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Jacqueline Carey
Into the Closet: Cross-Dressing and the Gendered Body in Childrens Literature and Film (Children's Literature and Culture)
Victoria Flanagan
An Uncommon Whore (An Uncommon Whore, #1) - Belinda McBride A slave with no memory, Pasha knows only how to follow. However, a fortuitous meeting with a man who knows his past leads Pasha to learn he is a king and that he is destined to lead.

An Uncommon Whore is written in the first person, from the view point of Pasha, or Helios as he becomes known. Sometimes, erotica written in the first person really, really doesn't work, but, fortunately, this is not one of those cases. From the first page, Pasha's voice is strong, unique and believable. It is a voice where I could only see the character and not the author's guiding hand, which is an achievement in and of itself.

What makes Pasha/Helios most interesting, however, is his memory loss. This impacts on the narrative as he must learn as we learn, and his self-doubts and insecurities permeate the text. I really admire how Belinda McBride handled this memory loss, and the subsequent memory regain. Pasha/Helios did not regain all of his memories, and he doesn't regain those he does have all in one go. The process is long, exhausting and painful. At times, you don't even want him to regain his memories, but to remain blissfully ignorant forever. Out of all the things I like about this book, the way McBride handled this amnesia is my favourite.

It is not just Pasha/Helios who is an interesting character. The rest of the cast are three-dimensional solid characters who, through Pasha's eyes, we learn about and form opinions on them. I was unsure about the character of Griffin to begin with, in most part due to the eyepatch he wears. I thought it might just be something added to make him seem 'cool', but, thankfully, I was proven wrong. It was a physical mark of a much deeper scar. Many authors, when they give their characters trauma in the past, forget to think about how it impacts on their future. This is not the case in An Uncommon Whore.

The only thing bad about this book is that it is over too quickly. I feel as though everything was tied up too quickly and neatly at the end of the novel (though this is promising to shatter in the sequel). The worst thing about the book being over too quickly was that I felt as though I was being rushed through the book by the author, and not just lead through. I wanted to see more of the build up of Griffin and Pasha/Helios's relationship, more of the slavery, more of, well... everything.

I would still recommend this book, however, especially to readers looking for a quick, gritty dose of sci-fi erotica. :)