I was really excited about this book because many who liked The Last Hour of Gann loved this one too.
This isn't a bad book when it comes to writing, plot, and worldbuilding, but it was way too much:
- too much drama, and not feasible things, every time they sat down someone was abducting and about to rape Lumen
- too much of Lumen doing stupid things and never rescuing herself, always needing her lizard lovers to come to her rescue
- too many rants by everyone, Lumen especially
- TOO MUCH RAPE, like seriously! It's understandable in some instances as part of worldbuilding, but it lingers, and liiiiiingers, and it's graphic, and overly descriptive
- too much of making excuses for rape commited by the actual MAIN LOVE INTEREST
- too many villains: whenever one would go down another would pop up it all became repetitive and trivialised violence against women
I don't know, it was just too much of everything.
Admittedly the worldbuilding is amazing. Fletcher really has a gift for it!
And I did like the basic plot, Fletcher knows how to write. It's just that it plods on and on, always repeating the same dangers, merely changing the villain. I was on page 200 of 652 and I was ready for the book to end.
Listen, I don't mind ménage. Sometimes I even like it, if it's well written which, many times, it actually is!
But quite honestly Lumen falls in "love" with Venomous, then she's forced to accept Fiercely, and then Cobra. Bear in mind that Lumen wanted none of them, but ended up falling in "love" with all.
Why is love in quotation marks, you ask?
Because Lumen's relationship with Venomous begins with him raping her. She begs and pleads, she cries. But he rapes her. It takes a while, by the way. With descriptions of how horribly it hurts her. Of how she'll never, ever forgive him.
But then, bam! she loves him.
Later on, closer to the end of the book, she even tells him he never apologised for raping her and he tells her he has no regrets because that made her his.
And Fiercely? And Cobra?
She was coerced into accepting them as mates. She was forced to be raped in public to be "married" to them. Even though she spent more than just a few chapters begging everyone not to do it, that it was destroying her emotionally.
I tried to like this book - it has a lot to like - but I don't understand how anyone can excuse all those trigger warnings above, especially when it's all unapologetic and written off as romantic in the end.
I was horrified and sickened throughout the entire book. I couldn't understand why she wouldn't kill them or refuse to be with them. I understood why she wouldn't run away, since it was always made perfectly clear that without their "protection" everyone else would rape her.
Penelope Fletcher's official site
Buy Venomous (Alien Warrior #1)