Summary: Two women deal with modern themes of sex, relationships, and fetishism in this erotic romantic comedy. So beware all who enter, because, to quote a few hundred thousand readers on DeviantArt: “I’m not into BDSM…but this story…I get it.”
Sunstone, vol. 1, by Stjepan Sejic 8.25
Anyone who reads this blog will know that I’m no great BDSM enthusiast, in any of its configurations. Whatever works, as they say, but it just doesn’t get my juices flowing.
And so it is with some surprise that I find myself taken with ‘Sunstone’, which I only picked up because it was in the “recommended” section of my local library’s website.
I had no idea what it was about, but I loved its red cover featuring two beautiful women. The name left me quizzical, but I tend to like anything that starts with the letter S.
So I requested it.
The only reason I picked it up before the dozens of other books I have to read is because, for some reason, I felt that it would be in high demand. But I still remained clueless.
When I flipped through the pages, and saw that it got sexy, I knew I should read it. It’s unusually sexy for a library book; a couple of decades ago, it would have been blacklisted.
Heh heh heh… yum.
Actually, what makes ‘Sunstone’ so compelling is that it’s text-heavy; this is not a gratuitous, exploitative pornographic graphic novel (much). It’s, first and foremost, a love story.
“A love story… suuuuure!”, you might think, rolling your eyes.
I’m being serious.
Right from the start, Lisa is at her computer, trying to recount the story of her and Allison, and thinks to herself that there’s no plot, that it’s just biographical.
How can she write this, she wonders?
At least we’re forewarned that it’ll be slow. It’s just that we have no idea that it’ll be slow, hot and wet. Because, let’s not deny it, ‘Sunstone’ does have its sexy bits.
Very sexy bits.
Still, most of this is due to the fact that Sejic builds it up. He shapes the characters so well, gets us into their heads so perfectly that we are swept up in their desire and passion.
‘Sunstone’ is excellent erotica; it taps into the brain first and foremost. But it goes for the kill by also offering up some delicious eye candy as well – the kind that’s sticky sweet.
It also serves up the kinky kind. It is, after all, a BDSM relationship. While that didn’t do anything for me, I liked that we got into Lisa’s mind, and got to understand the appeal.
Since it’s primarily a love story and is narrated by Lisa, ‘Sunstone’ attaches much importance to her ruminations and daydreams; we see the joys and awkwardness of blossoming relationships.
I especially liked that: it felt so real; the all-encompassing excitement that can overtake you in the early stages of a great relationship is translated perfectly here. It’s easy to relate to.
And then there’s the artwork. Sejic is very skilled: I love his character designs and the way he makes them move; they’re not just beautiful women, they’re exceptionally expressive.
That extends to even the speech bubbles, which are embellished to further express the tone of the characters’ musings. Truly, all about the artwork is lovely to look at. It’s pure bliss.
The only thing I would knock about it is that the inking is not as slick as the images would demand. The penciling and even the colouring need something more polished; it feels rushed.
Having said that, this is but a minor grievance.
Beyond that, ‘Sunstone’ is a near-perfect book. I never thought that I could sucked into a BDSM-themed story, as it’s never really happened to me before, but Sejic managed to pull it off.
I actually look forward to the next volume (there are four thus far). And I will absolutely explore his other works. If he can make ‘Sunstone’ this compelling, what else can he do?
We’ll soon find out.