After spending 15 minutes trying to find a tactful way to say this, I have given up. So I'm just going to come out with it: Reading about a woman screwing a guy in the ass with a strap-on dildo is not generally my cuppa tea. That being said, if it doesn't bother you --or if it kind of floats your boat-- "Studenstein" is actually a pretty entertaining novella.
Our heroine, Shani, is a reanimated corpse who was brought back to life to be a sex-slave. She now works with others of her kind to free those still enslaved by the corporations who created them and programmed them for pleasure. As the story begins, she is on a mission to rescue Royce, a sex-bot who doesn't even realize he needs saving. Once she spirits him away, she discovers that he experiences serious pain if he can't have an orgasm every so often. Unfortunately, he can't feel his dick, so that really limits his options.
Shani is very wary of sex. In fact, she hasn't touched a man since she gained her freedom. But she is willing to strap on the, er, strap-on... to give Royce the release he needs. Frequently. The end goal is to get him to her people, who can remove the devices that allowed his creators to control him.
The novella has pretty solid world building, especially considering its length. Like I said, the female topping didn't really push my hot buttons. But I did like the dynamic between Shani and Royce. Shani is empathetic without being maudlin. And despite some of the darker themes, there are definite moments of levity. This was my favorite:
"She felt like a princess descending her throne. A zombie princess, getting ready to fuck a guy in the ass in the kingdom of a crappy motel room."
That is pretty funny.
It turns out that this is actually the second installment in a series following the undead sex-bots. But this works easily as a stand-alone. I'm kind of struggling to rate this one, but it was certainly fun to read. 4 stars.
*ARC provided by author for review
Studensteinby Daisy HarrisRelease Date: September 16, 2011Publisher: Ellora's Cave