I awoke in the morning, near dawn. It was very cold, and gray and damp. I was terribly hungry. My body was stiff, and ached. I wept. I sucked dew from the long grass. I was alone. My clothes were wet. I was miserable. I was alone. I was alone. I was frightened. I was hungry. I wept.
Why is this apt? It is exactly how I feel reviewing this book tonight. I am tired, I am buzzed from working the floor at the J-word tonight (WAITRESSING SUCKS FYI) I desperately want a drink and cannot have one, and holy fuck does this book suck. Why am I doing this again?
Because I want to. Right.
For the next six pages or so, we...okay, what the fuck is it with male writers and Disney Princesses? Seriously, I thought this was supposed to be BDSM nastiness well seasoned with non-con, but so far we've had Strawchick be chased and wake up in a field to this:
When the sun was overhead I found some more berries and, this time, I ate my fill. Not far away, in another outcropping of rock, I found another pool of trapped rain water. It was a large pool, and I drank as much as I wanted. And I washed my face... It seemed to me not impossible that I might be able to live on this world. It was beautiful. I ran for a little way, my hair flying behind me, laughing...I had not done that since I had been a little girl.
Tell me that does not just reek of an incoming "I Want" number and much flocking of the birdies around her dainty little wrists. And she is lonely, my lovely blog-readers. So very very lonely. She could live on this world but she is so bleeding lonely, and while I cannot believe I'm bringing this out so early in the game:
And then she sees random people.
Now, let's have another game of Space/fantasy Opera Trivia. You are a young woman, professional model, who has been abducted and branded by intersteller slavers before being dropped off when their ship crashlands. You have escaped obvious restraints somehow. You have been alone for less than twenty fucking hours, do not give me that look, Strawchick. I know better than that. And now you come across two men, a wagon, and about twenty butt-naked girls being restrained by something you can only describe as a "harness", who appear to be pulling the goddamned wagon. DO YOU:
1. Turn around and go back to your space-berry patch
2. Turn around and RUN back to your space-berry patch
3. Shout "STOP! STOP!" from the side of the road, then scream your name in English while flailing like a moron.
4. DO ANY SINGLE THING OTHER THAN NUMBER THREE WHILE RUNNING BACK TO THE AFOREMENTIONED SPACE-BERRY PATCH
What does Strawchick do?
“I’m Elinor Brinton,” I told the men who had come to meet me. “I live in New York City. I’m lost.”Ellie, dear, at this point I would not only cheerfully assist in restraining you, I would make my only compensation for dragging you to the space-slave auction block be your immediate sterilization because SWEET BLUE BABY JESUS you are too stupid to fucking breed. You reproduce and the entire universe loses IQ points.
One of her ...do I really have to pretend they rescued her? REALLY, book? I REALLY have to? Fine. Her...sigh...."rescuers" lead her over to the slave chain while she prattles on about how glad she is to be rescued. Meanwhile the naked girls at the wagon look on apprehensively. I am choosing to interprete this as WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT? repeated about twenty times. Also, one of the slavers' names is Targo.
Targo. We are one letter away from him being this:
|There is no way out of Gor. It will be dark soon. There is no way out of Gor.|
So Torgo..sorry. Targo spends the next few minutes trying to get this windfall of a hot blond to shut the fuck up, and Strawchick spends the same amount of time thinking that if she speaks LOUDLY and SLOWLY these strangers from another world will magically understand English. HAS SHE NOT TRAVELED TO OTHER COUNTRIES BEFORE?
Strawchick looks around at her rescuers and realizes that these are simple barbarians, and so she'll be able to buy her way back to Earth! Sterilization, John! A full on hysterectomy! That's all I ask! I will hold her down for you, just please ensure this broad never breeds!
And oh, we must be introduced to the theme to the next hundred pages or so:
On Earth I had never met a woman, personally, whom I had regarded as my superior in beauty. Here, incomprehensibly, but obviously, there were at least eleven. I was puzzled how there could be so many in this one small place. I was shaken. But, I told myself, I am more than their equal in intelligence, and in riches, and in taste, and sophistication. They were doubtless simple barbarians. I felt pity for them. I hated them! I hated them!...The haughty bitches! I was superior to them all!I'd add a lobotomy to that wish-list of mine, but for Strawchick that'll be a lateral move. So after monologuing about how much better Strawchick is than the other slave girls--because she is rich and beautiful and rich and rich and I think John Norman has issues with moneyed women, don't you?--she gets stripped down, and they find the brand on her thigh. So long, freedom! What? You didn't think that had any meaning at all, Strawchick?
So they hold her down and whip her. And this chapter isn't over yet. Why isn't this chapter over yet? We've done the prerequisite shift from Disney Princess to Bondage Fiend, can we move on please? Please? No?
And then she kisses Torgo's feet. And fuck it, if I have to read this book much more this guy is fucking Torgo. Torgo puts her into the harness with the other girls and makes her pull the wagon. At the same time, she notices that--gasp!--they've all been branded too. And this happens:
I was dismayed. If someone saw us, as we were, they might think that I was no different from the others, that I was the same as they!No, Strawchick. They are not the same as you. They've got two braincells to share between them.
Also...why are they making the girls pull the wagon? This is a legitimate question. An animal would be better at it, and...uh, it's not good excercise. This is more likely to break the innocent little flowers than it is keep them in the sexy-sexy, you know? Bad use of slave labor, gents. Bad form.
And then...oh, my fucking God. Really?
But I was Elinor Brinton, of Park Avenue, of Earth! She had been rich, beautiful, smartly attired, tasteful, sophisticated; she had been well educated and traveled; she had been decisive, confident; she had carried her wealth and her beauty with élan; and she had deserved her position in society; it had been rightfully hers, for she had been a gifted, high-order, superbly intelligent individual, an altogether superior person! She deserved everything that she had had! Whatever she had had she should have had, for she was that kind of person! That was the kind of person she was!I got that back at the beginning of the book, sweetheart. And bullshit on the highly intelligent part. You literally ran into their arms. And then...you really have to be kidding me.
I would not be permitted to shirk.
I had always had my way before...
Here I did not have my way.
Here I would not be permitted to shirk...I would be expected, I realized, to my fury, for the first time, to do my share.
Yeah, because everybody knows women don't really work. Waitresses? They're just there to fill shoes. Not like anybody's cracking the whip over them. Modeling can't be hard work. All you need to do is file your nails. No woman has ever had to work hard to get through college, to succeed, to be something other than a male's arm-jewelry. Lil tip, John-boy? Just because a woman's success isn't immediatly benefiting you, does not mean her success is either easy or a non-thing.
End of chapter. Thank you god. Goodnight all.
...and the counter just clicked over to zero. BOOK RELEASE COMES SOON. I am not excited yet, but I am looking forward to it. BOOK COMES OUT ON MONDAY, KIDS! MONDAY! MONDAY!