Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, with Seattle the victors and a very disappointed Denver in its wake. February also brings with it a reminder of romance for the lovers out there, as well as another book for me to review. Today I will be reviewing an Eli Yaakunah novel. You can find her on Facebook.
Imagine a not-so-distant future, when the media conglomerates are no more, replaced by an ever-present “Agency” that possess the unchecked monopoly of not only disseminating the news, but that creates and scripts the world’s realities, from sports, local news, and even elections the world over. Welcome to the world of your protagonist, Ishtar Benten, a young woman in the employ of the Agency, who is promoted to Scriptwriter, and discovers that in her, and her fellow “god’s” hands are held the (mis)fortune of the world.
The Woman Who Sparked the Greatest Sex Scandal of All Time is her story. What resonates is the idea of a pervasive all-powerful organization, that controls what we are told and believe. The concept is not too far out of the realm of possibilities when one considers the intrusiveness of Government, (CIA, FBI, NSA), and the idea that only a few select – the wealthy and powerful – are truly in control of our destinies, only furnishing the illusion that we have a voice in our world.
The novel is narrated by Ishtar, who specializes in news stories with sexual undertones. As such, the reader is treated to several highly suggestive and graphic scenes of sex, and of violence. Many scenes come straight from her imagination, others are seen as she engages another for a passionate round of intimacy.
The story begins to gel when it becomes clear the Ishtar is beginning to question the morality and ethics of her workplace. The novel is a journey of discovery, not only of the environment around her, the characters in it, and the greater truth that lies beneath the woven tapestry that she helped fabricate, but also a personal one, where she must surrender herself quietly to the role assigned to her, or rebel against the authorities, and likely forfeit her job, and possibly her life.
The greater story is well told, and after wading through several chapters, does manage to grasp the reader. What I had trouble with was the attempt at creating a sensual image during the erotic parts of the stories. That, I feel, failed because it became labored with too many words attempting to conjure an image that is at once provocative and sexual. This is an instance where less would have been more.
Instead of allowing the reader to create the imagined dalliance, the writer tried to impose their idea of the protagonist’s sexual exploits down to the minute detail. What I found was a story that begged me to put it on the nightstand and forget it, which would have been a shame, since the story proper was actually quite good.
Understand, I am not a big fan of romance and/or erotica, so my review may be suspect. What I can say is that while I liked the story of the Agency, the erotica left me in want of something better, something more cohesive. The sex pushed me out of the story instead of enticing me in. As such, it felt clumsy, the transitions between the graphic sex scenes were not smooth, and I didn’t get hooked into the story until very late, long after I would have given up trying to read the book had I not agreed to review it.
In the end, I found the book to be a mixed-bag. I cannot assign a simple good or bad grade on it, so I’m left to flip-flop a bit and say “it’s good, but it has some problems.” Thus, I will not recommend this book to read, unless you are a fan of the genre, which is a shame. The book had promise of being a lot better than I found it, but that’s just this reader’s opinion.