Marek Grzywacz's Reviews > Placenta of Love

Placenta of Love by Spike Marlowe
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's review
Jun 04, 2012

it was amazing
Read in May, 2012

I've started dabbling in bizarro fiction (as a reader and writer)because of my profound love for strange, unexpected and plain insane in fiction and to see how individual and unusual constructions can writers create from pieces of popculture and their own wild imagination.

"Placenta of Love" is one of the books that make me glad I tried this somewhat offbeat (but awesome genre).

The story is rather straighforward. Planet Venus is an one big amusement park, run by mindless automatons. People from all over the galaxy go there to forget their worries and enjoy all kinds of fun. There is a pirate ride. The pirate captain becomes self-aware thanks to strange scientist. Captain feels lonely. Captain creates an AI, falls in love with her and puts her mind in the body that is enormous placenta... Ok, not to spoil anything - the intrigue is simple, but also kinda clever.

The characters are the best thing about this book. They're fleshed out and one really can feel their emotions and need. Captain Carl is pirate with a heart of gold and funnily awkward lack of piratey wits. There is one of the best talking cats that fiction ever produced. There is a needy but loving placenta. And many more diverse personalities. Relationships between them are very endearing and suprisingly deep - and there is some strange sexulity (view spoiler), but it's described in a way that makes it natural and non-offensive.

Another great thing about "Placenta of Love" is the mood setting, done really well by Spike. Venus is bright and colorful and starting each chapter with a snarky and strange descriptions of different rides of the park, filled with subtle, dark humor and related to the polt of the chapter, was a great way to introduce reader to the unique world of automata and bizzare funhouses. As for humor, Natzo, the witty and pragmatic leader (view spoiler) of unusual church, is pure comedic gold and scenes with her are shinning with fun dialogues. But the overall mood is very melancholic (in the few final chapters maybe even too melancholic) and the book basically tells us a story of lonely creatures looking for love and searching for their identity. However, it doesn't stop the autor from adding some delightfuly cheesy and spectacular action scenes.

"Placenta of Love" is a well executed and thoughtfully written mix of many generes - fairytale, retro s-f, fantasy, love story with a dash of Pirates of Caribbean and classic dilemma-filled stories abot AI's - and it is really effective in what it's doing. The very good debut from an very promising author.

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