This is a book that came my way via a friend, who is a huge fan of Lyka Bloom's less horrific gender-bending erotica. Our tastes don't often overlap, but we're generally very much in sync on the horror and fantasy shelves, so her recommendation was all I needed to give Bloom a try.
While Infection is not without its flaws, it's a solid, entertaining story that delivers on its basic premise. Really, the initial concept of the missing sister is something we've all read before, but even if other authors have toyed with the idea of a dark fetish cult, Bloom gleefully embraces that dark potential. I won't spoil the demonic nature of the dominatrix who leads the cult, but I will say that the way in which she (and her impossible club) is explored is quite remarkable.
There's a lot of build-up to this story, and it's done well, creating as much dread as suspense. Bloom keeps the erotic elements largely off-the-page for most of the story, making them that much more effective when they do finally bleed through. The characters have some personality to them, the dialogue is decent, and it's clear from the visual descriptions that Bloom is a taste for the fetish side of things. I also found it quite clever the way she plays with the duality of piercings and body modifications, driving home the unsettling aspect with the supernaturally-driven impulses, while successfully demonstrating the side which arouses and intrigues.
It's a shame that the story just stops, with so much potential left unexplored, but I'd definitely be up for checking out the impending sequel.
Published October 9th 2013 by Smashwords Edition