Friday, October 03, 2008

"book" review - Selene by Lilith Saintcrow

Selene Selene by Lilith Saintcrow

rating: 2 of 5 stars

Selene is a free serialized novel published every Monday, Weds, and Friday to Lilith Saintcrow's web site. The epilogue was published today.

Plot:
Its a post-apocalyptic style future where shizz is all dangerous and fucked up and there's lots of tension between those with extra-normal powers (sex witchery, e.g.) and just the normal people. Selene, a sex-witch, is under the protection of Nikolai, the head Vampire in the city. Moments before this book starts, Selene's bro Danny is gore-ily and grossly killed, and now it looks like Selene may be next!! Nikolai steps in to keep her safe, Selene vows revenge on Danny's killers, and hijinx of the dark and complicated kind ensue.

My review:

Alright, I quite literally just finished the epilogue moments ago and I can only say...

Ugh.

Selene made one stupid decision after the other. Terrible things happen and Selene followed them with wrong-headed, poorly-formed judgments that I feel even a child would know better than to make (SPOILER ALERT-- if you give a supposedly dead vampire blood, it comes back! I'm pretty sure most children know that. Selene? Not so much).

Unexplained, confusing plot devices were never resolved (Danny's voice in her head? Nikolai's medallion?). Selene's narrative voice tells me over and over vampires can't be trusted and the world is an unsafe place for sex-witches, yet over and over Nikolai (the vamp) saves her, succors her, makes safety for her in the dangerous world. Rejecting him the first four or five times-- I get her motivation. But nineteen chapters later, she still makes the same bad decision?

Instead of feeling like I was in a powerful story with increasingly complex chains of consequence and suspense drawing me to a nail-biting end, I felt frustrated, bewildered, confused... and that makes me angry.

In case you think I am judging Selene (the character) unfairly, I understand being confused and angsty when the world goes topsy-turvy and the things you take for granted reverse themselves and must be re-evaluated on the fly. But Selene-the-character never actually evaluates anything. She acts on instinct and her instinct is so often wrong, and is followed by such disastrous consequences, it raises incredulousness in me for Selene-the-story. Did I make up that word? YES, because I'm ANGRY that I read NINETEEN chapters and an epilogue of this crap!