I was expecting a fun monster romp when I saw the cover for Rise of the Thing Down Below. Wouldn’t you? Though there are a lot of vividly written and sometimes over the top sexy times going on here, they’re not with a monster (boo!). The monster has a small community in fear for their lives but other than that he hasn’t really made much of a splash in the rest of the plot. It’s more a story about a bunch of men hooking up, having fun and creating amusing new boardwalk sexcapade attractions for their beachfront community. There are also two adorable pups and some decently written friendships and a lot of cheeky humor. I’m down with all of that and I can go with the flow if a book hooks me but, most unfortunately, this one would hook me with some cute couple or turn of phrase, then lose me , hook me again, then quickly lose me. Several weeks later, at about 75% of the way in, I had to call it a day, give it a DNF, and get on with my reading life. Here’s why.
There are so many characters and couples introduced in this story that I spent the first 50 or so pages straining my brain to remember who was who and who was humping who. Eventually I caught on but by then my poor brain was toast. And then at about 75% complete (or so) more men are introduced and I had to call it quits. The book would shift from one couple/trio to the next and reference past events and it just couldn’t keep me.
I’m so sad right now. I thought this story was meant for me but it wasn’t meant to be.
This, of course, is completely my fault. This is a middle of a series book which I didn’t realize when I requested it from Netgalley (I will not lie, that cover & blurb sucked me in). If you’ve read the previous books recently or have a brain that works better than mine, you more than likely won’t have any such problem. I also read in 30 minute increments (on a good day) so that did not help. If you have a large chunk of time to sit down and read this in one sitting you probably won’t have as much of a struggle. Alas, this is not my life and I will not force myself to finish a book anymore.
I’ll finish this up with a few tidbits:
1. A fish man arises from the sea, slimy appendage at the ready. Yes!
2. Men start turning up dead. Uh oh!
3. If you’ve read the previous books you’ll probably be thrilled to meet all of the previous characters who keep on coming as the book continues. Yeah, I see what I did there.
4. There is a lot of crazy, over the top, messy sex. It’s more amusingly campy than arousing, if you ask me (and I know you didn’t).
5. There are adorable puppies! Puppies make almost everything better.
6. There are so many sex-crazed men in this town that we don’t have enough time to get to know many of them very well. But you may already know them very well from previous books, perhaps?
7. I’m selfish. I prefer a more intimate story with a small handful of characters. But that’s me.
8. That’s all I’ve got because I’m a quitter.