by Aeryn Traxx, futuristic (2010)
Silver Publishing, $2.99, ISBN 978-1-920468-68-54-5
"Aeryn Traxx"? Really? It is quite disconcerting when the author's pseudonym is more outlandish than the names of her spooky characters.
It is 2125, although the scenery still remains pretty much the same. Werewolves are now living quite openly, so much so that our alpha hero Colin Freeman's pack is acknowledged by all as one of the wealthiest in the United States. His clan's peace is threatened by the increasing frequency of brutal attacks by people who wanted to see all were creatures wiped off the face of the earth. And then we have Liam Crawford who arrives at Colin's Colorado territory to investigate the death of his sister. Can these two find love amidst a heavy-handed sermon about the evils of persecution of the minority?
I am going to be straight up and lay it all out: Ms Traxx has a pleasant but very simplistic and bare-boned style of narrative. This style will suit her fine in, say, a children's bedtime story, but in a story meant for adults, there is just too much telling and no showing. The entire first chapter is all telling with no showing. And when conversations finally make an appearance in this story, the characters involved come off as simple little children.
"Colin. What brings you here, boss?"
"Camera 27. Can you bring it up?"
"Sure." The red-headed human punched a few buttons, and a fuzzy white screen appeared directly in front of Colin. "That’s odd."
"Nah. It’s what I expected."
"What's up, boss?"
"Break in the fence just at the edge of Camera 27’s line of sight."
"Break in the fence? There's no trees near 27 to fall and break it."
"Someone cut it, but you keep that under your hat."
"Will do. You have someone on tap to fix it? I'm off duty in forty-five minutes. I can - "
"We'll work it out, Robert. For the time being, I would prefer you stay near Charlotte and the baby when you aren't on duty."
"I don’t know yet, but I don’t want to take any chances that we might have surprise visitors."
Were creatures are being killed in the area recently, someone broke in a fence, and these people are acting as if they had broken wind a bit too loud, oops, begging your pardon. The rest of the story isn't any better. These characters take so long to come to the obvious conclusion, I can only wonder whether these werewolves are all from the happy homo short bus.
The author also has clearly taken correspondence courses from the Carol Lynne School of Quality Writing: in one memorable scene, her characters discuss a dead woman one moment, claiming to be grieving for her, before going off abruptly to talk about how hungry they are and how much they hate cooking in the next paragraph. They then proceed to talk about sex, before mentioning again the dead sister. Next, they discuss Colin's well-stocked kitchen. The whole thing is too long to be made into an excerpt, but that scene has to be one of the most bewildering conversations I have ever come across. The whole thing is so disjointed, with the characters hopping from one topic to another without rhyme or reason.
As for the love scene, I wonder whether both the author and editor have fallen asleep at the wheel.
Colin pulled on Liam's hips until he had him sitting on his chest, his cock close enough to suck.
Wait, that cock can suck? What is this, a dirty Japanese horror movie?
The characters are painfully stereotypical, the plot is a direly uninspired mate-mate-mate romp, and the writing is strictly amateur happy hour quality. Were Lost is still lost... very lost.
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