Oh no, I've got Vengeance Road on my immediate TBR!

  12. Paige

    Interesting discussion, Jeann! I was actually planning on writing a post similar to this one, but I think you worded it better than I could have haha. I have to say that this is one of the reasons I read contemporaries so much – not for the avoidance of death (because, really. We both know how abundant death is in pretty much every genre.), but because they seem to deal with it in a much more realistic and emotional way.

    • Thanks Paige, I've read many contemporaries that dealt with the loss of someone important to the character that were done really well.

  13. Rachel Lightwood

    This is an interesting topic, Jeann! I think that as a culture in general we do tend to desensitize death but at the same time, I think there needs to be some death scenes in dystopian/fantasy stories that focus on rebellion and/or war. There's always going to be casualties in those sorts of situations, and I think books shouldn't gloss over that to save readings from having to read that. Finales like Breaking Dawn that have a literally war/battle scene and no major casualties doesn't seem realistic… but at the same time, I don't want author to go around senselessly killing off all the main characters without good reason. I just finished Until Friday Night and that story does have a death in which I, personally, felt was used as a plot device to advance the romance between the characters… which isn't okay IMO. I think there's a line. Character death needs to have meaning or to be a part of the story to make war/battle/rebellion scenes realistic.

    Great discussion, Jeann!
    My recent post {Clean Slate Read-a-Thon} How Did We Do?

    • I know!! I mean how does one go through wars or rebellions with no one important dying, or at least suffering some form of loss? I mean that creates more meaning about it and isn't that what it's all about – the sort of sacrifice? UGH Death for the sake of romance is the worst thing for me. Because it just does not need to happen – don't they need to grieve? I understand everyone's process is different but it just seems a bit…cold to me.

  14. THIS. I completely agree 100% Jeann. I feel like death in YA is so common that it isn't as emotional or as thought-provoking as it should be. I feel like authors should use death not just because it's become a troupe or a necessity, but because it adds something to the story. (Suzanne Collins did this perfectly with Rue). Thanks for sharing Jeann and, as always, fabulous & thought-provoking discussion! <3

    • Yeah, I completely agree Zoe! Your example with Rue, and in Crown of MIdnight and how it's actually explored well and leaves an impact with the character seems more realistic.

  15. anotherafterthought

    Almost all characters seem to walk around with an invincibility complex that simply doesn't faze them. Most death, particularly for supporting characters, are passed off as nothing, and that's something that makes me livid because the writing rarely builds up the connection necessary to pull off an important death. So I don't know if I'd necessarily wave that desensitized banner for every case. When death is successful and "done right" (whatever that entails), it hurts. It hurts real bad and that mostly comes down to an individual's perception.
    My recent post [Alternatives] – Movie Review – Sicario (2015)

    • Isn't that how we are though as people? Yeah, I struggle with the death of important characters (like in Harry Potter, Mockingjay, even Veronica Mars). It's not that we're desensitised, it's that the emotional connection or weight around death is just brushed off, like it's no big deal.

  16. Braine-Talk Supe

    I agree that one should feel something and it can range from grief to indifference and at times even joy. I haven't read the books you mentioned, but like in GoT when the twins had sex over their son's dead body, I think that's pretty symbolic and very telling of where that relationship is, and how they've developed as individuals.

    Relating it to our world, I have to say I've sadly become desensitize to some things. A death feels ordinary compared to a terror attack or mass shooting. It's impossible to grieve over everything unless one is ready to lose oneself entirely

    • Oh man, I was so disgusted when that happened. I just can't even deal with that scene. Yeah, it's really sad that we've become desensitised in real life, but you're totally right. We have to maintain some semblance of distance from it. But when it happens to yourself, that's when it's a big wake up call that it DOES happen you know?

  17. Hmm, it's a good question! But I honestly think it depends on personalities. Like some people (authors or readers) just aren't as affected as others….and that doesn't make anyone a sociopath or anything!! It's just how you react to a situation. So I think there needs to be leeway there?
    Otherwise, I guess if you consume a lot of books or media, you ARE going to be used to people dying. *nods* It's kind of a fact of life? (Omg, I'm a heartless thing 99% of the time…see?!?!? THAT'S MY PROBLEM. XDXD)
    Also if you don't know the person at all, are you going to fall apart about it? I've had relatives who died and I didn't know them at all, so didn't really feel anything…This might transfer back to me being a Vulcan though. XD
    ANYWAY. INTERESTING TOPIC, JEANN. ;D

    • I often put myself into the shoes of the character sometimes – what would I feel if this particularly person was killed off? How would I react? And sometimes, it just feels so dismissed and not important at all. I definitely think we ARE desensitised to death in media, but when it happens to you in real life you realise that it actually is impactful and a big part of life that's often surreal. Yeah, I've had the same Cait, but there is always an impact to your family and the people you care about…

  18. I absolutely love this discussion. I've read so many books that use death as a plot device and I hate how needless some of the deaths are. It's those types of death that leave me feeling cold and disconnected to the story because most of the time the death is like a cop out and really does not make sense. I definitely think it's only natural for fantasy books to have a character death and that it can be very effective. I love it when we get to explore the grief and the impact a death has on the characters and how each of them deals with it. I also like it if the characters that are killed off are ones that are well developed so I do feel a connection to the character. This is why I am dreading a certain character death in The Raven King
    My recent post Review: Something Real by Heather Demetrios

    • Yesss exactly what you said Lois! Exploring the grief and seeing that emotional connection with the characters for that particular death feels more realistic. But when they're not developed at all, or included for the sake of it, it kind of feels pointless?

  19. nirvanaamjad

    …that is just creepy. Very, very creepy. Like, what even? Making out over dead bodies and thinking about your dead father ONCE over breakfast is not the best way to deal with death.

    But at the same time, I think more and more books are focusing on death – deaths of parents, best friends, deaths of someone you barely knew and how they affect them. YA contemporary's increasingly, so I think desensitizing is more often found in fantasy, honestly. This was SUCH a good discussion, it really made me think. Great post, Jeann <3
    My recent post Who Am I? The existential questions.

    • Yup, it was the creepiest thing ever Nirvana. Particularly where the romance and love interest was made the focal point of the story. I definitely agree, issue books in contemporary deal with death a lot more realistically than say fantasy. Thank you Nirvana! I'm glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  20. Jeann bless your soul! I think about this ALL the time. It really struck me when Outlander episode aired and Jaime took a belt to Claire's bottom as a punishment. EVERYONE WAS SO OUTRAGED. okay it was the 1700s in Scotland but here is the thing what about the killings?! We get up in arms about that but death is so common place that it barely gets a shrug?!! I am not condoining any type of abuse and I get everyone has different triggers but Coke on. I actually have come to despise books where there is the death of a parent. I know it is for a certain effect but as someone who lost her parents young I find it distasteful that it is the case almost in every book now. I think there is a time and place for death but I wish it wouldn't be so heavily relied on. Sorry for the rant this just kind of grinds my gears.
    ❤️Britt
    My recent post Beyond The Bookworm!

    • OMG WHAT! That's pretty shocking in Outlander omg :O Yeah, I quit watching Game of Thrones because of how it gratuitously portrayed violence and death against women (and men). And just the outcry of people defending this because "That's how the time period" was. Why are we using this for entertainment again? Yeah, like I understand if a character has lost their parents but when it's every single book you begin to ask – why? Why can't a MC have meaningful relationships with their parents (or not even meaningful)?

  21. booksbonesbuffy

    You're right Jeann, I can't remember the last time I read a fantasy book where someone didn't die. Also, I am getting tired of the trope of every protagonist I read have a dead parent. It's just SO overdone. But it can be very powerful if done right.

  22. Interesting discussion topic! I actually don't fear death at all (because of my faith/beliefs I'm actually quite excited for what happens 'next' 🙂 ), so maybe I look at death in a more casual way? I also think it depends on what kind of books you're reading. I read a lot of adult crime/mystery/horror, and death is handled in these books a lot differently, than say a realistic YA story or most YA fantasy etc. I've haven't read the books you talk about, but now I'm very curious lol.
    My recent post Min-Review #2 A Gothic Mystery &amp; A New Author to Love

    • I completely agree that realistic YA tends to handle it a bit more realistically and impactfully than a lot of other genres. Lol beware of those books XD

  23. samoak

    I've been noticing this quite a bit as well. But I tend to notice it more when it's one of the main characters causing the death. This is really noticable in Fantasy/Urban Fantasies where the body counts can get pretty high. If it's the main character killing people out of survival in those worlds, I would think that the deaths they caused would weigh on them or at least leave an impact. There's been quite a few books I've read where the main characters off-ed quite a few people and they barely spared them a passing thought.

    I think the trend of a close relative being killed (off page) is a cheap device some people are using to make their protagonist more interesting or build an instant empathetic connection with the readers. But some do it in a way that's more of a footnote and doesn't impact the story. Which is annoying. And I agree that if a main character or side character dies in a book it should serve some sort of purpose to either the plot or the development of the other characters. Otherwise, what's the point?
    My recent post Review: Inu x Boku SS, vol 1 by Cocoa Fujiwara

    • I think sometimes characters themselves are desensitised to their subjects, particularly if they're an assassin or fighter. Perhaps at the start they would spare a thought for who they kill, but sometimes it just becomes a blur.

      Yeah, it really didn't impact the story AT ALL which was my issue with both of these books. There should definitely serve a purpose other than using it as a cheap plot device which is easy to see through. I feel like there should be more emotional connection you know?

  24. What a brilliant post, Jeann! Everything you said is so true. You're right that fantasy especially seems to treat death casually. In most contemporary novels, it's usually the opposite. The situation in Firewalker and Take Back the Skies sound very strange. Especially the making out part!
    One thing I really dislike though is when the death doesn't make any sense and is added only for shock factor. It just always comes across as off to me.
    Anyways, great post, Jeann!

    • Oh yeah, there's been quite a few instances where I've been like…wtf?! Yeah, oftentimes instead of shocked I'm more angry/irritated if there's no reason for it.

  25. I totally know what you mean! I actually had this wtf experience with a recent indie book that I read (and I totally just edited my review to include the phrase 'the casualness of death'). That whole book was kind of about death and this kid who's trying to escape from Death… but then it had people dying out of the blue and being revived using these Korean mythological flowers. I was just like WHAT IS HAPPENING throughout the whole book…ugh. I want my character deaths to have some sort of meaning or impact on the story. I don't really understand when characters just die for no reason (except in wars) or for emotional impact. And I particularly hate when side characters die protecting the Chosen One.

    • I know, and it's even worse when those characters are dying and there's absolutely no reason for it whatsoever, and it makes like no impact to the story. I mean fair enough you can have a lot of death happening around you, but what's the reason? That actually sounds like such a bizarre concept lol. Oftentimes I prefer the chosen one dying for heroism XD than side characters sacrificing themselves.

  26. Bieke (Nelly B.)

    I think it's fine to have death in books, as long as it's dealt with realistically. Even in a Fantasy series, people have feelings so death should affect them in one way or another. I'm not a big fan of the George RR Martin style mainly because death doesn't seem like a big deal there. I could be totally wrong though since I've never read the books, but what I got from the TV-show gave me that vibe. Death should have consequences of some kind.
    My recent post {Clean Slate Read-a-Thon} How Did We Do?

    • Yeah, he's pretty sadistic if you ask me lol. I completely agree Bieke, they should have consequences and should be dealt with realistically like as if it happened to you in real life…(despite a fantasy setting, etc.)

  27. Omg, Jeann SAME! It's a thing you can't avoid in life and it's always tragic and sad no matter who it touches. It's always something that I expect to convey in my emotions when I'm reading and why some books have become my favorites for the very reason that the author doesn't do it for a shock value, but because it's an unavoidable part of life that hurts. Fixing Delilah, for instance, touched me so deeply for this very reason last year. Ugh! I can't believe that the making out scene actually happened???? This is one of the reasons why I hated one NA book because the MC just had to have sex with this guy she was crushing on the day after her mom passed away regardless of the fact that this guy is a douche and they shouldn't even be a love interest let alone the one and only love interest. Like she tells him that she's grieving and he's coming back to win her over and "to be there for her" but I have this fishy suspicion that it was IN her not FOR her. *gags* I hate when deaths are used for plot device and it's really poor writing if the author can't do anything else to solve a conflict or push a character arc further in another way. Great discussion ,my love!
    My recent post Review: Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers

    • OH WHAT THAT NA book sounds cringe-worthy – that is why I have to stay away from so much of that genre *shudders* that's just so dodgy and you can sense the creepiness all over him. Especially since he was a douchebag to begin with…like why can't some MCs just SEE that? Have some respect for yourself!

      Lol anyways, I completely agree…I think I encountered this in Falling Kingdoms actually – the princess's love interest if you know what I mean was just completely off'd for no reason…or the reason is to further her love interest somewhere else *rolls eyes*

      I actually think issue contemporaries deal with the impact of death rather well.

  28. Grace @ RebelMommyBB

    Really great topic!! Definitely see it more in the fantasy/sci-fi genre – as expected. I think it is handled well, makes sense to the plot and has a real place in the story it can add to the experience. Sometimes though it is just too convenient and seems like it is just thrown in. Great post!
    My recent post Rebel Mommy Right Now (1)

  29. irena_bookdustmagic

    I still haven't read Throne of Glass series so I can't discuss that, but what I can mention ia+s Vampire Academy and basicly what Richelle mead had to say about killing her characters: she only kills them for a good reason. There were some deaths that characters had a lot time to accept, and those deaths had a huge impact when it came to character and story development. I like that kind of way to deal with death in the fiction.
    I do not read that many fantasy but I don't like it when someone dies and characters are shocked but few pages after it's like they forgot all about it, especially if the parent is the one who died.

    • YES this is why I really respect her as a writer! I get quite irritated when I see there's absolutely no reason for it – other than to further the plot or create some kind of shock value. I absolutely agree with her books that dealt with death in the right manner, that left an impact throughout the story.

  30. OMGGGG. I know the making out over the dead father scene! And, quite frankly, I was pretty shocked D: Like what even. Even if you didn't care about the fact that he was dead, it is CREEPY to kiss over a dead body, no mater who they were when they were alive.

    I really don't like death being used as a plot device, or to make you ~care~ about a character. If there's a death, I want it to mean something.

    I'm not sure whether we're desensitised to death or not! I think we're desensitised to deaths that occur in a battle with heaps of characters we've never meant, but I think if a beloved character dies it will still hit some of us in the feels.

    But I totally get what you mean about fantasy novels. Death is practically expected! Which is kind of sad, because it means they really ARE just a plot device, or a shock value, or a way to try and lure readers in *sigh*

    I think if a character that I've really come to care about dies, I will still be sad. More so if it's an animal character, though! XD But you know me, Jeann ;D <3
    My recent post Some Series I NEED to Finish Already

    • Oh man, I was pretty disgusted….that book was just a big NO WAY. Yeah, it was just hella creepy. I completely agree with you – I'm not adverse to death, but it has to be handled like it's a big thing you know?

      I kind of think we're desensitised to a point where it happens in the news and we hear of it all the time, but when it happens to you it's kind of jarring and surprising that this is actually a part of life.

      Hehe I do know you Chiara! Don't watch I Am Legend lol.

  31. As you said, in high fantasy/sci-fi, I kind of require that some main charcters are killed because otherwise story wouldnt be very believable. And it is always very emotional and touching to see how other characters (and me as reader) will deal with it. if it is not done properly or with enough feelings, it can ruin my impression of the story.
    And what you wrote about making out with someone over her father’s dead body? Kind of disgusting and I would lost all love/respect for such character.
    My recent post REVIEW: 5 REASONS THAT MAKE TRUTHWITCH BY SUSAN DENNARD YOUR NEXT BOOK-HUNGOVER-WORTHY READ

    • Yeah, it's unrealistic if they just die and forgotten, especially if the character actually meant someone to them you know? Yeah, Take Back the Skies was just not good that way *shudders*

  32. Everyone wants to be ~gritty and ~realistic, so I think we're just going to see more of these kinds of deaths in fiction, especially YA or "new adult" fantasy/SF/etc.

    Personally, no matter the marketing genre, I think it's the sign of a lazy writer. (Looking at you, George R. R. Martin.) If you're relying on the shock value of killing a beloved character to get people to react to your story, either your story sucks or you're not fit to tell it. Likewise, if your story needs someone to die (and sometimes, someone's gotta die), then you need to do the heavy lifting writing-wise to portray grief and balance that grief, in a realistic way, with the rest of the story.
    My recent post What I Read: Mrs. Dalloway

    • I completely agree with you Kokoba! George RR Martin is kind of sadistic in a way. I completely agree that death is unavoidable, but when it's just not realistic it's kind of unsatisfying?

  33. What a great topic to discuss! Honestly I see a lot more 'cop out' or 'convenience deaths' in fiction nowadays – the integrity of the dead character is often tossed aside in favor of moving the plot along, which just doesn't sit right with me 🙁

    ~ Booknut101 @ 21st Century Once Upon A Times