When boyfriend Parker gives him an ultimatum Will never dreams his heart is about to be ripped out: move to a remote off-shore island with him, or call it quits. But Will picks wrong, and now he’s heading into the unknown to fix his mistake. But why do the locals think they recognize him? And why can’t he seem to leave?
Warnings: horror, noncon, drugged sex, violence, mentions of past CSA
Kraken is a supernatural erotic horror novel about a man trapped on an island with a sinister tentacle creature that wants him for a lover. It’s a clear nod to Lovecraftian mythos, with elder gods dabbling with the lives of mortals, and has a very creepy, mysterious atmosphere that is drawn out bit by bit to keep the reader guessing. A little more porn than plot, this is for you if you’ve ever read weird fiction and thought “I’d like something like this, but with more fucking.”
The story revolves around a slowly budding mystery as Will arrives at a secluded island to confront his ex, and finds himself unable to leave. Why that is, and why everyone on the island seems to remember him, and why his host, the mysterious Cyprus, is so immediately fond of him, is a slowly paced plot that is unraveled bit by bit the more Will discovers about the secrets of the island. Now, while the story is breathtaking and engaging, it’s execution can falter at times. The entire final act of the book feels rushed in comparison to the lovely pacing of the rest of it, as answers to various questions are sped through in large chunks of exposition instead of gradually stumbled upon. The dialogue can also be a bit stiff from time to time, and there are a few plot holes. But overall, these are minor detractions from what is otherwise a very well told story, and the kind I was more than eager to sink my curiosity into.
Will can, at times, be a bit of a bore. In fact being boring and awkward is more or less his only real character trait, which makes it hard to really become emotionally invested in his experiences when he’s so busy being dissatisfied with everything around him. He becomes a little more interesting once Cyprus is in the picture however, as the portrayals of mind control and drugging that take place are very compelling, especially as he snaps out of them when not directly under Cyprus’s influence. The reader gets embedded in that experience with him, which makes the story easy to become enthralled and gripped by. The feeling of being unsettled, feeling that something is wrong, permeates the narrative and Will’s voice, and it’s easy to let yourself go with the flow and feel scared right along with him.
The book does a lovely job of fleshing out a thoroughly creepy and mysterious setting and I really loved that aspect of it. What Cyprus is, how his powers work, all of it remains beyond the scope of what the characters ever learn or discover, which keeps it all vague enough to be menacing, and yet explored enough to be compelling. It could have certainly gone even more Lovecraftian; there’s a lack of the true psychological nature of weird fiction’s horror, and nobody’s minds are being shattered by the mere knowledge of the supernatural here. But there is a nice cultish vibe to the conspiracy (that feels reminiscent of Shadow Over Innsmouth,) and more that the reader might extrapolate from there on the nature of the elder beings that inhabit this world and I very much enjoyed it.
The smut in this is fantastic. Good lord, is this ever a steamy book. It’s one of the hottest pieces of erotica I have read by far. If you have a thing for tentacle beasts, drugging/mind altering, oviposition and power exchange, then this is the book for you. I could hardly believe how scorching hot the smut was, and it was creative as hell to boot. It’s one of the very few monsterfuck books where the monster is actually monstrous, so I had to appreciate that, and the gradual slow build from drugged dubcon to the more violent content was perfect. There is even, interestingly enough, an ASMR scene that borders on sexual which was certainly an interesting inclusion. This book absolutely hit it out of the park for being a unique, engaging and daring bit of erotica.
I loved this book. It has it’s flaws but overall it’s fantastic and I am so very glad to have read it. If there was print copy I’d buy one in a heartbeat. It’s a shame that it’s not more well known, though understandably it’s subject matter renders it a rather niche title. But that’s what this blog is for after all; covering niche erotic titles!
Have you read Kraken? Let me know what YOU thought by leaving me a comment!