Penelope Pan by K.B Plum
Cover Rating: ★★★★☆
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
My Favourite Chapter: Chapter 21
Would I recommend? ★★★☆☆
“Mobilizing these poor, wounded creatures into a willing offensive was out of the question. Yet, there was no other solution. It was either convince them to take up arms…At the same time, Penelope recognized the implausability of expecting the handicapped and elderly to overcome Hook, the Red Guards, the Sadists and no doubt every outlaw in the dome.”
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An award-winning journalist in her other life, K.B. Plum takes a wild and naughty turn to steamy satire in Penelope Pan, an irreverent take-off on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. In her first attempt at erotica, Plum ventures into heretofore forbidden territory, applying her long experience as a reporter to topics sure to titillate, amuse and horrify.
Where Peter Pan was meant to appeal to youngsters, Penelope Pan is meant to escort adults into a world of lurid sex, fantastical adventure, and outrageous comedy. The book is also a testament to how a young woman of breathtaking beauty and limitless optimism can lure to the surface the “little boy living inside the grown man.” True, Penelope’s methods are anything but PG rated.
She is, after all, operating in Netherland, a universe both dark and magical, a place where rabbits ride bicycles on silver tightropes and a murderous pirate, Simon Hook, is legendary for stripping men of their testicles. Central to the story is Hook’s Blood Sun Extravaganza, an Olympics of Erotica that features acts in which virgins are deflowered, slaves indulge in sexual domination, and sadists lay the groundwork for the intimate pairing of a handicapped man and woman.
Add to all the licentiousness and ribald comedy, a writer/hero taken captive by Hook and made to suffer all manner of physical abuse while at the same time acquiring sexual fulfillment from his Goddess of Inspiration, a succulent maiden able to trigger his orgasms via titillating imagery she speaks from afar. There are as well, fairies, horny pirates, gay exhibitionists, torture devices, rabid pit bulls, and a grizzly let loose on a damsel chained to a Witch’s Cradle.
What does it all lead up to? The resurrection of a whole man and the reality of a woman most men can only dream about.
Strong adult content includes feminine domination and male submission, oral sex, anal sex, intercourse, animal husbandry, homosexuality, bondage, masturbation, audience sex, kinky relationships, whippings, torture, sadism, and Erotic Stage Productions.
I have so much to say about this book, and I don’t really know where to begin. Firstly, I’ll start by saying that I really didn’t know what to expect when reading this book, and when I got started it was so far beyond anything I may have thought. This is certainly a book that can be ‘read’ in many different ways, and for me, beyond the sex and the grown-up fairytale elements; I couldn’t help but be slapped in the face about how the two main focuses appeared to be the sexual pleasure of the men within the book, and the disgusting treatment of women in order to appease said pleasures.
I could write an essay on this book, and how poignant the character of Penelope is, but this is a review and not an analysis so perhaps I’ll save that for something different.
The only thing I could relate this to (and even then- at a push) is ‘Perfume’ by Patrick Süskind. If you know the book, then you’ll understand what I mean about the tone of the book, and the behaviour being presented as ordinary. This same tone is found within ‘Penelope Pan,’ and it makes for an uneasy read. I love an uneasy read, personally.
I don’t know if I was expecting a book that’s simply put a naughty twist on Peter Pan, but that isn’t what this is. (Which I’m glad for, I’ve avoided the 50 shades hype for a reason.)
There’s so much substance to this book, whether this is on purpose or not I don’t know; and it really doesn’t matter. It’s incredibly well-written, the story-line is well thought out and I couldn’t put the book down because I just needed to know how it ended.
I don’t know if ‘pleasantly surprised’ is the right phrase to use, because the book is far from pleasant. I thoroughly enjoyed, and it’s not very often that a writer can balance out darkness with reasons as well as Plum has with this.
I remain slightly torn on my overall opinion, and this is mostly because I’m still not quite sure what the intention of the book is. Ordinarily, this doesn’t matter, but it sits uneasy with me that I’m still unsure. I’m not too sure who the audience would be for this book, and that ties in with my original point. It is published as Erotic Fiction, but that’s not how I read it. That’s a good thing, in the sense that it contains that substance that it can be read in a different way. However, it does make recommending it to people a little hard. I can think of only one person who will enjoy this, perhaps. I will be passing it on to her so I can get her opinion too.
It’s by no means an easy read, and there should be some sort of ‘disturbing content’ warning. Having said that, I enjoyed it. And I don’t know what that says about me.
* Book was sent for free in exchange for an honest review.