Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Giggles Not Amused

ArtiFactual is a collection of the authors' previous standalone short stories featuring the Energizer-powered lovebirds Mandy and Bruce: Erotique, Switch, and Amichu. Also included is a brand new story, Closing Arguments. Needless to say, I strongly recommend purchasing this collection instead of the individual stories if you are new to the enthusiastic shagbunny adventures of Mandy and Bruce since you'll be getting more value for money here. Oh, and I finally learn Mandy's full name here - Amanda Long.

This review will be solely on Closing Arguments since the other stories are already previously reviewed. I'm hoping that it will take off where Amichu ends but somehow we've moved forward and now our lovebirds are facing some legal issues. A "holier-than-thou bitch" Mary Elizabeth Snow bought a dildo from their store and is now suing them because the dildo apparently not only didn't do its job, it also "impaired her fertility" and "ruined her marriage prospects". I wonder how that dildo was used until it damaged her ovaries. Do I even want to know? That's just the tip of the iceberg for this story which is longer than the other stories. There are ghosts and more revelations about the late Aunt Viv's life and loves plus the introduction of some new friends. Contrary to its title, I don't think I will see the last of Mandy and Bruce after this story.

As much as I find Closing Arguments a more substantial story, plot-wise, I am quite disappointed in how tame it is compared to the earlier adventures of Mandy and Bruce in Erotique and Switch. These two characters are still rather superficial and I don't know much about them to comment on them as characters even after four stories so I'm afraid all that backstory and new revelations in Closing Arguments bore me considerably since I hardly know Bruce and Mandy to begin with (I don't even know Mandy's full name until now!) so I am not entirely too concerned about their lives outside the bedroom.

If the authors want to have a more "plot-oriented" direction for future Bruce and Mandy stories, I think they probably should take some time in a future book to flesh out Bruce and Mandy by giving them a deeper backstory each as well as more discernible personalities so that readers like me will have an easier time getting into their stories. The first two books in the series are slanted towards eroticism and I suspect the eroticism is why readers would want to follow the series. Ms Brio and Mr Belegon need to have something good to keep these readers reading and the main characters being nice and happy people aren't enough in this case to be much of a hook where I am concerned.

I've simply added up the collective grades of the three previously reviewed books and my score for Closing Arguments and use the average as the score for this book. This gives ArtiFactual a final rating of 67.

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