by Jewel McGuire, futuristic (2007)
Triskelion Publishing, $4.99, ISBN 1-60186-120-6
Before I begin, maybe I should point out that the presence of some very obvious errors ("where" instead of "were" being used in a sentence, for example) in the first two pages in this book alone is probably not the best way to impress readers. There is already enough grumbling out there about the generally poor quality of editing in books by Triskelion Publishing, so perhaps it is time to find new editors if the current bunch can't pull up their socks, no?
The Bakkar Bride revolves around a race of aliens called the Rasalasians who seem to be cat-like refugees from Planet Dara Joy now that Dara Joy has committed career kamikaze. The Rasalasians have a problem. You see, 300 years ago a plague wiped out all but a few thousand females. There is some kind of genetic condition in the remaining population which causes very few females are born so the number of females in the subsequent centuries have remained more or less the same. So now those females have this rude belief that they are the most important people of the world and they run around demanding to be serviced by men before picking the best ones as their mates. Naturally this is a problem because the men don't feel that they are in charge any more and therefore this will not do. Singeh Ak' El Bakkar - don't ask me what that annoying apostrophe is for - and his brothers Barin and Lortin decide that things will have to change. The Princes of Ra's Ak' Al Asad, a place where apostrophes go to die from what I understand, decide that it's time they seek out mates from other planets.
So we have three cat-like brothers traveling from planet to planet sleeping with all kinds of female species, cataloging them in terms of physical compatibility and what-not. I'm not kidding. Meanwhile, I learn that these guys' penises, or "fal e' tele", are black in color and they refer to copulating as "fetaing". The letter F and apostrophes - the most annoying combination ever on a page, I tell you.
Meanwhile, our heroine Mary Jane Wilson has been thrown from the 20th century to this current time frame. The three brothers find humans repulsive (they don't like the fact that humans have no fur all over their body and they think humans smell bad) but one look at her and both Barin and Singeh being doing things to themselves that have gotten folks like Pee Wee Herman and George Michael arrested before. However, we are talking about serious cultural differences here. The three Princes come from a race where a mate is expected to sleep with all the male siblings in the family (it will be so unfair for a poor sod to be left out of the fun after all). Mary Jane definitely isn't Amish or Mormon so she's in for a literal ride of her life.
Jewel McGuire has created an unapologetic sex romp that borders of farce quite often. Some of the scenes here are inspired, as such the three brothers viewing "historical videos" of human mating process (which turn out to be pornographic films) to figure out whether Mary Jane will want to have sex with all three of them on their first date. More fascinatingly, Ms McGuire has actually put a lot of effort detailing the unique physiology and anatomy of these cat creatures to an explicit detail to the point that I don't know whether to be impressed or to wonder whether Ms McGuire organizes furry conventions in her free time. The characters are pretty much one-dimensional types but at least the three heroes can be differentiated easily (Singeh is the practical one, Barin is the one that screws everything that moves, and Lortin is the thoughtful nerd) and the three brothers display an unexpectedly sweet kind of protectiveness and tenderness towards Mary Jane. They are such three cute bumbling puppy-like twits at times but they are also very sweet when it comes to their adoration of Mary Jane.
The Bakker Bride is a very entertaining, funny, and unexpectedly sweet sex romp. The mass hysteria late in the story about whether or not Mary Jane is carrying their Special Baby is too much for me even considering the general ridiculous farce-like quality of the story, but on the whole this is one inventive tale that manages to be cheesy and fun in a most unpredictable manner.
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