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3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  2,222 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
When a fleshless corpse is found on a Florida estate, a reclusive caretaker, an investigative reporter, a police officer, and a woman discover that a creature whose victims die in a frenzied state of sexual ecstasy is preying on human beings.
Paperback, 466 pages
Published March 1st 1992 by Avon Books (first published August 1st 1990)
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Arielle Walker
Jul 10, 2016 Arielle Walker marked it as never-never-read
Hang on - "When a fleshless corpse is found on a Florida estate, a reclusive caretaker, an investigative reporter, a police officer, and a woman discover..."

"When a fleshless corpse is found on a Florida estate, a reclusive caretaker, an investigative reporter, a police officer, and a woman discover..."

"When a fleshless corpse is found on a Florida estate, a reclusive caretaker, an investigative reporter, a police officer, and a woman discover..."



Guessing the "woman" doesn't have a j
Mar 14, 2012 Suz rated it did not like it
I know that going back and rating long-ago-read books is probably a little silly, but this book was seared into my brain as an adolescent.

I picked it up because I was in high school and loving much of Anthony's work (Cluster series, Incarnations of Immortality, Apprentice Adept, etc.. - everything but Xanth) and I saw it at BookStop.

What I found was one was one of the most disturbing novels I'll ever read in my lifetime. An alien uses pheromones to lure in victims to devour them from the inside
Aug 27, 2014 Stacy rated it did not like it
We don't ban books anymore. That is what the Chinese did to ensure ignorance of the masses. Plus murdering the scholars and burning the libraries. Confucius lost, civilisations crippled. Russia. Throw the thinking people under lock and key. Imprisoned their shining stars. However, I have torn 2 to shreds in my life and this shall be number 3. Hi Piers. Ha. You ruined your one great series many moons ago with lechery. Since Heinlein's great fall I have watched a few great male authors descend int ...more
Jan 06, 2011 Blue rated it did not like it
I liked it as a teen, but in retrospect, this book is endlessly creepy (in bad ways) and is the one that finally began to clue me in to Piers Anthony's recurring paedophilic themes.
Louisa Robison
Dafuq did I just read? This was more like a deranged repressed child molester's fan fiction than fantasy. Yeesh.
Kerri (Book Hoarder)
All right, so Piers Anthony is long established, and this book has been out for years and years, too. So why am I reviewing it?

Well, first of all, I think it's important to talk about past books too, whether we loved or hated them. The wonder and magic of books is that they stay around - look at examples like Pride and Prejudice, after all. Books have the power to be read and influence people far into the future.

So I think it's important that I touch on this book because to be honest, when I t
Jul 10, 2012 Bryan rated it did not like it
This book sealed the fate of Piers Anthony as an author for me. Most of his stories have too much questionable (at best) content, and this one flew over the line like an ICBM from Russia.

Any female child the age he portrays subjected to especially one scene he writes, would have to be hospitalized - PERIOD. It's sick, twisted, perverse, depraved, and other similes I can't even dredge up.

I respect the man for his prolific writing, and for his attempts to help break down the barriers of the publis
Jun 01, 2011 Charles rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Bizarre, pedofilic sex scenes and alien anal penetration. Not at ALL like Anthony's normal writing. Reads like bad erotic fiction and the 5-year old sex scene is incredibly graphic and shocking.
JL Stratton
Feb 24, 2011 JL Stratton rated it really liked it
The premise of this story was unique. I felt, the whole time I was reading that it was bordering on science fiction, fantasy, horror, and erotica.

The description of the formless beast and explanation of how it lived was excellent. Some of the erotic elements bordered on disturbing, but I was prompted to keep reading because I was waiting for some redemption for the main (character?)
Lael Youngblood
Oct 08, 2014 Lael Youngblood rated it did not like it
Without a doubt, the single worst book I have ever read. Not for the nauseating pedophilia, but because it's just bad writing. Poorly developed characters who say things no real people would ever say. Characters that are neither likable or even necessary to the plot. Plot devices that make no sense, like one character who makes up ridiculous, nonsensical stories that become so annoying to read that you just want to skip over them completely. An unseen villain who is never fully fleshed out, expl ...more
Nicole Collet
Mar 23, 2014 Nicole Collet rated it did not like it
Shelves: abominable-books
You see, I'm reviewing a book I did not really read and have no wish to read. I read parts of it, and it was so horrible I had to comment about it.

This book has a graphic scene of a 5-year old having sex with a pedophile in a POSITIVE light. And then, when the perpetrator goes into trial, what follows is the corniest scene ever, with everyone in the courtroom being "moved" by their "love", in tears, etc.


So with no further ado, if you want to know what I'm talking about, read on
Oct 14, 2014 Arianna rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-keep
This book was...strange.

Now, to be honest, most of Piers Anthony's books are strange - it's what I love about them. But they're strange in a good way, while this was just...strange in a strange way.

I got this book from a free shelf at a thrift store. I was like 'Ooh, free Piers Anthony, yay!' Then I started reading it...and mostly just got confused.

I'm not sure if this is intended to be horror...thriller...erotica...romance... It sort of ended up a jumbled mess of nothing in particular.

Many peop
Apr 23, 2016 Michael rated it did not like it
The cover flap says "Be warned. No previous work by Piers Anthony can prepare you for the experience of Firefly." So I think "I've read 4 volumes of Bio of a Space Tyrant, I think I can handle this." I was so very wrong.

This book is a love letter to rape. It catalogs various ways in which people, mostly women, are raped. It outlines the reasons why victims encourage rape. A grim parody of a Washington Irving tale explains how a rape can be justified and even reward the rapist. The true monster i
Michelle Mayfield
Apr 21, 2016 Michelle Mayfield rated it liked it
I read this book several years ago (sometime in 1995/1996). Not my favorite work by Piers Anthony (Incarnations series gets that honor) but decent and really different and defintely not material for everyone. What I want to address here is the extreme reaction to the sex scene with the five year old girl in chapter 32 that is giving everyone the heebee jeebies. I recently came across reviews of that and thought "I don't even remember that part" so I went and check out the book again and re-read ...more
Dave Meister
Jan 25, 2014 Dave Meister rated it liked it
For erotic horror, it wasn't terrible. The "pedophilia" content was far less disturbing than reviews would lead one to believe but it could be troubling to some. Certainly not the sort of youth fantasy the author is known for, this novel was all grown up and went far further than the typical horror novel would in exploring human sexuality. It wasn't very appealing as erotica would go, but it certainly went to places untouched by most. I wouldn't suggest this to most readers as it was troubling a ...more
Jul 13, 2014 intrepideddie rated it did not like it
As a teenager I was hooked on Piers Anthony's "Xanth" series. Naturally, when he came out with "Firefly," a supposedly more mature, serious novel, I read it. And I regretted that decision more and more as I forced myself to read it.

This book was beyond terrible. Setting aside the whole issue of whether he's justifying child molestation, it is pure literary drivel. Its only redeeming quality is as an example to aspiring authors of how *not* to write.

This book is touted as "horror." The story was
Oct 02, 2013 Lara rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2012 Mars rated it did not like it
I picked this up thinking it was the Joss Whedon thing (you know how they all steal their ideas from popular books, and I never bother to keep track of who made what).

It wasn't.
It's long, tedious, features questionable subject matter (up to and including a rather graphic sex scene with a 5-year-old - I suspect that under the latest child protection laws this book might actually be illegal to own as a result, not to mention ewwww), can't decide between a failed monster novel and rather dull eroti
Andrew Shaffer
Aug 05, 2012 Andrew Shaffer rated it liked it
One of the first erotic books I read as a teenager. I loved Anthony's Xanth series and picked this up because of his name. At the time, I loved it -- but after picking it up again recently, the writing (especially the dialogue) is just...not good.
Dec 25, 2014 AJ rated it it was amazing

lovely book. I hardly could keep it down let alone not read certain passages more than once. The themes of insanity, sexuality and horror were so beautifully span in this tale successfully to produce an instant classical work of art.

Strictly for mature readers only!!!
May 12, 2009 Kevin rated it did not like it
Shelves: indefensible, burn-it
Piers Anthony gives us a heartfelt plea for understanding for sick fucks everywhere. Avoid like the Xanth.
Jan 19, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
If you’re familiar with this author at all, you’ll know him for his whimsical humorous stories. This is his first (and only?) attempt at horror, and I must say – the man has a sick, twisted mind.
Telethe Wery
Apr 14, 2009 Telethe Wery rated it it was amazing
Living in Florida, I love stories that weave the essense of what old Florida is like. This is definitely a weird read. It has been a long time since I read it, but it made a lasting impression.
Sep 12, 2010 Kevin rated it liked it
I read this book when I was about 14. I thought it was part of Piers Anthony's Xanth series. Man was I wrong, I really enjoyed it but definitely was not expecting my first sexual thriller.
Mandy Whilden
DNF'd after about 15 pages.. I am officially giving up on Piers Anthony.
Feb 07, 2017 Mark rated it did not like it
It's a trick. Get an axe.

If you come across this book, do not read this book. Do not touch this book. Get a can of gasoline and a match and burn this book to ashes.

Normally, it would pain me to say such things. I believe firmly in the exploration of ideas, even ideas we find repugnant or off-putting. However, there are ideas which I believe merit no argument or discussion, because they are wrong. There is no argument that can be made for them. And a whole great chunk of this book has, at its cor
Mar 24, 2016 Megalion rated it liked it
Wow... this is the strangest book I've read in a while.

I used to read a lot of Piers Anthony books when I was a teenager but then I stopped. Aside from re-reading Incarnations of Immortality every 5 years or so, this is the first Piers book I've read in a while.

On one hand, I'm interested in the story and wanting to find out what happens.

On the other hand, I'm totally turned off by the very flat, clunky writing. I find myself wondering if Piers always wrote like this and I just didn't notice
Amy Nielsen
I learned something important about myself while reading this book and that is, if I have a physical book in my hand, I am constrained to finish the book regardless of my level of interest. I wanted to put this book down many times but there it was, a real, life book sitting on my bed. The compulsion to read it was too great to withstand. And so Eve ate the apple.

This book is WHY I love Goodreads so much. I picked this book up at my local bookshop after reading the jacket and liking the cover. Y
Jul 14, 2009 C rated it did not like it
Recently a friend of the family who knows Piers gave me more insight into Piers Anthony the person, rather than my image of him as a writer. It was good to hear this and reassess my initial (harsh) response to his writing after reading this book.

That said, my impression of this one was: "what the hell?"

It's an attempt at erotic fiction. A space monster uses pheremones as a lure and devours its victims from the inside out. That's fine and dandy, but did we have to get into the details of why the
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Though he spent the first four years of his life in England, Piers never returned to live in his country of birth after moving to Spain and immigrated to America at age six. After graduating with a B.A. from Goddard College, he married one of his fellow students and and spent fifteen years in an assortment of professions before he began writing fiction full-time.

Piers is a self-proclaimed environm
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