New Article: Werewolves, Demons and a Great Saga - :: CLASSIC LEMONADE ::

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Article: Werewolves, Demons and a Great Saga

Here are three titles recommended to me by others, and they are all VERY graphic in both sex and/or violence. So we’re clear, I didn’t just pick them up, OK? I used to think I was a strange woman that liked her paranormal, adventure stories with a healthy dose of skin, but obviously I’m not alone. I also must have women characters that aren’t morons or slaves. But that, I know, is still strange.
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan is a bit too colorful in both the sex and violence, but hey, the main character is a werewolf — the last werewolf to survive the methodical killing by secret government forces of all supernatural creatures, and a mysterious virus. Jake Marlowe (heh, a werewolf named Jacob…) wishes he cared. He is full of the melodramatic but ripely amusing ennui that only a 200-year-old monster could have. Without giving my teen daughter any context, I would read aloud some quotes like: “To repeat: Total self-disgust is a kind of peace — because further ignominy can add nothing to it. Standing there washing myself in front of her I made an intellectual concession to the debasement, but it was only moments before I was enjoying the soft soap and perfectly adjusted heat of the water. Put the right music behind this, I thought, and I could be advertising shower gel. I dried off with a white towel that might have been manufactured in heaven. The flesh can’t help it. The flesh merely reports. When I’d finished I was tired and roseate and curiously pleased with the ongoing failure of myself.”

The plot kept me guessing, and the action was always intense. I wasn’t sure who I wanted to root for, since Jake (in first person narrative) assured me that he was an unredeemable monster. The women in the book are either prostitutes or killers, but they all have personality. So much so that the next book in the series is from the point of view of one of the women that shows up half-way through this one. I’m not sure I will continue reading about Duncan’s world of supernatural creatures surviving and thriving in our modern world by screwing us lowly humans, literally and figuratively. But it was a trip to be in Jake’s head.

The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark is another first in what will become a series about an English college professor, Callie McFay, who has crazy porn “dreams” with a demon that takes shape in moonlight. I almost put the book down after the first few chapters because it was all sex and no plot. The internet is for that, not my books! But Juliet Dark quickly sketches and then colors in a wonderful upstate New York town called Fairwick that is chock-full of fey creatures, good, evil, and all shades between. Most of them masquerade as employees of the local college. It made me want to live there, or at least visit for a semester.

The plot is fine, but the villains were incredibly obvious, to the point where I assumed I must be wrong about them. I wasn’t. And the fact that the other characters in the book didn’t pick up on any “evil” clues made them all seem a bit dumb. Yet the final chapters were satisfying, and I truly enjoyed meeting the cast in this fantasy romance. I will definitely pick up the next book.
Finally, I also read Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. It’s a comic series that got a lot of press because of the nursing mother cover. More (literally) graphic sex and violence, but holy crap, the plot! Moves faster that I can turn the pages. The characters are all so engaging, I want to see all of their storylines played out. The world is new, the dialogue is clever, and the art kicks so much ass, I know the head peeps at Marvel and DC are sore.
The women in this comic actually have a variety of body types, gasp! And the diversity puts the story a step ahead of any other intergallactic tale. Plus Marko, one of the main guys, is incredibly hot. I highly recommend you break that I-don’t-read-graphic-novels barrier you have and start with this one. And if you’re already a comic book fan, run to your favorite store and get Saga!


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