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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Terror, Temptation, and Tentacles - it's Tuesday Apocalypse (#bookreview)

It's funny how our literary tastes change as we get older. I remember trying to read Dracula when I was young and finding the style boring, and then trying again as a teenager and finding it far too literary, and then reading it a third time as an adult and being delighted by it. The epistolary format is an unusual one, and I think Vicy Cross takes some liberties with it here, but it's absolutely perfect for the tale she tells.

Personal, intimate, and full of atmosphere, Tuesday Apocalypse is a magnificent story that works on so many levels (or perhaps layers) - romance, drama, erotica, and horror. This is not a story that bounces around between those genres, but which embraces them all, and blends them together, often within the same scene.

Reading this reminded me very much of enjoying Stoker's masterpiece for the first time. I was unsettled by my reactions, uncomfortable with my own thoughts, and often unable to reconcile my heart with my head. I fell in love with Sister Barbara. I wanted to reach into the book, cradle her softly in my hands, and carry her to safety. At the same time, I wanted to drop into the book, hide behind the bombed out ruins, and watch her being violated by Tuesday's alien tentacles. It's not easy to titillate and terrorize within the same scene, but Cross does a lovely job of forcing us to see both sides of the encounter.

The slow, creeping madness . . . the insistent, wanton seduction . . . the gleeful violation of vows . . . the tortured desire to succumb to temptation . . . the desperate pleas for salvation . . . the anguished attempts to hold onto something of one's true self . . . Cross offers us all of that and more. I loved the many layers beneath which she allowed her evil to creep, robbing Barbara of her sexuality on so many levels. Here we have a young woman already tempted to betray her vows by a handsome young man, who suddenly finds herself lusting after - gasp! - another woman, and who ultimately finds herself fighting the urge to surrender to tongues and tentacles. Wow . . . and oh, my.

I don't imagine Stoker ever dreamed of writing something this explicit, but there's no denying that the two tales share a lot in common. For him it was teeth that pushed the edge of taboo, while for Cross it's tentacles that do the same thing. His seductive sense of evil may have come the grave, rather than from beyond the stars, but they both have the same horrifying impact. This was just a gorgeous story, and one that is bound to give you the chills - and I mean that in every sense of the word.


(as posted by Sally on Goodreads)

3 comments:

  1. Tentacles and erotica - not my kind of read, but it's an interesting mix.

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  2. Hmmm I don't know about this one. Tentacles, I don't know, lol. Great review though! Have a great weekend!

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  3. *Blushes* Oh wow, thank you for the incredible review! The biggest compliment I can hope for is when readers walk away happy from my book. Tentacles and horror are indeed a strange combination, but I hope skeptical readers will think the read worthwhile after braving that first plunge. You've made this debut author very happy--OK, more like ecstatic! Hahaha! Have a fantastic weekend! Happy reading! :)

    ~Vicy

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