An unusual girl. An enigmatic man. An ancient castle. What could go wrong?
RuNyx ~ Gothikana
An outcast her entire life, Corvina Clemm is left adrift after losing her mother. When she receives the admission letter from the mysterious University of Verenmore, she accepts it as a sign from the universe. The last thing she expects though is an olden, secluded castle on top of a mountain riddled with secrets, deceit, and death.
An enigma his entire life, Vad Deverell likes being a closed book but knowing exactly everything that happens in the university. A part-time professor working on his thesis, Vad has been around long enough to know the dangers the castle possesses. And he knows the moment his paths cross with Corvina, she’s dangerous to everything that he is.
They shouldn’t have caught each other’s eye. They cannot be. But a chill-inducing century-old mystery forces them to collide. People have disappeared every five years for over a hundred years, and Corvina is getting clues to unravelling it all, and Vad needs to keep an eye on her.
Initially I thought this was an OK gothic romance, albeit one with terrible writing. The book is full of repetition, unnecessary adjectives and cliches. It also contradicts itself on multiple occasions and reads a bit like GCSE creative writing.
Unfortunately, as it continued, it got worse. It’s a dark, toxic romance, which is popular in ‘smut’ these days; much as I enjoy dark romance, there was some very dubious consent and for me, rape should never be used as a form of entertainment.
Certain phrases made me feel quite sick, including ‘her pussy was weeping’ (like pus?), ‘pebbled nipples’ (used on multiple occasions) and ‘his finger began to circle her nether lips’ (what?) – don’t get me started on the use of the word ‘nub’ or him fingering her whilst she talks about her parents (odd), and how they were both schizophrenic. Oh and there was also a random orgy during the ball, which was very bizarre and came out of nowhere!
The author also seemed to struggle with how she could write sex scenes without condoms, as Corvina is – of course – a virgin. We experience her violent deflowering near the beginning with aggressive thrusts as he ‘punches into her’ (ouch) and much mewling and whimpering. To remove any need for foil packets, the author chooses to give the male protagonist a vasectomy. Naturally in a Twilight-esque HEA he has this reversed on their wedding anniversary. The author also kept going on about how both characters were turned on by her having his seed inside her… but he’s had a vasectomy, so actually no he doesn’t.
The author makes much of the fact our heroine hates wearing underwear, and yet Mr D is continuously ripping or removing her ‘panties’…
On the plus side, the gothic element of the story wasn’t too bad and the mysterious happenings at the school – although much of them are never explained – sort of work.
With a really good edit, this could be an OK novella. But it does read a bit like dark Twilight fan fiction. But with fewer vampires.
Thanks to Solaris Books for my proof copy. Opinions my own.
One thought on “Book Review: Gothikana”
Sounds awful – but at least you make it sound awful in a hilariously way 😂
Btw: just because he’s had a vasectomy doesn’t mean he won’t shoot. The jizz is still the same, it’s only missing one ingredient, but that difference cannot be seen without a microscope. Take it from me 😉