Review: The Perfect Whore by Josephine Myles

The-Perfect-Whore-433x650Rating: 3.5 stars
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Length: Novel


Jedd Lightning has been hired to steal a datapod and passcode from a prominent politician. Jedd needs the money to repair his damaged ship and even working for the likes of Cheerful Charlie (who is not so cheerful and mostly murderous) is worth it for a chance at a payday. When Jedd gets to the brothel where he is confronting the politician, Jedd is surprised to find him with the most gorgeous man he is ever seen; in fact, the whore is basically Jedd’s fantasy man. Unfortunately, Jedd doesn’t make it out with the datapod, but he does promise to come back for Storm, the prostitute.

Storm is a Chimericon, a creature who shapes itself into whatever form the person looking upon it most desires in a partner. He was kidnapped and sold to the brothel for his incredible ability to please any customer with their biggest fantasy partner. It is torture for Storm, particularly as every time he touches someone, it forces his physical shift. When Jedd comes through and actually returns to rescue him, Storm is eager to join him.

Just rescuing Storm is the first step for Jedd, however. His partner has been kidnapped by Charlie and is being held until Jedd can come up with that missing datapod. If Jedd can’t complete the job, Marty is done for and Jedd can not let that happen. With Storm’s help, however, Jedd just might be able to complete the job and save his friend. And if he is really lucky, Jedd might just end up with Storm by his side as well.

I enjoyed the set up for The Perfect Whore and found the premise interesting. I liked the idea of Storm as a creature who is forced to adapt to other’s desires, caught in a constant state of shifting any time someone touches him. I could feel for him never being his true self, always at the whims of what other people desire. Overall this futuristic world is an interesting one, and while there is not a great depth of world building, it felt complete enough for me to understand the basics of the various beings and what life was like for them all. The story goes in some interesting directions and the plot kept my attention.

I did have some issues, however, mostly with these characters. I didn’t find them particularly likable, especially Jedd, but even more, I didn’t really get the feeling that they much liked each other. Yes, they are attracted to one another. Though in Jedd’s case he is attracted to Storm because he has essentially created Storm to look like his ideal partner. And Storm seems to like Jedd as well, and for more than just the reflected desire he feels with other people (though why this is the case isn’t well explained). But aside from being hot for one another, they seem pretty disdainful of each other. Jedd, in particular, is frequently making rude remarks about Storm’s life as a prostitute, despite the fact that he was sold into that life (and even if he wasn’t, it’s still uncalled for). Storm comes across as a bit spoiled and annoyed at things like the lack of coffee on Jedd’s ship, while Jedd seems mostly arrogant and rude (we get numerous comments early on about how attractive Jedd finds himself). Jedd is jealous and often complicates bad situations by his annoyance that others might also see what they desire in Storm. So I didn’t particularly connect with these guys, I didn’t get much sense of them really connecting with each other aside from lust, and as a result, their relationship just never held much weight or intensity for me.

I think the tone of this story is going for tongue and cheek, sort of campy fun, and I think in some ways Myles manages to achieve that. It is lighthearted and a bit silly at times, and I think this will appeal to a lot of readers. I did feel that the tone didn’t quite settle well, however, and at times the writing felt a little simplistic and corny, rather than the campy fun I think it could have been.

I do think the story comes together well, and there is a set up for future books in the series. This does stand alone, but there are some unresolved plot lines, like what happened to the rest of Storm’s species, that aren’t concluded here and I assume will be developed in future books. But I didn’t feel like things were left as a cliffhanger or too open ended, so this worked fine for me. Overall, I think this story was entertaining, but didn’t fully come together for me. But if you are looking for a space romp with some unusual elements, this may be a fun one to try.

Note: The Perfect Whore is an expanded version of a short story, as well as an adaptation of a serial published on the author’s blog.

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Comments

  1. Kareni says:

    This does sound like an intriguing premise. Thanks for the review, Jay.

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