Book Review: Gash of the Titans

Gash of the Titans, by Clara J Douglass, is a dystopian, post-apocalyptic science fiction novel. Set in a future where global warming and nuclear war have transformed the Earth into a wasteland, this  novel follows the adventures of Donthiki (also known as Dawn) a human woman with a strange genetic mutation—a fanged vagina. This is not, as its playful title and hilarious tagline might suggest, campy erotica. This a well-written saga reminiscent of old-school science fiction and adventure books. It takes itself seriously, and its epic style and careful, realistic details whisk the reader into a Jungian cave splashed with campfire light where mythic stories not only entertain us, but reveal much about our past and current reality.

The story follows Dawn from a small, scared girl living in a coop in a gender-segregated tenement just outside of Feenix in the kingdom of Eplunum, to a self-possessed woman who accepts her bizarre mutation and learns how to draw strength from it. Dawn’s resilience and courage are contagious, and the self-confidence she discovers becomes the catalyst for a revolution. In her world, men and women live separately—women in cages in squalid conditions, and men in cities who seem to occupy their time with leisure and Roman circus-like games. The men use the women for slave labor, forcing them to work the fields and raise animals to supply the men with food. The men also use them for fornication and breeding, taking male babies to be raised as men in the cities while leaving girls to learn the servile life of the women in the slums.

This book is for adults, and is both erotic and violent. The polyamorous sexual relationships of the women with each other contrast sharply with the sexual brutality visited on them by the men. The theme that women are the people who bring life into the world, nurture and grow things, is highlighted by their tender lovemaking. They use sex to heal and comfort each other and to strengthen bonds of friendship within the impoverished, close-knit community.

The men in this future weaponize sex. They use it to control, to dominate. One of the main villains, an utterly vile sadist named Boaz, prefers men sexually, but enjoys dominating and torturing women. Although he has some sort of tryst with a male guard, he doesn’t seem cable of anything approaching a loving relationship. He, like the other men in Eplunum, are too concerned with dominating and humiliating everything around them to care about things like nurturing or cooperation—two things the women understand innately.

Although how, exactly, the genders became divided isn’t addressed, I didn’t find it difficult to imagine something like this happening. Throughout history, women have been treated as less than, as subhuman, as sexual objects, and property. It’s actually much easier to envision such a future than one where humanity has solved all of its religious and economic differences (Star Trek) or many worlds where a large number of the inhabitants seem to be humans (Star Wars.)

Douglass is a master of both action and sex. The fight scenes are impressive and easy to visualize—the consensual sex scenes are electrifying. The book boasts several surprising twists, some “oh, no!” moments, and enough bloody battle sequences to make George R. R. Martin proud.

All in all, this is a beautifully told revenge-tale. It should be cathartic for anyone who has suffered at the hands of men or feels sickened by the misogyny being normalized by the Trump administration. It is, however, gory and brutal, and some readers might find the violence triggering.

I’m giving Gash of the Titans five out of five stars. If you’re looking for an exciting dystopian adventure with a strong female lead, add Gash of the Titans to your to-be-read list today.

A Lovely Blog Review!

The Novel Approach, a book review blog, posted a nice review of my M/M romance Because Faery Godmonster! They said the book was: “Sweet, a little angsty, comical and sexy all apply to this story. It’s such an easy, breezy read.”

Here’s an excerpt from the review:

This book is at once lighthearted but also touched by the somber notes of both Goss’s and Pox’s individual conflicts. It’s equal parts adorable and weighty, and I loved the building sexual tension between the hobgoblin and the nightsprite. Their quest is ambitious and the eventual consummation of their feelings for each other was unexpectedly erotic. I feel like I should throw in here, now, that there is a fisting scene, because Pox evidently doesn’t like his sex entirely vanilla, so do check your comfort level with that if you’re considering giving Because Faery Godmonster a try.

Read the entire review here!

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Lycian & Mylinka: Becoming Heroes

I was trying to quote this, but decided to reblog it I haven’t done that before. I hope I’m doing it right. Check out this review of Another World’s Song!

W.L. Hawkin

UnknownMeet Lycian. Sad, gentle, purple-eyed Gailfen child. Orphan. Wolf clan.  A Wyrm, judged unfit to practice magic. A Mageling still unaware of his enormous power.

Meet Mylinka. Healer. Lavender-haired Visioncaster. Daughter of the Guardian. Once a princess; then a slave child, Mylinka is as stubborn as he is sweet; as fierce as he is fragile.

They meet in innocence, kiss, and are torn apart– thrust into a violent nightmare from which there seems no escape. And yet, the two remain entwined as if by an invisible thread. Is it love?

Lycian and Mylinka are children of a corrupt world, abused by men who lust for power and revel in pain. And so, this other world’s song, is not so distant from our own. As does all great fantasy, the author mirrors our misery in this dystopian world. Listen closely, and you can hear their cries beyond the humming of the spheres.

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Another Review from Jennie Reads!

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to receive another four-star review from the blog, Jennie Reads. You can read the review in it’s entirety here.

This review is for Another World’s Song, Book 1 of the Astralasphere Spiral. I thought this tip was interesting:

This is the first book in the Astralasphere Spiral. I read them in reverse which is the order I would suggest – because the second book is an incredible story with plenty of action and intrigue where the first one does a wonderful job of setting up the characters and the plots that will arise in the second book.

I think this is probably true. I realized when I released Under the Shadow that it was the stronger book of the two. Hopefully, Book 3 will be even better! I learned a lot about world building in Another World’s Song–as well as how to finish a book. (You write ‘the end’ and walk away from it. I’m almost not kidding. It’s possible to spend years fussing over a work without being able to give it up.)

Get a free copy of Another World’s Song, Book 1 of the Astralasphere here.

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Just for visiting this website, get a free copy of the second book, Under the Shadow, here.

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Pride and Pox and Gossamer

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June is Pride Month! Pox and Gossamer, the heroes of my zany fantasy romcom want to celebrate it with you. You can get a free copy of Because Faery Godmonster here.

Because Faery Godmonster is about a warrior-priest named Goss–short for Gossamer and a necromancer named Pox. It garnered 4.25 stars on Joyfully Jay. Check out the review here. And here’s a highlight:

The world building is light and simple, drawing on familiar tropes to anyone whose ready a fantasy story or played any MMO — be it table-top or online — which helps color in the background world and story. The characters are true to themselves without falling into cliched tropes, only skirting lightly around them.

This was a fun book to read, with just enough humor and romance to flesh out the plot. I’m glad there are sequels planned because I truly enjoyed watching Goss and Pox make a muddle of things. I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for them.

The light, geekily goofy flavor of this sexy little story is very different from my other books, which are darker and heavier. Look for a sequel later this year!

The Inquisitor’s Gift – Sionnach Wintergreen

This is the first blog review I ever received. It made me so happy! The Inquisitor’s Gift, a fantasy erotic romance with a dystopian setting, is the first novel I published.

Source: The Inquisitor’s Gift – Sionnach Wintergreen

Epic Fantasy for the Fans

This is another amazing review for Under the Shadow. There are a lot of details in this one! I loved that she included an excerpt from the book. That is a description of Jahern’s private, hidden laboratory that he deserted years ago when he went into self-exile. Jahern is Lycian’s primemaster.

Both Lycian and Mylinka suffer greatly in this story and learn much of their history, something I dare not divulge. Suffice to say there must be a Book Three.

There will be a final installment, which should release around the first of next year. Thank you, Blue Haven Press!

Source: Epic Fantasy for the Fans