Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book review: Alien Rule by Tracy St. John

Alien Rule (Clans of Kalquor, #2)Alien Rule by Tracy St. John

Bitch Factor 10 rating:

It took many moons for me to get a copy of Alien Rule to review. Sure, I could have gotten it into my hot little hands sooner if I had bought a copy, but after reading the first book in this series, Alien Embrace (here's my review of that one:, I thought I would just borrow the sequel.

Alien Rule has much in common with its predecessor. We are still in the universe of the Clans of Kalquor. The Kalquorians are still diplomatically warring with the theocratic denizens of Earth, and we have a band of ex-pat Earthers that have been marooned on planet Plasius, where all the inhabitants are sex-crazed (why couldn't *I* have been dropped off on a planet like that instead of being stuck here? My alien parentals must have left me here on Earth as punishment, hrmph!)

This story follows Nurse Jessica, and her intersex friend Michaela as they try to find Kalquorian clans that will take them in and make them brood, make them "honored Mataras." Because, you know, it's every girl's dream to hook up with a triad of double-donged aliens that will impregnate them with their alien seed. And I'm slightly confused about how well Michaela would have worked out as a child-bearer for a prospective clan-- does she have a viable womb? Anyway, this story is mostly about Jessica and her boys, so I'll touch on Michaela's situation a bit later.

I don't know-- I never took to Jessica in this story, mainly because she is wishy-washy when it comes to the "rapey" scenes in this book. "No means no!" may the hue and cry of women on Earth, but on Plasius, as far as Jessica is concerned, "No means, 'well, yeah, go ahead and disregard what I say, because I really like being penetrated in all my orifices at once, virgin that I am.'" UGH! Not to discount that there are women who out there who have rape fantasies and love reading "romances," that make use of that trope, but argh! this book leans more towards actual rape than dubious consent or fantasy.

My inclination is to be a little more forgiving of Jessica the Virginal because she may be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome or feel rebellious against the puritanicalism of Earth. But Jessica is so hypocritical in this story, that I can't really give her a pass. When Jessica encounters another Earther refugee she excuses taking up with the aliens by saying, "I found it inappropriate to shelter on the transport among men (her fellow Earthers) I do not know the intentions of." Right? It couldn't possibly be that you passed up your own kind so that your mouth, pussy and ass could be repeatedly stuffed by the Three Musketeers, could it? The bitch doth protest too much!

Jessica is bad enough, but potential lover Clajak (hate that name, btw)takes the cake. Clajak is a grade-A asshole, through and through. Throughout most of the book, he does not take responsibility for his actions-- not as an heir to the Klaquorian throne, and not as a suitable love interest in the triad that wants to "woo" Jessica. Dewd can not control himself, of course:

Your sex (Jessica's) yields to penetration yet clings to mine with such a grip that I must fight for control every moment."

Poor, poor Clajak. He's a (willing) slave to the coochie. Jessica just has a pussy that forces Clajak to misbehave. And, scarily, he goes easy on forcing himself on Jessica because "it was a shame she was too small to fuck properly." *shiver* Thank Goddess Jessica is muy pequeno or that lovemaking could have turned all kinds of nasty (or nastier...). Yes, it all Jessica's fault-- she is preventing Clajak from being nice to her, and therefore he has to go all rapist to get her to submit.

Clajak isn't the only douche in this equation-- his clanmates Egilka and Bevau agree with Clajak that they can and should "resort to coercion and punishment," as effective dating tools to win over Jessica. You know, just in case the penis-times-two-times-three action doesn't work.

As if the rape theme was not enough for Jessica and Crew, there are other instances of dub-con in the story. I don't want to be too spoilery, but Tracy St. John seems to have a fascination with younger girls being raped. Even though Jessica is an adult, she is often referred to in girlish terms. And I think substituting an under-aged "alien" for a "human girl," in another scene is a thinly veiled and despicable ruse to use the violation of a child for erotic entertainment.

Anyhoo, you can guess how this all ends up-- Jessica learns to love the triad; the boys don't have to resort so much to rape to express their love for Jessica after she finally gives in to them. yada yada yada. There's nothing unexpected here about how things turn out for Jessica and posse. What is surprising is that there is so much growling when characters are aroused or having sex (to be fair, the Kalquorians seem to growl at other instances, too, like when they are showing disapproval of political leaders). I'd guess that there are at least 50 instances of growling with the boys-- and even Jessica starts doing it! I've been doing this sex thing for some 30+ years now, but I haven't encountered all that much growling. I must be doing it all wrong-- like, with humans, to start, hehehe. The repetition of certain words and phrases was driving me batty in this story, as was the repeated fuckings. Hey, I thought there were more possible variations of having four people have sex with six penises, four asses and one vagina between them-- but apparently, no, it's the same ole, same ole.

Ok, I didn't absolutely hate this book. I kinda knew what I was getting into since I read the first one in the series. I do like that bellydancing figures into the story, since that's one of my hobbies. And, Michaela's intersexualism adds interest to the story, but I couldn't help but cringe at how self-hating she was throughout most of the story. Michaela's lack of self-worth is somewhat understandable, given Earth's non-acceptance of intersexuals, but Michaela's constant moments of insecurity started to make me share that opinion of her. She almost had ME convinced of her worthlessness. I wouldn't mind Michaela having her story in the series, because I'd like to know how she works out with her clan (hmmm, what happens when there are SEVEN penises, instead of six...).

Ok, enough blathering about this book. Bottom line: this book entertains the notions of rape and dubious consent far too often to be enjoyable. Fans of the series, though, probably wouldn't shy away from this one. Everyone else, though, could (and probably should) give it a pass.

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