Friday, May 27, 2011

REVIEW: His Slave by J-Time

His Slave His Slave by J-Time
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

CAUTON: Spoilers

For the first and second chapters, I was ecstatic for the story to begin. I was expecting with glee for Trent to defy his circumstance and the Prince and escape from slavery. Sadly that never happened. The chapters were mostly about Trent and his slow, really slow blossoming love for the Prince despite the slavery issue. In short, Stockholm Syndrome.

We never learn why it was a tradition for the Prince on his 20th birthday to own his very first slave. Nor do we learn why all the boys chosen for the slave selection were happy to become the Prince's slave (except for Trent of course). WTF? Were all the boys except Trent crazy? My guess is that the tradition allows the Prince to have his first sexual experience without the danger of illegitimate pregnancy. But then why slavery? Wouldn't it just be easier, cheaper, and more merciful to pay some boy for a quick ride in the shack than to pay his his family with land and title to give up their son for slavery? It was never explained why Scott would have a better reputation if he chose a "challenging" slave or how Trent got into the slave selection mess.

I became disgusted with Trent when he deluded himself that he'll still have Scott's love after Scott's marriage. Even if that was so, Scott's future wife will definitely do something about it. And when Trent asked Scott not to marry, did Trent not realize Scott was a Prince and needed an heir? Though good for Trent for confronting Scott on the marriage issue, it was possibly the only sensible thing I thought Trent did. At the end when Trent and Scott reunited, Scott's wedding to a princess would take place the very next day! How is it a romance when one of the lover is marrying someone else? Nothing was really resolved. Even if Scott was King and pish-posh the wedding, he still needed an heir!

There was absolutely no world building in this story whatsoever. It was entirely centered on Trent and Prince Scott in Prince Scott's room. Seriously, just the two of them in Scott's room. No character development either. All I know is Trent is something-teen slave with greedy SOB for parents and Scott is a 20 years old Prince with princely duties. There was no mention of their history, their likes, their dislikes, nothing. All I got was that Trent didn't like being a slave (no duh!) and Trent didn't like being a prince despite the privileges.

The pacing was slow. I had a hard time time staying interested. There was no action in the story. No hot erotica. It was all napping, eating, and bathing. Even the raping in the first few chapters seemed tamed. The story lacked energy.

Also, who was Sebastian anyway? The King's adviser? The Prince's adviser? The minister?

The only good thing I can say about this story was that it wasn't badly edited.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

REVIEW: Spoils of War by Aleksandr Voinov & Raev Gray

Spoils of WarSpoils of War by Aleksandr Voinov and Raev Gray
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I didn't like this short story because I couldn't find myself to care for Achilleus. I see alot of talk about how he really love Patroklos, even to forsake Ares's offer of granting Achilleus a godhead. Good for Achilleus for sticking with his true love, but I never emotionally connected to this love. For a mm-romance between two characters, one of them—Patroklos—was only mentioned by name and never seen in a scene.

Another thing about Achilleus I didn't like is his wanting to kill and enslave every Ilion, including women and children. I read stories with hateful protagonists, but they always have a reason for their hate, even if such a reason is simply sociopathy. But considering Achilleus actually loves someone, sociopathy isn't that reason. I don't know, it just seem to be anti-characteristic of an honorable warrior. Maybe I'm just reading in it too much and that Achilleus was just saying that to placate Ares. *shrug*

I didn't really understand why Ares would offer Achilleus a godhead. Wouldn't making more gods make more competition? Especially among worshippers, which would lead to religious wars. I know, I know, Ares, god of *wars*. But even god of wars need worshippers or else there's no point in being a god. You can't be a leader without followers, a god without worshippers.

I believe if the short story had a scene where Achilleus and Patroklos reuniting and then making love, then I would have rated the story higher.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

REVIEW: Some Kind of Magic by R. Cooper

Some Kind of Magic Some Kind of Magic by R. Cooper
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Plot

One short, easily-solved mystery to introduce us to Fairies. A second long, but also easily-solved mystery to give us the climax. Then a really long flashback of how Cal and Ray met and the big misunderstanding that led up to the beginning of the story. In short, the plot was convoluted.

The writing was bad because it felt like I had to climb into the author's head to know what was going on. There were numerous, random flashblacks that took me a few minutes to realize they were flashbacks. The sentence structures were just awkward and presented themselves as incomplete thoughts.

For a mystery story, it was 10% mystery (and not that good of a mystery) and 90% of "want Cal but can't have Cal due to racist misunderstanding about Fairies" angst. There was very little investigating going on.

The Characters

Ray was supposed to be this tough and intimidating werewolf police detective. It was bit a unbelievable that he had a hard time asking Audrey about Fairies culture. It was more unbelievable that it took him a long time before he even asked Audrey. And for a werewolf, he should have known better than to hold racist belief about another species, or Beings as they are called in the book. I couldn't give him leniency for this because as detective it's important to separate fact from fiction. Otherwise, it's hard to solve cases when people think all Werewolves are savages and all Fairies are just sluts.

I really like Penelope but she was never fully developed as a support character. For one thing, what kind of Being was she? I think she was supposed to be a mermaid or naiad. She seems to pop in and out of the story for Cal's convenience rather than for actual investigation.

The author should have known better to name Cal and his father Calvin. From what I understand, Cal is short for Calvin so effectively both father and son had the same name. Unless there's a huge reason why they had the same name, this was a big faux pas on the author's part.

Cal was kinda annoying how he keeps sucking on lollipop and munching on candies after candies. I get Fairies like sweet, but I didn't get a reason of why they do. It's no wonder that the police had a hard time taking Cal as as serious police consultant if he's acting like a little kid.

The World Building

There were more telling than showing to be honest. Even then, readers never understand why Beings came out to the humans, why Cal is a lone-wolf, why Beings are needed as police, why zombies are possible but not vampires. Then there's the Fairies, why do they have wings when it seems like they didn't use it to fly and why do they shed glitter and sparkle like skin cells.

Moreover, why did it take the author a long time to say demons were real or the police characters to realize a demon could have been one of their suspects.


Pretty much the only thing the book had going was its beautiful book cover. 2 stars for it-was-ok. FYI, I rated this on the scale of mainstream Urban Fantasy books.

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