Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

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Jun 2016: Flesh > Here There Be Monsters Discussion *SPOILERS*

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Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 918 comments Mod
This is a prequel novella to Brooks' Iron seas series. We read the first novel, The Iron Duke, back in Hangout #4

It's a short read of about 125 pages. A little off-topic, but with the availability of shorter works as ebooks, do you find yourself reading more short fiction as opposed to novels?


message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Crane-rosset | 104 comments This one is great. I read it awhile back, because I got so hooked on the Iron Seas series. Read it in about an hour while waiting at the dentist, actually.

Great series, awesome short story.


message 3: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (planetshannon) | 48 comments I just read The Iron Duke earlier this year, will be interesting to get back into the world.

I read a fair amount of short fiction, but it's not tipped the scales to be more than the novels read. It does skew how much I feel like I'm reading overall, and makes it feel like I'm reading more year to year but I'm not sure if more titles is actually more reading.

That said, usually the novellas or shorter works that I go for are part of a series I already enjoy (like Kate Daniels), or ones that are romance-y stories that I can read in one night. I'm a fast reader, but it's rare that I can read a whole novel in a day/night/sitting. But having novellas around makes it feel like I can!


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Kendall (_pochemuchka_) | 45 comments I'm usually put off by their cost, to be honest. $2.99 for a hundred some-odd pages just has me turning to fanfiction instead, especially when it's not a series I previously read and enjoyed.

And the trend that's happening now--not just in ebooks, but in publishing in general (I work in a bookstore)--to publish novellas or short story tie-in collections just seems to me to be lazy storytelling and exploitative of customers.


message 5: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (planetshannon) | 48 comments Interesting Amanda, I never thought of it from a price point perspective. Any novella titles I've read have all been available at the library. I do find that if I'm going into a new series, I can be put off by if there are tons of #.5's inbetweeners, alternate perspectives, etc. because it just feels like more "stuff" thrown at us.


Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 918 comments Mod
The cost isn't unreasonable if you compare it to professional trade publications ($7/300 words) or magazines ($5-10/50-100 pages). We are somewhat spoiled by the vast amount of low-cost, good (and not so good) fiction available to us via the Internet. Supplemental works like these seem to be a response to the reader's habit of primarily investing in known authors and series. I understand that writers are people who need to eat, so I don't begrudge them for trying anything that might help generate income.

That being said, I agree that there are limits. . Having a ton of supplementals sends a message that either the author is either trying to milk a cash cow or is perhaps too lazy/busy to work these smaller stories into full novels.


message 7: by Serendi (new)

Serendi Or likes writing at a shorter length.


message 8: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (planetshannon) | 48 comments The price seems fair on Amazon.ca, its' $2.99 to the Iron Duke at $8.99. A third of the price, a third of the pages. And usually alts would be more expensive as they are a full length book.

After trying a fair amount of horrible freebies, I would rather pay a pretty nominal amount for an additional story in a world I already like than wade through some of the stuff that ends up getting DNF'd.


message 9: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Buttons (sophiebuttons) | 23 comments I love Meljean Brooke, but this is not one of her best. Too thinly plotted at the start for me to care about the romance. Character development is something she's good at, and she falls short here.


message 10: by Lindsay (last edited Jun 18, 2016 05:52AM) (new)

Lindsay | 22 comments I have been finding myself drawn to shorter length novellas and stories lately. I tend to like the format when they actually are complete stories. So many times it feels like you run into story set ups and have to purchase two or three titles for one complete arc. I feel I should always have a satisfying stopping point, even when a cliffhanger is involved and I don't always get that with novellas.

This is my first foray into the steampunk genre. I'm enjoying it, but am a bit leery of the relationship at the moment.


message 11: by Carly (new)

Carly Crusade | 51 comments I love to read short stories/novellas in between reading longer books. It gives me a break from the heavier stuff and makes me feel pretty good about myself when I finish something so quickly lol.

I really enjoyed this book. I thought the writing was really good and the world was really interesting. I would have liked a better development between Eben and Ivy but given it was such a short story I think the author did a good job. I was a little confused about some parts though, particularly what the "horde" actually was. I liked how they actually addressed the risk of pregnancy. It wasn't entirely historically accurate, the clit was a pretty recent discovery. But that really isn't that big a deal in a book like this.


message 12: by Carly (new)

Carly Crusade | 51 comments Sophie wrote: "I love Meljean Brooke, but this is not one of her best. Too thinly plotted at the start for me to care about the romance. Character development is something she's good at, and she falls short here."

This was the first I've read by her and I really liked it. I'll have to check out her other stuff now!


message 13: by Briana (new)

Briana | 5 comments I really liked a lot of it, but it was just so short! I couldn't figure out why Eben was so crazy over Ivy from the very beginning of the book. Did I miss something about their history together or something? It seemed like she patched up his friend, and then that's the only time they ever interacted before the book kicks off. But he's already nuts about her when they meet at the beginning of the story.
I liked a lot of the book, but personally I would have loved more character development, especially regarding their relationship.


message 14: by Kris (new)

Mermaid Kris (themermaidkris) I have to say that I enjoyed this book more than the main one. I just liked the characters, the fact that Ivy is not annoying little b*** even when she is virgin :D Also didn't get the point where Eben fell in love with her but damn their stockholm relationship was so good :D


message 15: by Briana (new)

Briana | 5 comments Yeah I really loved Ivy too. The protagonists tend to be kind of powerless and bland in romance stories but I loved that Ivy had her own bad ass talents. Those automatons were awesome!


message 16: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay | 22 comments Ivy and her creations were great. I loved them. I did get caught up a bit in the romance by the end, but after a day of sitting on it, it did lose a bit of it's luster for me. I just am always unsettled by a Stockholm love. The fact that she felt she had to pay Eben for kidnapping her and he let her instead of just saying he wasn't going to push her frustrated me in the beginning. I am such a contrary individual that feeling forced into anything doesn't sit well with me. He never forced himself on her per se, but he forced her onto his ship and into his bed and I personally would have hated him for that, so it was hard for me to keep the happy feeling. I know that is just personal taste though. He was a good guy mostly, except when he wasn't. It was cute when the money almost became a way of flirting between them, but the moment I stepped back from the story, it went back to creeping me out again.

That said i did like the book for the world and Ivy's abilities. However this is the only story in this world I have read and I felt like I was missing parts of the world building because of it's short length. As a supplement to a wider whole, I'm sure it makes more sense, but as an entry point, it was left feeling underdeveloped.


message 17: by Carly (new)

Carly Crusade | 51 comments Lindsay wrote: ".The fact that she felt she had to pay Eben for kidnapping her and he let her instead of just saying he wasn't going to push her frustrated me in the beginning..."

I completely agree! The fact that he accepted the money is the only thing that really bothered me. He kept making a big deal about not forcing himself on her and getting her to trust him but by accepting the money he just enforced her belief that that was what he was going to do. He should of refused and told her he wasn't going to force her.


message 18: by Kris (new)

Mermaid Kris (themermaidkris) I think the point was somewhere else, at least for me. He liked her from the beginning and for me there was nicely described how he had to act so his crew won't think he is weak. Also I am not sure but I don't think he ever said something about wanting the money. Ivy was the first one to come with the idea of changing money for "normal sleepover". He never asked for them. By the end he gave her chance to get the money back with the kiss and there was obvious they are attracted to each other. Also he said (thought) that he is scaring her but wanted more from her but not with force. I felt it like the typical syndrom "okay, she thinks I am bad guy but whatever at least she is here so let her think that".


message 19: by Neohgirl (new)

Neohgirl | 68 comments I think he kept the money as a way to reassure her, since even when she was scared if him, she knew she could trust him to keep his word. And they did mention at the beginning that they'd spent many times together while Barker was getting his prosthesis. I do wish there was a bit more world building, as someone else said, more backstory on the Horde would have been nice, but I feel like I got the gist.

Oh, and as far as pricing goes, I found it in an anthology called "Burning UP" ISBN: 978-0-425-235959 in case anyone would feel more comfortable buying a regular-size book. Sigh - at least this one came in quickly. I am still waiting on Flesh from B&N - I might not see it for another 3-4 weeks.


message 20: by Maddbookish (new)

Maddbookish | 1 comments Briana wrote: "I really liked a lot of it, but it was just so short! I couldn't figure out why Eben was so crazy over Ivy from the very beginning of the book. Did I miss something about their history together or ..."

From what I remember, his friend had to have a special prosthetic grafted on. Eben took him every day for a week and Ivy was with them through the process, which took hours. Eben got to know her a some, thought she was hot, and he was planning on making his interest known. You have to take into account that where Eben was from, his country and his class, a guy had to court a girl in order to spend any real time with her at all and even then there were time limits and someone was always watching. He probably spent as much time with her in that week as a guy courting a girl might in a month or two.


message 21: by Briana (new)

Briana | 5 comments Maddbookish wrote: "Briana wrote: "I really liked a lot of it, but it was just so short! I couldn't figure out why Eben was so crazy over Ivy from the very beginning of the book. Did I miss something about their histo..."

Good points! That makes sense.


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