Genre: Adult, sci-fi, horror, erotic romanceRead an Excerpt
Reviewed by: Aimee
Source: Amazon Kindle PurchaseRating: 2 out of 5 (♥ ♥)
Her first week in L.A., she'd fallen in with a group of Goths and their middle-aged whacko leader. He told her he was a servant of Satan and gave her a mattress in his basement to sleep on. He introduced her to absinthe and bloodletting, told her that her true name was Isis, and informed her that the Devil wanted her to be the blood virgin during their rituals. Raven could even remember feeling a tremendous sense of pride and importance as she'd counted out drops of her blood into the black goblet they all drank from, all the while laughing at anyone who actually believed the Devil was real.Well, damn! I was on a roll, but I think I just hit a wall. I really hate to give negative reviews. Especially on the heels of reading, what I consider, the same author's crowning achievement. I loved The Last Hour of Gann, and I really liked Cottonwood (not as much as Gann though). But I think I really could have done without Heat. This story is definitely much more like horror than the other two books I've recently read by R. Lee Smith.
Well, here he was. The Devil's breath was on her neck. The Devil's arm was on her hip. The Devil's spunk was in her mouth, and obviously, her virginity had never been high on his list of wants.
First, I'd like to encourage any readers that have ventured into Heat and come out the other end feeling damaged, not to let this experience deter you from reading The Last Hour of Gann. Even though both books are dark and violent, they are quite different. In my opinion, Last Hour of Gann is a far greater developed story by spades in comparison to Heat. Every moment in Last Hour of Gann, from beginning to end, moves along seamlessly. There is a point to everything that happens in the story (good or bad) and all the "REALLY bad stuff", which is integral to the story, is within isolated portions of the last 30% of the novel. So unlike Heat, which literally overwhelms you with it from beginning to end.
So lets talk Heat. Kane, a psychopathic outlaw alien (Jotan), has come to earth to hunt humans so he can extrapolate dopamine from their hypothalamus and use it to create an illegal drug called Vahst. On his path of carnage and death, he acquires two females (Raven and Sue-Eye) that he inflicts all kinds of depraved cruelty upon; rape, abuse, humiliation, mind games, etc. After a while stockholm syndrome sets in and they actually desire to please him despite their fear of his cruelty.
Kane is followed to earth by another Jotan named Tagen. He is the equivalent of a police officer/bounty hunter who is sent to collect Kane from earth and send him to a Jotan prison. Tagen acquires his own human (Daria) by less forceful means and requests her help. Somewhere in the process a love connection develops between the two.
I had many issues with this book. First, I didn't care for Daria's character. I got really annoyed with her repeated, emotional breakdowns. Second, the violence, sex and mind games imposed on Kane's female victims were sickening, excessive and, for the most part, pointless. Third, the bad guy is written as a sympathetic character in a way. Even though he's massacring his way through humans with total lack of remorse, we are supposed to care about him to a degree because he develops feelings for one of his slaves (Raven). As much as a psychopathic killer can, at least. I think this disturbed me the most. Especially with all the cruel and disgusting things he ordered his slaves to do, had done to them or did himself. And last, it went on much longer than it should have; way too much unnecessary, meaningless filler.
The ending was pretty 'meh' for me as well. But I suppose it would be after bombarding the reader with so much trauma throughout the entirety of the story. As I told another reader, I think I would never have picked up The Last Hour of Gann if I had read Heat first. The funny thing is, before reading the Last Hour of Gann, I remember preparing myself for the possibility of being offended, having read all the warnings from other readers. But it is actually Heat that I wound up finding offensive. I love darkness and violence provided there is a point to it all or I can't hang. It was simply too much and definitely crossed all kinds of lines for me.
Despite all my criticism, this book did have it's moments. The author is a good storyteller and has a very creative, if not twisted, imagination. It just wasn't my cup of tea. But to each his own. You may actually love it. In any case, this book is a sadist's dream and probably best suited for those that enjoy gruesome and offensive horror.