Monday, February 11, 2008

Bound



Bound by Amy Lane
The Third Book in the Little Goddess Series
(iUniverse.com / 0-595-42423-6 / February 2007 / 494 pages / $25.95)

Amy Lane has attained a level of success with her Little Goddess Series that few POD authors reach. She states on her website that 1100 copies of Vulnerable, her first book, have been sold. Bound is probably the best of the bunch. As with the first two Little Goddess books, the reader is required to ignore literally hundreds of typos and punctuation errors throughout the book. These have obviously not stopped Amy's horde of obsessive readers from buying her books, but a demerit is certainly in order for any author who so blatantly refuses to correctly proofread her books prior to publication. This particular issue certainly lessens the image of all POD books in the eyes of the reading public, bringing harm to all those who diligently do their editing and proofreading duties. Speaking in her favor, Amy has assured me that a professional proofreader has worked over her latest book (see link below). That said, on with the show.

Cory Kirkpatrick continues her adventures as the Queen of the Vampires who sleeps with her three boyfriends simultaneously, cusses like a sailor, and prays to The Goddess. She is just a mortal girl of twenty who was a goth-chick-loser in high school. She was just another one of those misfits lost in the ozone until the night she discovered the fact that most of the night people she met at the all-night convenience store where she worked were actually vampires, elves, and something Amy has named werekitties. Cory's life entered this brave new world in the first chapter of the first Little Goddess book, and the adventure began. Most of the magic of Bound derives from the interaction of such a lovable, wild bunch of characters. As a critic, I have always said that if an author can make me care about flawed or otherwise unappealing characters, I am usually impressed with the work. In this case, The Little Goddess series falls neatly between two of my favorite sets of characters of all time: the heterosexual, but not monogamous, young adults created by Robert Rimmer in his social science novels of The Sixties that began with The Harrad Experiment, and the more contemporary Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice.

Like the works of Rice and Rimmer, Amy Lane's books create a lovely fantasy world that is both real and unreal. The characters and storylines are made believable by the careful crafting done by the authors. In other words, the authors are really good at what they do. The supernatural, fantasy characters interact somewhat realistically with modern, human culture. Yes, Cory is married to three men, but the storyline develops in a manner in which that situation seems rational. The fictional area Ms. Lane created, which she calls Green's Hill, is unknown to the local residents, yet the setting is as real as the Sacramento and Bay Areas she describes. In Cory and Amy's world, the characters made from myth and fantasy interact with humans, yet the humans never know who or what they are dealing with from Green's Hill.

Bound and the other Little Goddess books are stuffed to the gunwales with allegory and allusion. Ms. Lane is obviously no more a fan of our country's current national, evangelical madness than I am. The reader can easily see the parallels between gay bashing, reproductive issues, and other battles with those of an authoritarian bent in Ms. Lane's entertaining plots. The creatures on Green's Hill live in a manner not unlike that of the communal hippies of The Sixties, and they have to defend their rights and abilities to do so, or face dire consequences for any lack of vigilance.

If I wanted to be brash in my analysis of Bound (and Vulnerable and Wounded) I would call The Little Goddess Series an unpopular high school girl's fantasy. There have been several other successful books and movies mining similar territory, but this series has been fully baked in its completeness of the theme. In one of my earlier reviews, I referred to Amy as a Punk Anne Rice, or something to that effect. Amy lane is a helluva writer. I'm sticking with that story.

See Also: Interview with Amy Lane
Bitter Moon I (Amy's fourth & newest book)

3 comments:

Bonnie L said...

Not fitting in doesn't mean the same thing as loser. Cory was never a loser. She didn't fit in because she wasn't willing to settle. She had a goal and was single minded in her struggle to achieve it. She was strong, intelligent and determined. She didn't become extraordinary because she met Arturo and the other residents of Green's Hill. She was always extraordinary. It just hadn't had the chance to surface. And that was why Arturo and the others were drawn to her. Big difference between dumb luck and destiny.

lgould said...

Amy,
Selling 1100 copies of a POD novel is a terrific achievement. I don't know how you find time for marketing your books between teaching, motherhood and writing, but congratulations and keep it up!

Sun Singer said...

Congrats are definitely in order for selling so many copies of a POD book. Let's hope that number keeps rising and brings some mainstream house kind of attention.

Malcolm