(Missed out on the hashtag? Read the Storify here!)
Sometimes, you pick up a book, (or download it) and you know it’s going to be bad. It’s OK, though. They can’t all be winners, right? And maybe you’ll have some fun with your friends giggling about all of the silly purple prose, or how the author describes impossible sex positions as being a matter of course. And it’s free! So what could go wrong, right? It’s worth a few laughs…right?
This book started out satisfying my desire (hurr hurr) for something to laugh at. Gary Stu, thy name is Justin Kairo. Seriously, this guy is perfect in every possible way. He’s intelligent. He’s charming. He’s got dark secrets he can’t tell the world…except now he can, apparently. (I don’t know why.) Everyone loves him. Women have fallen into his arms. People (he imagines) describe him as smooth. Sophisticated. Debonair. He’s a fucking Dos Equis commercial, except with magic.
His love interest is a total babe, of course. They’ve apparently known each other since the dawn of time. Before conception, even. I didn’t realize it was possible to know about stuff that happened before you were ever conceived, but I’m just a regular ol’ gal, so what do I know, right? Right. Well, apparently she’s just as special as he is, because he’s High Priest and she’s destined to be High Priestess. Of what, you ask? Why, of a coven of course. Who is the coven made out of? Why, rich, painfully attractive, white douchebags, of course. Who else?
They gather in their magical mansion with 39 rooms (because NUMBERS! and MAGIC! and MAGIC NUMBERS!) and put on their funny little robes. Then they go outside, fill a cauldron with freezing water from the river, sprinkle some salt in it, and take a communal spongebath. NO, I am not making this up. (I couldn’t make shit like this up.) First, they use one sponge. That’s the regular sponge, for all of their regular parts. (THEY ALL SHARE THE SAME SPONGE, BETEEDUBZ.) Then Justin takes out the special Black Sponge of Specialness, and this is what they use to cleanse their special parts. Also see: Their junk.
The women are all beautifully endowed, of course. Justin (he’s both the protagonist AND the author so I get to use his name interchangeably, hurray!) describes each one of them in detail, but of course he skips the dudes. (I felt cheated because I wanted in-depth descriptions of bulging testicles.) After all, this isn’t gay fiction and Justin likes the LADIES. Yes, THE LADIES. Lots and lots of ladies. He is Don Draper. Ladies.
There’s also a lot of women grabbing their breasts and pointing their nipples at the sky. I don’t know why this is relevant. Nipple antennas, maybe?
Then they all get naked and chant to off-tune music and come together into a tiny knot of human bodies and nobody knows who’s who and Justin can’t tell who’s speaking because THEY’RE ALL THE SAME, YOU GUYS. This is a theme which is repeated ad nauseum throughout this book. Everything is like everything else. Nothing matters because everything is like everything else. It’s like a Linkin Park song that never ends. Blah blah blah.
It’s at this point I start sensing the first slimy tendrils of creepiness. Everybody’s offering their genitalia and sexual responses to Merlin. Merlin’s mouth, Merlin’s rod, etc., etc.. They all seem desperate for this old ghost named Merlin to fuck them sideways. I don’t know about you, but I find the concept of an old man watching my every move and magically moistening my nether regions as pretty fucking gross.
It gets worse.
They all gather around Justin’s ladyfriend, Juliet, since apparently it’s time for her to be “initiated”. They go on and on about her purity and “making” her into a virgin, which…I don’t know. I tried not to think too hard at this point. She lathers herself up with lots and lots of Magical Oils and then lies down on a Magical Cloth and then she and Justin have Magical Sex. Despite its magical-ness, it’s shockingly short lived. But everybody spurts a bunch of fluids everywhere, so it must be good, right?
This is the last chapter written in present day. From here on out, the rest of the book is all about Justin’s childhood, teenage years, and young adulthood. Cause that’s exciting and precisely what I wanted to read! Hurray! D:
This is also the part where my child abuse trigger warning comes in. Here is the place you want to stop reading if this kind of stuff is disturbing to you. (It disturbed the hell out of me and I don’t even have a history with this type of abuse.) Trust me, you don’t miss a fucking thing plot wise. I leave descriptions of the triggering material out of the Storify, if you truly must know how the story ends.
The next couple of chapters are largely uninteresting. Justin was a little rich white boy who grew up feel abandoned because his rich white parents traveled all the time. Seen and heard it all before. He gets mad about being left behind one day, and has a moment where he “grows up” suddenly and confronts his mother about her leaving him behind yet again. It’s a strangely robotic exchange, and has the emotional tension of a grocery list. Long story short, Justin gets mad, and magically demands that his mother return to him. Mommy and daddy get in a car crash, but they survive because of his magic. Their reward? Have almost every bone in their body broken so they have to stay home with their son for a very, very long time. Lucky them.
Around this same time, a character named “Lanny” is introduced. Lanny is the nanny, haha, and one day Justin walks in on her without knocking first. Turns out she’s doing Magic Things in the nude, as you do. This is Justin’s big “awakening” moment and honestly, reading it gave me a headache. It reads like some kind of weird LSD trip and there’s a lot of citrus smells and knowing things, yet not knowing them. Everything’s the same, blah blah blah. MAGIC!
Then, Lanny and Justin get closer, and Justin starts “ceremonially” removing his clothing until he’s naked. If you’re cringing right about now because you’re worried about what comes next, you are right to cringe. The next few scenes involve Lanny and Justin having sex. I’ll spare you the details, mostly because I wish I could purge them from my brain. Justin is 10 years old at the time all of this happens. But it’s OK, because it’s Magic Sex, and they share a Pure Love between each other. You can tell it’s OK because Lanny’s skin gets younger whenever it happens.
Most erotica is mind-numbingly stupid, but there’s a creepy obsessiveness behind this that just…worries me. I’m honestly left wondering if Kairo suffered abuse as a child, and this book is his attempt at dealing with it somehow. The “ceremonies” between Justin and Lanny are weirdly specific and read like something out of a pedophile’s diary. Problem is, I can’t decide if Kairo is the perpetrator, or the victim. (Though they often end up being the same thing, which might explain the author’s fascination with “nothing matters because everything is the same”.)
The rest of the book cycles between utterly dull details about Justin’s young adult years, and then eventually cycles back to weird Magic Sex when he meets Juliet. There’s one scene in which she’s naked and dragging herself along the grass by her elbows to form a nine-foot circle that was particularly disturbing, as well as a time when Justin pricks her on the back of her neck while he’s kissing her, because he feels like it, I guess. He’s possessive of her in a way which is ten times worse than most romance/erotica stuff… but of course it’s all OK, because MAGIC. And the fact he has a 12-inch phallus. Ergh.
I just…I don’t know what happened with this book. Purple prose I can handle. This shit? I truly don’t know. All I do know is that I feel genuinely sick having read it, and really really really want this author some kind of professional help. He seems like he needs it.
It goes without saying, but don’t read this book.