Raven’s March Indie eBook Review: The Life of Pie (& I Haz Planz – wc 08/05)


the life of pie cover picture

Credit: Susan Wandlass

Author: Susan Wandlass
Title: The Life Of Pie
Genre: Adult
Words: 23,610
ISBN: 9781310854392
‘From a young age, Polly Pighton knew she was no ordinary girl. Bullied at school, despised by her mother and picked on by teachers, hers was not a pleasant childhood. By the age of nine, Polly’s midrift had started to grow alarmingly outwards as she ate her way towards her High School years like a pacman on amphetamines. The chocolate bar in her lunchbox rarely made it to the school gates before she had shovelled it down like a starving seagull, her greedy fat fingers stained brown until break-time.
Entry into High School was never going to be easy for a hundred pound twelve-year old with acne and a face like a burst sofa and it wasn’t long before the spiteful nicknames came showering in Polly’s direction. As with most mud that is thrown from a great height, immediately some of it stuck – although it blended in quite well with the chocolate stains – as Polly Pighton’s new name clung to her like cake to a blanket.’


Cover:

Two-Flame-Rating

A bit jumbled up for me. I liked the text and the colours, but there seemed to be just a little bit too much going on for me. I think simply the pie would have been plenty to give over the sort of story we were looking at and what to expect when turning the pages, however the image of the woman feels a bit clichéd to me, and I’ve no idea what the male in the picture is holding. Unfortunately, that is somewhat distracting.

Story:

Three-Flame-Rating

I’m not sure how to do this without giving too many spoilers so I’ll do my best.
After leaving a detention centre (essentially) for young offenders, Pie moves away from her home town and opens up a ‘made to order’ pie shop. She buys her own ingredients, makes every pie from scratch and makes a far bit of money doing so via her website.
She arouses the suspicions of detective Harry Radley who visits her house on a lead regarding a missing person he’s searching for. Taking a shine to him, Pie invites him back to her home and makes attempts to seduce him.

The story had an edge of Stephen King’s Misery to it. But with sex. Lots of sex. Ish.

Pie continues making her pies, messing with the detective while coming closer and closer to the big climax (pun intended) at the end of the book.

Some aspects of the tale I really liked. Others made me cringe because they just weren’t to my taste. And that is the long and short of it. I think, if you like the sort of perversions (for want of a better word) that Pie displays, then this book is right up your alley. If not, then you are likely to be uncomfortable, grossed out, and put off sex for a couple of days. Or maybe that’s just me… I don’t know.

Characters:

Three-and-a-half-flame-rati

Pie. In that opening chapter I had no idea what to expect from her and when I reached its end I had to switch off my Kindle for a day. I just… I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep reading.
But as the story progressed and I learned more and more about her (though not quite enough for my liking) I found myself not disliking her, but accepting that I didn’t like her. Does that make sense? I actually think that’s a very difficult thing to do and I have to admit that it was very well done.

Detective Radley seemed a little flat to me, compared to Pie, but some of his dialogue was excellent. I just wish he’d put up more of a fight though. I can’t quite reconcile the way he gives up with the fact that he’s supposed to be a hard core copper. Surely he’d do a little bit more?

Detective Laura (I must have missed her surname) was somewhere between the pair. She had some life to her, but some of her reactions weren’t always credible. And I found myself struggling to believe some of the things she does, particularly where Pie is directly involved. A woman scorned should have more punch to her, in my humble opinion.

Overall experience:

One-Flame-Rating

While not to my taste, I appreciate the sheer maniacal finesse with which Pie conducts herself. The book is written well enough and the formatting was clean. The story was also a good length; going on just long enough to be interesting without tipping over the edge into far, far too much. 🙂

However I must add, particularly with the issue being such a major talking point at the moment; rape is not cool.
It’s just not.
Yes, it can be a valuable tool in terms of telling a story, showing different facets of a character and giving people that chill factor, but in a book that’s classed as ‘erotic’ or ‘BDSM’ it doesn’t work. At least not in this particular tale. The (repeated) rape(s) are gratuitous and for kicks and there is no come back for the perpetrator. The fact that it’s a less than conventional rape makes no difference.

In addition; I resent the labelling of this piece. Personally, I don’t think there is anything in this book that can be called BDSM. There’s plenty of violence and domineering sexual acts, but it takes more than that for something to be classed as BDSM; there is a relationship and trust and boundaries. This book had none of that, which leads back to the point above.
So… while I did get a book with plenty of erotic bits to it, I feel somewhat mislead. Which is probably why the book shocked me as much as it did. And, unfortunately, this brings my overall experience down by a significant amount.

Final score:

Two-and-a-half-flame-rating

Final score 2.37… two and a half fireballs. I didn’t expect it to come out quite that high, but that’s why I look at all the different aspects of the books I review as stand alone pieces before putting together scores.
No, I won’t read this book again because it’s not to my taste. However as I said above, there are elements I enjoyed and I know full well there are others who would enjoy the piece despite what I think. From the reviews on Smashwords plenty of other people have enjoyed it.

Why don’t you give it a read? Let me know what you think?


Right. Moving on.
Goals.

I took it easy last week and will continue to do so. Today is my (Da Shared Brain’s) birthday, so I have lots of fun things plan. And, on Saturday, I’ll be spending the evening with buddies in a pub with booze, food and games. Woohoo!

Last Week

Read through notes received from betas regarding Slippers & Chains. Don’t work them yet… just allow the comments to simmer.
Yup. Done. Not as many full sets as I’d like, but, frankly put, too many beta readers actually makes the job harder. It’s a delicate balance and I’m glad I gave people a relatively short time frame, or else the comments would have had too much depth to them. Now I’m just going to let them sit in my mind for a bit and add in a goal about it next week.

Decide on my next steps regarding the Meeting Each Other series (the last three books, print versions, extras, etc etc…)
I actually forgot about this. So no. Oh well. Maybe this week.

Write up my last book review. I’m sure there’s at least one I haven’t done yet…. And since it’s now May and my last posted review was March (February? …no March) I have some catching up to do.
See above. 😉

This Week

  1. Decide on my next steps regarding the Meeting Each Other series (the last three books, print versions, extras, etc etc…). Let’s try that again, shall we?

  2. Continue writing new short story for open erotica anthology. Yes… I’m mad, I started something new. But it’s only 3k words, so it’s within my capabilities to draft in the next seven days. I have the outline done.

  3. Close ‘Smut With Brains’ poll. Oooh yes. ^_^ Those of you on my mailing list have had plenty of time to choose which of the two designs you prefer for the logo. I’ll get those votes collated and then prepare the next update to go out to that list. After that you fine blog readers will get to see. Remember… if you want to see/hear/read things before they get to the blog, join my mailing list to get the monthly newsletter.

  4. Enjoy my birthday. Yeah… that’s kinda important. ^_^

  5. That’s it for now. Catch you on Saturday!

    Raven's Signature In Black

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About Raven ShadowHawk

I take great pleasure in writing erotica and am merely one side of the proverbial coin. My other half, 'Ileandra Young' writes fantasy and the occasional comedy piece. My six-part series 'Meeting Each Other' is available in full, through Amazon and Smashwords while my debut novella 'Sugar Dust' is now re-released (!) available through Amazon via Little Vamp Press.
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