[Book Review] The Orc Wife – S.J. Sanders

Title: The Orc Wife
Author: S.J Sanders
Published by: Independently Published
Publication date: 25th May 2019
Genre: Orc Smut
Pages: 234
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Series: Monsterly Yours

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Blurb/Synopsis

Sammi is having the worst weekend. When what was supposed to be a secluded romantic get away turns into a near death experience when she is stranded alone in the mountains during a snow storm by her two-timing boyfriend, Sammi faces a desperate situation. With no cell-service, dwindling food supplies, and a power outage, she doesn’t think it could get worse until an accident leaves her unconscious and vulnerable. When she comes to, she awakens to find herself in a warm cabin, and her rescuer a creature of fantasy–an orc. And he thinks that she will be a perfectly obedient pet. Ha! He wishes. Orgath is an exile, the son of a vanquished chieftain of his clan. His days and nights are spent alone more often than not. When he finds a tiny human while hunting in the human world his compassion moves him to rescue the little thing and bring her home as a companion. He quickly finds out that there is a lot more to humans than orc-kind has believed. When things starting heating up and passion ignites between them, they discover the potential for a lot more in their relationship than either could have imagined.

Review

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Twitter chose this one for me. To see if the book was as bad as the cover. Well…


The Orc Wife follows the story of Sammi, a young woman that is abandoned by her boyfriend during a holiday in wintery Alaska. When desperate enough to leave the wooden cabin in search of food, or wood, she falls into a trap set by the outlander, Orgath, the Orc. She’s taken back with him through a portal to his land, where she is trapped. Somehow, incredibly, romance blossoms between them and then the crux of the story continues following their escapades together.

I was not enamoured by this book. I should have DNF’d it at the point where Sammi describes herself according to the shape of her thighs and how big her boobs are. Yet, for some ungodly reason, I continued reading and made it all the way through. There are so many problems with the story and with the main characters. Sammi is a brattish woman in her thirties. She acts as though her life is over and that her only assets are her body – which to be fair, considering the rest of her ‘abilities’ might be the case. It’s very difficult to accept and like Sammi as a lead character – she is abrasive, rude and disrespectful. On the flip side, we have Orgath, normally, I like the male leads more in these sorts of books, but not so in this case. He is, generally, a terrible arsehole to all he meets, including Sammi. He treats her like dirt, kidnaps her and somehow, expects her to be his willing pet.

To go into a bit more detail about Sammi and my dislike of her. She is thirty. Early on in the book, she burns eggs and bread, she refuses to wear clothing that Orgath has given her, she refuses to take on tasks to help around the home and is steadfast in her refusal to learn new skills that’ll help her survive.Like, milking a goat and washing laundry with a scrub board and bucket. Surely, a 30, you’d know how to do some of that? She is rude and abrasive to those around her, outspoken and stubborn. She’s not pleasant and impossible to root for. Orgath, wants Sammi as a pet – but doesn’t understand what a pet dog is later on in the novel – kidnaps her, falls in lust and love with her, and forces her to marry him without explaining Orcish traditions, but she doesn’t think it’s all that serious despite having her face tattooed by the Orcs.

At just over the half way point in the book, Sammi is stolen by Lorf, Orgaths long-standing rival. So, he needs to fight, tie up a few other plot hooks and seemingly make the novel come to its conclusion. Then we’re ‘treated’ to a really long epilogue where the Orcs (and other fantasy creatures) are allowed into the human world. This part of the book is extra-cringe-worthy due to Orgath pissing on Sammi’s ex-boyfriend and her mother walking in on them having sex.

There is an overwhelming sense of childishness to this book that I couldn’t get on board with. The romance was swift and felt stilted. Having two characters forced together in bizarre circumstances, as The Orc Wife does, doesn’t make for the most romantic time, but the breakneck speed between Orgath wanting Sammi as a pet, Sammi hating him and wanting nothing to do with him and then him fingering her almost to orgasm, and then getting married and pregnant, was 100 mile-an-hour. It was unrealistic, terribly written and came across as forced.

Another element to the romance – an attempt to make it feel more real, maybe? – was the mention of a Bloodbond. However, there is no attempt to explain what this bond was, where it came from, who else had one, or any real detail about it. Making it a completely moot point in terms of plot. Just another question left unanswered. It’s a shame as a lot of the world-building and scenes-painting in the book was actually decent. The world in which Orgath inhabits felt realistic, with vivid imagery of the various places the characters visit.

It honestly feels a bit like ‘too much,’ there was too much going on, too many different characters, plot devices and too many elements to the book that weren’t well considered. There were too many races, with not enough exploration into them. We’ve got, fae, orcs, humans, elves and a unicorn character that seems to help Sammi for no apparent reason, that flitters off as soon as he’s done what he needed too.

If this book was an attempt at humour, it feel real far from the mark. It was just terrible. At one point, Sammi is attending a council meeting with her husband and concludes by shouting, ‘Boom, baby!’ I understand that Orcish culture isn’t like ours, but there is a certain sense of decorum to even these events. You don’t shout such things at delegates from another tribe/race, unless you don’t want to be taken seriously and seen as a perpetual brat. Maybe, this is the point of the character, but it didn’t make her funny or endearing just annoyingly childish.

Summary

I’ve enjoyed the Orc Smut genre because it’s fun. It’s escapist entertainment that you can’t take too seriously. This book though… wasn’t even entertaining. I should have DNFed it. Seriously annoying main characters for one reason or another – she was a brat, he was a dick-lord together, they’re an uninspiring couple that romanced in the worst, most stupid ways. Don’t waste your time.


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