Magnificent Mile Publishing, $2.99
The cover of The Deviant Underground is what it is, and it does have the word “deviant” in the title. However, the synopsis of the story has me thinking that this is more of some young adult urban fantasy thing, and this one belongs to a series called The Time Bandit, not The Ass Bandit. Can anyone blame me when I am taken aback by just how focused this story is on what is going into and coming out of heroine Kathryn’s downtown loft?
The Deviants here refer to X-Men-like folks with powers, although given how often these people seem to be having sex, maybe the moniker applies in more ways than one. Kathryn is one such folk, with the ability to teleport and stop time. I’m surprised the author stopped there – why not also give her the powers to fly, walk on water, and shoot laser beams of doom from her nipples? Still, she can’t control her powers so she tries to be as much of an ordinary person as possible.
When the story opens, her only BFF – the more outgoing cliché, this time called Susan – introduces her to Sam, a hot, hot, hot guy that makes steam teleport out of her tick-tock. Conveniently enough, our heroine then discovers that her boyfriend is cheating on her, so hello there, Sam. Or Charge, his nickname, because guys in romance novels are supposed to be cool. Before long, our heroine is basically writhing in desire as she moans about needing to get the slots in her timepiece plugged, whether it’s with her vibrator or with the real deal. Then there’s this creepy development of Susan taking on the form of Charge – did I mention that they are Deviants too? – to shag Kathryn while Charge watches, all done without Kathryn’s knowledge or consent. When our heroine finds out, she’s angry for a page or two, and then it’s okay, Susan can’t help herself because Kathryn’s milkshakes bring every boy, girl, and then some to her yard, so they decide to have sex, this time with Kathryn’s full consent. Why are these people being creepy and, er, deviant? Does the author want me to root for the humans that want to be rid of these idiots?
Meanwhile, there is some really lame plot about Charge eventually going MIA while meeting up with other Deviants. This aspect of the story feels like it were written just to fill up the pages with something resembling a plot, and then here comes the march of the sequel baits, and the weird sex stuff… really, the whole thing feels like one big excuse to hawk future books and get the characters to be naked as often as possible.
It’s not like the sex scenes are awesome, because the author is not aiming for erotica-tier levels of steam here. So what’s the point? This is one story that focuses a lot on the heroine being horny but doesn’t deliver in the horny horn department. It also adds in some urban fantasy tropes, but also doesn’t deliver in that department because it’s all so half-baked and silly. So, what’s the point of the whole thing? Baby’s First Naughty Read?
The Deviant Underground has a serious identity crisis issue.