Okay, I need to come clean. This weekend I sat down and read through the rest of the book, so the following review is no longer written-as-I-am-reacting, or as I like to call them, “funky fresh”.
Anyway, what we’ve learned so far:
- Jalopy Mint Alberqueque has creamy blood. It’s actually not creamy, but as I’ve read ahead, I’ve discovered that “creamy” is pretty much the author’s only adjective when it comes to liquids. Or at least bodily fluids. And man does she have cause to use that adjective a lot.
- There are undercurrents of a halfway-decent dystopian future political intrigue mystery novel in this, and it keeps getting sidetracked with all the sex. And then dropped entirely.
- Seriously, I’m sitting here, enjoying a bit of rebellion against the caste structure, and I keep getting plotblocked.
I also think that the line spacing is seriously detrimental to this book so far. I mean, it’s one thing to fill up space to be able to pad a few extra pages into your book, but this is absolutely ridiculous:
In any case, here we go again.
Mayflower wakes up on Mark’s gurney, no worse for wear except for the nightmares of synthbots for some unexplained reason. She panics, of course, and wonders if it’s all a dream. We’re not spared the realization that by the stickiness of her thighs, it wasn’t a dream at all. I wish I was making this up.
After worrying that Mark might be an assassin out to kill her – seriously, does everyone have a hit out on them, apparently so – Our Heroine makes her way to the back room, where we finally meet Dime; a mentally-disabled young man who spends all his time on his computer. But he’s not alone; both Hannah and Mark are there with him, spending time with him.
This, of course, is the Dime that Mayflower was so worried about, and she apparently has been taking care of him for a while.
Her path to destruction set the moment she woke up in the alley so long ago – abandoned for dead by all who knew her – she’d reconciled her fate, but something inside her refused to give up on searching for a place for Dime. She hadn’t been able to protect her son, even as he grew in her womb, when the synthbots attacked her. She still didn’t know why they picked her, and she didn’t care anymore. What was done was done.
And then the subject is dropped. Completely. Which, whoa, I actually want to hear more about that what the hell. Plottease.
We find out that Dime’s mother was a drug addict, and used his brain as a mobile flash drive; she loaded him up with data, and it was extracted later on, somewhere else. Information smuggling and transport, basically. This messed him up, natch.
Hannah seems to be afraid of Dime, but sticks around to help take care of him. She can relate to Dime; her father sold her body to company spokesmen as a political gesture. It’s a life that Mark was in the process of saving her from, which was the reason he had grabbed a pleasure synth to have sex with in front of his clients, instead of Hannah.
Well, holy shit, now we know why he was pissed off at finding a real live person in there. I guess this means we can fill out a rough timeline now of what was going on behind the scenes in the beginning.
- Hannah’s father sells her to the Druggie Couple for their use.
- Druggie Couple hire Mark to use Hannah while they watch and possibly join in.
- Situation squicks Mark, he picks up a synthbot replacement to spare Hannah and take her away.
- Mark finds Mayflower in the synthbot box, is understandably upset, her presence could ruin everything.
- Wackiness ensues.
We don’t yet know why Mayflower was in the box in the first place, but it looks like they’re not going to tell us any time soon, because Mark was offended that Mayflower would insinuate that he would take advantage of Hannah, and decides to start spanking her in retaliation. This, of course, leads to more sex.
(Also, by the way, one of her nipples is gone. This is apparently a plot point.)
During this, we find out more about Mark, partially through after-sex internal monologue – one of the only places for exposition in this book – and partially through Mayflower questioning why Mark bites her during sex. It’s a reflexive kink he got from being a vampire, she figures out, and she asks him point-blank how old he is. (The answer, as we know, is two thousandish.) Satisifed that he’s robbing the cradle – and/or that she’s robbing the grave – they prepare for some more yada-yada when the door smashes in.
Enter Chico. He’s mad, he’s packing, and he is, to him, The Man.