Erotica Book Review: Into Her Web by Anna Ritter

Erotica Book Review

Into Her Web
Anna Ritter
Publisher: Binding Books Erotica
Publication Date: July 17, 2021
Genres: Erotica
ShelvesFemale-author, Female-dominant

I've had a few of Anna Ritter's books on my TBR shelf for a while now, including a trade paperback of When Women Rule (her Crystal Canyon Quarantine omnibus), but it was a conversation with a fellow SFF reviewer that finally nudged me into my first read.

Into Her Web continues Ritter's themes of female dominance and female supremacy, with the same training/conditioning kinks that readers have come to expect, but weaves all of that into a genuine superhero story. I was a bit hesitant about that, as the genre doesn't always translate well to the written word, but not only do the visuals work, Ritter incorporates the comic book powers and themes into her overall femdom philosophy.

The story takes place in Nova City, a community created by the wealthy entrepreneur, Melissa Tander. Publicly, it's a Utopian world of equality and empowerment but, privately, it's designed to serve as a model of female supremacy. It's a subtle, gentle sort of approach, one in which men are taught to feel inferior, conditioned to serve and obey, and the way it works is undeniably attractive. We don't see a lot of how the community works, as it's not the focus here, but it lays the foundation and establishes expectations for the story of the Weaver and Riptide.

The Weaver is a woman who can cast telekinetic webs to control people and manipulate objects, and who can steal the power of other superheroes through a kiss (much like Rogue of The Uncanny X-Men), while Riptide is a man who can manipulate water (much like Aquaman or, sticking with the Marvel theme, Namor). As a man, Riptide is a rarity in a world where superpowers are predominantly the domain of women, and where the few superpowered men are drawn more to villainy than heroism, lashing out against a changing world.

That lashing out is one of the more interesting aspects of the story. Superheroes have long been used to explore social themes, isolating and exaggerating them for emphasis, and Ritter makes effective use of that approach. In Nova City, we see toxic masculinity represented by angry supervillains, men who just want to destroy a world that challenges their pride. They're raging, impulsive men with no regard for collateral damage or casualties. Alternatively, we see female supremacy represented by superheroes, women who want to lead, preserve, and nurture a world that has already rejected the patriarchy and is heading for something better.

The story of Riptide and the Weaver exemplifies that struggle on multiple levels, taking the action-packed superhero story all the way down to an erotic level. It's through them that the overall themes and struggles become personal, with their relationship blending aspects of the Nova City community and the superhero philosophy. It's a professional rivalry with undercurrents of romance, and once the Weaver moves to her end-game, taking Riptide captive, the erotic power exchange comes to the forefront and drives the final act of the story.

Rating: ♀ ♀ ♀