It’s a book about vampires and werewolves. I wasn’t exactly expecting a Feminist treatise. I was tired but not quiet tired enough to go to bed and wanted to read something forgettable to put my brain to sleep. That didn’t happen.
Trina Lee’s Once Bitten is a serious pile of misogynistic twaddle that even manages to make Twilight look not-too-evil-in-the-domestic-violence-perpetuating-stakes. The basic premise is woman born with psychic powers is turned into a werewolf in an incident which involves the slaughter of the rest of her family. Then, she has sex with a vampire who bites her. They end up with a strong psychic connection which requires them to have sex whilst she’s simultaneously having sex with another werewolf who’s the “good boy”. So far, so stupid.
The book gets worse. Alexa joins a pack after the “alpha male” saves her from being raped; aged 17. The response of the emotionally traumatised child is to “offer” herself sexually to the man who saved her physically from rape and emotionally from the loss of her family. And, the “alpha male”, an adult nearly 20 years her senior, fucks her. She is an emotionally traumatised child. That isn’t consensual sex. It’s sexual abuse. An adult who has “sex” with a child in this scenario is a sexual predator and rapist.
But, it gets even worse. It turns out that the werewolf who makes Alexa a werewolf is also the head of the pack that she now belongs too. The “alpha male” was involved sexually with Alexa’s mother and he murdered her because he was jealous. He killed Alexa’s entire family because Alexa’s mother stopped having sex with him. So, he starts having “sex” with Alexa instead. And, apparently, it’s Alexa’s fault she was sexually abused by this predator because he couldn’t control himself sexually and she “offered” herself up to him.
This book is the most heinous kind of rape-myth, victim blaming, misogynistic bullshit. I genuinely couldn’t stop reading because I couldn’t believe just how many rape myths the author had internalised. It’s the same kind of victim-blaming shite that Gabriel Garcia Marquez tries to pass off as “romantic” in Love in the Time of Cholera except this time its a werewolf who can’t “control” himself. Men who rape do so because they want to; because they are rapists. It isn’t about loss of control. They know perfectly well that they are raping a woman. They just don’t think that women are human.
Trina M. Lee could do with reading these rape myths before trying to write another book.