Review: Degenerate

Degenerate by Rayne Havok

2 stars

Read from 14 – 17 June, 2020

Synopsis: After receiving news of his father’s untimely death Tyler Rydek sets out on a journey back to his childhood home, he learns quickly that he wasn’t the only one keeping secrets in that house.

Bookish Things: 131 pages. The cover is suitably creepy but really has nothing to do with the story.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $1.29.

My Review: 

This is a rather disturbing read, but not really for the reasons the other reviewers have stated.

The book is short, only around 130 pages. But the real meat of the story doesn’t begin until after the 50% mark. This is way too slow for a novel and even worse for a shorter story.

The main character, Tyler, is immediately unlikable. He is arrogant, cruel and misogynistic. His behaviour is deplorable and did nothing to engage me with the story.

I almost stopped reading at 47% as the story was so slow and Tyler unlikable. But the fan girl type reviews kept me reading.

As I made my way through the last 45% of the book I felt distanced from the whole thing. What was happening was reasonably horrific but because of this distance I had a very minimised reaction. I didn’t have an ‘OMG’ moment nor did I fight bile creeping up my throat. That’s a shame. I was expecting to be disgusted.

The big reveal was muted and felt very stilted. The ending was also rushed. Detail should be given to the acts, to let the reader experience it like they’re there with Tyler. Make them feel his arousal. Make them feel disgusted at the fact they’re reading the story and can’t put it down.

What I’d have liked to see was a much more in-depth coverage of the last 45% of the story. A change in the writing style to encourage engagement from the reader. Even if we’re meant to dislike Tyler you need to give us someone to like. Perhaps Cammie could have been this for us?

What I did enjoy was the interesting concepts that Tyler’s dad developed. The science behind it might be a bit fuzzy, but it’s something rather new and exciting. I would have liked more on this.

As a reader of horror and extreme dark erotica, this fell well short of my expectations. Not to mention the book blurb has very little information in it. It does little to hook the reader. I only picked this up because someone recommended it to me on GR.

Content wise this has some serious triggers: incest, necrophilia, rape and abuse. This is not explained in the book entry on GR or on Amazon which is worrying as I’m pretty sure it contradicts a number of Amazon’s content rules. The cover does have an extreme content warning on it, but I think more should be done to stop unsuspecting readers from stumbling onto this.

The writing was reasonably free from errors, but I did note a couple of things:

15% – …don’t you?” Licking the last bit of my milky white dribble (this doesn’t make sense)
26% – is she not wearing underwear? Might be good to clarify.
44% – …hurt her feelings – I just want (t)his over with,(replace with a full stop)
45% – …an awful cook in the kitchen (in the kitchen is redundant. Delete)
– She has never been (the) type to hug…

While this wasn’t great, I think Rayne’s ideas are worth another look. I’ll probably peruse her other works at some point in the future.

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