Please see here for an explanation of how this post will work. I will post on twitter when I start/stop reading, and update the post as I add to it.
Going into this book, I know next to nothing about the plot, but do know that there is a Word of God aro ace character in it. I interact with Ana regularly on Twitter, and xie gave me a review copy of both Poison Kiss and the sequel.
Spoilers are likely to follow.
EDIT: Warning for discussing and quoting acephobic and arophobic content.
Start: January 7, 2017, 7:35 PM EST
This is starting out way more abuse and violence heavy than I expected. Not that I really knew what to expect.
Rose goes from “escape is impossible” to “let’s escape tonight!” remarkably quickly.
This book is very obsessed with kissing so far. I mean, I should have gotten that from the title, but it’s a bit off putting to me so far. I get that her kiss kills, but everyone seems to be described in relation to kissing.
I’m pretty sure that Athena is supposed to be the aro ace character. “Determinedly abrasive” is not a good start as a description.
If I was not reading this to review, I probably would have stopped by now. This book is more centred on sex and sexual attraction than I am comfortable with.
This book really does not want to let the reader forget about sexual attraction and/or kissing for a moment.
Athena (aro ace character?) is being presented as completely unlikable, and I haven’t even met her yet.
Athena is moody, sulky, uncooperative, petulant.
So far I only know she’s the aro ace character because I looked up who it was before I started.
Oh yay, she’s also being described as a bully. *headdesk*
Is there anything redeeming about her character?
She’s shown as unsympathetic and lacking empathy.
She’s also using so much innuendo that I can notice. Which some aces do, but this doesn’t feel realistic.
This book seems to waste absolutely no opportunities to remind us of how unfriendly/anti-social Athena is.
It also wastes no opportunities to remind us of sexual attraction and sex. I am clearly not the intended audience for this book.
“But the community is helpful for those of us who can’t make human connections.”
It is strongly being implied here that her inability to kiss people is that inability. I really wasn’t expecting dehumanization in this book.
This scene seems very convinced that you can’t have a romantic relationship without kisses/intimacy.
It’s also clearly prioritizes romantic relationships with a sexual component over any other kind of relationship.
Oh, and now we have magical lust invoking powers. Argh.
I really dislike love/lust magic, because it rarely leaves room in it for aro or ace people.
Oh, now we have a “live life fully” quote associated with being able to kiss people. (Yes, I am giving this book zero leniency now.)
And once again the book reminds us that spending time with Athena is considered a sacrifice because she’s so unfriendly.
Ok, this lust magic is better than the usual kind, since it accounts for not overriding people’s sexual orientation.
That sex scene was way more explicit than anything I can cope with. Skimmed/skipped most of it.
Completed: January 8, 2017 1:32 am