Series: Dark Swan #1
Published by Zebra on August 1st 2008
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
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Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants. . .
Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy—one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.
Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...
Did you hear that sound? That sound, right there? Okay, well, it’s either the sound of my heart forsaking Mead for all eternity, or there’s a murderer whose broken into your house and is SNEAKING UP BEHIND YOU!!!!!
Look over your shoulder just to check that I’m wrong. You know you want to do it!
Storm Born, the tragic tale of a woman forced by cruel fate to be hit on by ALL the men. Yes. That’s what this story is about. Okay, there are fairies and she has to recover some damsel in distress but basically the novel is about Eugenie’s love life.
I suppose my problem with Dark Born is that all of Mead’s washed up, tried and not-so-true tropes are here. Again. Strong heroine (who will undoubtedly end the series as a complete moron), sexy hero who heroine loves, though nobody really knows why. Secondary sexy love interest who is way more awesome than sexy hero and who Mead spends far more time fleshing out a real relationship with the heroine, but who is apparently not the heroine’s twue loff. For reasons completely unknown. I will inevitably like this love interest far more than the banal and boring love interest Mead champions.
The one thing I’ll say about this novel is that Mead writes good sex. That’s her one redeeming virtue. She writes gripping, interesting characters, a rich world and stories that hint at great possibilities, but Mead absolutely sucks at the follow through.
The difference with this novel is that I’m not interested in following through to watch her crash and burn yet another series. This novel reminded me of a quote by Dan Hemmens from Ferretbrain.
“Rape is not the occupational hazard of having a vagina.”
Now I’ll address the fictional critics in my head by saying that yes, Mead gave all these douches a reason to rape the protagonist that wasn’t just about sex. But… well, it just doesn’t count and I’ll explain why.
I don’t know about you, but *I* am personally sick of stories that tell me that because I have a vagina, I am a walking talking victim waiting to happen. Because novel after novel tells the same story. No matter how strong, powerful or kickarse you are as a heroine, you are still a victim and will need to be rescued by a man. Possibly several times.
I’m sick to death of it. Barely a page goes by in this book where rape isn’t mentioned. Even if it’s just to say, ‘Eugenie, you’re so beautiful I’d rape you and LIKE it!”
This book almost treats rape like a fucking compliment. “I’ve had five rape attempts today, what about you?” “Oh, I’ve had three.” “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. Don’t worry, maybe tomorrow will pick up!”
I have a problem with drilling into people’s heads that women are victims. Always. Vulnerable, precious little petals. Don’t let them out of the house or they’ll trip over their puritanical vaginas and get raped. Or what about a message just as bad? Almost all men will rape if given the chance. It’s the rare few who won’t take the opportunity for a good ol’ free for all on an unwilling woman.
Now hold on for an even bigger criticism. Of all the worst things, this was the WORST. POSSIBLE. THING!
This book… is like Anita Blake.
It’s got multiple love interests, fairies, bargains made, political sex, sexual awakening of formerly prudish, loner character, mystery, evil women bitches out to get you. It’s all so very reminiscent.
You know what? Don’t read this book. Just go watch Generation 4 My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic instead. I promise there’s no rape there and it’s about a thousand times better and more entertaining.
And there is no rape.