5.05.2011

A review of Wild Amber

Ladies and gentlemen of the Blasian Narrative community, reviews aren't my specialty. For the sake of my sanity, I'll make an exception.

I don't know Renee Gipson, but I sure as hell hope she never writes a Blasian novel again. The alleged Black-like protagonist is simply a "white" woman dipped in chocolate, milk-milk-milk chocolate.

Amber is half-Mexican and half-Black or rather half-dark and thanks to the gods of whiteashing, she primarily has Mexican features although for some curious reason she has "white" girl hair. Amber's only claim to Blackness is her round ass. She's so Mexican-like her medicine man in training (I won't even go there for fear of blowing a gasket), is only attracted to her non-Black features, especially her HAIR!

The only other woman of color in this crappy piece is half-Black/dark and half-"white." Apparently, this mixture is sufficient enough to make her not only a passer but also the highest grossing whore in town. The only gift she received from her Black father was her slightly brown skin, which made her fairly exotic. Not only did this honey defy her parents and run off with a French guy who abused her, she thought whoring was significantly better than returning home to the ranch her parents owned. Not only that, she willingly bedded the most racists men in town because they paid the most. These were the same men who slaughtered Blacks, Mexicans and Indigenous people for their livestock and other worldly possessions. Some would argue she helped Amber at the end. Right. She admitted to being half-dark and didn't pay nary a consequence. Sure. Whatever.

As you can probably tell, "white"-woman worship was rampant in this tale. The author went through great lengths to actually write a couple of times (in case we didn't get it) that the "white" woman was the "white" man's glory.

The plot also sucked. Amber didn't actually get revenge on anyone because the savage cousin of the medicine man killed her targets instead. Oh, she tricked one guy into killing his stupid brother, but that's neither here nor there. Did I mention that SavageCousin's name was Dark Water? Yes, Dark Water. That's akin to shitty water, isn't it? I guess naming him Roaring Rapids or White Water was out of the question.

Before I forget, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were Amber's favorite stories. Okay, on the one hand, I get it. Afro-centric reading material wasn't widely available in those days; however, for Gipson to promote these two stories in this context is offensive.

It gets worse. Even the "white" folks in this piece sucked in characterization. Anyone who has ever experienced even an inkling of prejudice/discrimination/racism should have been able to portray these bad guys better. At the very least, I should have hated them. Instead, every time I read the name Russell Black (**rolls eyes**), I was pulled out of the story.

The last flaw I'll even bother to mention was the throwing around of the word "dark" to represent the word "nigger." I don't play no damned PC games and at the very least historical pieces demand a reasonable level of honesty.

Ladies and gentlemen here at the Blasian Narrative, instead of buying this story, just flush your money down the toilet. Wild Amber does not merit your consideration. Stories like this are detrimental to all we're trying to accomplish here. The recycled fucking scenes were the only redeeming qualities this travesty offered.

After reading this crap, I owe the other authors I complained about an apology. I'll take their characterizations of Black women over Amber and Lillie any day of the century.

22 comments:

  1. Oh no, Wild Amber sounds so horrible. I'm really speechless at how the blurb is so different from the book itself.

    I'm glad I didn't buy that book! And I was so close to buying it.

    On the other hand, I bought Lotus Blossom Chronicles #1 and I really liked the second story because it was speculative fiction and had a great heroine.

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  2. Damn! I almost bought that!


    Oh, no, no, no, no....

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  3. That sounds horrendous. I'm glad this is a laptop because just reading that makes me want to go for a round of keyboard slapping.

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  4. O_O Your review made me cringe. I'm assuming the writer isn't a POC? If she is.......DAMN, SON!

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  5. I'm assuming the writer isn't a POC?

    I'm also assuming she's not. It's Ebony Eyes all over again.

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  6. "Before I forget, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were Amber's favorite stories."

    *Blinks 20 times*

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  7. Jeeez!

    *throws up in mouth*

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  8. Wait, what makes this a Blasian novel, exactly? So I'll know what not to do.

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  9. Thank you for this review! I just recently stopped reading a lot of fanfiction because of BS like this. It's obvious when black characters (mainly women) are written by white writers because they're usually pathetic, whimpering self hating losers. I will not be reading this garbage. So, Thank you!!

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  10. Agreed! I admit to only reading one romantic novel in my life,but I already know that Wild Amber will not tickle my romantic fancies. I can't see myself getting romantic with racists and an abusive lover.

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  11. Who is this Renee bitch? She needs to step away from her keyboard. Why is stuff like that even published? It's aimed at POC but I can't imagine any POC that would actually enjoy this white-worshipping trash. Maybe it's not aimed at POC but the white people who fetishize/hate them.

    Speaking of Ebony Eyes, i've read one of Kei Seanson's books (but not that one). I feel like she tries and has good intentions...but NO. Gurl needs to stop.

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  12. Everyone, I truly wish I could have found something for us within this book.

    @EccentricYoruba
    I'm thankful to have saved you from buying it. Let her regular readers feed her. I'll find a way to utilize it in my research. Even my Harlequin loving buddies aren't going anywhere near this.

    @Ankhesen
    I'm relieved to have spared you several spikes in your blood pressure.

    @GoddessMaverick
    Be kind to your keyboard. You'll need it when you decide to write your own blasian tale. :) If I'd shared this writer's perceptions of a young Native American male, you'd probably rip your brain out of your head. Mercifully, this is something she tells readers rather than shows them.

    @LeoPrincess
    I refuse to believe this woman even knows a POC. If she does and her buddies signed off on this crap, then they need the shit beat out of them, too.

    @Neo-Prodigy
    It was bad enough this was mentioned once, but I think she read the damned story to her Wichita lover, Three Rivers (who is the epitome of the noble savage). My brain is muddled. If I also remember correctly, one of the books showed up again later in the story as a precious possession. Blink 70 more times to make an even 100. :(

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  13. @Amaya
    Wait, what makes this a Blasian novel, exactly?

    Technically, it's Blasian because it features a relationship between a Black woman and a Native American male. In all fairness, Amber's relationship with Three Rivers was good if you ignore the fact that she lied and deceived him throughout most of the story. They had good intimate moments together and the writer did some research into medicine men and Wichita culture. Personally speaking, I don't think ANY WOC/POC could have written like this. As writers/authors, we write what we know. It's clear that Gipson knows nothing about Blacks, Mexicans or Indigenous people firsthand. If she is indeed Black, then it's all surface. I can't imagine you ever writing anything like this.

    @Charla
    they're usually pathetic, whimpering self hating losers

    Believe it or not, I wish Amber had been written this way. Instead, she was the epitome of strength (gag). Imagine a scenario where a 19-year-old girl gets shot twice! Yes, twice! One bullet even grazed her head. Yet she somehow manages, on death's door, to bury three murdered members of her family and soon after, chase down the men who killed them. Of course, her medicine man was treating her in the interim. *rolls eyes*

    @M
    I can't see myself getting romantic with racists and an abusive lover.

    Again, mercifully, readers were spared Lillie getting it on with her abusive racist white men. If Amber and Three River had been written as well-rounded characters baring the anti-Black sentiments, they could have been a great couple.

    @TheGirlinQuestion
    Maybe it's not aimed at POC but the white people who fetishize/hate them.

    I believe you've hit the nail on the head here. This wasn't meant for us. In truth, I'm rather surprised that Dark Water didn't brutally rape Amber. I think her goodness and light reformed him instead. *groans*

    Ladies and gentlemen, we need to write our own novels and we need to do it ASAP! We must not allow them to continue defining us. Good, bad or ugly, we must take control of our own image. I know there are people who have a disdain for both Spike Lee and Tyler Perry for various reasons, but let's keep one thing in mind. They're only writing from their own experiences. Instead of pointing fingers at them, accusing them of this or that, let's add our voices to the mix. I have a terrible feeling our own people are buying into the mainstream bullshit.

    Ankhesen and Amaya are already working overtime writing for us. Although I will never ever have their talent or skills, I will TRY!!!

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  14. @Hateya


    Ankhesen knows about this but my debut novel Hollowstone is coming out soon from Parker Publishing and I'm currently editing my second novel Empyrea as well.

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  15. @Neo-Prodigy

    Congratulations! I look forward to reading your work. If it's as enlightening as your blog, I'm sure it'll be hugely successful. As soon as it comes out, tell us where we can pick up our copies.

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  16. You know, maybe I'm wrong but it seems like most Blasian novels that come out are just plain crappy. I thought that might have been because of lack of exposure to Blasian couples and interactions by the authors. But at this point? If crap like this is being published, then I'm not sure if I would like to keep looking for them. It almost seems like these shitty novels are coming out ON PURPOSE, just to set us here back. But maybe I'm just paranoid...

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  17. @Moonwalker Most romance novels suck, imho, so I just figured that's why so many blasian novels are terrible. I love stories with romance in them (and don't typically like stories without romance), but for some reason stories that center around romance aren't appealing to me (this doesn't stop me from reading/watching some though because there are good ones).


    @Neo-Prodigy, Can't wait to read it! :)

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  18. ^Shasha. LOL let's see if I miss the spam box this time!

    I don't care much for romance novels, but I just thought this review was hilarious. I looked up the author. Apparently she also goes by the name "Renee Alexis" and looking at her work, I'm inclined to believe she actually is black, but just a terrible writer. Here's her website: http://www.reneealexis.com/bookshelf.html

    It's funny how when I was in college people gave me side-eye for wanting to get a degree in creative writing because I wanted to write young adult novels (which I am working on now). The response was always, "you don't need a degree to publish a book!" That's true but if you want to write a GOOD book, taking a few classes in writing/creative writing or going to workshops isn't a bad idea. I think a lot of people simply write in the style of books they read and what they think people like to read without taking much time to really understand how to write. And nowadays the internet is making it easy to get published. Everything about this author's writing seems cliche from the book premises to the book covers.

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  19. @ Hateya

    Thanks but I'm currently stuck on mine. :-(. Every time I reread what I've written I get so happy then I start again and then hit a wall.

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  20. "I'm inclined to believe she actually is black"

    That's just......bloody wonderful. =_=

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  21. @Hateya: Thank you and I certainly will.

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  22. @ Shasha

    1) Glad to see you running free.

    2) However...

    Apparently she also goes by the name "Renee Alexis" and looking at her work, I'm inclined to believe she actually is black, but just a terrible writer. Here's her website: http://www.reneealexis.com/bookshelf.html

    *shudder*

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