Rhapsody In Snakeskin by Kirsten Imani Kasai
Story Rating: 4.5 out of 5 paddles
Sting Factor (kink): 3.5 out of 5
This is a deliciously dark anthology of 19 stories by Kirsten Imani Kasai. Literary, lyrical,at times almost stream-of-consciousness, Kasai’s writing is lovely and strange and yet possesses an urgency not usually seen in such purple prose, which tends to be cold and distant. At times, Kasai’s voice overreaches itself, not all of the stories are completely successful, but the exuberance of it, the sheer heartfelt monstrosity of it,redeems the occasional misstep. She is an excellent writer, and like all good writers of erotica and horror, has the knack of knowing just how to make the reader squirm.
The focus in these stories is less on BDSM in general and more on darkness itself. The horror and BDSM aspects are well-blended. If you’re looking for accessible, straightforward sex stories with well-defined Good Bits and no disturbing parts to upset the sexiness, you should find something less experimental. If you like the idea of being challenged and probably even disturbed, I think you’ll be gratified by this collection. It’s worth chancing.
With 19 offerings to choose from, there are really too many to treat individually. Unfortunate, since I’d like to tell you what was great about each one. From the creepy and eschatalogical “Erela” to the straightforward but lyrical and overheated “One Perfect Kiss,” from the under-the-collar closeness and urgency of “Rhapsody in Snakeskin” to the fairy-tale horror of “Rose DuBois,” this is an anthology with breadth and depth, and is an impressive testament to the abilities of a powerfully talented and fearless writer with an ear for the musical and an eye for the disturbing.
I enjoyed this anthology very much, and I recommend that anyone who enjoys strange erotica, dark erotica, give it a try. It’s quite satisfying.
Reviewed by Naamah