Dogs and Goddesses: Chapter 8

Screw it. I hate re-buying books, but I broke down and bought the Kindle version of Dogs and Goddesses so I can write decons on my lunch break and maybe not be so tardy with them. (If you’re wondering why Bitten updates regularly and D&G doesn’t, that’s exactly why: I get an hour for lunch and usually run out of things to do after 20 minutes). Unfortunately, there’s no $#%#$ table of contents. WTF. Seriously. ebook failure.

So after scrolling right like a billion times on my phone…

We re-join our protagonists with Shar having a conversation with Sam that doesn’t lead to much enlightenment. He calls her “Sharrat” — her pet peeve, if you recall — and as she goes off on him about how Sharrat is her grandmother, thank you very much, she remembers the book she was working on. Written by her grandmother Sharrat. About Kammani Gula. With no sources cited.

Somehow that’s enough to get to time travel?

Shar thought of the shiny oval marks on the backs of her grandmother’s hands [that match the description of priestess’ being scarred by lamp oil sputtering], of how there were no pictures of Sharrat before 1925, of how her grandfather had said that Sharrat was the most important treasure he’d found in Turkey–

“Oh my god.” Shar siad as it all fell together. “He dug her up.”

Er. Okay?

(Is it really weird to not have photos taken before 1925? Photography existed before then, obviously, but I mean, couldn’t she just… not have gotten a picture taken? It’s not like today where every cellphone is a camera…)

Anyway, that quote marks the end of Chapter 7 and the beginning of Eight. Onwards!

So apparently Shar’s grandfather went on a dig to Turkey in 1925– hang on a second, if she lived in Turkey until 1925, wouldn’t that also explain the lack of Shar having photos of her? Like, if there were any, they could have been left behind in Turkey with her relatives and just not brought to the US? I’m finding this photograph clue less and less relevant with each sentence I read.

Apparently he brought back Sharrat and her six sisters. So. Apparently he brought back all seven priestesses. So where’d the other six go?

Shar’s mother’s name is Sharon. If I were her I’d name my firstborn daughter Melinda, just to break tradition.

“Goddammit”, Shar siad, thinking about forty-eight years of boring duty and non-stop study, and all the time this huge family secret was heaving under her…

So now she doesn’t like her life again?

Oh jesus. Shar notices Sam has a new shirt, and he says he got it from some girl named “kar-en” who he had sex with in exchange for clothing. Sam doesn’t understand informed consent:

“Oh, good. So was the sex her idea or yours? Because this world is different–”

“All women want to have sex with a god.” Sam looked at the empty cookie plate. “Fetch me another cookie.”

Shar took a deep breath. “Here’s something that’s different about this world: women don’t fetch.”

Are they– no, a moment later they’re deliberately not eating the butter cookies, only ordinary cinnamon cookies. And she does, in fact, fetch one for him.

He slept with too many women to count the previous night. I’m starting to feel a little uncomfortable here with how very much the narrative seems to be equating the idea of the perfect male with “has ALL the sex!”

One of the girls he had sex with is the grad student in the opening who hasn’t done her thesis. She assumes Shar and Sam were married and Shar’s so exasperated with the whole situation she just rolls with it and claims she divorced Sam. Then Ray turns up wondering when the hell Shar got married, so she compounds the snowball lie by claiming it was while she was away for 6 months on a dig. Meanwhile everyone in town is showing up for this grand opening thing Abby’s doing.

Shar discovers her power of finishing: she orders Leesa to finish her thesis, and she leaves to do just that. She then orders Ray to leave too, and he goes off to grade papers. So. Fun times.

We discover why the Three are so important:

“The others are mortal,” Sam said patiently, as if explaining to a small child. “You are goddesses.”

Well knock me over with a feather.

(Don’t you just love that phrase? I’m getting distracted, sorry)

———

Okay since I’m so distracted, let’s take a break here and recap this plot.

Shar is the goddess of finishing/orgasms

Abby is the goddess of lust

Daisy is the goddess of sex

Kammani is the high goddess over them all. Sam is her consort, a god.

Kammani and Sam plan to take over the world with sex. Sam goes around sleeping with everyone, using his magical god pheromones to become irresistible to them. Which is better than Kammani’s plan, which is that people long to be ruled so she’ll just step up to the plate and do so.

Nobody except Sam has had any sex yet.

Does this count as a romance novel? It’s heavily about sex and lust, but also about world conquest, and nobody’s getting any onscreen.

———

Back to the action, Daisy’s now listening to her crush Noah play, which makes her feel powerful and sexy, as music often does. She knows he’s not a long-term possibility since he’s got no real job and no ambition, but she’s enjoying herself, which is perfectly fine. Not all romance has to be about marriage. Daisy grabs a lust cookie, and when Abby warns her, she grabs two more. I guess it’s more moral to roofie yourself than someone else? But it’s not necessarily a good plan anyway.

In that moment she felt right, comfortable and secure, and she decided to live in that space for a while, to just be a smitten girl in a coffee shop watching a cute guy play guitar.

That she could wrap her mind around.

Noah starts singing a song about a girl and going for it on a whim, and there’s some wind and it’s all very sexual I guess. I’m getting tired of sex. Is that even a thing? Like, everything is sexually charged in this book but there’s never any payoff so I’m kind of getting bored and wandering off mentally.

The party starts becoming an orgy as everyone hooks up with everyone else, just as Daisy was about to leap up on stage and go after Noah right then and there. Apparently Daisy doesn’t need her pen, she just needs to be turned on and wham, people go at it around her.

Oh hey! She does get to have sex with Noah! Finally!

——-

Okay so the first sex scene of the novel isn’t bad. It lacks the ridiculous sex cliches that other novels have, although it gets fairly poetic about the act of orgasming, but that’s to be expected. She certainly was hot and bothered enough before they began, and there’s no instant orgasm, they work their way up to it like normal folk. All in all, a good solid scene.

——-

Meanwhile, Mina has printed up a bunch of posters at Kinko’s, which was totally Fedex Office before this book was published. The posters promise weight loss and money to draw in worshippers so Kammani can convert them to the True Way of the Goddess.

Mina describes the coffee shop as a kind of temple. Amusing. She gets interrupted by Sam, though, and Kammani is not pleased it took him 24 hours to find her. Well maybe if he didn’t stop to bang every chick in town…

Kammani insists that they can make people behave like they used to, while Sam says people have changed and they need to change with them. Kammani insists that she has no need to learn about the people, and that she only fell because she was betrayed by Ishtar, her sister, and forced into slumber. The Three apparently drugged the priestesses into sleeping with her, and then the whole thing was moved by Sharrat to Ohio, where they’re free of Ishtar’s power.

——-

If the name Ishtar sounds familiar, it’s because she’s pretty much the most famous Mesopotamian deity. She’s the goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex; she was featured in the Epic of Gilgamesh, when she tries to seduce him and fails, then throws a temper tantrum. So I’m guessing Kammani’s supposed to be an analog to Ishtar and Sam is Gilgamesh. Ishtar is known for being fickle and treating her lovers cruelly.

——

Sam decides not to sleep with Kammani, who is going by Kami on the posters so I’m just going to call her that for the time being. Some guy named Doug shows up after he left, so Kami decides, screw Sam, she’ll just make a new god-king out of Doug, starting with sleeping with him.

And that’s chapter eight!

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One Response to Dogs and Goddesses: Chapter 8

  1. Firedrake says:

    OK, there’s a whole lot more plot intricacy here than I’d usually expect from a “straight” romance novel (romantic suspense is apparently a different subgenre). Going by other Jennifer Crusie books I’ve read, she’s often happy to leave out sex until the end, or at least have it going wrong in some way; much more sensible than some authors’ “we have the right parts for each other and are the protagonists, so all our sex is puppies and rainbows forever”.

    I’m liking the way the gods aren’t being unambiguously good or bad guys (though definitely veering towards the latter now).

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