BDSM Reviews

Friday, December 15, 2006

Eternal Bonds: An Erotic Anthology

Reviewed by Elise Logan
Title: Eternal Bonds
Authors: Lauren Mills, Rachel McIntyre, Amber Hipple, K.M. Hoover, jules, Ann Cory, D.L. King, Erich Mass, Danae Klimt, Destiny West, Pat Harvey, Edwin Morrow, and Jude Mason
Publisher: Logical-Lust Publications
ISBN: 1-905091-07-9
Genre: BDSM erotic fiction
Publication Date: 2005
Rating: 3.5 of 5

This anthology contains fourteen short stories with a strong BDSM theme. As with all anthologies, some offerings are much stronger than others. Of course, the main benefit to an anthology of this type is that all the stories are BDSM themed, and there is something for nearly everyone.

The strongest pieces of the anthology were, in my opinion, the stories by Harvey, Klimt, and the two pieces by Morrow. The Harvey piece was very hot and extremely engaging. The internal dialogue allowed by the first person narrator made this piece work – without it, the piece would have fallen flat. It is one of the few pieces I would say absolutely needed to be in first person, and the author does it well. The Klimt piece was beautiful in concept and execution, with somewhat florid and formal prose that was completely keeping with the theme of the piece. The two Morrow pieces are connected (I must admit to wondering why they were split into two stories), and are a rare example of both well-done sub perspective and well-done Dom perspective. As an added bonus, there is some nice Japanese rope bondage in these pieces, and the ending to the second story is very clever.

There were a number of good pieces with some weaknesses. The Mills piece was hot, but the Dom wasn’t terribly convincing to me. There were also some prose issues – switching points of view and some dialogue issues – that pulled me out of the story. The McIntyre piece is nice, with very hot scenes, but the ending seemed a bit abrupt to me. The Hipple piece was a lovely – really good – thought piece inside subspace for a bit more hard core sub. There was a bit of topping from the bottom in this piece, and it wasn’t so much hot as interesting. The piece by jules is not so much sexy as sweet, and some editing issues pulled me out of the piece. The King piece is a nice Domme piece, but the weird history bits distract from the main story – I really did not need to hear about her mother. Also, the disconnect between the expectations of the sub and the intentions of the Domme are a little sad. The Hoover piece was jumpy, and could have used more dialogue rather than narrative. The lack of world-building in this piece bothered me some, but there was a completely hot scene that made up for some of the weakness of the story. The Mass piece had a nice bit of history and was an interesting story, but the characters just didn’t come alive for me, and the lack of sympathy/empathy for any characters snapped the tension of the story for me.

The weakest offerings in this anthology, in my opinion, were the pieces by Cory, West, and Mason. The Cory piece is rife with euphemisms, odd sentence structure, and strange punctuation, all of which pulled me out of the scenes. Additionally, there is a large amount of topping from the bottom, and the use of the term slave here is odd, as she is clearly not only not a slave, and does not seem to even be truly submissive. The Mason piece is an interesting idea, but the execution goes awry. The action moves back and forth in real-time and some kind of fugue state (not subspace – a true alternate reality) for the sub, which is disconcerting, especially when the author starts adding flashbacks to past lives and tosses in vampirism to boot. Additionally, my willing suspension of disbelief only extends so far, and this story moved right out of bounds for what I am willing to believe as even fantasy realistic. Finally, the West story is the weakest offering of the entire anthology. Not only does the author revert to a cop-out stereotype by equating the Domme with Satanism, but the use of the second person point of view here is a poor choice – especially given the use of Satanism in the story. Frankly, the use of second person here is probably what killed the story for me, because there was no way I was identifying with the role assigned to me as the reader.

I would recommend this anthology for people looking for a lot of variety. There is a lot from which to choose, and most of it is good.

Posted by Elise Logan :: 6:04 AM :: 0 Comments:

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