Acquainted With the Night by Lesli Richardson
This book was a bit of a mind-f***. And I’m super conflicted as to whether it’s brilliant or just seedy. What I am sure about, though, is that it’s not for everyone.
Because it’s basically gay, alien porn, and yet, it’s… not. Sure, there’s more or less non-stop boning throughout the book but it’s also kind of sweet. And I cried rivers at the end. So you see, tricky.
Synopsis: Dale was drafted to fight in the war against the alien Algonquans. When he’s captured he has no idea what to expect. However, he soon realize that nothing that the Earth government has told him about the Algonquans are true. Dale becomes a pampered pet along with another human. But human pets are also used as sex toys and for breeding purposes. And the straight Dale soon decides it’s actually pretty neat getting plowed by an alien.
Yes, there’s pretty much someone being dicked out on every page. But the sheer amount of it, and the way it’s described, makes it less sexual in a sense. In this story, the sex is just a way of life. It’s a society where sexual acts are viewed in a completely different light and which allows for the human pets to lead the ultimate hedonistic existence. Instant gratification, always. No responsibilities and – in theory – no worries. Laze around in the sun, have an orgy with your fellow pets, get railed by a huge alien, take a nap.
I think my main objection to this story is that Richardson perhaps took the pet analogy a bit too far (the story was inspired by her own fur-babies according to the author’s own note in the end). But humans have inquisitive minds after all, and they absolutely require some kind of (non-sexual) activity and challenge. Orgasmic bliss is nice and all, but that the guys just seemed to lie around on pillows between the sexytimes felt like a pretty boring existence yet they were depicted as utterly content.
This story spans Dales life, from his abduction to his death. And it’s in fact a very sweet poly read. The amount of shagging gets a bit boring sometimes, but it’s totally worth hanging in there. The ending is beautiful and sad, and it made me really think about the fragility of life and my appreciation of my own loved ones.
In summary. This is a weird, interesting and excessively porn-y book. Pretty great actually. 4 stars.