Friday, January 6, 2012

The Soul Linked Saga

If there were a literary equivalent of the walk of shame for book reading, then this review would be me doing it.  These books are the craziest wish-fulfillment excuse for a series I have ever read.  The premise for this science fiction romance series is farcical.  The writing is mediocre.  But somehow I couldn't keep myself from reading all three.  It's my crack!  Be warned.

OK, so, here goes.

The premise is that among the thousand worlds there is a mysterious race, called the Jasani, who are born as triplets (called male-sets) and that each male-set does everything together, including sex, because they share a soul.  The Jasani are also magic-wielding shape-shifters (the first book is about the dragon-ish triplets, the second is the wolf-ish, and the third is great cat-ish).

The Jasani home world is modeled after an old west theme except on a world of lavendar skies and blue grass.  It comes complete with a horse and cattle ranch owned by the first set of triplets, and a small local town for shopping when they need the change of scenery.  Oh, and the first heroes are also the ruling royalty of the Jasani.

The women in their race died out long ago, so they have to send away for their human brides and make due with less-than-ideal matings, since only mates of their own species can perform the soul link ritual which will bind their souls together and be their perfect match.  Each males set spend his lifetime (thousands of years) celibate until they marry or find their soul mate, whom they recognize because then they scent her, their mating fangs descend.  The mating ritual involves all three biting her with their fangs while having a four-way.

You'd think it would be kinky erotica, right?  But somehow it didn't end up feeling that way.  Despite the explicit group sex scenes, it's a strangely idealistic series of books.  And actually, it's not nearly as explicit as I expected it to be.  There were several times where the author would have everyone get into position, then the sex itself would be about a sentence or two, and then we'd be onto to the happy aftermath.  And in the third book, they didn't even get to the first kiss until close to 2/3 of the way through the book.

So, OK.  So far in the first book we know the heroes are rich, chaste, honorable, slavishly-devoted, muscle-bound, near-immortal, magic-wielding, psychic high-tech, dragon-shifter, cowboy, soul mate, prince triplets.  And when they get soul linked, the women turn into Jasani, too, so they also can be near-immortal shapeshifters.  She even manages to sort-of satisfy the vampire and BDSM fetishes the with mating fangs and a little bit of light bondage/submission going on here and there.   The later books feature the head of security male set and the leaders of the military too.  No pirates, vikings, angels, demons, or kilts though.  I imagine they'll be worked in in later books somehow, since I can't imagine her missing a hero archtype altogether with the streak she has going.

The heroines are just your every day garden-variety humans (of the slightly-unpopular subtype).  Who turn out to have psychic abilities and be the culmination of a many-thousand-year prophecy.  AND the plot includes ancient racial enemies, kidnapping slavers, nanobots, espionage, a sweet country doctor, a dog-beating meanie, and shopping porn.

Shopping porn!  I didn't even knowthat there was such a thing until I was talking about the book to a friend.  You see, apparently on future-Earth, all the stores have ugly, slutty, garish clothes.  So when the heroes take the heroines shopping (to replace the clothes that were taken by the evil slaver aliens, of course), the heroines aren't expecting much.  Especially since there's only one clothing store for women in a small town.  BUT everything in that store is flattering and comfortable and sexy-but-not-slutty, and when the women try to be conservative in their spending, the men (who, of course, went along for the shopping) sneak extra things to the store owner so she can ring up a huge pile of clothes for the heroines.  And then the heroines notice, through their psychic powers, that someone/thing is being hurt, so they rush off to save them right as they're wrapping up.  Yes, this happened in each of the first two books.  The third had a slightly different scenes, however.  I think the author is growing and trying out new things.

Of course, at the then of the first two books, the women get pregnant with triplet girls who are the focus of adoration for the entire race.  The third book didn't have a pregnancy, but I figure we'll find out about it in the beginning of the fourth.  Which means, oh god, and there's another book in the series coming out soon, this time focusing on the bear-ish shifter male set (security force leaders).

I thought I'd be done after the the third book, but there's a new prophecy now saying that there are nine clans that all must be restored, so I'm thinking six more books.  Gah.  I know I'll get them all as soon as they comes out.  Gah again!

OK, read at your own risk.  The male-sets are pretty much set paper-thin set pieces, the plot has an awful lot of happy coincidences/deus ex machina, the science fiction is pretty much just futuristic fantasy, and there are cliches everywhere you look.  It's pure wish-fulfillment.  You just have to sort of roll with it.

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