Eclectic, cross-genre mood reader (but of late, mostly erotica, romance & para/UF—including m/m & ménage). At times, the realities of life & work tend to dictate how UNreal a world I choose for an escape.
Fair warning: I may walk like a lady but I cuss like a salty sailor. ^.~
NB: Review originally posted on GR @ Fall 2012. Minor edits/clean-up after import to BL.
NB: This is a dark epic fantasy + paranormal. 220,735 words @ 300/pg = nearly 736 pages.
Simply put, BLOODRAVEN is one of the most riveting books I've read in a long, long time (1st read @ Jan 2009), and it came to me out of the blue. Having second thoughts after buying it, my friend asked me to "test" it first. At the time, P.L. Nunn was completely unknown to me but my friend described the book as a LOTR-type epic fantasy involving ogres and fey. (Yeah, he forgot to mention the graphic aspects of the book, as well as the M/M relationship.) After multiple re-reads, my only major complaint remains the same: the ending begs for a sequel. Hell, I'm begging for a sequel, even after all these years.
Reviews already discussed the plot, characters, and the graphic nature of this book so I'll just lay out my reading experience. I didn't look up the book so I blindly stepped into the unfamiliar realm of M/M, graphic violence and torture (including rape), and other firsts... and immediately fell into the abyss of Nunn's incredible world. Within a few pages, I'm mumbling holy sh*t and reaching for my drink and then a non-existent cigarette, as I proceeded to literally devour the pages until I fell asleep. Woke up the next morning, made coffee, and promptly hid until I finished the book.
BLOODRAVEN is a throwback to the old days of books; at 600+ ebook pages, it's hefty and meaty. But Nunn's vivid narrative, a potpourri of multi-layered characters, and near effortless storytelling combined to achieve that rare occurrence—transporting a reader into the story. I was too busy journeying with Yhalen and Bloodraven (and squirming a bit uneasily at times) to notice the rapidly passing pages and hours until I finally reached the end and sat back exhausted.
Did I have a few "whaaa?" and "nooooo" moments? Yeah. So my advice to future readers: If you're squeamish and/or have an inviolable comfort zone, this book may not be for you (yet). If you've never read M/M before, this book may not be the one to pop your cherry. (But then again, if you're familiar with present-day erotica... although I have a hard time considering this book as erotica per se, even though the sex scenes are erotic, helping to make BLOODRAVEN one of my personal best enemies-to-lovers stories). Also, BLOODRAVEN could seriously spoil you vis à vis other dark/erotic fantasy books, even Nunn's other works.
If you do decide to try this book, plan accordingly. Don't start it on a weeknight; you may not get much sleep. Don't think you can do your laundry while you read, and above all, don't try to cook up a meal somewhere in-between. Be safe and order take-out. Oh, and don't read it when children may be about; choice words may well fly out of your mouth at certain points. :)