Book Review – The Monster I’ve Become by N. L. Hoffmann
Series: What Hides Beneath
Copyright November 2016 by d c mallory
So you’re a US Marshall, and maybe you should be considered smart and cautious. Or maybe not. Out of the blue your Aunt, whom you could never stand, asks you to come visit. What do you do? Well, of course, you throw smart and cautious to the wind, jump right in your jeep with your roommate in tow and head on out. Yes, sir, that’s just what I would do! Wait! No it isn’t! I’d tell her to blow me. With some whipped cream thrown in just for good taste. Of course, if that had happened we wouldn’t have had a book to review. Oh, if only I could have been that lucky. 🙁
Our heroine, or aspiring nymphomaniac – it depends on which side you view her from, and take it from me, her left side is her best side – Tate Lee, heads on out with Eric Treadway, her roommate, to see good old Aunt Frances whom she hasn’t seen in years. She decides she might stay with said Aunt for an undetermined amount of time, so she takes some time off work in order to give her more time with a relative she hates, which makes no sense what-so-ever, but is nice because she’s going to need the time to work out the issues she’s about to find herself subjected to. I would say her roommate might need some time off too, but his issues are short-lived and it turns out he really doesn’t need a lot of time after all; he could have hung on to that forty hours of PTO and cashed it in when he quit his stripper job. Which would have been nice! Or maybe not. At least he didn’t suffer. He’s a throwaway and forgettable character anyway, so it’s not like anyone will give a damn at his demise. I guess Eric taking the time off doesn’t matter either way. But, moving right along, Tate arrives at her Aunt’s place right on time, things turn to shit in a hurry, her Aunt throws some serious whammy on Tate, and she blacks out. After “X” amount of time – has a nice ring to it, Right? – she comes back to a state of consciousness locked in a cold, dark basement. With a steel door at the top of the stairs. Which is locked. Tight. But, that’s not an issue because there’s a hot wizard locked in the room with her, and all she want to do is have nasty protection-free sex with him. Repeatedly. Then again, maybe the locked door is an issue. Tate decides to screw the sex for the moment – even though she’s warm, wet, and ready – and, reluctantly, instead opts to kick down the door with her new found supernatural strength. What’s worrisome in all this is this is a trend repeated throughout as much of the book as I could stand to read. Not the locked doors. Or the kicking down of the locked doors. With newfound superhuman powers. I mean the repeated boring sex. And repeated boring thoughts of sex. And repeated boring dreams of sex. Which adds nothing to the plot. Wait! There was a plot? Who knew? I was too busy worrying about how much more meaningless sexI might have to contend with.
But, continuing on, in between the nasty sex between her and Evander, of which the scenes are ramping up in frequency, are becoming more mediocre and boring, and are totally needless, we meet a cast of characters we soon wish we hadn’t, all of which are related to Eric.
Well, they’re really not related to Eric by blood; I mean they’re throwaway and forgettable characters. Just like Eric. I know, it’s a tragic thing to say, but there isn’t a single character in the book that is likable, let alone set apart from any other character in the book.
Jax, Tate’s ex, who on top of being gorgeous and hunky, is hunky even a word, as are all the male characters in the book, is also an abusive vampire who likes to demean women; the more he can cause them to feel crappy about themselves, the happier he is. Jax is now after Kelly, a witch who belongs to Evander’s coven, who has the hots for Evander but will do it with Jax just to do it with someone. Then there’s Tyler, who is Evander’s friend and another witch – or would it be wizard? – of Evander’s coven, who isn’t doing it with anyone, at least up to the point where I stopped reading. But who knows? Maybe if I had made it through the whole book he could have been doing it with Eric, who is, Surprise! gay. And a bigger surprise, back! Of course, he’s a ghost, but after you listen to him awhile you realize he’s still a disposable character. Who should have stayed permanently dead and out of the picture. Anyway, we need him because what’s a book nowadays if the hot, horny, and clueless heroine doesn’t have a gay roommate to confuse the hot heroine’s love muffin on whether or not she is available. She might already be getting her pastry cream filled and not need anyone else. Plus, it helps to keep the suspense up, you know. What better way than possible tasteless sex with annoying partners just to confuse the one she really wants to have sex with. Of course, when she was going down on Evander, or Jax as the case might have been, it might not have been tasteless. Or annoying. I’ll let you be the judge of that – it’s outside of the realm of my experience. And my tastes!
Oh! Can’t forget that we meet Mark either, who like Tate, is a Malefic. Did I forget to mention that whole Malefic thing? Evil super witches with ungodly powers? Able to do all kinds of supernatural things? No big deal. You can bet your ass it doesn’t matter anyway. He’s just there for two reasons. One is to try and keep Tate from trying to fuck Evander every which way every chance she gets with objects that can probably be considered dangerous. Or erogenous, No, dangerous I think. The second reason is Mark to protect her per Tate’s mother’s last wish. And the third reason, yeah, I know, I thought there were only two as well, is Mark is to lead Tate to the super cool Bat Cave that mom stashed away for our heroine before good old Aunt Frances whacked her. Mom, I mean. Not Tate.
So now we know why Tate hates her Aunt so much, but what we still can’t fathom is why she still comes running to her Aunt’s house when requested. Maybe because she’s a stupid bitch who thinks with her twat. And her mouth. Tate. Not Aunt Frances. Well, Aunt Frances too. It seems every female in the book was a stupid bitch who thinks with all the body parts God gave them except the one they’re supposed to use for thinking. Damn good thing you can’t stick anything in it, even though it’s not being used by any of them. Anyway, there at the Bat Cave she finds out she has a butler. Who knew? A fucking butler. Actually, he might be the only character who’s no fucking anything in the book. Anyway, the butler doesn’t last long as he gets eaten by Gummy, a Gremlin. Who cares? Who turns into green goo when he’s scared. Or mad. Or just whenever it makes no sense to do it. Really? Green Goo Gremlins? The butler getting eaten is another ‘who give’s a shit moment’ anyway. It turns out the butler, whose name is Craig, is fucking immortal and comes back moments later, much to our chagrin. So her being mad at Gummy for eating Craig is one more waste of time in the grand scheme of things that attempt to make the book the defining masterpiece it is. Hmmm, maybe Craig the butler is doing Gummy the Gremlin. Gads, there’s an image I’ll never get out of my head!
Then, just when you think the story has hit rock bottom comes the moment of truth! The highlight of the book! The sun shining down on a vast expanse of dull blue ocean, the waves slowly moving towards the shore…Earth to Duane – Earth to Duane, report back to the mother ship!
Oh! Sorry. Back to the review. Now where was I? Oh, right! Somehow Tate is transported to the Malefic castle when she utters the Magic Words “My pussy needs to be rubbed!” Before the words have died out… What? Really? OK, I’m told those weren’t the Magic words, but she does utter some stupid statement and ends up in the castle where she is rubbed, lubed, taunted and tortured by Gavin, the “King” of the Malefics. Who is, of course, gorgeous. Tate would happily do him doggy style. well maybe. Oh, and she really isn’t tortured, I just made that up. I made up the rubbing and the lubing, too. I think. Maybe not. It doesn’t matter anyway. She does, however, ingest some of his blood, which commences to turn her into the “Mistress of Darkness.” Or is it the “Queen of Darkness?” Which title does she hold, that is the question; it seems the honorific is used interchangeably throughout the part of the book I read. What this tells me is it doesn’t mean a thing. The honorific, I mean. Not the blood. The blood makes her even more of a nasty, horny nympho, which nauseates even me to new levels. Gavin’s blood makes her want to have unsupervised monkey sex with him, along with Evander. Maybe a threesome of these three is in the making? Works for me. No, it doesn’t. You know, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit thinking about that. Ewww!
So anyway, in between sex with her love muffin off in search of Frances she goes. And goes. And goes. Also, there’s more crappy meaningless sex between her and Evander. Tate. Not Frances. Then more sex. Then more. And too much thinking of wanting to have nasty torrid dream sex with Gavin to go along with the real sex with Evander. The terrible sex scenes could have at least been well written, which they weren’t (How To Be a Sex-Writing Strumpet might help point the author in the right direction), or hot and steamy, which they weren’t. Or inserted (Whoops! That sounded nasty!) at a moment in time when it would have made sense. Which was never. The sex scenes were sloppy and boring, almost as if they were forced (Ouch – use some lube next time, bitch!) into the plot just to make it an ‘Adult Urban Fantasy’ book. Which it didn’t. In fact, the constant disgusting and disturbing sex scenes just distracted from the overall disaster that was this book. Perhaps the book could have been saved without them cluttering it up at the most inopportune times. Which was all the time. Although I doubt leaving them out would have saved it. Never mind, forget I even said anything.
So, to wrap up as far as I made it in the book, which was maybe halfway, I can’t think of a single reason why anyone would want to try and navigate this mess, much less finish it. As far as I could figure, the only thing the author managed to do with this book was to have Tate engage in humiliating and degrading Olympic grade sex scenes with Evander, not to mention the dream sex with Gavin, that should offend women everywhere (Hell, I’m offended and I’m not even a female type unit), almost to the point that I seriously hoped one of her enemies, or even one of her friends, or the damned Green Goo Gremlin for that matter, would kill her just to end my misery. And, on the bright side, at least with her dead we wouldn’t have to cower in fear of being subjected to a sequel. One good thing about this book, which is needed at this point because it was so bad I need a happy thought to keep going, is I don’t have to worry about following another book series; this one is dead to me.