Heat

Heat - R. Lee Smith Gah! I don't even know what to say.

I thought myself an adventurous reader, and then I read this book, or rather, nearly read all of this book...

Just to preface this I absolutely LOVED The Last Hour of Gann. It's on the favorites shelf. So naturally after finishing it I looked for some more of R. Lee Smith's work. I think I'm fairly open minded-- I can handle a lot of creepy sh*t in books and I don't have a problem with violence, gore, or even dicey sexual issues, but-- I just couldn't swallow this book. There were parts of this that were so revolting and horrifying that I couldn't read it. (And Gann has some heavy stuff in it.) I'm not going to get into the plot, you can read the other reviews.

The "hero," Kane, who is in no way heroic, is a straight up sadist and dominant. I hesitate to go here, but frankly, I think he was just evil. He took anti-hero to a whole new level, basically kicked out the hero altogether.

Sadly, I KNEW GOING IN that this wasn't for the faint of heart and that Kane was a going to be twisted. I knew that I was starting a book about a galactic criminal; a big, bad alien coming to earth to kill people (because people are expendable and not that awesome in this universe) in order to make a drugs to sell. And I was okay with that. When he meets the "heroine" and he beats up on her, treats her horribly and turns her into a sex slave, I kept reading. I think I figured there was going to be some redemption, SOMETHING to make the pain of reading about this horrible dude murdering people worth it. But it didn't happen. It got worse and worse and finally I just couldn't take it. Right when I thought things might change for Raven and Kane, the author introduces another woman into their relationship in the last third of the book, who is, if possible more mistreated than Raven by Kane. After several chapters with the three of them: two slave women (one of whom is an AWFUL biker b-----, only made worse by the hero's AWFUL treatment of her), and a psychotic alien with no redeeming qualities engaging in violence and sexual depravity, I gave up.

I was so close to finishing!-- about 80%, but I just didn't think there was any way for the author to dig her characters out of the hole of horribleness and save the story.

Let's get one thing straight: this is NOT a romance. It's horror. I skimmed to the end. I guess there is a HEA sorta, but not one that would have made resonated with me.

**Side note, there is another romance embedded in this. The intergalactic police offer, Tegan who follows Kane to the planet has a little side romance with a human woman, Daria. This was okay, but not really very compelling and I spent most of their story wanting to get back to Kane. (I'm not sure why, since reading about him made me feel pretty ill, but then I guess I was hoping SOMETHING good must happen eventually.)