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Posts Tagged ‘voodoo’

Book Review: Lucky Stiff by Tonia Brown

August 29, 2011 2 comments

Voodoo doll and candle.Summary:
Peter’s just a young 18 on his first spring break to New Orleans with his friends when he accidentally takes ecstasy instead of sleeping pills and dies.  His friends, terrified, drag his corpse off to a local voodoo priestess who raises him with her special kind of magic–tantric magic.  Somehow this method of raising Peter combined with the time of year makes Peter into a very special kind of zombie.  One who can feed off of female orgasms instead of human flesh if he so chooses.

Review:
In case it’s not abundantly clear from the summary, this is an erotica novel.  A zombie erotica novel.  Frankly if you’re not grossed out by vampire undead sex, then this book shouldn’t bother you at all.  It’s not like Peter decays (don’t worry, Brown takes care of that part logically).  So it’s less sex with a decaying corpse and more sex with an undead dude.

Brown’s concept is hilarious and well-executed.  Peter is a zombie with a permanent hard-on who can’t come but needs female orgasms to feed off of to keep him from going all cold-blooded killer.  Um possibly the best female-friendly set-up for a paranormal erotica ever?  Since he died a virgin, he starts off with the Madam learning how to pleasure a lady for five years, then he gets booted out to go find his own way and become a pick-up artist.  He’s completely focused on and fascinated with the female orgasm.  You might even call it a fetish. 😉

It doesn’t matter if I can’t come as long as I can be a part of it when you do. (page 15)

On top of the fun and varied sex scenes though there’s lots of well-conceived plot.  Peter has issues he has to deal with.  He basically has to grow the fuck up enough to be able to handle a monogamous relationship and recognize real love for what it is.  For instance, at first he thinks he’s in love with the Madam, but she tells him:

Sex is just sex. Sometimes it’s really good, true, but it’s nothing in da grand scheme a’ things. We may have fucked, but we never made love.  (page 87)

In other words, he only thinks he loves her because he lost his virginity to her.  He needs to go out and learn what real love is.  That combined with navigating morality and your faith (he becomes a voodoo convert loyal to La Croix) are at the center of the plot.

Brown also drops in various witticisms that exhibit wisdom but are simultaneously hilariously dripping in paranormality:

The trick to being undead, much like being monogamous, is keeping everything fresh. (page 33)

Bits like that kept me laughing out loud whenever I wasn’t caught up in the erotica.

Alas, sometimes the dialogue is a bit stiff (haha, sorry, couldn’t resist).  Ahem, in all seriousness, sometimes the dialogue felt a bit forced and unnatural.  Similarly, I was bothered that, although Peter clearly is bisexual (he makes multiple comments about wanting to try things out with men in addition to women), for some reason male orgasms are too violent or pointed or whatever for him to be able to feed off of them.  Um, I’m sorry, but this isn’t logical.  At the very least it would make that if Peter gave head to a guy it would feed him, yes?  It felt like Brown wanted to be edgy by making Peter almost bi, but refused to really go all the way.  A great example of this is that Peter tries sex with a dude once, but only in the context of a threesome, and it’s the only sex scene not written as erotica.  It’s simply briefly mentioned in past tense.  I really wish Brown had gone all the way and made Peter bi.  It’d be interesting to see that here.  Alternatively, to just make Peter totally straight would’ve been fine too.  This fine walking of the line rubs me the wrong way though.

Overall this is a fun erotica with a unique storyline that manages to make zombies sexy with a heavy dash of voodoo.  I recommend it to those who love zombies and erotica fairly equally.  I’m betting, knowing the people that I know, that this is not as small a portion of the population as some may think.

4 out of 5 stars

Source:  Amazon

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Book Review: The Summoner by Layton Green (Series, #1)

April 27, 2011 3 comments

Shadow of a man on a brown background.Summary:
Dominic Grey is a rogue US government agent currently assigned to Zimbabwe when a friend of the US Ambassador disappears in the middle of a tribal religious ceremony.  Grey finds himself investigating the disappearance under the watchful eye of the beautiful Zimbabwean government official, Nya and with the aid of a religious studies professor aka cult-buster, Viktor.  The investigation soon leads them deep into the dark world of Juju–the religion from which Voodoo originates–not to mention the seedy underbelly of Harare.

Review:
Take Raymond Chandler, transplant him to Africa, update mores to modern liberal ones, toss in some African Juju, and you have Green’s first entry in the Dominic Grey series.  If that combination doesn’t make detective mystery fans sit up and say “yes please,” then I don’t know what will.

Dominic is the classic wounded and dark but ultimately has a heart of gold detective hero.  He broods.  He has far more energy than is logical.  He is missing the classic addiction to alcohol of yore, but the side-kick Viktor has that (to absinthe no less), so that is easily forgiven.  His backstory is unique, yet relatable, plus there’s Japan and jiujitsu tossed in, which is never a minus.

The love interest is, refreshingly, a bi-racial, self-reliant woman with her own issues and priorities.  She is smart, yet not lacking in vulnerabilities.  Nya was a refreshing depiction of a female character in a detective mystery, and seeing an inter-racial relationship develop in a book that is not a romance novel was fresh and exciting.

The plot is complex and actually fairly terrifying, even for this hardened horror fan.  I did figure it out before it was revealed, but only just barely.  I did not, however, predict the ending, which is a definite plus.  Those who like some horror and torture in their mysteries will certainly enjoy the plot.

The one draw-back is that Green’s writing struggles a bit on the sentence level.  Sometimes the sentences are too simplistic, or he tells the reader a bit too much instead of showing.  There are also times when his descriptors are a bit off.  For instance, at one point the reader is told that the room smells of  vivisection.  Most readers do not know what vivisection smells like (thank goodness), so that kind of leaves a blank for the scent in the room.  Instead, Green could have said something like, “The room smelled of vivisection–a dark musk mixed with the unmistakable scent of blood.”  These issues are less of a flaw than weak characterization or bad plot, though, and I have no doubt that Green’s writing on the sentence level will improve with time and exposure.

Overall, this is an excellent first foray into the world of modern detective mysteries.  Grey is an intriguing main character, the plots are unique and modern, and I’m already anticipating the next entrance in the series.  I highly recommend it to fans of Raymond Chandler and detective mysteries in general.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Free kindle copy from the author in exchange for review

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