Thursday, March 31, 2011

REVIEW: Fireflies by Lacey Reah

Initially, I had planned to hide away in a darkened corner, curl up with a nice glass of wine, and enjoy Fireflies in a single setting. It seemed like such a slender book, and I assumed an erotic tale about Nymphomite vampires would simply demand a quick, intense read. I couldn’t have been happier to be wrong. Fireflies is so not your typical, run-of-the-mill lesbian vampire story – for such a short read, it’s surprisingly deep, and entirely satisfying.

At its core, this is the story of three very different women. Linda is a career-driven woman, with a life that’s just a bit too perfect, who stubbornly clings to her own humanity following her transformation. Natasha is the vampire who turned her, and who laments the loss of her own humanity. Jesse is the passionate, free-spirited artist who, upon being turned by Linda, chooses to reject humanity and embrace the monster inside. Lacey clearly demonstrates that the line between humanity and monster is not as distinct as we’d like to think, and it’s in the blurring of the two that the story finds its depth.

Despite that depth, this is a very fast-paced story, full of frantic action, and sublimely erotic scenes of lesbian arousal. It’s also a story that’s often amusing, in an ironic smile kind of way, especially with Linda repeatedly wandering naked through the city. The language here is beautiful, with words selected (particularly in the more erotic scenes) to be both subtle and powerful, without being rudely explicit.

The first-person perspective of Linda adds a sense of immediacy to everything that happens, and almost demands that we exhibit the same superhuman stamina in following her from one encounter to another. This limits our experience a bit, denying us any insight into what the other characters are thinking, but it’s a narrative technique that works well here.  At times exhilarating, and at times exhausting, Fireflies is a story that engages the reader physically, emotionally, and intellectually.

Whether she chooses to revisit the fireflies and Nymphomites again, or takes her talents in a completely different direction, Lacey Reah is certainly an author to keep an eye on.

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