Sep 30 - Oct 1, 2011
Kat Rides the Iron Men
Old West Erotica
Published Feb 2010
It's the Old West, and a woman named Kat has to save her home from creditors after her parents die. Although she has a younger sister to look out for, Kat leaves for more lucrative parts, so she can use the poker skills her dearly departed pa impressed upon her to save the family home. Meanwhile, lovers Gideon and Nathan have been hoping to add a woman's touch, so to speak, to their manly coupling, and Gideon just so happens to meet the ever passionate Kat at a poker table...
I love dirty-ass smut as much as the next guy - possibly more so, even. Unless the next guy just so happens to be the weird dude who used to come into the used book store I worked at; he would take a stack of historical romance novels into the washroom and not come out for 20 minutes at a time. Eventually he was caught jerkin' it by one of the staffers who forgot he was in there. No lie. He may like dirty-ass smut more than I do. But only just barely.
This was basically smut with a loose (Ha!) plot line holding it all together. There was a bit of a build up to the first encounter, and then each subsequent encounter became more and more daring, until the final... climax.
The dirty parts were written well enough that reading it at work proved to be somewhat... distracting. I always seemed to be interrupted during the juiciest bits, and would find myself looking up from a wild, no-holes-barred threesome... right into the eyes of some delicious looking guy and his buddies. Christ. If only they knew what I was reading! If it was a porno movie, there would have definitely been some gettin' it on. My one criticism of the sex scenes is that the author's repeated use of the term "weeping pussy" really kind of grossed me out. You know what I think when I hear the term "weeping"? I think "weeping sores". Fucking gross.
The characters were the basic stock types. Aggressive and rough guy. Cool and collected guy. And headstrong stubborn chick, who happened to piss me off to no end because she was totally irrational and wishy-washy. None of them really drew me in, but they had all the necessary genitalia, so they were kind of necessary, I guess.
The non-smut bits were basically filler. I couldn't have really cared less about what was going on when they weren't coupling (or tripling) but I understand that those parts are what build the story line, tension, and characters. But it wasn't written particularly well, and it was kind of jerky, so it wasn't that integral for me.
It was what it was. Smut. Personally, I'd like something just all around better (Maybe one of those paranormal romances that Cara always raves about?) but I didn't have very high expectations of this book (Well, I mean, the female protagonist's name IS Kat, though, so I was hoping it would be passable) and I wasn't really super disappointed.
Sep 26 - Sep 29, 2011
A group of (possibly sexy?) teens decide to take an experimental "vacation" in an isolated underground chamber; soon they realize they're running out of food and water, they can't escape by themselves, and no one knows where they are...
This is a really hard book for me to pin down. I like, but I don't.
The premise is totally intriguing: trapped in an inescapable situation, with no foreseeable rescue, what lengths will people go to to survive? Honestly, it's one of my favorite scenarios to read about, because there are so many variables when it comes to how characters will react. Conserve your stockpile of goods and dole them out equally to ensure the continuation of the group? Or bludgeon your companions (and any other threats to your immediate progression) to death and hoard all the resources to ensure your own survival? And what happens when these character types meet? I find it all utterly fascinating.
Also, the twist at the end was definitely clever, even though I was expecting it, as I've seen (and greatly enjoyed) the movie. I wasn't exactly sure what would be coming, though, as I've learned that even if it happens in the theatrical version, nothing like that may happen in the literary version. Especially if the literary version comes first. And although that held true in this case, where the twist ended up being different, it was still pretty satisfying. I guess when I read the book, and then watch the movie, I find myself hollering at the screen, "Where the hell did THAT come from?! This is totally inaccurate!" while I shake my fist indignantly and spill my popcorn. But if I watch the movie first, and then read the book, I find myself going, "Well... where's all the action? What's with all this inner blah blah blah and contemplation?" Stupid action filled movies, desensitizing me to the subtleties of the written word.
My main issue with this book is that there were so SO many loose ends, and nothing was made particularly clear, both plot-wise and writing style-wise. The constantly shifting narrative drove me frickin' bonkers, and while some of the non-Hole bits were insightful, I found it to be mostly unnecessary (for me) filler. The ending certainly added some substance to some of those narratives, but that didn't make the actual reading experience any more interesting. I think I'd rather watch the movie again.
Sep 22 - Sep 25, 2011
Inside the Outside
Published July 9, 2011
Somewhere outside Vegas, a happy little commune practices regular full-body shaving, the sharing of sex partners and child-rearing, and ritual sacrifice to provide for cannibalism. All this is overseen by their glorious virile leader, who is leading them to salvation. And possibly the human version of Mad Cow Disease. Seems like my kind of party.
Cara and I found this story in our inbox; the author wondered if we'd perhaps read and review it. Sure, I thought. As soon as I get an E-Reader. And wade through the other requests. And maybe check out some of my other books. I'd get to it. Eventually.
Then Cara mentioned the cannibals. And I got a kobo. And of course I had to learn how to load the thing, and Inside the Outside wound up being the first thing that came up when I turned on my kobo. And I did recall the cannibals, so even though I had reservations about reading something free (People don't give away awesome stuff! If it's free, there must be something wrong with it!) I gave it a go... and I'm so freakin' glad I did!
I picked this story up, and I literally could not put it down. I was reading it at work. I was reading it at a party last night. I fell asleep in bed with it in my hands at 2AM two nights in a row. I was totally hooked, and reading at every possible second. Honestly, I wish all my reading experiences were like this; I'd burn through WAY more books.
First off, the subject matter is right up my alley. Cannibal cults? Human sacrifice? Uninhibited sex? Prostitution and pornography?! Can I get a double helping splashed with gore gravy and incest sprinkles?! I can?! Because that's my favorite! This book literally included all the elements of the "gross" and "weird" and "inappropriate for a birthday party" books that I LOVE to read (occasionally out loud).
I found myself excited by all of the characters - the charismatic cult leader who loves to fuck, kill, and eat people; the sweet, gentle homosexual pornographer and his stripper-cum-internet-sensation companion; the crooked cop with an all-too-human secret; even the minor characters added interesting little detours. When an underage girl slits her own throat because her lover's been publicly decapitated, you know you've got an exciting story. And our female protagonist is one cool cat indeed. Timber was raised a corpse mutilating cannibal, and I love that she never really grows out of that. She doesn't generally feel shame or remorse for who she was, and who she has become. She simply is who she is. She eats people. Tough titties.
Maybe I like this, and Timber, so much because I find cannibalism and it's social taboos fascinating. I personally can see no issue with eating human flesh, since as a society, we eat animal flesh all the time, and humans are just another fleshy animal. And while I myself have no interest in sampling the delicacies of "long pig" ("I am a vegetarian you know..." she said, snobbishly) I certainly don't judge others who do. As long as it's consensual, obviously.
As a side note, if, like myself, you have an interest in stuff like this, check out this sweet ass documentary I watched on Netflix- "Keep The River On Your Right" chronicles Tobias Schneebaum's trek through the wilds of Peru, where he engages in many grand adventures, including eating human flesh, participating in tribal attacks, and taking a life companion, who also happens to be another man. Schneebaum comes across as an incredibly sweet and intelligent man, who partook in some motherfucking AMAZING adventures, the likes of which we could only dream about. He ate human flesh, and he's cool (and hard) as fuck. Seriously. Watch this.
Plus, Woodhouse from Archer eats long pig, and he is also cool (and hard) as fuck. This whole review is almost a peer pressure ad for cannibalism. I wouldn't recommend it though: I'm pretty sure it's illegal in a lot of places.
My point is, Timber accepts herself for who she is, and our author is willing to let this book stand on its awesomeness, instead of trying to turn it into some namby-pamby "overcoming the horrible nature of her upbringing to discover the error of her ways, repent, and persevere to find the inner goodness that we all have inside of us" Oprah-esque bullshit. The story is good; it doesn't require that kind of schmaltz to make it digestible for the masses.
That doesn't mean that it's not an easy read, though. I flew through the damn thing. There was tons of action to keep me interested; enough contemplations and musings for me to get to know, and therefore care about the characters, but not so much that I got bored; and everyone just kind of dealt with their shit up front and moved on, like how normal human beings should.
As this book was set up in two parts, I worried that it would all go downhill once I finished the first part, which was so badass and all encompassing that it could have easily been a stand alone novella. Really, I didn't know how the author could live up to the standard I set for him. When I started Part Two, I thought, "Oh boy, here it comes, a bunch of real world assimilation bullshit and the inevitable change of heart and the real world mediocre dullness." Luckily, I was totally wrong, and my fears were completely unfounded, because there was still plenty of murder, sex (Even the gay kind! Excellent!) and corruption. What a relief!
If I had to express any complaint with this book whatsoever, I would have to say I'm not so shit hot for the cover. It made me think this was a sci-fi book, for whatever reason. I kind of thought it was a robot or something. Now that I've read the book, I totally get it. Except for why she's holding a feather duster. That I still don't get. But if that's the only fault I can find with a book, I'm counting myself fortunate.
I was sent this book, to review, for free, and it was FUCKING EXCELLENT. It gives me hope and encouragement that free stuff can be awesome, to try out those neat free downloads from unknowns that I keep coming across, and that maybe, just maybe, I'll eventually find a use for those painting I snagged off the curb two months ago.
Sep 9 - Sep 21, 2011
The Law of Nines
A regular every day normal guy:
... finds himself at the center of a mystical battle. With no information and little preparedness, he must defend himself, as well as a mysterious and beautiful woman who swings from throat-slitting to sobbing at the drop of a hat (but don't all women?) and not one, but TWO worlds; all from the evil manipulations of a highly organised and ruthless group of bad guys numbering in the probably hundreds, with sophisticated and well-thought out (and already partially implemented) designs for World Domination. In the real world, regular every day normal guy would be toast. But this is fantasy. ROMANTIC fantasy, at that. So clearly, we're reading with some liberties here... I like things. LOTS of things. Doritos Sweet Chili Heat chips immediately come to mind when pondering things I like. My husband, most days. Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. BOOKS. Cara. Bob Ross' mystical painting and happy little bushes. I could go on and on. But there are also things I don't like. Olives. People who are ambling along slowly in front of you and suddenly stop for no reason. Pina Coladas. Walks in the rain. Actually, my friend Adam wrote a book full of things not to like, and I agree with lots of them.
I also don't like the fantasy or romance genres, and the idea of smushing them together generally repulses me. So surprisingly, I did not NOT like this book. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say I LIKED this book, but I certainly didn't hate it. After an excruciatingly
slow start, it picked up some steam on page 116. Exactly page 116. It rolled along for a bit, got mushy, got exciting, got REALLY mushy, and then finished exciting (though a little anti-climatic). But the final scene was HELLA unrealistic. Not because it's a fantasy book; I can deal with that. It was unrealistic because... well... normally I don't like to discuss specific plot points in a book because I don't want to ruin it for someone who is thinking of reading it. But I can probably discuss this in the broadest sense without spoiling it. But just in case... SPOILER ALERT! As I was saying, the book ended on a terrifically unrealistic note for me, because if the woman you love if a super-important leader of a dramatic and violent political rebellion and she's going back to her world to incite upheaval, there's NO WAY she can make any kind of promise to come back to you, and there's no way you can believe it. She'd be more likely to take a mystical arrow through the face or have her organs melted by wizard fire. Or at least suffer a hand-to-foot spell. Wizards are crafty like that.
No one wants a dame with feet for hands, a vice a versa.
Scratch that. Someone out there does, and I'm sure if I typed that into Google I'd find all kinds of sick shit and the people who love it. But not everyday normal guy; he wouldn't be down.
It seems this was written with a romantic idealist in mind for a reader, and I am not one of them. Fair enough. I KNOW I'm not one of those people, and therefor I understand that this book was not geared towards me. I am not the target audience, and I get that.
So I was able to enjoy it for the most part, although it seemed... kind of weirdly British to me. There wasn't as much action as I would have preferred, and too much mush. All the characters seemed to take things in a fairly deadpan manner. Our protagonist was riddled with anxiety but still very monotone, and not super exciting. Our lady protagonist was a lot more... manic, at least. Stab stab, cry cry, stab stab, cry. Women!
Also, there were also a couple of awkwardly worded sentences that piqued my interest:
"As they raced away slowly down the street..."
"There could have been no better comfort in the face of all the difficulty they faced."
And the phrases "... jumbles of rock..." "...rock jumble..." and "... the jumbled, weathered rock..." were used over the course of two pages. But I'm just being persnickity.
This struck me as a bit of entertaining fluff, and while not my cup of tea (Two more lumps of blood and semen, please!) I can see how people who like this kind of book, would like this book.
And just so you know, this is the first Terry Goodkind I've ever read, so maybe I'm missing some epic Sword Of Truth references. People hype the fuck out of those books, and this wasn't so bad that I would refuse try the series out. But I'm not exactly chomping at the bit for it, either.
Sep 5 - Sep 7, 2011
Adam Huber and Eric Enck
Published May 2008
A couple of sick fucks with a propensity for rapin' get into the business of snuff films for profit, but, surprisingly, they find themselves with an enemy or two along the way.
Remember how, in my previous review, I said, "If you're going to write torture porn, go all the way" ? THIS book went all the way. And then some. The creators of this story were definitely imaginative; murder after murder after murder, there was always some sort of new and interesting violence being inflicted upon the hapless victim. Yeah, I was mighty disturbed and disgusted, but I look upon that as a positive aspect in my reading experience.
Unfortunately, I found a lot of negative aspects in this book, too.
As a whole, the story was fairly unbelievable. Every character was either a completely twisted psychopath of a human being, a drug-addled prostitution whore
, or a one-dimensional plot propellant (e.g. animal shelter employee, bereaved mom, abused sibling, etc). Sure, a couple of our psychos had back stories, but they themselves didn't really develop. We met them as twisted, damaged individuals, and so they stagnated.
I understand that people like this really do exist, but with no redeeming characters to feel for, there's really no saving grace, either. Maybe I'm jaded, but when "Random Victim #2" gets disemboweled, I give it a big 'meh' and move on. Kill someone whose death would be considered tragic, unexpected, heart breaking, and I might give a damn.
As for the writing itself, it was over-complicated at the outset (too many cooks in the kitchen?) but settled into a nice flow as the book progressed. Well, it would have been a nice flow, had I not come across at least A DOZEN editing errors throughout my perusing. There is NO EXCUSE FOR 12+ EDITING ERRORS IN A PUBLISHED BOOK. Give me a job as editor. I'll keep that shit on lockdown.
The final conclusion was a great touch, although I immediately expected it when one plot point was revealed halfway through, and a few pages from the end I did recall my sneaking suspicion. But the writing was fast-paced enough that I forgot all about it for most of the pages between. And it still packed a pretty mean punch.
Final verdict? While I enjoyed the gore, it was difficult to become emotionally invested in a story where the characters are all assholes.
Sep 2 - Sep 4, 2011
Suffer the Flesh
Monica J. O'Rourke
A hefty young lady is kidnapped off the street and brought to a sex torture dungeon/diet camp, where fat girls go to get raped, humiliated, and mutilated so that they can be stressed enough to lose weight. Sound like a good investment? Well then, read on!
OK. This is the kind of book that you either like, or you don't. And I almost don't want to confirm myself into either category. What does it say about you when you like torture porn? That you're a sick fuck. What does it say when you DON'T? That you're a pussy. But I'd rather be watching Hostel than reading "inspirational fiction" so I guess you know where I stand on this one. Count me in for the "Sick Fuck" demographic.
Right off the bat I want to say that no matter how good or bad this book could have been, I wish I'd had access to books like this when I was in high school for our book report assignments.
'I think the scene where Lucy gets raped by the Great Dane is really just a metaphor for the epic struggle of Man vs. Nature - Man (or Lucy, in this instance) believes he has dominated nature (the Great Dane) but is brought back to the harsh reality of Nature's vast power (the Great Dane penis) and his illusions are ultimately shattered, as symbolized by Lucy's vagina "tearing, like tissue paper being ripped to shreds." Thank you.' End report, and proceed with initializing slow clap.
But back to the book itself. Sure, I love torture porn. Who doesn't? Don't answer that, actually; I'd rather assume everyone is into it, as opposed to me being the only weirdo in the room. And the scenes in the story were all pretty vivid - there was a great period last night where we all sat around the campfire and I read a couple of chapters out loud for my riveted pals. It was awesome.
But the story seemed to be written mostly for the sake of detailing the nasty, as there wasn't much character development to be seen, and there were some pretty serious continuity errors, which I can't really get into without giving away some key plot points. Suffice to say, I noticed because I'm a bit of an nit-picky editor when it comes to my reading material. So fine, gratuitous torture porn for the sake of gratuitous torture porn. Awesome. But in that case, go all the way and run with it! Urinate on a broad, but don't defecate on her chest? Have a dog nail a chick, but don't have it tear her throat out after? If you want to be brutal, BE BRUTAL. Pick a side and give it your all, don't wuss out on both aspects instead.
I can't believe I just argued for that. Please don't judge me.
I will say that the premise was totally original, it was a hell of a page turner (how could something as innocent sounding as "The Pear" be so bad? Oh. CHRIST. That's how...) and overall, it was an enjoyable reading experience, because it was just dang entertaining. And very, very gross.