Sunday, April 28, 2013

Review: Alien Embrace by Tracy St. John

Book: Alien Embrace
Clans of Kalquor #1
Author: Tracy St. John
Erotic Romance, BDSM (light), Sci Fi/ Futuristic


Amelia Ryan fled Earth's fanatically religious government to live quietly among the aliens of Plasius. Her life of peace shatters when a three-man clan from the planet Kalquor kidnaps her and holds her prisoner.

With their people poised on the verge of extinction, the Kalquorians are determined to have Amelia for their mate. Amelia is equally determined to escape. But when her body thrills to the ruthless domination of her captors, she finds herself surrendering to desires she never imagined possible.

Things I love - seven foot tall Alpha Aliens who don't take no for an answer. Yes, I love that. What do I love more than seven foot tall Alpha Aliens? Three seven foot tall Alpha Aliens who don't take no for an answer! Yes, three of them. I love futuristic, dubious consent alien stories, especially when said aliens are beautiful male specimens and have a shortage of women on their home planet and will do whatever is necessary to gain the Earthling female's consent (in a show of male prowess and caring all at the same time). 

The concept is quite titillating. If there were really such a place as Kalquor, I'd totally volunteer to go there. No forced consent needed! But no one asked me and I don't live in the same reality as Amelia Ryan did - an Earth that is ruled by a fanatically religious government that is TERRIFIED of any kind of sexuality, especially female sexuality. It's a very repressed society and there's lots of hate and fear reserved for Kalquor. Presumably because there is some kind of weird history between Kalquor and Earth and the government spreads all kinds of propaganda to encourage ignorance, hate and fear in order to protect against Kalquor's unsavory morals. And really any and all unsavory morals. Except for the corruption of the government officials, of course. Their unsavory morals are okay, because ... they said so.

Amelia Ryan is an artist living on Plasius (a friendly planet). While at a party she has an encounter with a Kalquorian clan. The Kalquorians are looking for mates who can reproduce with their species to protect their people from extinction, since, of course, there's a shortage of females on their planet. The story is all about their seduction of Amelia. There is lots of hot alien sex with some surprises. There is a little bit of [hot] dubious consent and angst for Amelia, since she is still struggling with her sexuality and dealing with the teachings of the repressed religious government.

I really enjoyed the story, the interactions between Amelia and her clan of Kalquorians, and the alternate world that Tracy St. John created with all the worst case scenarios for Earth (fanatical religious government, repression, censorship, leading through fear and hate... propaganda, etc.). It might be a somewhat cliche storyline, but it was well done and (as I said in another review) cliches work for a reason... they appeal to many people and I'm no exception to that.

Having said all this, I need to also mention that I had to start skipping the sex scenes. After a while they started to get in the way of the story for me and I skipped ahead because I wanted to know what happened next. Unfortunately, this issue followed me throughout the rest of the series (I read up to Alien Slave). I had to skip over many a sex scene.

Another sex issue that I would like to note is that there was a lot of drugging involved in gaining Amelia's compliance and at times I wanted them to let her consent without being drugged. You know, get her to take some responsibility for her own sexuality, use her body's responses against her and get her to acknowledge her feelings without being able to hide behind the he-bit-me-and-I-wasn't-in-my-right-mind excuse. I understand that the Kalquorians bite their sexual partners to create a sense of euphoria and enhance the sexual experience and that's cool. I just wanted them to save it for when she was already into it or, at least, not use it every time...

But I enjoyed the story and continued to read the books, so I'm, obviously, not complaining too much. Just was kind of hoping for better placement of sex scenes, maybe less in quantity and more in quality (more personal responsibility for everyone involved). Better integration into the storyline, so it doesn't take away, but add something... That was just my opinion on that matter.

I'll provide you with an example of where the sex scene placement [and quantity] got a bit out of hand... SPOILER ALERT! You've been warned. You'll probably need to highlight to see the next part clearly.

So, Nobek Breft is in the middle of rescuing Amelia from an enemy ship. She's battered and bruised, he finds her on a medical table being readied for some kind of very unpleasant medical research/torture procedure. Breft knocks out the doctor and drugs the nurse (though she's very much still conscious). Then, instead of getting the hell out of there, he proceeds to take the time to FUCK Amelia, his very battered mate, while the shocked nurse looks on (not that I have a problem with voyeurism, just wanted to set the scene for ya). 

Here is where I had to stand up and have a moment of silence. I needed to have this moment of silence for Common Sense. See, Common Sense had died. In fact, it was brutally murdered at that moment by Nobek Breft and it was being buried along with Breft's genitalia in the warm... get the idea, I think I need not be that explicit. Did he really need to stop and make fuck at that point? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say FUCK NO. Get the fuck out of enemy territory. Get her to safety and give your lady a freaking bath and massage her sore muscles. Rub some soothing lotions on her cuts and bruises. Ravage her later. Seriously. It. Can. Wait. But, again, I skimmed past that scene and kept on reading, cause I did like the rest of the story.  

Even with some of the sex scenes being unreadable, it was overall a worthwhile read and I give it 4 burning books.

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