Friday, December 28, 2018

Talk about your fairy tales

So, on advice from an LGBTQ Horror group I'm in, I picked up the Witchbane series by Morgan Brice, and finished book 1 before work this morning.

I'm really unsure how to do this. It's not that I didn't enjoy reading it, and it's not that I didn't like it, it's just... Well, I get the sense this started like Fifty Shades of Gray, in that our two main characters are semi-analogous to Dean and Sam Winchester of Supernatural. We start with Jesse, who takes his younger brother Seth ghost hunting at the Gates of Hell, a local legend in Brazil, Indiana. Their goal is to make a YouTube ghost hunting video by doing it on Halloween. Seth ends up getting flayed alive, while Jesse gets knocked out and finds the body the next morning. He gets hospitalized, his parents die in a car crash.... Jesse is left with a motorcycle and a motor home.

Two years later, Jesee has linked up with a rather small conglomeration of monster hunters, with the goal of tracking down whomever killed his brother. The set up is something like a Warlock got lynched on Halloween, and now his immortalish disciples sacrifice a descendant of each of the 12 deputies on a twelve year cycle. Seems different disciples are on different cycles, so we start with the Disciple getting ready to sacrifice Evan.

Evan currently lives in Richmond, Virginia, having left home in Oklahoma following expulsion from his church and family for fooling around with a high school athlete. Evan works as a bartender, and has his breath taken away when Jesse walks into his bar. Jesse, for his part, is infatuated with Evan at first sight, even as he doesn't realize Evan is Evan, as he works under the name Sonny. They go on a date, which ends quickly as Evan gets called back in to the bar.

The next night, they try again, wind up back at Evan's apartment, and things happen. Followed by waking up to people breaking in with guns, which is when Jesse finds out his hook up is also the man he's been looking for in a non sexual fashion. Evan's bar burns down, his apartment catches fire, so Evan is stuck living with Jesse, only half believing Jesse's story.

What follows is a dual game of cat and mouse, as the immortal Disciple stalks Evan as Jesse tries to track down said disciple. Eventually, everyone but the disciple and his minions get a happy ending, often in more ways than one.

Now, much as I enjoyed the read, the main narrative spans roughly 48 hours. In that 48 hours, Jesse and Evan explore the Mother's Gift of Pleasure roughly (and I do mean roughly) 9 times, a few occasions getting a refraction period of around 15-20 seconds. While the smut is better written and and more of interest to me than anything Laurell K. Hamilton has written in the past 15 years, it's also really hard to read it when one part of your brain is pointing out that neither man would be able to stalk immortal disciples after wearing themselves out that much. Nor does male anatomy usually allow that short of a refraction period.  Also, given both men have emotional issues with trust, they certainly do seem to forget them with each other quickly.

Honestly, it's fun reading, just remember to put actual biology and psychology out of mind while you read it as a fairy tale.