Secret of the Amazon Queen
In 1877 four explorers lost in Brazil's jungle are captured by female warriors of a legendary lost city. A search party soon learns their horrifying fate, as the evil Amazon Queen reveals the unexpected secret of her civilization, which has survived thousands of years without men. The searchers attempt to escape, but even if they do, their lives will be changed forever. A racy contemporary take on a vintage adventure yarn.
This is really a queer adventure story with some horrific components than horror, but there is a brief appearance of spectres at the end, making it qualify.
The queerness of the story does not appear until the second half of the book, but it is fairly integral to the plot. However it is not completely shown within a positive light.
The style of the book as a turn of the (last) century styled adventure novel may turn off some, as may the graphic depictions of rape and cannibalism, but the story is unusual enough to hold your attention.
The appearance of the spectres at the end of the novel doesn't seem to tie in with anything else in the book, and feels somewhat tacked on.
Note: the author did identify a main male character in the novel as gay. However based on what was written in the book, I feel it is difficult to determine the orientation of someone who has sex with an intersexual.
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I'm writing this review as a response to QVamp's review.
It's been four years plus and another novel and a half since I wrote Secret of the Amazon Queen and I have to say thanks for that review. At the time, I believed the 'gay' relationship between two of the explorers as a positive model in contrast to Califia being the villain. That's also reflected, I hope, in the one character ascending to the throne, and in my desire I wanted to explore an unrequited love thing between her and the central hero of the series (five books total). This is part of why I wrote the book, finding the attractive qualities of transgender women intriguing from a human relationship angle, especially creatively. Having the Amazons be what they are was actually, I thought, a unique answer to the legend that they lived without men.
Also, I was attempting to use sexual tension, between the reader and the story, as a form of horror -- that is, making the straight male readers squirm.
Of course, I now see that could have been done a lot better.
I am concerned about the underworld scene being considered tacked on -- that's the second time in two weeks I've heard that! My very astute friend in Bremen pointed it out to me. What I was trying to accomplish was a 'Talbot Mundy meets Robert E Howard, a la Solomon Kane' thing. When you read the next books, you see that the underworld is a contiinued motif.
I now look at SOTAQ as a rough product, and the version serialized in Lost Continent Library Magazine this spring is better edited. It's free there, so I'm not selling anything here!
The novel began life as a short story that had nothing to do with the Amazons, GLBT themes nor ghouls in Hades. The seams may show more than intended!
QVamp's rating is more than fair and I'll take it! Thanks so much for even taking the time.
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