When we left off last week, Pia and Dragos were about to be dragged into a goblin fortress, and I was seething with feminist (personist?) rage.
The rage is back, folks, but luckily for you, and Thea Harrison, I’m on my way back from my brother’s wedding in Cleveland, so this will be brief.
This section of the book brings Pia into Dragos’s world/demesne (yes, they escaped from the goblins. I was shocked.). We get to meet Dragos’s lieutenants, who, the interweb tells me, will get their own books eventually, as well as a fairy named Tricks, who seems to me like a magical Kristen Chenoweth in a business suit.
Sidebar: why is it that women in these books only drink white wine?
Dragos has his own skyscraper and ruthless lawyers (oh, did I mention that the book’s epigraph is attributed to Donald Trump?), and gosh, does the poor dragon man have a lot on his mind! Here’s a credit card, Pia! Have a latte and hit the gym, but don’t forget lunch with the girls! Oh, I don’t like your clothes, so please wear this expensive robe so that none of my hulking gorgeous male friends will get a look at your (no doubt quivering) thighs.
And then there’s the sex. The always-agressive (though with consent, this time), heteronormative, vanilla sex (I mean, he’s not a dragon at the time, right?).
Yes, it seems that once you hit the 1/3 mark, your main characters get to quit holding at second and thirdish base and run for home. A lot. The sex scenes are just as awful as you would think, with Pia feeling so affected by Dragos “wrecking” her that she feels she needs to go sit in a dark room and sort out her feelings.
I have a theory about all this “wrecking.” You know how A-list actors (for the most part) will only do graphic sex scenes if the scenes are integral to the plot of the movies? I’m thinking of Diane Lane in Unfaithful, Joseph Fiennes & Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love, Gael García Bernal (yes, I know he wasn’t famous yet) in the last scene in Y Tu Mamá También, for starters.
[Sidebar 2: I prefer sex in movies to be implied — see the curtains stirring in the breeze in The Maltese Falcon? Yeah, that’s Humphrey Bogart having sex.]
Well, I think Ms. Harrison is trying to confer an air of legitimacy on Dragon Bound‘s sex scenes with these claims that Pia’s whole self is changed when she has sex with Dragos (“He took her so far and deep outside of herself, she came back changed in fundamental ways she didn’t understand” .). It’s as if she’s saying, “Look! The book needs the sex! It’s part of the characters’ arcs!”
At least Dragos willingly performs cunnilingus.
As I said in my first post, I think there are some interesting dynamics at work in the book — the interaction between human and non-human societies in particular. And I get a kick out of Elves enforcing trade embargoes. Would someone with influence suggest to Ms. Harrison that she try her hand at less sex-centered mass market paranormal fiction?
Next week: Will Dragos learn to love? Will he accidentally-on-purpose kill his second in command? Will Pia reveal her Wyr-self? Stay tuned . . .
Check out the other readers-along: