Brownbetty's Reviews > True Blood

True Blood by Patricia Waddell
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May 19, 08

bookshelves: bad-science, genre-stupid
Read in May, 2008

My library's SFF section is small, so after assuring myself that no new paperbacks had magically appeared, I went to the romance section, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but an SFnal Romance! And really, I asked myself, what's the difference between SFnal Romance and SF with romance as its main plot? (See Asaro, Catharine)

Tragically, the answer to that question appears to be: an editor. There are the minor infelicities that stop you in your tracks while you try to decide if "by sake of treaties" makes any sense. There are the major mix-ups, as when he "peaked her interest." And then there is the metaphorical chimera of "the gauntlet she was about to toss at the Korcian's feet could easily end up biting her in the butt." Note to author: a gauntlet is a sort of glove, not a sort of weasel. This is all from the first eighty-two pages. I'm not sure if it got better after that, or I grew numb.

She's a diplomat from earth, he's a high-ranking officer from an aggressive and warlike culture: this ought to have warned me that there was going to be stuff going on with gender that annoyed me, but Bujold has spoiled me by doing it right. The sex scenes are constantly giving me him 'conquering' her, 'claiming' her, and her 'yielding.' That, and kneading of buttocks, which is apparently wildly erotic. (Please feel free not to tell me if you find this practice wildly erotic: I am willing to stipulate that there are people who do.)

The science is bad, but I can put up with that from a novel I found shelved in romance, but I am compelled to share anyway: he apparently particularly enjoys piloting "ballistic" vessels. Someone needs to tell him that going "vroom vroom!" is not actually piloting. At another point, debris is 'vacuumed' out of space. I can't even.

Other than that, the faults were all those of unskillful romance novels, where the heroine angsts over her feelings, the depths of which she has never before etc., even though you can't detect anything between them other than some apparently fantastic butt-massage.
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