Not too long ago… okay I’m not really good with time these days, but let’s just give it a few nondescript months ago, I read Space Junque by L.K. Rigel. Afterward, she was kind enough to give me a copy of the sequel, Spiderwork. 🙂 Okay… I admit it. I’m in love with the cover art for this. Go ahead… it’s okay to drool. Meanwhile, the blurb from Ms. Rigel’s website:
Her fate was to hold the world together. His destiny was to tear it apart.
As a child, Durga was chosen by the goddess to save the world from sterility and extinction. Now her eighteenth birthday approaches, and Durga must take her place among the chalices — women made fertile by the goddess to ensure more souls for the universe. Durga’s mission does not include love … but Khai, the scion of Luxor, is unlike any man she’s ever met.
Char Meadowlark once played a role in the goddess’s plans. Now her lover, Jake Ardri, heads an emerging city-state whose enemies covet everything Jake has built. As Jake navigates the uneasy waters of political intrigue, his very existence is threatened. To save him, Char must share him with a chalice … one trained to take him to the heights of sexual ecstasy.
In flagrante apocalypto: When the veil drops between life and oblivion, only love can save them from the abyss.
Where I would call Space Junque a science fiction space opera, Spiderwork is more of a post-apocalyptic dystopian fantasy. The earth is jacked up royally, animal products we take for granted are a rarity, and humans are a dying species. Interesting enough, much of the technology from Space Junque novel is gone… gone… gone.
This was one of those books I had mixed feeling about. A lot had to do with my belief system. You see, I’m a huge advocate for women’s sexual health and rights. Spiderwork kind of trampled all over that. Even as I type this, I know it’s a huge part of the storyline, and without this aspect of the novella much of the forward momentum would be nonexistent. Still, the idea of young women (girls, even) being exploited didn’t sit well with me. Furthermore, the thought of my lover getting it on with another… well I let’s just say it doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies.
Even so, on a cultural level, the belief system of the characters was interesting. Though I’m American, drenched in American values, I can envision that kind of behavior going on in other parts of the world and taken as normal. Yes, it rubbed me all sorts of wrong, but at the same time it was completely realistic.
Because the concepts were foreign to me, the entire book was unpredictable. 🙂 It was enjoyable to read a book and not know what to expect. I remember thinking this is not the way a romance is supposed to go. Guys and gals… this is not a romance with your happily ever after. Not a bad thing if you’re like me, a lover of realistic endings rather than the cozy everything turns out perfect ones. And I have to say, I absolutely loved this ending… enough to move on to the sequel, Bleeder.
From the rumors, I get the feeling Bleeder has a happily ever after. So perhaps the entire series will appeal to romance readers as a whole.
Other than going into culture shock, I think I would have liked if this work had a bit more meat to it. Not that the work was too short. Novellas work for me. It just would have been nice to explore each event a little more thoroughly. As it was, I felt like I was on a race to the end with each scene. I think I mentioned in the Space Junque review (see here), Ms. Rigel isn’t one to waste words. Same thing here. She has a story to tell, and she tells it… no added fluff. After some of the comments folks have made about Shadow Cat, I definitely could use some lessons from Ms. Rigel.
Well, I’m in the middle of the Maximum Ride stories by James Patterson, but Bleeder is high on my list. I’m anxious to find out who’s story is next and how this saga concludes.
Spiderwork is available at:
Or get both Space Junque & Spiderwork in a 2-pack deal at: