I apologise, I’ve lost The Funny™. This book has not been inspiring me to make jokes, it’s been inspiring me to throw it across the room. Not because it’s bad – which it is – but because if you squint hard and look at it a bit sideways, you can see the fascinating story it could have been. Sailboat, sailboat, goddamn sailboat.
There is so much I’d actually want to read, but no, let’s only have plot as a reason to get people having sex. It’s almost reminding me of Cleolinda‘s reaction to Twilight (I apologise for bringing this up yet again) on Episode Ten: Do We Dazzle You; it cuts to a pseudo-Victorian erotic scene as part of Bella’s fantasy, and Cleo protests, “Why can’t we be watching that movie?”
Long story short, this blog has been reduced to me simply reacting and facepalming. That’s not entertaining. That’s not amusing. That’s just watching me rage out; anyone can do that.
- @cleolinda: Oh God. That bad?
@alliancesjr: It’s not that it’s bad – which it is – it’s that I keep seeing parts that I REALLY wish this book was better so’s I can read it.
Which is, most likely, the biggest difference between this and The Very Virile Viking. Well, that and the fact that Virile Viking didn’t make me feel like I wasn’t reading a grown-up book, since it was normal-book-sized and formatted like a regular book. This abomination honestly feels like someone decided to print off something from Literotica.
Actually, that comparison probably isn’t that bad. If this was a Literotica story, it’d probably be one of the highest rated ones. The sex scenes aren’t badly written, and they eventually touch upon all the basic kinks, which would appeal to the widest variety of readers. There’s the
rape forceful seduction fantasy, the domination/submission with humiliation aspects, the voyeurism, the tender forgiving makeup sex, and some triumphant and consensual raw acts of desire. There’s also the other hallmarks of the average Literotica entry; no proofreading, awkward sentence structure, and the simple existence of just enough plot to move the sex along.
That was what I was expecting anyway, though. Why is this book pissing me off when it’s just about what I thought it was going to be?
As I said above, it’s that there’s some amazing worldbuilding in the background, and the introduction of some absolutely fantastic concepts that I really want to read about. What I said last post about continually getting plotblocked is completely not hyperbole in the slightest; there is a page and a half of exposition and character development, then three chapters of sex, and then the thread is completely dropped, never to be heard from again. If it is revisited, it’s to handwave the next couple pages of plot so that there appears to be some actual story in this book.
If you cut out all the gratuitous sex, the book would be about ten pages long. Within those ten pages, of course, would be the beginnings of the following plot threads:
- Mayflower has no memories from before she was attacked in the alley. We find out this is because her missing nipple isn’t missing after all; it’s in Dime’s necklace, and it’s encoded with the police reports and hospital records from her attack. When the nipple is reattached, she remembers her real name, her family on the Blue side, and the details of the unborn son that was taken away from her in the attack.
- Because of course.
- Mark was a vampire up until the attack on Mayflower, to the extent that she was attacked because her unborn son was his cure. It’s never fully explained, maybe he was genetically created to have the cure in his blood, or maybe his stem cells were needed to create it, but he’s the reason she was attacked in the first place and he is hit with crushing guilt.
- The whole Blue and Black thing is actually pretty interesting; there was a hyper-efficient, practically-renewable energy source created, and the corporations that made up the Blue caste decided to hoard it and sell it at extremely high rates to the common people – the Black underground. There’s a war going on between the factions for control of the resource, and Mark is part of a resistance movement to try to bring the war to an end and unite the people of the world.
- Mayflower has a huge prejudice against people with synth prosthetics, mostly as a result of the assault, but she manages to get over this when she has to deal with other people in the resistance who have numerous prosthetics.
- Black underground society deals with data smuggling, ruining people’s brains as wetware.
- Mayflower’s sister was the one who organized the assault against her, marrying her husband once Mayflower was presumed dead.
Where the hell is that book? I want to read that! There’s mystery, there’s action, there’s dystopian future societies and caste structures, there’s rebellion against the order.
All of these plot threads would be probably the most interesting book I have ever read if the book was actually about that. Or even if the book had the same amount of gratuitous sex but also actually developed the plot beyond what it currently has.
That’s what’s killing me about this book, is that it could probably be my most favorite thing I read this year. It could win Nebulas or Hugos.
All that said, I can’t fault Cameo Brown for writing what she wrote. There’s a market for explicit erotic fiction, and she seems to have it cornered. It’s obviously self-published, and you can’t fault anyone for doing that. Really, the only thing I fault her for is not having it proofread before submitting it to be published; the typographical errors, missing words, and awkward structure definitely hurts it. But it does what she set out to do.
A few years back, my friend Debbie explained to me why she hunted these things down, and I never forgot her answer. “Sometimes you just need a deep dicking,” she said, in probably the most conversational tone I had ever heard a sentence like that uttered.
That’s what this book is, and I’m upset because it could be so much more, and it isn’t.
In any case, I’m sorry I couldn’t finish reviewing this, Kayleigh. I gave it my best shot, and I couldn’t make it funny.