by Kira Stone, futuristic (2007)
Ellora's Cave, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-4199-0965-8
The Zodiac is a brand new system that allows the person using it to feel as if his or her dreams are real. A pick-your-own-dream virtual reality device that only works when you are asleep, that is, with the dreams in question being transmitted into the brain by the system. However, with only two months to go before the company releases the Zodiac commercially, Dr Archer Tate is frustrated when the Zodiac shuts down every time Janet Widgeon, a tester, experiences an orgasm in her dreams. What could be wrong? It seems that only Janet is causing this problem - all other testers don't encounter such a problem while using the Zodiac. Archer is convinced that Janet is deliberately sabotaging the Zodiac, apparently by having powerful orgasms or something. A third person, psychologist Liam King is roped in and we're all set for a threesome in virtual reality.
Dreams Eclipsed is all about sex to the exclusion of decent characterization. Archer is an asshole, Liam is inscrutable, and Janet for all the orgasms she experiences in this story is little better than a clueless dunce who is dragged into one sexual situation after another without really knowing what is happening in the Zodiac system. It's all sex, sex, sex, and more sex, with Archer behaving like a complete ass to Janet and then, after all that sex, announcing that he's always been in love with her. How did that come about? The characters and the plots seem to come secondary to the number of sex scenes in this story. I don't even know why Ms Stone bothers with romance. Why not just let the three people shag themselves right out of orbit and be done with it? After all, this story may as well have no plot judging from how poorly Ms Stone develops it.
Dreams Eclipsed comes off like an underdeveloped story where all that sex is used as padding to hide the anemic plot and characters. I suppose that's probably fine if I'm in the mood to concentrate only on and be easily amused by the sex scenes, but unfortunately I expect more than that for the $5.95 I paid for this book.
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