In celebration of Ray Garton's Serpent Girl being re-release as an e-book I've resurrected a review I wrote on my MySpace page (remember that place?) a few years back:
Ray Garton's more-sex-then-I have-ever-read-in-about-one-hundred-fifty-pages Serpent Girl (2008, Cemetery Dance Publications, ISBN 1-58767-144-1...and now an e-book from RGB Publishing released on August 15, 2012 available here) has a lot of sex in it. Ha ha ha. This was my first Ray Garton book. At one time in the book he mentions "lot lizards" which is also the name of a previous book that he wrote. I don't know if his books interconnect, but that was probably a wink to his fans.
Serpent Girl is a great character study of two strangers that meet under mostly-ordinary circumstances. In between and during their sex we actually get to see these characters develop a relationship and discover more about each other. This book succeeded in disgusting me at one point, and it was supposed to do that. Could it do without the sex? Um, not really. It was a pretty integral part of the book. You could say that one wouldn't understand the complexity of the character's relationship without the sex.
Complaints… um, too much sex? No, that couldn't be. This is not really a horror story, but there is some really messed-up stuff that really succeeds in disturbing you. Especially one scene toward the end that made me go through a few emotions including, but not limited to: mad, sad, upset, disturbed, a bit of "Goddammit, why?!," and eventually total disgust. Which I believe is EXACTLY what Mr. Garton wanted me to feel so he could bring the tale to its eventual and, in my opinion, correct conclusion.
Mr. Garton actually makes you feel a lot of emotions for his two main misfit characters, and then he screws with your emotions a bit. At least that is what he succeeded in doing to me. I read this book with swift enjoyment through to its riveting conclusion in one sitting. I was even inspired to write a quick review on Cemetery Dance's website (which was removed when they revamped their website a few months back).
Oh, and while reading this book, my wife asked if it was "part 2" to Kealan Patrick Burke's The Turtle Boy that she saw me reading the day before (and had to listen to me rave and praise for about 3 hours), and I can see where she was coming from, the title "Turtle Boy" is pretty close to "Serpent Girl." "No, honey, not even close," was all I could say back (because I was, of course, in the middle of one of the sex scenes, ha ha ha).
One more thing: To Mr. Garton, Bravo on keeping your sex safe (well, relatively safe). Condoms were almost a supporting character in this book. Quite a surprise considering that is something most authors that utilize sex scenes wouldn't touch because of the "lack-of-romance" aspect. Mr. Garton was able to prove that a condom didn't make things any less hardcore.
Oh, and this book would be rated X or XXX if it was a movie. Keep it away from children and small animals.
Feel free to pick up the eBook if you missed the hardcover limited edition. At about $2.99, it is a lot cheaper for those who just want to read Mr. Garton's work and not collect it. I still see used hardcover signed limited editions of Serpent Girl going for about $30 (and even sometimes slightly less) right now for those that want a physical book.
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