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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Year in Review: Rape Consumption

I suppose I could do a top 5 reads or a few best of categories for a nice, feel good kind of review of the last year's worth of reading. But at the moment I'm more interested in getting an idea of what was in the total media I consumed. I may do a few more of these if I get curious. You know, books with absent parents, books where women worry about their weight, books with people of color.


Or I may be so bored -slash- horrified by the end of this one that I just don't bother.


So, this is a list of all the novels I read this year that summarizes the content related to
rape or sexual assault, but not prostitution. (Caveat: THAT I REMEMBER. Because, good God, the more I thought about it, the more I needed to revise.) Here's a list of everything I read this year and managed to track:



If you are worried about spoilers, now would be a good time to jump ship because I'm not going to make any attempt to avoid them.


For completely arbitrary reasons, I am removing short fiction collections (I don't track
magazines or other short fiction venues) and middle grade (because I want to give my niece those Magic Circle books without worrying about whether or not she'll notice one character's obvious reference to pedophiles) books, leaving 42 novels. Let's take a look at the ones I can remember.


1. Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3), Butcher, Jim


Since I read this more than a year ago, I wasn't sure how accurate my recollection of the implied gang rape was. I wasn't even sure if this was the one with Bianca's party at all, so I googled "Dresden Files Grave Peril rape" and the first page included this:


Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3): Jim Butcher ... - Amazon.com
www.amazon.com › ... › Fantasy › Magic & Wizards‎
Grave Peril: Book three of The Dresden Files and over one million other .....This third book in the series pushes a little farther on the sex and violence front.


Because sex and rape are totally the same thing. Thank you so much Dr. Google. Well, we're certainly off to a good start.


2. Six-Gun Snow White, Valente, Catherynne M.


Attempted rape foiled by gun-toting heroine.


3. Last Call, Powers, Tim


One character's back story is that her brother has imprisoned her in order to have sex with her as some sort of ritual.


4. Reamde, Stephenson, Neal


"Because only a crazy woman or a witch would behave this badly when she was totally in the power of a group of men who could rape her and kill her any time they felt like it."

Note: this isn't even the same character who is almost raped. Can't even imagine why I didn't finish this one.


5. Kitty Rocks the House (Kitty Norville, #11), Vaughn, Carrie


Not that I can recall, in this book, but Kitty is a rape survivor. Both before she's turned and because of where she originally falls in the pecking order. That colors my perception of this entire series.


6. Against the Dark (The Associates, #1), Crane, Carolyn


Evil dude makes snuff films starring kids. Torture scene staring our heroine threatens to turn sexual, but it's a romance novel so he saves her.


7. Song of the Beast, Berg, Carol


POV character casually drops into conversation that her dad used to pass her around among his friends.


8. Necessary Evil (Milkweed Triptych, #3), Tregillis, Ian


This has almost the same rape from the first book, but spelled out more explicitly. And
there's a failed seduction that might count if it were less sad.


9. Acid, Pass, Emma


It's not really YA unless there's an attempted prison rape in the first chapter. Fortunately, our plucky heroine fights off the guy easily.


10. Graveyard Child (The Black Sun's Daughter, #5), Hanover, M.L.N.


I kind of feel bad spoiling this one, but given Abraham's blog post about how the main
character in this series will never get raped, I feel like I should point out that rape is
rather essential to this whole series and to this installment in particular.


11. Divergent (Divergent, #1), Roth, Veronica 


Assault of our heroine turns sexual, but it's a romance novel so he saves her.


12. Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4), Butcher, Jim


One character is a half troll who's mother was raped by a troll.


13. London Falling, Cornell, Paul


One character has kind of a lot of rape in her past. Like, seriously, a lot.


14. Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1), Marchetta, Melina


Attempted rape of our heroine, but in a shocking turn of events, the romantic lead isn't the one to intervene. And then, even more awesomely, she sells the asshole into slavery to teach him a lesson about what it means to be considered less than human. Man, I really, really wish I had liked this book more.  


There is also a magic child who's mother was repeatedly rapes, and so frequent is the raping of daughters in one kingdom that men start just killing their daughters before it can happen. And the husband of the magic child's mom hates his wife for her infidelity until the decade of rape is shoved in his face, never mind that the first thing he did when he got out of prison was visit a brothel - obviously nobody has any problems with that.


15. White Trash Zombie Apocalypse (White Trash Zombie, #3), Rowland, Diana


This series starts with her dying after being slipped a date rape drug, so it's kind of all
predicated on an attempted rape. Nothing I can recall in this specific book, though.


16. Fixer, Doucette, Gene


A woman is assaulted in a not sexual way, but in the course of the investigation, obviously, there's a conversation about serial rapists. Because that's the go to example for escalation, I guess.


17. Kitty in the Underworld (Kitty Norville, #12), Vaughn, Carrie


Same as above.


18. Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3), Lawrence, Mark


Not that I can recall in this book, but our narrator is a rapist. That's established in the
first book: "And the willingness! That was new too, albeit paid for."


19. The Shining Girls, Beukes, Lauren


There is for sure a sexual overtone to much of the violence, and some mentions of rape as current events, but not really.


20. Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1), Anderson, R.J.


Sexual assault in a mental institution. But it's a romance, so he (not the romantic lead)
eventually backs off.


21. Code Name Verity, Wein, Elizabeth


Attempted rape foiled by gun-toting heroine.


22. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Fowler, Karen Joy


Major character repeatedly raped. Never mind that she isn't human.


23. The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3), Lynch, Scott


Attempted rape foiled by knife-wielding heroine.


24. Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1), Bach, Rachel


Romance novel, so of course no means yes. Gender swapped on the "seduction," so I guess that's novel? There's also a scene where she fails to "seduce" him because she's too drunk to stop him from stopping her.




If you see one on my goodreads link that I've failed to include here, let me know. As it
stands, this is already more than half. I'm also seeing that I read a lot less UF in 2013 than previous years, but this romp down memory lane has been draining enough that I don't want to look back even further for comparison.


I know I listened to an audiobook in 2012 with a rape scene that made me pull over on an interstate in Kentucky and throw up on the shoulder - definitely nothing this year got me that bad. On that one alone, this was a better year. 


What should I look at next time? If I do a next time.