Carnal Machines - erotic fiction by Cleis Press Inc. - review by KrissyNovacaine

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Carnal Machines

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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Awkward Machines

This book felt really disjointed and all over the place. One story about a gay couple will be followed by another story that is purely hetero. A bdsm scene will be followed by a very normal seduction. A good sampling of kink I guess, but I found it awkward.
Published:
Pros:
Some hot stories
Cons:
Some not so hot stories
Rating by reviewer:
3
extremely useful review

About author

This is an anthology with multiple authors. Each author has a very different style and set of interests. As the "About the Authors" section informs me, most of them are award winning authors. There are 15 stories in this collection with 15 unique authors. Some authors' pieces were more engaging for me than others, but I think that was more a taste issue than a difference in talent.
    • Multiple contributoring authors

Content / Style / Audience

This book has 199 pages of erotica after the author and editor bios and the introduction. As I mentioned before, there are 15 authors and they are all very different.

Each author has a very different style and approach to steampunk. In some ways I suppose this could be a perk, but for me it was distracting. I would move from one story to the next and encounter a kink that I am not into, and then there goes my arousal. I would finish a hot story only to move on to a pretty boring one for me. The writing wasn't the problem, it was the varied kinks written about.

A fair number of the stories in this piece are queer friendly, including a full on gay male scene. Most of them are hetero, but a lot of them have bdsm overtones.

The thing that each of these stories has in common is a steampunk overtone that requires some kind of device or machine. Which, now that I think about it, is a strong point as many erotica anthologies I have read, do not stick with the theme.
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Everyone
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anywhere
  • General
    [ ? ]
    Other tags that are useful and descriptive for this product.
    • Bdsm
    • Good mix of styles and content
    • Queer

Design

I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the paperback I received. The covers are stiff and resilient. The pages are printed very nicely.

The book is not in anyway discreet, but honestly I don't think it could be with this title. Other than the title it is discreet, but with Carnal all over it, it looses the ability to blend in.
    • Not very discreet cover
    • Soft cover
    • Well made

Personal comments

Others may have better luck with this book, but for me it just didn't do that much for me.

I firmly believe that this book will be perfect for some people. It just wasn't my speed.

Experience

I purchased this book because I love erotica, especially fantasy. I figured that, while steampunk isn't totally my thing, I would enjoy this book because of the level of fantasy involved.

In reality, I had a hard time getting into this book. The stories I really liked seemed to end abruptly and the ones I didn't had way too many details for me.

I never knew if I would have a steamy bdsm scene or some kind of bizarre contraption that was over explained. I feel like this book could have been better edited to have a better flow. It seemed very disconnected and awkward.
Follow-up commentary
There was nothing in this book that made it worth reading again or keeping. While a few stories were ok, none of them really hit on a kink that could get me off multiple times.

I ended up trading this and a few other books for a toy.
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This review was edited by
  • badk1tty badk1tty
  • Rank:
     
    5.9
  • Edited reviews: 155
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Comments
  • Zombirella
    Zombirella  
    Thanks for the review. I still don't quite understand the whole "steampunk" thing. I saw your review earlier and googled the topic. Sounds interesting, just not sure though.
  • Badass
    Badass  
    Lovely review.. I think I might wanna give my imagination and this book a whirl.
  • KrissyNovacaine
    KrissyNovacaine  
    Hope it is more your speed!
  • Geogeo
    Geogeo  
    Thanks for reviewing, I think Ill pass
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