Friday, 13 July 2012
Review: Daughters of Terra
Theodora Conner is kidnapped by alien mermen who are collecting human females to breed with. Lovers Kyrin and Daeshen have decided they like the look of Theodora and wish to add her to their family unit - The Ta'E'Sha can have up to six lovers in one family unit. Theo finds she likes having two male lovers and by the end of the book finds herself attracted to a female warrior and decides to add her to their menage as well!
- So that's all the bad stuff out of the way. I'm not too keen on erotic menage tales to begin with, preferring the emotional depth and romance of one on one relationships. I don't like complacent heroines - nothing wrong with being submissive, but I think that characters have to be believable and frankly if I was abducted by two alien mermen intent on breeding with me I wouldn't just go with the flow from the outset - I'd make them work for it! The use of multiple apostrophes in sci-fi names is another annoyance. Sorry, really not necessary. It is somewhat insulting to readers, and there are far better ways of creating an alien feel than strings on unpronounceable words. OK, rant over.
Now on to the positives, because despite all that's stacking up against this novel, I did find it surprisingly readable. The main plot (other than Theo's inclusion in this bizarre foursome) tells of a serial rapist Barik, who objects to the Ta'E'Sha mixing human DNA into their bloodline. He rapes several of the kidnapped human women and attacks Theo causing her to miscarry her baby. This darker aspect to the story I found quite exciting. I liked the racial tensions going on, and liked the motivations of the villain. The supporting characters were also well developed, likable and interesting.
I also have to give a big thumbs up to the "mer" content. Our two heroes can shift into proper fish tails (hurrah!) There has also been an attempt to create some interesting merman anatomy - the merman have muscular hair both on their heads and pubic hair, a bit like sea anemones. The fish tail has a slit at the groin to expose genitalia when aroused - the penis itself has frills and tiny barbed spines. We get one underwater sex scene between Daeshen and Theo in which our hero has his fishtail, which I thought was pretty good. All the sex scenes in the novel are reasonably erotic and varied, although we only get one full merman offering.
Also worth mentioning is the mythology - Our alien mermen worship a pantheon of ten gods and goddesses who are working behind the scenes. They haven't spoken to their people in thousands of years, causing some to stop believing. Theo has been chosen as their emissary and she can channel the gods. Thought this bit was fantastic. We've got a whole mythology building up here that I'd like to see more of in subsequent novels.
I found myself enjoying Daughters of Terra far more than I thought I would. It's one of those guilty pleasure type of books that did exactly what I hoped it would from the cover - It's an erotic novel with proper merman content. I would have liked a splash more romance and a feistier heroine, and less apostrophes, but you could do a lot worse. The sex is hot, there's proper mer content and it has a decent enough story.