Thursday, July 13, 2006

Brief Review: Once More With Feelings

Once More With Feelings, a free Internet novel by the author who uses the pseudonym "The Night Hawk," is a pleasant wish-fulfillment fantasy in which a misanthropic middle-aged man dies and then wakes up in the body of a 14-year-old girl. Given another chance, does he take the opportunity to do better this time?

Because the protagonist is seldom confronted with serious dilemmas, the story isn't particularly dramatic. Even the team in the volleyball subplot has an improbably easy time overcoming its opponents. Because it's difficult for an author to build tension if his characters aren't put in either mental or physical danger, those looking for a nail-biter or page-turner will want to read something else.

On the other hand, the author apparently wasn't aiming at drama, but at a feel-good story. In this he succeeds well. The reader is frequently given vicarious pleasure when the newly young protagonist inadvertently helps herself by helping others. I often found myself grinning at all the sweetness and light and the not infrequent amusing situations. Those who are feeling down and in the need of a pick-me-up might like this one. I enjoyed it.

Technically, the novel is erotica. The sex scenes are arousing, but stroke isn't the focus of the story. It's primarily a character study with the message that nice people finish first. Given the (new) age of the protagonist, those who are disturbed by underage sex should skip this one.

Once More With Feelings can be found here, here, and at the Storiesonline site.

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