Review: 'Capricious: A Texan Tale of Love and Magic', by Julie Cox
At first, the book cover resembles the Kokopelli rock-drawing designs from the American Southwest. But if you look closely, you'll note that there are hooves and horns and, by gosh, that's furry enough for me!
Luke loves two things: his land and Sally. He pours a lot of magic and effort into one of them. The other he pretends to just like as a friend. Nobody is fooled except Luke.
This was a great read that starts with a heavy and intense sex scene. In a kitchen of a restaurant, with customers nearby. It's clear from the front and back covers that we're going to be dealing with a satyr, so I went in expecting sex, which is what these mythological creatures are known for. Still, walking in on that, on the first page, can be a little jarring.
Despite the vivid sexual scene at the start, from a narrative sense the book really starts out slow. I worried that I was in for another story like The Lion Warriors by Don Harrison. A novel that consisted of a series of multiple gay ass-poundings, made distinctive only by the descriptions of Roman clothing and their many points of entry. I couldn't finish reading it.
But after a few short opening chapters, Capricious began to get really interesting. We get introduced to the rest of Fox Pass, the community where Luke, our satyr, lives. Situated next to a gateway between universes and the Fae realms, the area attracts a lot of reincarnated souls from myths and legends of yore. This is done distinctly and so deftly that I felt that I must have read other books in the series.
I haven't. I looked. This is the only Fox Pass novel out there. And that's a crying shame! I really like this community. There are mermaids, nightmares, and even the Jersey Devil. The cast of memorable characters puts this work well within the realm of furry that we know and love - but I'm getting ahead of myself. (Editor's note: There's also a 2011 book called Chasing Tail.)
An invasion of chupacabra chases Luke off his land and onto Sally's couch. The town bands together to help protect their favorite satyr, but then the townsfolk begin disappearing one by one.
Being a satyr, Luke is wonderfully bisexual. (Editor's note: the story won the erotic fiction category of the 2014 Bisexual Book Awards.) It helps that the bisexual action is a very pleasant aspect of the plot, as sex is what fuels Luke's magic. Sex is also used as a weapon in this book.
Be warned, there are plenty of triggers in this book. One of the characters has the power to actually rape a satyr. The scene's not overly graphic, but it is... descriptive.
There were four or five times that I thought the story was over, and it wasn't. The first two times it was endearing. By the penultimate chapter, I was screaming "Just end it!"
Still enjoyable, overall. The characters felt like solidly real people, who – despite their various powers – choose to live just above the poverty level and make do. The author doesn't sell this as a great nobility, she just sells it. These people, despite having memories of many previous lives, still have their feet (or hooves) planted in the real world.
There's as much good humor in here as there is good sex. Maybe even more. The banter reminds me of Peter David a little. I'd gladly come back to visit the people of Capricious again!