Warrior
by Cheryl Brooks, futuristic (2008)
Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99, ISBN 978-1-4022-1440-0


Warrior is set in the same universe that author Cheryl Brooks has set her last book Slave in. In this one, however, she has gone ahead and outdone herself. This one has animals reading our heroine's mind and communicating with her telepathically. Instead of creepy adult-sounding children, here we have randy animals peeping on humans having sex when they are not cheering our passionate hero and heroine on. From horses to hounds, they all speak like kids imitating the speech pattern of Cassie Edwards' noble savage heroes. By the time I finish this book, I can only feel grateful that my dogs do not have any creepy telepathic ability.

Tisana is a witch living on her own in a patriarchy-dominated world. Her witch-like abilities allow her to own a house when very few other women in her country could own any property. The two traits about Tisana that makes her relevant as a romance heroine in this story are that she can heal the injured and she is waiting for the gods to guide her to the one man that will knock her up and give her babies.

Of course, the gods are kind and benevolent because they will never make, say, a fat and slovenly mother's boy the heroine's destined baby batter provider. No, they lead Leo, our Dara Joy's familiar knock-off, to Tisana's doorstep. Leo is injured and, when the story opens, has been purchased as a slave by Tisana's ex-lover for his wife. Because Leo is injured, Tisana offers to tend to him for a month before the man, Rafe, will return and claim him. Love, or perhaps lust, blossoms from the moment Tisana bathes Leo and finds that his pee-pee has "blossomed like a rose, the head putting out a wide corona with a scalloped edge". No, I don't even want to try to imagine what that looks like and anyone who sends me a crude MS Paint rendition of that, like a cruel friend of mine did, will be forced to listen to a recording of me reading out choice passages from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. I mean it, people.

Anyway, while Leo's corona covers Tisana's nether celestial body, bad guys are out to stop them. Don't worry, though, Tisana's happy menagerie of animals will help ensure that those two will forever copulate and breed in peace and perpetuity, amen.

Sex with Leo is... I don't know, those scenes feel as if they are written by a precocious child with more imagination than actual knowledge of what sex really entails. Thus, Leo can hold his orgasm until Tisana has experienced multiples of really over-the-top and often unintentionally amusing flights of apparently unparalleled orgasms. While I can certainly appreciate the concept of a lover programmed to focus solely on the partner's pleasure, here there is a garish cartoon quality in the sex scenes that, coupled with the scalloped edges of the wide corona or whatever it is that is growing from Leo's crotch, makes me laugh.

Then again, the whole story has a cartoon feel to it, especially with all those animals communicating telepathically with the heroine and coming to her rescue. These animals give love advice or offer observations about humans and sex in a manner that is supposed to be cute. Of course, one person's idea of cute is my idea of a Walt Disney nightmare. Between the "cute" talking animals and the hilarious over-the-top sex scenes full of purple hyperboles, Warrior is like the pornographic movie version of Walt Disney's Pocahontas, only with added talking animals - many of them, all of them thankfully incapable of singing - as well as various engorged body parts doing things that will never be done in a Walt Disney cartoon.

Is this book interesting? Oh yes, I'd agree that this one is, er, interesting, but perhaps not for reasons that the author will appreciate. I'd recommend this book for the "lulz", if nothing else.

Rating: 51


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