Thursday, 2 February 2012

Goddess of the Sea, P. C. Cast

^^ Doesn't exactly scream mermaids, does it?
This is one of a series of books. All entitled Goddess of the... (insert theme of novel here). I have no idea where this is in numerical order within the series or how much overlap there is between this and other books in the series, but from what I have guesstimated from this one, they can easily be read as stand alone books, and the series is just linked by a general goddess theme. Anyway, I read the back, went "ooh, mermaids", and that was my highly selective, erm, selection process.

So I'm reading it, and it's a bit naff- the first few chapters all seem to be really obvious staging for stuff to happen. Writing it must have been like, "right, I need her to be on a plane, so let's make her in the air force, and just for shits and giggles, let's make her afraid of flying. And for extra kicks, let's make her name C.C., because using your initials as a nickname, as well as being called Christine, is going to make it even more complicated when the body switching and third name, Undine, is brought in.
Let me just say that, for me at least, its hard to identify with a character when you doubt the wisdom behind both her name and career choice. So the first few chapters are all set up, so it all feels kinda forced, but slow at the same time. I make no sense.... erm, there's as much information as possible piled in to make you feel like you know C.C, but it ends up feeling rushed.

Poor lonely C.C. is alone and drunk on her birthday and, talking to herself, decides to invoke a prayer to Gaia the mother goddess to make her life more magically magical. She just happens to have a textbook detailing the required ritual because of all the community college courses she has done (more odd and overly convenient set up info). Ritual complete, the next day stuff does indeed get all magically and whatnot. Men find her irresistible, and she doesn't get into a death-trap lift that would have killed her. So then she's on a plane, buff potential love-interest enters the scene, plane crashes and love interest dies! and Then C.C is in the water, and there's a mermaid who casually turns up and arranges some casual body/universe switching and only then do we get to the main part of the plot.

So now C.C is in super sexy mermaid Undine's body, which Gaia, Undine's mummy dearest, explains nicely, and then enter two potential love interests, and a creepy incestuous half brother baddie, and some casual magical body changing, and by this point I'm overwhelmed and confused as to how much body switching should be allowed in one book.  But once the love interests are added, and inner conflict of what-you-thought-you-wanted and what-you-now-want clashing, P.C Cast finally hits a stride and it gets much better.

This is how I imagine mer-people, not mer-men with orange schlongs
The sex scenes are, erm, original? There's kinda varying levels of quality in the sex scenes, and there are some ideas that Cast has come up with that make it... erm, unusual? How about a scaly orange manhood (hehe, my favourite cliched over-used Sexual word)? Thats pretty unusual. But I suppose being a merman is also quite unusual. But it works, somehow.... Theoretically, it really shouldn't, but it does.




One thing that really bugged me all through the book was the dynamic between C.C and some of the other female characters she meets after her body swap. It was like her personality altered between her three bodies, and there was suddenly this desire for female acceptance that P.C Cast hadn't shown in C.C's earlier contrived set-up/introduction. Plus, I think the way in which they do a total 180 on their opinion of C.C is a bit forced, as did the wonderfully patronising "us girls should stick together" spiel. Although, the way that this is written does improve a bit too.
Overall, I'm just glad it got better after the body swap, and, by the end, I felt alot more invested in what happened, and felt that some of the previously 2D characters had become a bit more well-rounded by the end. It did feel at times like P.C Cast was playing with puppets rather than writing real characters.. *puts on evil voice/laugh* "Dance for me, my pretties", but at least it wasn't all the time! If the last 1/3 was a 7, and the first 1/3 was a 4, then maybe overall it was a 6?

Yes, 6 Giant scaley orange mer-penises!