Saturday, September 29, 2012

E-Reading: Book Review of #1 Savage Ecstasy by Janelle Taylor

Name of Book: Savage Ecstasy

Author: Janelle Taylor

ISBN: 9780821754535

Publisher: Zebra books

Part of a Series: Gray Eagle series

Type of book: 1776, inaccurate, cliffhanger, Native American male/English female, way of life, stereotypical, ultimate alpha male, romance, adult, savage, missing right and left hemispheres of the brain, animalistic

Year it was published: 1981

Summary:

It was like lightning striking, the first time they looked into each other's eyes: Gray Eagle, the captured Indian brave, and Alisha, the beautiful young settler. As the proud Oglala warrior was being tortured by his white captors, only Alisha seemed to notice that he was a human being-handsome and strong, and one who took her breath away.

Characters:

The only character that I did like for some odd reason was the half Native American-half white one. I personally wanted to kill both Alisha and Gray Eagle for their ridiculousness. Alisa is the epitome of being ridiculous; she's giving, warm, receptive and helpful. (If you forget that, don't worry, in every other page the men will remind you how she's like a helpless doe and they want to either protect her or ravish her or both.) She laughs at squirrels, runs with butterflies, has a mindset of a 21st century woman rather than someone who was truly born in 1700s. She also flies over rainbows on her unicorn...oh wait, the unicorn part doesn't happen. Gray Eagle is polar opposite to everything Alisha is. He upholds honor and pride above everything else, he's not patient (Ms. Taylor, if you show him at more impatient and violent stages rather than at calm, I do wonder how leadership and everything else is won by him.) He reminds me of a violent animal that doesn't think but constantly acts and goes crazy. He's also crazy and never takes anyone's advice, not even his best friend's.

Theme:

(sarcasm:) Through violence and rapes you can fall in love. Yay for Twilight and Fifty Shades of Gray!

Plot:

For some odd reason I thought at first this had Mystery of Udolpho feel to it, but then it quickly wore off. (Mystery of Udolpho was written in 1790s...) I think its because of nature and the helpless female idea is where it came from. Mysteries of Udolpho never had me frustrated and irritated with the characters, and the good male characters never did anything horrible to Emily and always tried to help her. The hero, Valancourt, really seemed right for the heroine for both traveled and there was love and affection from both sides. I never once skipped paragraphs but read this book completely through. This book, even writing wise, was a nightmare to read through. The chapters were way too long (on my e-reader they would be about 40-50 pages long, and I can't leave a chapter unfinished.) There is also pointless background details about characters that die off very soon, and too much back story is revealed; I also wished that the reasons for punishments and whatnot would have been revealed with Gray Eagle instead of by a character at the very end of the novel. As if that's not enough, there are constant sometimes mid-paragraph switches of points of views by different characters. You have Alisha's thoughts then all of a sudden the author would jump to Gray Eagle or White Arrow or to another character about how delicate and frail Alisha is and how much they love her. I can't believe I'll say this, but reading this book is even worse than reading Twilight. Its not a pleasant reading experience and if there's an enemy or someone you hate, giving this book as a gift will be the perfect revenge.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born
June 28, 1944 in Athens, Georgia, The United States

gender
female

website
http://www.janelletaylor.com/


About this author

The legendary Janelle Taylor was born on June 28, 1944 in Athens, GA. In 1965, she married Michael Taylor with whom she had two children, Angela Taylor-MacIntyre and Alisha Taylor Thurmond. Ms. Taylor attended the Medical College of Georgia from 1977 to 1979 and Augusta State University from 1980-1981. She withdrew from the latter after she sold her first two novels. Today, she is the author of thirty-nine novels, three novellas, and many contributions to other collections. There are thirty-nine million copies of her works in print worldwide and she has made The New York Times Bestseller List eight times. Ms. Taylor's works have also been featured ten times on the "1 million +" bestseller's list at Publisher's Weekly.

Some of Ms. Taylor's most recent books include By Candlelight, Someday Soon, Lakota Dawn, and Lakota Winds (due out in paperback in May 1999). She has also made contributions to other books including The Leukemia Society Cookbook, Christmas Rendezvous, and Summer Love. In addition, readers can see her as co-host of the QVC/TV Romance Book Club Show.

Ms. Taylor's interests include collecting spoons, coins from around the world, ship models, dolls, and old books. She loves to fish, ride horses, play chess, target-shoot, travel (especially in her motorhome and out West), hunt for Indian relics, and take long walks with her husband. Reading, in particular books set before 1900 and current Biographies, Thrillers, Horror, or Fantasy novels, is also one of Ms. Taylor's favorite activities. She is also extremely active with charity work and was even featured on the cover of Diabetes Forecast in February of 1998.

She lives in the country on seventy-nine acres of woods and pasture with a lake and a catfish pond. She writes her novels in a Spanish cottage which overlooks a five-acre lake, a working water mill, gazebo, and covered bridge.

Opinion:

How in Nine Hells did this book get published?! I doubt I have enough time to describe how brain numbing and ridiculous it became! Somehow it should be relegated to a different genre of romance because it's not that even. It ends with a cliffhanger; the hero continuously creates punishments and refuses to give reasons for them; he forces the heroine to sleep with him, and it was neither loving nor gentle; he breaks her hands, her whips her, he cracks her knuckles, in order to win her over he asks his friend to "pretend" to want to rape her! What a great hero we have in that book! All that time he wonders why she doesn't have any affection for him. Gee, I don't know, could it be because you continuously raped her and came up with weird punishments for her? The hero seems to lack a normal human brain and instead the part that's left is very animal. The heroine herself drove me nuts; everybody fell in love with her; she was kissed and almost raped multiple times; she wasn't unrealistic; (in my mind I kept picturing a woman with triple d breasts that swing back and forth like pendulous bells across her stomach, don't know why.) she's also an orphan and a ridiculously giving soul. Also, she somehow fell in love with the man who inflicted such savage brutality on her. (I guess if I hated this type of book that much, I should really stay away from Fifty Shades of Grey...) This is just the tip of the iceberg, by the way. Historically the book wasn't accurate, it also had racist language in it: the Native American men were constantly called braves, and whites constantly called them Injuns. I think the author wrote this more for the shock value rather than education. As far as I know, showering or bathing wasn't popular in 1600s, and I doubt that in 1776 bathing and showering was very popular, and excuse me, a shampoo? They had shampoos back then?! (I googled and let's say earliest was 1904!) Wasn't there also an American Revolution going on, which began in 1775? I would think that earliest pioneering was in late 1700s, maybe closer to 1800s, instead of at the time of troubles with England and colonies! Also, she is English! Isn't the author aware of the animosity between the French and English? Why would an Englishwoman newly arrived to the colonies bother begging help from the French? English kept themselves separate from the Indians; the French on the hand tried to fit in with the land while English imposed their will on everything! Please do some research Ms. Taylor! Again, this is the tip of the iceberg of what I found wrong with the book. I don't know much about lifestyles of the Native American tribes, but I doubt that they'd be so disrespectful towards women the way that Satan-err I mean Gray Eagle is. I thought in a Native American culture the woman rules the home and so forth instead of the men. Weren't women accorded more respect in Native American culture rather than European cultures at the time? The author has done a great disservice by writing and publishing such a travesty of the novel. She has stereotyped and placed Native American men in a bad light; she is not historically accurate even about the simplest things that you could learn in elementary school! And she gives men as well as women a horrible image and reinforces the idea that you could find "true" love through violence and rape.

0 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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