In The Island of Excess Love, Pen has lost her parents. She’s lost her eye. But she has fought Kronen; she has won back her fragile friends and her beloved brother. Now Pen, Hex, Ash, Ez, and Venice are living in the pink house by the sea, getting by on hard work, companionship, and dreams. Until the day a foreboding ship appears in the harbor across from their home. As soon as the ship arrives, they all start having strange visions of destruction and violence. Trance-like, they head for the ship and their new battles begin.
This companion to Love in the Time of Global Warming follows Pen as she searches for love among the ruins, this time using Virgil’s epic Aeneid as her guide. A powerful and stunning audiobook filled with Francesca Lia Block’s beautiful language and inspiring characters.
©2014 Francesca Lia Block (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Published by arrangement with Henry Holt and Company, LLC. All rights reserved.
Nothing I love more than a well-rounded character and intense plot.
Oh man... I love Francesca Lia Block, and this was totally going to get five stars from me. Spoilers spoilers spoilers. BUT.
Pen has sex with the Enchanted King on the Island, after Hex throws a fit about illusions and storms off without saying a) where he's going, b) if he's even coming back. It doesn't appear like he's coming back. For all intents and purposes, it looks like homeboy flew the coop and abandoned them all. Not to mention the Island is a wild place of enchantments and everyone is vaguely high on love drugs the whole time they're there. The King loves Pen and has seen her in prophecies. Built this whole island for her, so she would be in comfort, and rest in order to go further on her journey and put the world back to order.
Hex LEAVES. Pen, thoroughly distraught, turns to the person who appears to love her to most in the world and makes a conscious choice to sleep with them.
Which she then beats herself up about, slut shames, and generally is way too hard on herself without placing any blame on the situation Hex left her in. And then later is like, "But I was drunk and high and you know what that's like!"
And I'm like, girl, you made a conscious choice and that's okay! Hex fucked up too! You're both allowed to fuck up and still love each other! Abandoning your partner is not okay. Neither is cheating - but she didn't even know it was cheating, because he left.
And then she's pregnant.
Now, this is a retelling of Greek epics, which means this baby might be Achilles, but Pen has also been both Odysseus AND Aeneas so far, and the Iliad happens BEFORE The Odyssey or The Aeneid in episodic structure, so I don't know where Block is going with this.
Also I am SICK of women becoming pregnant to advance the plot. It's boring, cliche, and I expected better.
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