fair warning – this is a book of monsterporn that i read for my seeecet monsterporn reading group. because the stories are so short, i tend to give the whole plot away in these reviews. if you are one of those people who read your porn for plot, you might want to avoid this review. if you are like me and monsterporns make you giggle and you like poking gentle, well-intentioned fun at them, please do continue reading.
the takeaway from this book is that all vampires are rapists. and also all men. at least in alaska.
there is not one male character in this book who does not at some point try to rape our heroine or her best friend. does anyone else find this alarming? i certainly do, since my dad was very gung ho about moving us all to alaska when i was eleven or so. i feel like i dodged a bullet there.
statistically speaking, fewer rapes and other violent crimes happen in cold climates. warm weather tends to increase aggression, and in the cold, people are generally less willing to expose their genitals to the elements. except for hipsters on no pants day. hipsters, as you know, are too cool to contribute to polls about the effects of climate on violent impulses.
but so anyway – despite the research done in this field, in this particular part of alaska, every single man seems to be a rapist. if you find this is true of your town, ladies, might i suggest moving away from that town and letting the rapists rape each other and see how they like it?
a recent wave of rape-homicides in this town has been very specific:
Men were killed and drained dry of their blood and if there were women with them, they were raped.
But none of the women could remember the attack or their attacker.
despite this crime wave, besties rachel and michelle decide to go out for a night on the town to relax after the long work week. they are both hot, but only michelle is super-slutty. we are told this repeatedly. rachel admires michelle’s sexual freedom, but rachel herself is holding out for mr. right:
It’s not that I’d never had sex. Casual just wasn’t a main entree.
but she is certainly willing to wear the uniform of a whore, to tip my allusive hat to dave chappelle. and while i would never be the person who said a woman was asking for it by dressing a certain way, i do worry about ladies in alaska who wear so little clothing and go wandering out into the night in the snow.
again – i have seen many a chapped ass on no-pants day, and that is practically tropical compared to alaska, where according to rachel: I fumbled with my keys, finally yanking my glove off with my teeth, groaning as the cold air assaulted my fingertips, making them instantly numb.
instantly numb. this is neither a lovely day for a rape nor thigh-high revealing miniskirts.
but nothing will stop these girls from their good time. while they are sitting at the bar, they discuss the rumor mill gossip about a guy at their work who has supposedly date raped a girl; a guy who has already creeped rachel out earlier that evening with an attempted underground parking garage seduction.
where this line occurred:
It was Erik, a guy from work. My shoulders slumped in relief. He scared the shit out of me.
i do not think that rachel knows what the word “relief” means. but no worries, because she managed to evade erik and is now dancing at the club with some guy after slutty michelle pranced off with some other guy.
and remember this assertion?
It’s not that I’d never had sex. Casual just wasn’t a main entree.
says the girl letting a stranger kiss her neck before leaving the club hand-in-hand with him “to look for rachel” before she even knows his name. his name is matt. he is going to try to rape her. because he is a man.
quick pass over what happens next: they find michelle in a car getting raped by two men, rachel turns “to go find help” but is stopped by erik, who throws her in the same car to rape her, but before he can, a big dude intercedes, beats up the three men, another man suddenly appears, and then the two non-rapists start drinking the blood of the rapists. yay, justice!
because vampires are also assholes, and although they don’t actually sexually assault the girls, their behavior is exactly that of sexual predators: not letting the girls leave, showing their physical dominance, making threats, turning away those who would come to their rescue with mind control, and scrubbing michelle’s mind and leaving her a slackjawed mess (more about this mind scrub later)
the vampires can tell that rachel is different. she cannot be mind scrubbed, and they can smell her specialness. one of the vampires, cole, marks her on the forehead “for later” and eventually allows them to leave when they hear the police sirens and realize they should probably hide the bodies. even though plenty of similar bodies have been found, so why the concern, but leave it.
but that forehead-mark is going to be a problem, because apparently humans can smell the pheromones of vampires on a lady and it makes them all riled up and horny, because their subconscious biological imperative is to impregnate the human woman before the vampire can. this is my understanding of the word biology, not the one in this book, which seems to mean “arousal:
My fear was in my throat but my biology was never touched by it.
but! so, the girls go to the police station to make a report and michelle gets her rape kit done (because apparently the mind scrub was just to forget the vampires? and not the rape? which seems a little selfish of the vampires, but whatever.) but then – vampire pheromones do their thing! and the police officer taking rachel’s statement begins to get a little suggestive and handsy with rachel, and then begins fingering michelle where she is passed out on the bed. but then yay vampires to rescue. sort of. they leave michelle to be raped. yes – rachel leaves michelle mid-rape. those of you keeping score, yes rachel runs away (twice) from michelle being raped (twice). but it’s okay because michelle is very promiscuous. and because the vampires mind-scrub her again. so it’s like it never happened! who needs roofies when you have vampires?
so rachel gets taken to some vampire enclave, where she is held prisoner and told that she has druid blood, is in fact a purebred druid – very rare – which means she is able to breed with a vampire. this is vital to the vampire clan, since vampire females are notoriously sterile, but can, in fact, be bred to male druids. and yet not a single vampire baby or child is depicted in this book. just adults and some pregnant druids.
more fun facts about vampires in this world:
they can sweat
they can get erections
they have reflections
they have voices either like velvet gravel or spoken velvet
more on the confusing mythology of vampires in this world later.
so rachel manages to call michelle on her faltering cellphone to tell her what has happened:
I’ve been taken by the freak-vampires and am trying to figure out an escape plan.
to which michelle replies
Well… I am doing cat-sitting right now. Do you know where you’re at? Are you okay?
soooo the mention of vampires does not faze her, meaning… that the mind scrub didn’t make her forget the vampires after all? or the rape that led to the dead bodies of the rapists the police found? but it did let her forget the rape by the police officer, so i guess that’s one silver lining. and then she says that the cops have been crawling all over your apartment looking for you. which – if i might make a suggestion? maybe the cops should be out there preventing all those rapes instead of looking for a 28 year old woman who has been “missing” less than a day. why are they looking for her? who reported her missing? as far as michelle knows, she was at the police station with her during the rape kit, right? and then – memory scrub! but so cops in this town take missing (for a few hours) persons cases very seriously and can just bust into your apartment and, as we later learn, put police tape all over your door as if your place is a crime scene instead of focusing on violent crimes? how do police work in this world?
soooo anyway – rachel is imprisoned, and then cole and nathan, the two vampires from the attack(s) come in her room and cole states: I will taste you now, Witch. And you will let me. and he does. and she does. and everyone gets aroused by the smell of blood, but cole has principles!
I cannot, it is akin to rape. She is in blood-langour. She would have sex with any one of us. And,” Cole said, stroking the flat of his palm over one of my nipples until it hardened,” Alexander would find what vampire would be the most fertile with her.”
but apparently, while having sex with her would be unethical, it is still totally permissible for them both to nipple, finger, and provide oral sex to someone in “blood-langour.” because that’s not rape. and let’s pause for a moment.oral sex. with a vampire. ow.
and then she gets taken to this big banquet hall, where she is going to be paired up with one or more vampires for breeding purposes.
They circled me. One came from behind and another came forward pinning my arms to my side and crushing his lips to mine. “Submit, Druid,” he said, his hand going right for my crotch. I squirmed against steel bands and struggled, hardly able to breathe. They weren’t doing anything, they were no better than the men Cole had saved me from.
“She has such spirit, look at how she tries to fight.” He tore at my panties and began to dig his way inside me and I threw my head forward into his and he stumbled back, his hand retreating while I was bodily picked up by the vampire behind me, swung around and pressed to the floor. My head was ringing and the vampire I’d hit was coming toward me again to join in some kind of gang-rape.
fortunately, she is saved (third time) by cole, who believes that the druids should choose their mate, and mate for love, despite how few of them there are left and the vampires are dying out. because again – in this messed up mythology world, vampire babies are a thing, as opposed to every single other vampire mythology in the world where vampires make more vampires by that whole blood-exchange and fang thing.
so cole stops the gang rape, but allows the leader, alexander, (because vampires have strange and antiquated ways of speaking, but surprisingly contemporary names) to “check her fertility” by “plung(ing) a finger inside me, moving it back and forth.” and then tries to rape her. of course. but cole stops that, because remember: unwanted fingering is okay, but he draws the line at penile insertion. vamp’s gotta have a code.
and then they eat.
The community supper had been awkward as hell and I had suffered through it while taking furtive glances at the five that were going to gang rape me in front of everyone.
yes. that is certainly awkward. oh, sorry, awkward as hell. that makes it less of an understatement.
okay, so then rachel is freed by a jealous female vampire who has observed the shine cole has taken to rachel, and she wants cole for herself. because she is of mixed blood, and might be able to breed, unlike so many of the female vampires. so she turns rachel loose, but it’s a trap because the rogue vampires find her! (more about the rogue later, but shorthand it to say that they are the ones who have been raping and killing. not the “good” vampires like cole)
and what do you think the rogue want to do to rachel?
“Not so brave now, Breeder, with my hand feeding on your tit,” and for emphasis he squeezed it just on the good side of pain and I whimpered. He smiled as his other hand went for my crotch.
poor rachel has had her crotch grabbed by like 10 different people at this point.
but! cole and nathan to the rescue (rescue number 5), and a vampire fight commences, and after the rogue have been defeated, cole says goodbye forever to nathan and their enclave, and leaves with rachel. because of the lurve and feels and all.
he takes her back to her place (where they discover the crime scene tape) to assemble your belongings to take with us. because while he might not care about her consent, he really wants to make sure she has her toothbrush. kindly vamp. thoughtful vamp.
and after he breaks into her place for her, it is time for romance:
“I will have you now.”
but they don’t. he takes off her clothes and heals her wounds and then oh no! that creepy (alleged) date-rape guy from the parking garage enters with a rogue and shoots cole with a bunch of tranquilizer darts and then says of rachel “I want to fuck her bad.” and the rogue vampire says “You should have killed me when you had the chance, Reaper. Know this…she will be mine within the week.”
really? so you go to all the trouble of getting this purebred druid woman to mate with and then you’re just gonna wait a few days before sealing the deal? even though the survival of your species depends on it? nothing like a little caution, i suppose. the long pause before the kill always works out well for villains. and why does non-vampire erik think he has a shot intercoursing with rachel?
and then erik makes with the exposition. to rachel: “You’re so stupid. The rogue used me for months to spy on you. They were just waiting for the perfect opportunity to take you from underneath their noses,” he said, gesturing with the gun at Cole.
okay wait. she has been with the vampires for like a day, a day and a half tops, so that makes no sense. and erik has been spying on her for months and no one was able to grab this girl before that? these are the worst vampires ever.
and then it ends cliffhanger-style while cole is incapacitated by the tranquilizers and rachel is sped off into the night in a car.
here are some annoyances i had with this book
there is this weird internal monologue cadence-tic of one-word sarcasm-responses that litter the story making rachel come across like a sullen teenager:
–I had just about been raped by a police officer for shit’s sake and here I was: ready-to-hump a stranger that wasn’t even human. I started shaking from shock and cold.
–God, the breast-feeding must be hell, I shuddered. Yuk.
She saw my face and asked, “What?”
“I was thinking about feeding the baby…?” I let that loaded question hover like a pink elephant in the room and Eve laughed.
“The vampire infants have retractable fangs, my dear.”
(it amuses me that she is worried about what the pain of breastfeeding a vamp would be when, in four pages, she is going to experience vampire oral)
–They stared at each other for a swollen moment. My heart was in my throat. Here were a couple of vampires, casually discussing who would have sex with me first. Like I was a commodity.
–“Who has bled her?” the leader asked, a huge signet type ring glinting on his middle finger; a swollen ruby that reflected their precious blood.
His hand covered his nose and he breathed out of his mouth, as did the others.
Wasn’t this special?
I was locked in a house with a bunch of gang-rapists whose primary goal was to get me pregnant.
Every girl’s dream.
and again and again. i understand using humor as a defense mechanism, but this “golly gee whiz” attitude seems a little out of place for someone in her situation.
and the vampire mythology is a mess, particularly when it comes to the rogue vampires.
“Doesn’t look like you’re keeping things under wraps too well. Judging by the psychos that are running around raping and bleeding out everyone of late.” I folded my arms across my chest, going for nonchalant know-it-all.
His eyes bored into mine. “Those are rogue Vampire. We were trailing them when we came upon you and the human female.”
so rogue = bad.
I could not stand by and watch her being mauled. She needs more time. That is one thing the rogue believe: that she should have a choice.
wait, the rogue? the ones raping and killing? the “bad guys?” the ones who tried to kidnap rachel twice, after all the crotch-grabbing?? where’s the choice there?
and cole and nathan are reapers who “harvest” the world, looking for druids and bringing them back to be mass-mated with vampires? i’m so confused about whose side i am supposed to be on here.
because later, eve – a kindly pregnant-by-vampires druid lady in the enclave tells rachel that the rogues …did not believe that Druids should be shared, they wished not to follow the “old ways.” But, Eve warned, they also took Druids, and mated with them…and forced them to stay with them.
sooo, exactly what the vampires do, right? i’m not understanding the distinction here at all. and how sharing druids is any less distasteful than kidnapping and imprisoning them for breeding. and where that belief in “choice” went.
and what does this mean?
the rogues …killed whatever vampires that stood in their way. Vampire scouts like Cole and Nathan would be killed on sight and a small battle would ensue to ascertain their success.
wait, so a battle ensues after the scouts have been killed? with their corpses? and “ascertain?” how did that word get into that sentence? a rogue, indeed…
i do not understand this story at all.
and the character motivation.
so, okay. bodies of men have been piling up around town, drained of blood, along with living women, raped and with no memory of the attackers. so in the first scene, where cole and nathan come in and save michelle and rachel from their rapists by killing them and drinking their blood, you would think “oh, so that’s what’s been going on. that’s wonderful! vigilante vampires who go around killing rapists and rescuing the girls and clearing their minds from the trauma. what an elegant and cost-effective solution to crime-fighting!” but it’s not that. the vampires claim that the rogues are the ones raping the women and killing the men, even though vampires can only mate with druids. so why leave the women alive, at all, and why attack couples in the first place? why not just go after women on their own and take care of both needs at once? and why do cole and nathan intervene and prevent rachel’s (if not michelle’s) rape? they didn’t know at the time that rachel was “special,” and cole and nathan are reapers who are supposed to go out and scout for druids upon whom to breed, not get involved in human affairs for the sake of do-goodery. what is going on in this world????
again – i am probably overthinking things. what did i learn from all of this? i do not enjoy rape porn. or poorly-handled world-building.