Mindjacker - Jonathan Asche

Ladymol's review:

At one point in this book, I actually found myself thinking, during one sex scene, that a little more plot would kinda be okay! And that's a compliment to the book really. The plot has the potential to raise this book above the level of porn, but sadly, it never fulfils its potential and stays just that: porn. However (big however) it's great porn!

Lucas can take over minds. He escapes from a secret government institute where he was sent at eight and goes on the run with his unique talent, hotly pursued by two other inmates of the institute. One of his pursuers, Joel, can read minds and once had a very brief affair with Lucas. To keep his movements secret, Lucas only uses his ability on straight men, as they are less likely to report that they've been robbed whilst partaking of Lucas's undoubted charms. Joel uses his abilities similarly, hearing the need in others and using that to his advantage, and the novel is a succession of sexual encounters as Lucas runs from Joel.

I guess if you are at all sensitive (and why you would be reading gay porn if you are) then you might have some difficulty with the fact that Lucas, in effect, rapes all his victims-using his mindjacking powers on straight men to force them to have sex with him. After all, if this were het porn, and Lucas straight and doing that to women, people would condemn the book. I didn't have a problem with this at all; the book is too shallow and you don't get involved with the characters enough to take this book as anything other than what it is. To have the ability to coerce minds and use that ability only to get laid and steal a few dollars is obviously ludicrous and neither the plot nor the characters are raised above the level of such an easy device.

However on the major plus side, this is great porn! Lots of variety, relentless pace and gorgeous guys. You can't go wrong with this if that's what you're looking for. Well written, stylish, great fun.

My only reservation with this book is the writer's obsession with the use of condoms. He states in the preface that he advocates safe sex. Well… duh… we all do. But we don't need it rammed down our throats in a jack-off fantasy book. In every single sex scene (and there are too many to count) there's this ponderous fetching of the condom, applying of the lube, applying of the condom…. At one point, Joel is being fucked and sucked by four men, and he turns around and says pompously, 'I hope you are using a condom.' Okay, surely safe sex is not to go into a hotel room with four complete strangers and let them stick their cocks up your bottom in succession? It's fantasy. It's things we'd never do ourselves. Reading some of these scenes is like playing Russian roulette with the safety catch on. Not much fun. The author could easily have set the book twenty years previous and got around the issue. It's almost as if he's proud to be writing a safe sex guide! (God forbid one day we'll become so pc that historical novels have to have this ludicrous rule, too. Hey, maybe we'll ban scenes of murder or rape or even a rather rude gesture from books in case they promote morally dubious lifestyles). So… it's okay for Lucas to mindjack straight men and force them to service him as long as he does it with a condom…. Hmm.

It's annoying.

Did you get that I was annoyed?

But pretend it's condom free (live a little), and the sex is really hot. Recommended as good porn.

Cerisaye's Review:

By rights this one should be hot to touch and oozing sticky fluids. Relentlessly graphic it'll leave you drained and exhausted…well I was anyway. Really, it's nothing but a gay porn movie in book form, with just enough plot between sex scenes to keep things moving.

Never thought I'd say this but I found it almost too much to take. I had little emotional involvement with characters that exist as hardly more than sex machines. Nuts and bolts porn is what you get for your money. The love story aspect remains background, incidental to the meat of the book, pages and pages of graphic sex with porn movie dialogue. Maybe that's what its target market expects, but it made me laugh. I know I probably read more vampire porn than is good for me, but another gripe I have with this book is the way the demand for safe sex practices requires an intrusive condom pause every single time, even in the middle of extreme situations such as violent encounters where it's simply not believable they'd stop in the heat of the moment to get out the rubbers.

If you watch gay porn you can push the mute button and enjoy the visuals. With a book you skim the boring bits, and I did that with this novel more than I expected. It doesn't leave much of any substance, which is a shame because there's the basis of an intriguing story that's never developed because it gets in the way of the sex, which is just repetitive and mostly mechanical rather than erotic. There are delectable moments but the impact is spoiled by over-reliance on sex.

Adolescents Lucas and Joel meet at the Institute, a shadowy place where supernaturally gifted children are raised by the government away from the influence of family and friends. They get caught indulging, by mutual consent, in a spot of forbidden intimacy. The older boy, Lucas, is held responsible and spends the next four years existing under a harsh regime supervised by sadistic Commander Wahl. Eventually he escapes and makes the most of his ability to exert mind control to seduce men so he can rob them to survive on the run.

Lucas targets straight men because they're less likely to go to the police. What he does to them is near as damn it rape, of mind and body, yet they enjoy the acts he encourages them to perform. Most of them seem to have subconsciously longed for a bit of gay sex, so it never feels abusive. The notion of 'mindjacking' for sex is a wish-fulfilment fantasy laden with moral ambiguity. I'd like to have seen a fuller exploration of ideas like this within the story, and this lack, more than the overdose of sex, ultimately made me disappointed with the novel. I had a similar reaction to Elf Child, which I seem to remember criticising for lack of graphic sex! Hard to please.

The Institute sends two operatives to hunt Lucas down, one of them Joel. His interest in following orders is rather less than his enthusiasm for casual sex, aided by his telepathic powers. It's all fairly predictable and relies on a series of coincidences, little more than an excuse to have Lucas and Joel enjoy a series of sexual situations. Will they eventually meet again? Can they overcome the habit of anonymous sex and find that connection glimpsed during their first inexperienced fumblings? Sadly the book ends just when it might begin to get interesting. For those who like full on gay sex with no complications.

Publisher: Starbooks Press / Florida Literary Foundation ISBN: 1891855506

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