[livejournal.com profile] telophase mailed me this book at her own expense. All the same, I am not sure whether to blame it on her or on [livejournal.com profile] buymeaclue, who alerted us all to its existence.

In all his years as a unicorn, he had never experienced such emotions before.

My single biggest problem with this book, even more than the amusingly bad writing, inexplicable character motivations, WTF climax, and shocking lack of id-tastic exploitation of the premise, was that I disliked both the romantic leads. Mariah is a moron and Ash is a pain. I was disturbed by the thought of them getting together and having annoying, stupid, one-horned babies.

Mariah is an American whose mother is insane – or so she thinks! Actually, she has Second Sight, which Mariah inherits. Her father talks her into getting married, and in one paragraph, she meets, falls in love with, and marries the English Lord Donnington. Several months later, he has taken off without consummating the marriage, leaving Mariah alone to discover a mostly-naked man imprisoned in the folly.

As he withdrew his hand, she saw something that made the squirming minnows in her middle seem like ravenous sharks.

The nudeish guy seems insane, but is really hot. Strangely, except for his hair, he looks just like her husband.

The first thing Mariah noticed was his eyes… black, as black as her husband’s, but twice as brilliant, like the darkest of diamonds.

But hotter.

He wore only a scrap of cloth around his hips, barely covering a member that must have been impressively large.

Much hotter.

She noticed that his - she swallowed - his "member" was very much in evidence beneath his loincloth.

Mariah names him Ash and gives him clothing.

She counted to herself, waiting for him to gather up the garment, put it on, fasten the buttons over his... burgeoning masculinity. If the buttons would close at all.

It does not occur to her that this might make his captors figure out that someone’s helping him. But with the help of Donnington’s brother Sinjin, she busts him out before anyone does notice. While Ash cozies up to Prince Albert, Mariah envisions Ash as a unicorn, flirts with him, sees fairies, and is the object of bizarrely unmotivated scheming by a neighbor named Pamela. That takes up most of the book.

Toward the end, Mariah has sex with Ash.

It was more than merely hard; its circumference was so large that at first she wasn’t sure that her hand would fit around it.

But Mariah is also prodigious! When Ash withdraws during intercourse:

She tried to hold him inside, but her left her, and the opening he had filled wept with grief.

…wisecracks fail me.

Donnington and a Fane (Fae) Lord, Cairbre, return, and there is a flurry of infodumping, concluding in a truly LOLWTF climax.

LOLWTF )

None of this makes more sense in context. In fact, in context it makes even less sense.

There is an epilogue with a baby. No book has ever been improved by the addition of an epilogue with a baby. I wish I could say it has a horn, but no, just healing powers.

I am now mailing this book to another brave volunteer. I will alert you all when her review appears.
The package sent to Rachel Ninja Brown, from [livejournal.com profile] telophase, contained a romance in which the hero is secretly a unicorn. Thank you! Maybe.

The actual contents of the other packages were:

1. Elk, venison, and buffalo jerky, from [livejournal.com profile] telophase. OM NOM NOM.
2. A romance novel in which the hero is an angel and the heroine is a tentacled mermaid, from [livejournal.com profile] oyceter.
3. A VB Rose pencil case and a Temari figurine, from [livejournal.com profile] octopedingenue.
4. An anthology of Armenian authors and another about Desi New Yorkers, from [livejournal.com profile] madam_silvertip.

Thank you very much, O angels of the postal service!

Things which I did not get, but would be very pleased if someone were to send them:

1. Three Norse sagas.
2. Books on Indian regional cooking and everyday life in Heian Japan.
3. A plushie “more special” Sasuke, if such a thing exists. (Probably.)
4. Shuriken

Things which I hope I never receive:

1. A head.
2. The oracular penis novel (explained in the same link as the unicorn dude novel)
3. Venom cock.

Things which, as far as I know, do not exist (but which I’d love to get if they do):

1. A romance about banshees.
2. A romance in which the hero is secretly a book in the heroine’s library.
3. A romance in which the heroine is an angel and the hero is a mermaid with tentacles. (I already read the one in which the hero is a non-tentacled merman and the heroine is a psychic violinist.)

Things whose receipt would bring me a mix of delight and horror:

1. A romance about Vikings. Somehow I suspect the heroines would be nowhere near as wonderfully terrifying as they are in the sagas! Though it would totally make my day, or possibly make me vomit, if the euphemism for male equipment was “halberd.”

Things which I sent to someone else:

1. A Naruto tie-in ninja energy drink, to [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks.

And now for the winner!

This was quite a difficult challenge. Only two contestants got more answers right than wrong (both by one.) The lucky winners, who may now prompt me to write them a piece of original or fanfic flash fiction, are [livejournal.com profile] tool_of_satan and [livejournal.com profile] suileach!
I was very taken with this novel when I was in high school, and so recently obtained it to see if it was really as good as I recalled. It wasn't.

It opens with one of the most fat-phobic scenes I've ever read, which is saying a lot. The college-age heroine is on a train next to a smelly fat woman, whom, the narrative frequently reminds us, is fat. Yes, fat! Fat fat fat. She's also a sadistic, violent, paranoid, greedy cheat who enjoys watching animals die. And fat. Very fat.

A few pages in, it becomes clear that we're in a dystopian future in which 95% of the population is stoned 75% of the time (actual statistic, not a joke), religion doesn't exist, casual sex and violence abound, and everything sucks in a manner very reminiscent of hysterical magazine articles about how teenagers are going to hell in an online handbasket.

What's most interesting about the book, and what I liked so much in high school, is hugely spoilery despite being revealed fairly early on, as the reveal itself is pretty cool. What I had not recalled was a jaw-dropping scene right at the end which makes it an awesomely depressing book!

Read more... )

Some used copies are available from Amazon: Unicorns in the Rain (An Argo Book)
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