I found this incredibly boring when compared to the eroticism and sensuality of Delta Of Venus. I was expecting far more from Anais Nin, especially wh...moreI found this incredibly boring when compared to the eroticism and sensuality of Delta Of Venus. I was expecting far more from Anais Nin, especially when regarding a field that she had so much expertise in.
The thing is, erotica is one of those things that is so hard to suffer through when it's dull... there's just no pretending otherwise; and these stories were very similar, caresses followed by a very scientific depiction of oral sex. Sorry to say it did nothing for me.(less)
I honestly cannot believe I found this book so enjoyable! It's been sitting on my shelf since those long ago days before I'd read a million and one di...moreI honestly cannot believe I found this book so enjoyable! It's been sitting on my shelf since those long ago days before I'd read a million and one different paranormal romance and/or urban fantasy stories. I bought it back when I was rather new to the genres and I used to be all "sexy vampires, quirky heroine, supernatural mystery - what more could you possibly want from a novel?" Since then I've come to realise that a whole lot of the PNR/UF world is kind of, well... shite.
But I have been surprised here today. I read this as a buddy read to go with my July Pick It For Me challenge and I have Mountain Kat to thank for finally getting me to give in to this book. It's a really fun, sexy and entertaining read. For me, it just stood out amongst so many others of its kind that I've read because everything worked: the strong heroine, the sexy hero guy, the mythology, the humour... and it even had a talking demon dog. I can't lie here, the novel completely had me the moment we were introduced to a talking demon Newfoundland called Jim. It's less ridiculous than it sounds in the actual novel, I swear.
Aisling is a great character; she's the girl you want to be friends with but also the girl you want fighting on your team. Even though she had the hots for Drake ever since he sauntered in all his dark and sexiness, she still doesn't take any crap from him. Drake's this dragon guy in human form that everyone fears because of his power but Aisling refuses his advances with a swift knee to the groin, a poke in the eye and a good whacking round the head with a solid gold and priceless artifact. But all is made up later against the wall ;)
I really enjoyed Katie MacAlister's balance of witty banter and humour with the well-developed mythology going on behind it all. It's also one of very few PNR/UF novels that made me think "must acquire next book now!" I've missed that feeling... Anyway, this book won't be for everyone but it definitely rang my bell. I mean, come on, a talking demon dog called Jim! (less)
There is something deeply unhealthy about this book; it's in the characters, in the story, in the relationships, in the sex, and just in the general...more There is something deeply unhealthy about this book; it's in the characters, in the story, in the relationships, in the sex, and just in the general mood of the novel. Reading this made me feel a little unwell, both physically and mentally, but I am glad I did. If you know me, you'll know I love complex characters with issues that feel raw and real rather than melodramatic. The people in this novel are majorly fucked up, no one is without a dark past and everyone, it seems, has a horror story.
The protagonist - Camille Preaker - was just thirteen when her sister died and fuelled by grief (amongst other things) Camille spent her teen years carving words into her flesh, covering almost every inch of her body with the marks of her pain. This could have brought the angst meter off the scale but Flynn handled it expertly, with just the right amount of sadness, frustration and gore. Ten years later, Camille Preaker is now a journalist who returns to the small town of her youth to report on the murders of two young girls - the girls showed no signs of sexual abuse, but all their teeth had been removed.
Camille is soon caught up in the town once again, she tries to get along with the mother who never loved her and establish a relationship with the troublesome half sister she hardly knows. It seems that once again small towns hold the biggest secrets and Camille finds herself getting dragged deeper and deeper into the investigation, her fragile state of mind constantly threatening to tip her over the edge.
This is one mean and nasty book. I knew I was getting a dark, psychological thriller, but I expected something on par with In The Woods. In Tana French's novels everyone has a deeply explored personality, but it seems that in Gillian Flynn's novels everyone has a deeply explored problem and Flynn never shies away from the details. You're not going to find anything pleasant in this story; sex, for example, is never simply for physical pleasure, it's an escape or a bargain or a catharsis. Everything else is similar.
In a world where women are victims - both in their media representation as "damsels in distress" and in statistics - this is a very interesting look at "evil" women. We are always less surprised when a man is arrested for raping/torturing/killing, it's programmed into us to believe that women are safer, kinder, built with an instinct that makes it difficult for them to be cruel and cause pain without reason. Upon interviewing the parents of Moors murders victims before the culprits were caught, they said they couldn't understand it because they'd always told their kids not to go off with men they didn't know. But they never warned them not to go off with women they didn't know, the idea was unthinkable. Times are changing, but a lot of the old ideas still linger: surely a woman wouldn't hurt a child? Surely a mother would never harm her children?
Yet, Flynn does an excellent job of challenging this idea. She shows how women can be cold, calculating and cruel. And I'm sure it will displease a lot of readers, but it fascinated me.