I've just finished reading City of Bones. It wasn't as good as the hype. I skimmed most of it and only slowed down for Luke's explanation of events anI've just finished reading City of Bones. It wasn't as good as the hype. I skimmed most of it and only slowed down for Luke's explanation of events and when Clary finds Jace with Valentine near the end. It was a plot by numbers (like painting by numbers) sort of book and the characters were puppets to the plot.
Jace started liking Clary even before getting to know her though I tried to put that down to Clary being the first female to enter his life who wasn't like a sister to him. Poor Jace can't catch a break there.
I'm guessing that Clary is going to develop abilities. The dreams she had seemed to be about the past and about the future. A prophetess like Dorothea?
I didn't see Luke being a werewolf coming though I did wonder why the werewolves wanted her. The only thing that intrigued me was the issue of incest, I may read the next book just to see how the author tackles it. ...more
This second book is better than the first but I still had problems with it. I got a bit fed up of a certain character being put in jeopardy at least tThis second book is better than the first but I still had problems with it. I got a bit fed up of a certain character being put in jeopardy at least three times and was saved (or resurrected) each time so I never really felt that any of them were in any real danger of dying. I liked Alec and Magnus more and I'm feeling more sympathy for Clary and Jace. I had to take a peek at some spoilers to get me interested in the third book and as it is the last I will finish the series but again I will need a break after reading this - it must be a blockbuster for so many to give it 5 stars....more
City of Glass was so much better than the first two books. The first third was blah, the second third the action ramped up, then I got to page 369 - tCity of Glass was so much better than the first two books. The first third was blah, the second third the action ramped up, then I got to page 369 - the revelation that implied a possible happy ending, I was glued to the book from then on.
***Major Spoilers Warning***
I really loved Alec and Magnus in this especially their public display of affection in the hall and Alec introducing Magnus to his parents - finally.
Loved Simon's joke about Sebastian and Jace that Clary was appalled at: “So technically,” Simon said, “even though Jace isn’t actually related to you, you have kissed your brother.” He always manages to sum everything up so well. Sebastian was certainly creepy. He knew Clary was his sister but he still tried to seduce her. Ick.
I also loved Raziel's line to Clary after he did some smiting of the arrogant and presumptuous Valentine: ‘That was the justice of heaven. I trust that you are not dismayed.’ Brilliant.
Oh and when Jace and Clary are sleeping hand in hand before the night before the battle - that was sweet and so were the many touching moments they had together.
Although I liked this book there were still some things that annoyed me. I wondered why Clary didn’t come up with a rune that meant “awake” to help her mother, or may be she tried and I missed that bit.
Clary was given plenty of clues as to what Jace was throughout the books most notably Ithurial’s vision of Jace with angel wings. I had an idea when the Inquisitor died for Jace in book two, she wouldn’t have done that if she thought he was evil. Plus his physical abilities that no other Shadowhunter seemed to have.
On top of that Clary knew there was something wrong with Sebastian but she didn’t question his interest in her until much later. Things like this made me quite impatient for Clary and the others to realise these truths.
This third book made reading the first two worth it. A brilliant end to the trilogy.
I read this to challenge myself, and challenge me it did. Within a few pages there was rape, humiliation and degradation and it only got worse from thI read this to challenge myself, and challenge me it did. Within a few pages there was rape, humiliation and degradation and it only got worse from then on. Every now and then I would have to pause to take a breath in order to continue.
I was made uncomfortable, appalled and utterly disgusted. I desperately wanted to put this down but curiosity won out. How was it going to end?
The constant repetition ground down my abhorrence of some harrowing events which take place, to the point where I was almost desensitised and eventually bored by the end. Can you believe it?!
Although I understood the lesson (which usually appear in fairy tales), I can't say I appreciated or enjoyed the delivery of that lesson. I have read books that have conveyed it in a more...palatable fashion. That being said, the language was easy to read, if the content was not.
I recommend this to those not easily offended, and even if you're not, you might want to hesitate reading this anyway.
FYI, you don't have to be a prude to be shocked by this book. ...more
To all those that are ignorant of or don't care for their own safety: READ THIS BOOK!
Surprisingly this is a teenage book, and I can see why. DescriptiTo all those that are ignorant of or don't care for their own safety: READ THIS BOOK!
Surprisingly this is a teenage book, and I can see why. Descriptions are well...not descriptive, everything is left to the imagination. Acts are implied but not described in any detail. I expect teens these days will understand this book but I also feel it's a warning to them that paedophiles come in all shapes and sizes, that you'll never know who can be one. You may think that weird old guy across the street is one but really it could be anyone: young, old, fat, thin, gorgeous or ugly. Male or female. And their hook to reel you in could be anything, not just the cliched sweets/candy or puppies.
Perhaps I've watched too much 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' because what shocked others didn't shock me. Of course, I raised an eyebrow or two here and there (I am still human after all) but what struck me the most was 1) the social commentary, 2) the psychology of the broken spirit, and 3) the psychopathy of the paedophile/kidnapper/murderer.
The author brings attention to society's perception of the victims of abuse and of the way people will ignore the signs (claiming they're minding their own business) while spouting things like "Why didn't you say something? That's all it would've taken for someone to help you." Sort of a mixed message there if only certain people will be willing to take notice and then take action on your behalf. To help and not hinder.
Alice2.0's thoughts and behaviours were shockingly real. That she would abuse/groom others, even young children, if it meant it would lessen her pain was completely understandable. Yes, it's despicable but in that situation can you honestly claim that you'd do any different?
Overall, this is a horrific but thought-provoking tale of tragedy that acts as a warning to those that are unaware of the risks they take with their own safety and a reminder to watch out for others'....more
Not quite what the title suggests as it's not strictly incest. "Uncle" Ed is Fiona's uncle by marriage to her aunt. He's newly widowed so Fiona visitsNot quite what the title suggests as it's not strictly incest. "Uncle" Ed is Fiona's uncle by marriage to her aunt. He's newly widowed so Fiona visits to help him deal with her aunt's death before she goes off to college. She has always found him handsome, even as a child, and has grown to love him even more as a now adult woman.
Fiona developed physically early to the point where her mother was beating dirty old men off with a stick, and we find out Uncle Ed has secretly been admiring her for the past few years. It also doesn't hurt that she looks like her dead aunt.
There's plenty of guilt and daddy/daughter issues thrown around to make this one a realistic and interesting read....more
Waterboarding babies. Shit. I’m not a parent but in that moment I doubt a person could feel anything but a strong urge to protect and defend. Highly dWaterboarding babies. Shit. I’m not a parent but in that moment I doubt a person could feel anything but a strong urge to protect and defend. Highly disturbing. I was reminded of Milgram’s experiment on obedience to authority figures and the Stanford prison experiment, both very famous psychological studies about the pressures of conforming to a specific role, whether dominant or submissive and highlights the extraordinary strength it takes to break away from it. If the mother of that baby refused to obey by not drowning her baby in ice-filled water, the consequences could’ve been dire.
In the minds of those living in the compound there's this life and nothing else. They refuse to believe that life outside could be any better than the life they’re living now, even when that means torturing and killing your own children or handing them over to paedophiles and rapists. Frustrating, but then they've been indoctrinated from birth, raised not to question the order of things and are told to believe everything is "God's Will".
Very few are strong enough to refuse to continue with the farce that rewards a handful of old lecherous men and condemns everyone else, especially the young and defenceless. If you rebel, you'll be lucky to receive a quick death, if you’re really lucky you get married off to a nice man with only a couple of wives, and if the universe is smiling down on you and the planets are in alignment you might escape with your life and live to breathe another day only to look over your shoulder for the rest of your days.
I’ve noticed that in some of the negative reviews of this book people expected or wanted a realistic depiction of polygamy and that’s not what this is about. The Chosen One reflects the sensational, the newscaster’s dream: the paedophile cultists e.g. Warren Jeffs, sociopathic religious extremists who warp the media’s perception of this way of life so people wrongly come to automatically associate the word “paedophile” with “polygamy”.
Polygamy is not inextricably linked with religion and paedophilia, it is simply, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, "the practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time." That is all.
If you want a more modern and realistic view of polygamy then this isn’t for you, watch HBO's “Big Love” instead.
Despite this, the book does bring up some important positive and negative points concerning polygamy, for example, more caregivers to bring up the children, sharing a husband can lead to tension and jealousy, etc.
Also, the choice of not using any form of contraception lead to Kyra's 3 mothers having had 19 children, meaning that each child has less one-to-one time with a caregiver and everyone having little-to-no alone time, with the older children forced to act as parents themselves. (On a personal note, I find having so many children incredibly selfish and irresponsible in this day and age where infant mortality is now quite low.) Add to this the overcrowding as each mother has one small, decrepit trailer to house their growing number of offspring. Unless of course their husband happens to be an elevated elder or an Apostle or the Prophet, in which case they'll have a luxurious mansion.
I did, however, wonder how everyone’s fed, clothed and sheltered. Where did the money come from? Who was footing the bill for the land devoid of condoms, and therefore an ever increasing population? They do keep costs down by leading rustic and prudish lifestyles with few mod-cons by making their own clothes, growing their own food, etc. but that only goes so far, at some point you've got to spend some money. For example, the trip to town to buy fabric and afterwards having lunch in a restaurant.
This book covers a number of distasteful topics which some readers may want to avoid:
Forced marriage, Paedophilia and Rape, of unwilling wives. (Forced marriage is illegal in the UK whether the marriage is to take place here or abroad, the law protects the victim no matter their age.)
Blackmail, of those who disobey or their relatives. Husbands can be forced to leave the compound and have their wives and children given to other men who are encouraged to treat them like shit.
Beatings, as a means of control and punishment.
Murder, of runaways, those that attempt to rescue anyone on the compound, those who disobey, and of disabled babies -very Spartan of them.
Incest, not a routine part of the compound. It seems it's more to satisfy Kyra's 60 year old uncle's lust for her 13-year-old body.
One of my favourite parts of this book was Joshua's admission to wanting Kyra and only Kyra for his wife. How romantic is that? Aww.
My rating is 3.5 stars because although we were given a look into what life might be like for those oppressed and used in the cults that make the headlines the writing wasn't as emotive as I would expect it to be apart for the baby torture. This book had the potential to bring me to tears but it didn't quite do it even with the desperate way it ended....more
Beautiful. Evil, but beautiful. Evil because I now have Stockholm Syndrome. Beautiful because I didn't realise it was happening, the writing was so suBeautiful. Evil, but beautiful. Evil because I now have Stockholm Syndrome. Beautiful because I didn't realise it was happening, the writing was so subtle yet engrossing and real. Gritty.
I fell in love with Ty, the kidnapper. He was so kind, considerate and almost harmless really (Hello, Stockholm!). He'd saved Gemma's life so many times and eventually sacrificed his freedom for her. How can anyone not love him a little for that?
I understood his motivations. He was lonely and had been badly treated all his life. At first I had all kinds of ideas of what he was: paedophile, rapist, killer etc. He was none of those things. He just wanted to escape civilisation and when he spotted Gemma, who he believed was being neglected by her parents just as he was, he wanted to rescue her.
I can't understand why people compare this to Living Dead Girl. Ray, the kidnapper is all of the things I mentioned above. He was not kind, he raped, he's a paedophile and he murdered. I did not fall in love with him. It's not a fair comparison. They're completely different.
Although at times Ty seemed scary, he was vulnerable and fragile too. He cried. He suffered from nightmares. In some ways he's like a child himself, with his love of the land, his painting and his folk stories. His sense of fun can be a little strange but there are some funny moments. It's not all fear and confusion. Catching the camel was hilarious. She (the camel) had my heart from then on.
As you can tell I loved Ty but I also cared about Gemma. At first I just wanted her to accept her situation, to stop looking for trouble. The number of times she said "You're lying!" or "I don't believe you!" got on my nerves because she said it in relation to the simplest of plausible statements but when she calmed down she was so starkly honest with herself even when she wanted to go into denial. She was strong. Both characters were to have survived their traumas.
You may think I'm as loopy as Ty but I wished for a happy ending. Gemma and Ty together. Maybe not out in the desert forever but living on the edge of a small town. Happily ever after. I can dream, right?
Stolen. Everything in this book is stolen, including Ty. Nothing belongs to anyone. Not even themselves. There's only the land and the sky. And survival. Beautiful....more
Good and bad. I don't know how to rate this. Amongst my GR friends this is Marmite -love it or hate, there is no in-between. I don't adore it but I doGood and bad. I don't know how to rate this. Amongst my GR friends this is Marmite -love it or hate, there is no in-between. I don't adore it but I don't loathe it either.
To begin with, I was bored to tears by the writing, of Melinda's life and Outcast status so I skimmed but I was curious as to how everything was going to play out with IT. IT is Andy Evans, Andy Beast, Andy the rapist.
Then little things got my attention: this girl's sense of humour (sarcastic, pessimistic and cynical), skipping school, blind teachers -this is going to sound contrived but there were some things about her and her life that reminded me of my high school self.
Speak isn't a normal everyday book, it's literature -there to be studied, to interpret the symbolism, to see the reflections of this and that and derive the lessons learned by reading it. In essence, it's a school book. And who liked school? Not me...but then my favourite subject was English Lit, I never missed a class so that probably makes me a freak for liking it on that level.
For example, Melinda fainting at the sight of the dead frog's hands and feet being splayed and pinned symbolised Melinda's rape, overwhelming her with the memory of that night.
Lesson: It's better out than in. Don't let it fester. Speak up. Stand up for yourself. You can survive.
I didn't always like the delivery of this message. Why is it always the art or English teacher making that connection with the student in need? Maybe it's got something to do with the expression of self. Still, it would've been different if it had been any other teacher, or person in general. However, I did like the script-like dialogue fashion Melinda's silence was displayed:
Each character interprets her silence differently, usually in a way that benefits them and harms her.
David and Ivy were interesting supporting characters and potential BFFs for Melinda. David in particular was quite fascinating. I wish we'd seen more of them, and I'll grudgingly admit Mr. Freeman, the art teacher did good too. He wasn't too hard or too soft, or too creepy in his efforts to get Melinda to open up and express herself and her emotions in art and life.
The ending wasn't quite enough for me. After the very long build up, we see the turning point but not the consequences. I needed to witness everyone's reactions, whether positive ("I'm so sorry for how I've treated you") or negative ("You lying attention-seeking whore!"). What happened to Andy the rapist? Where does Melinda go from here?
After writing this, I think I know my rating: 2.5 stars. Melinda and her school life were well developed, perhaps a little too developed possibly overlooking other angles and characters in the process. ...more
I really want to give this 4 stars because my brain switched off and went along for the ride, just enjoying the reading experience. However, I was awaI really want to give this 4 stars because my brain switched off and went along for the ride, just enjoying the reading experience. However, I was aware of a couple of points when I felt uncomfortable with what was happening (rape-y), it's pretty much anti-feminist (think: caveman patriarchy) and may be offensive to some, there's insta-love/Stockholm Syndrome, and it wasn't the best story in the world. It's certainly not for everyone. But again, I enjoyed it. I feel slightly guilty for doing so, like I'm betraying my sisters. A guilty pleasure, it is then....more
It's okay to rape your husband. (Source: Chapter 18 onwards.)
Up until this chapter The Duke and I was on the road to four stars. Four and not five becIt's okay to rape your husband. (Source: Chapter 18 onwards.)
Up until this chapter The Duke and I was on the road to four stars. Four and not five because of:
➜ Anthony's behaviour after witnessing his friend's mouth on his sister's chest in the garden of a house party, challenging his FRIEND to a duel after Simon refused to marry Daphne on the grounds it would make her unhappy because he couldn't give her what she'd always wanted i.e. children and therefore happiness. If Simon really was a friend, Anthony would've asked more questions about the why and been more tenacious in getting an accurate answer instead of jumping into a duel where he'd be forced to kill his friend;
➜ The following duel scene the next morning when Daphne outright lies to Simon about others, besides Anthony, witnessing their intimate act to prevent Simon from being killed in the duel and to force him to marry her, followed by Simon omitting the fact he won't have children and instead says he 'can't' have them so he doesn't have to tell her his very personal reason why.
I swallowed these things hoping it would come out later and they'd forgive each other in the end.
What I was not expecting was Daphne's grotesque arrogance and selfishness in taking advantage of her drunk husband after she found out the truth, denying him sex and companionship, and not allowing him to pull out during sex so she could have the children she'd always wanted. They'd been MARRIED TWO WEEKS, there was plenty of time to discuss his problems, his worries, about even contemplating children and instead she takes the choice from him against his will as he struggles with her once he realises her intentions.
After what Simon's father did to him Daphne's behaviour is even worse because she knew about Simon's stuttering and his father's abandonment of Simon because of this. And then two months after Simon leaves her he finds he misses her and he CAN'T REMEMBER WHY HE LEFT IN THE FIRST PLACE, thereby excusing any wrongdoing on her part. But not only that, Daphne sends her angry brother after Simon without telling him she was the reason Simon left and not Simon himself.
So, four stars to one. If the gender roles had been reversed I'd expect more people would've been outraged at the rape. Completely ruined a perfectly good book, and my first, and possibly the last, by Julia Quinn....more
Before reading this I'd heard of infantilism -a mostly non-sexual fetish, role-playing as adult babies, that may involve breastfeeding, via a certainBefore reading this I'd heard of infantilism -a mostly non-sexual fetish, role-playing as adult babies, that may involve breastfeeding, via a certain episode of CSI but I'd never heard of erotic lactation fantasy before. After a few Google clicks it seems it's a common thing ("erotic lactation" brings up over 2 million hits) not much talked about because it's taboo.
Man is lured into participating in a super-secret medical trial. Man is unknowingly cloned, pumped with viagra an"You want to film me fucking myself."
Man is lured into participating in a super-secret medical trial. Man is unknowingly cloned, pumped with viagra and anti-anxiety drugs to lower inhibitions, then locked in a room with his clone. What happens next? Bow-chica-wow-wow.
So, is this a form of extreme narcissism? An odd kind of masturbation?
This was no different than getting horny watching gay porn; it was an appreciation for the male form. In this case, mine. And what's wrong with a little bit of self-appreciation?
...who hadn't fantasized about having sex with themselves?
Er, me. Hadn't even crossed my mind. But then, I'm not male.
Flashes of teenaged me straining in autofellatio -inspired yoga, desperately trying to suck my own cock ran through my head.
As far as I know, it isn't possible for women to achieve the same.
"...wouldn't it be more exciting to do something totally unique and impossible without science? For anyone not a twin," he hastily added with no hint of shame.
Is twincest common? Apart from male-female twincest depicted by George R.R. Martin in his A Song of Ice and Fire series and a male-female (who were unknowingly born male-male) in the "Identity" episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (based on the true story of David Reimer), I've not encountered many examples.
Although, I do remember watching one of those weird sex documentaries that featured a pair of female twins that performed live sex shows. And in effort to find them, my Google search brought up this interesting and sort-of relevant Slate article The Sex Lives of Conjoined Twins, and their agony aunt page entitled Brotherly Love.
The clone itself, is not born but made, fully formed from SmartLiquid and is an exact physical and mental, self-aware duplicate including all past memories up to the point of cloning. And are recycled when no longer needed.
"The clones are able to be repurposed, regenerated, and reconfigured for future use . Your model, so to speak, lasts as long as you are here and then as soon as we're done going over your study they are stripped and reset to default, only to eventually be improved and changed into someone else later."
While not made from flesh and blood, the clones appear to be somehow psychologically or computer-programmed:
“So you’re made for sex. Are you permanently hard all the time?” “By default, yes. I can control my erection though to be soft if you wanted.”
For some reason, I had the image of android Data and Lieutenant Natasha Yar from the "The Naked Now" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. She asks if he's "fully functional", he is, and he adds "I am programmed in multiple techniques. A broad variety of pleasuring."
"Inside of me is a guideline of sexual instructions that is guaranteed to make my partner orgasm, often several times in a single session. I match my training with your profile and adjust accordingly. Every session is a learning experience." "What about you? Can you get off?" "Of course. I'm just like you, only I can keep on going and going and going with no worry of a refractory period . Anything you tell me to do I do it. If you want cum I can have it for you on command. If you want me to blow you, I'm your man. Anything. You. Want."
On the possible future of human cloning:
"We're approaching the day when sex-clones become a real thing. That's not saying they aren't feasible today, but with enough time they will be advanced and cheap enough for everyone in the developed world with a desire to fuck a vat-grown-human to have the capability to do so and enjoy it. You can consider this market research."
Creating self-aware human clones with training or programming for the exclusive purpose of becoming sex workers is firmly in the realm of fantasy. Anything or anyone that is self-aware and is selfishly used, and possibly abused, as slaves, will have within them the ability to revolt and start an emancipation revolution, just as clone Somni-451 attempted to do Cloud Atlas.
Overall, the concept here is immensely fascinating. I expected a not-so-well-written, mildly titillating erotica, and while there were a few punctuation errors and word omissions, this didn't impact on my enjoyment of the premise nor the amusing writing style. Honestly, the sex is the least captivating aspect of this sci-fi short.
I'll leave you with a giggle-worthy quote:
Too much porn had skewed my judging of how big cocks were supposed to be. Sucking on this thing would be like taking a thick popsicle down your throat. It was daunting. I suddenly felt a strong sense of compassion and understanding for the women I had been with.
This is some fucked up shit. Misogynistic and necrophilic fucked up shit. With illustrations. My inner feminist is vibrating with rage and is drawingThis is some fucked up shit. Misogynistic and necrophilic fucked up shit. With illustrations. My inner feminist is vibrating with rage and is drawing disturbing comparisons with serial killer Elliot Rodger.
The meathouse is a whorehouse whose 'whores' are dead women, most of whom are former criminals and debtors although some have been kidnapped and killed precisely to be commodified by transforming them into brainless undead prostitutes. Outside of the meathouses, corpses are used as workers directed by handlers (read: puppeteers), similar to what The People do with vampires in Ilona Andrews's Kate Daniels series. The entertainment industry is dominated by corpse fights like the gladiators of old, their handlers manipulating them like 3-D real world video game characters.
Greg succumbs to peer pressure by patronising a meathouse where he falls in love with a coprse-whore and thus begins an obsession. The explicit artwork of this graphic novel makes it all the sicker. Necrophilic rape porn imagery is not something I want to see. And the illustrations aren't even good - it's quite grotesque actually, although that may be intentional.
Anyway, Greg decides he deserves better than an undead woman and proceeds to wait for a living, breathing woman. He meets one, he falls in love and she rejects him. He moves to another planet, meets a woman, falls in love, they're happy for a time, then she dumps him for his best friend. From here on out he hates women. Love is a cruel lie. He turns to the occupation he once shunned: gladiator-corpse handler. Turns out he's excellent at bloodily dismantling his opponents from the comfort of his 'throne' as the crowds cheer him on.
I know George R.R. Martin is a man who loves to write controversial storylines. A Song of Fire and Ice gets a pass in my eyes due to historical and cultural accuracy. Meathouse Man, on the other hand, is set in the distant future when man has colonized multiple planets. One would hope such pervasive and socially acceptable misogyny and disrespect for the dead would be but a distant memory by this time.
I'm shocked and disappointed that this is a 2014 Hugo Award Best Graphic Novel Nominee.
*Read for free via the LonCon3 Hugo Voter Pack....more