I was browsing through my library’s online catalog of audio book downloads when I stumbled across The Orca King by Darragha Foster. I am not a huge fan of a paranormal romance, but when fate puts an erotic orca-shifter novella in front of me, I am not about to pass that shit up.
It turned out to be the craziest of crazy sauce books I’ve read in a long goddamn time.
The Orca King is a 72 page book about a Native American orca-shifter named Tamanass “Big Tom” Tyee aka Chief, who is waiting for one true love to be reincarnated. While he’s doing that waiting he’s spending his time split between living as a man and as a rogue orca (one who doesn’t belong to a pod) and inseminating females (both orca and human). His seed keeps the pod/tribe strong, you see. Also his penis allows you to time travel (more on that later).
Now first of all, there is no orca-on-human lovin’ in this book, so you can put that fear right out of your mind. There is a dream sequence where the hero and heroine sixty-nine in the ocean, which is goddamn impressive if you ask me. I can’t even have sex in the shower without feeling like I’m drowning.
The book opens with Marian, the heroine, about to embark on a whale-watching tour. She won a vacation to a small island and the whale watching is part of the package. Marian is reflecting on her feeling of ennui and that her life, particularly her love life, just isn’t working out. She’s also horny.
On the whale watching tour, the group is fortunate to see a large rogue orca male called Ghost Father. Ghost Father is believed to be about 100 years old. He doesn’t belong to any pod but periodically shows up to mate with female orcas. Everyone is in awe of Ghost Father, especially Marian who feels drawn to him, exhilarated.
Marian could feel the beastie’s the presence […], smell his salty aroma. She could taste the salt spray on her lips. He looked at her as if he could see right through her.
Then the whale does the unexpected. He offers the boat a dead salmon, which is believed to be a courting gift. Marian has the idea that they have to accept the salmon, so they take a net and pull the dead fish from the water. Then Ghost Father rolls over and shows everyone his whale erection.
Yes, I actually just typed “Ghost Father rolls over and shows everyone his whale erection” in a review. You’re welcome.
Carrie S, who is now the Smart Bitches Science Officer, went on a Google expedition and discovered that whale penises are prehensile. Now I am disappointed that Ghost Father didn’t offer Marian the salmon with his penis, which would have been a more impressive gesture, quite frankly.
Anyway, Marian gives the salmon back, Ghost Father has sex with a female orca in front of the boat like he’s showing off, and then everyone goes on their merry way.
Marian is still overwhelmed by the experience and still horny.
She whispered, her arms still outstretched, “Ghost Father, you are magnificent.”
Now, back in March I also went on a whale-watching tour where I got to see some whales up close. I can say that I was feeling several things at the time:
1. awe at seeing such an amazing animal up close
2. nausea from being in a Zodiac in the ocean, bobbing around and
3. terror that the breaching whale was going to swamp the boat. I don’t believe arousal entered into it at any point.
To be fair, the whale we saw breaching was a calf, so maybe if it was studly, older, George Clooney whale I would have been turned on, but I doubt it.
Here are more words I never thought I’d type in a review—this is the whale I was not sexually attracted to:
Anyway, Marian is still thinking about Ghost Father when she’s driving to dinner that night. Her car breaks down in the woods (where even the trees look like penises) and she is helped by a handsome Native American stranger who goes by “Chief.” While they wait for her swamped engine to cool (is that a thing engines do? I legitimately don’t know) they get to talking and Chief is all mysterious and full of Yoda-like vague advice about her path in life.
Then they go for a walk in the woods and overcome with desire they knock boots on a magical rock. It’s the best sex that Marian has ever had:
He exploded within her, filling her with an ocean of love and hope.
AN OCEAN OF LOVE AND HOPE.
That’s gonna be drippy.
When Marian wakes up, she’s in her car smashed into the front of a tree. She thinks she dreamed the whole smexing of the hot dude on the magic rock. She goes to the doctor because car accident duh, but when she gets there she finds she has bruises on her back from the hot rock smexing. Also her lady business feels tingly.
The doctor is worried that someone raped Marian while she was unconscious after the accident and wants to do a rape kit, but Marian knows the truth. She really did meet Chief and they really did have a spiritual/ genital connection.
“Whatever he did to me, whatever he left inside me, I want to keep.”
IT WAS AN OCEAN OF LOVE AND HOPE, MARIAN. WE JUST WENT OVER THAT.
Then Marian learns about this legend of an orca-shifter and how he got a local woman pregnant 100 years ago and how she jumped off the hot smexing rock with her baby when he abandoned her, and she’s all upset. Then there’s a scene with a Native American fortune teller called Granny (“Granny” and “Chief,” great), and Granny tells Marian she (Marian, not Granny) is pregnant and the re-incarnated spirit of Chief’s long dead love, and yeah, Chief is sometimes a whale, be cool with it.
When Marian meets Chief again he tells her he’s been waiting for her to be reborn again so they can be in love, and he didn’t abandon her 100 years ago and he can take her into the past and show her—with his penis.
Yes, the magical time travel device in this book is not a blue police call box, but his wiener. And it has to be inside of her to work.
Look, if some dude came up to me and was like, we can travel through time, but only by having intercourse, I would get the bear mace…unless… Yeah, if it was the 10th (11th?) Doctor as played by David Tennant, I’d probably go for it. Probably. Totally.
So then we also get the story of Chief and Marian’s past lives, and then Marian has to decide if she can love whale-shifter she apparently loved 100 years ago and have his baby.
So this book is a whole lot of shifter-reincarnation-time-travel-penis crazy sauce thrown into 72 pages.
Now, I gave this book a C – because it’s completely batshit insane, but it’s not a bad book. It creates a mythology and sticks to it. I thought it was waaay too much shifter-past-life-time-travel to shove into a short book though. It was almost overwhelming how quickly things moved and how fast Marian (and the reader) had to process. I thought there was enough substance there for a book twice this length.
I also didn’t think we got a good feel for Chief. He shows up as a mysterious handsome stranger in both Marian’s life and in the flashback scenes where she is Mary Katherine. She’s inexplicably drawn to him in both lives, but aside from being hot and mysterious, I didn’t get any sense of why these two people would fall in love aside other than some supernatural connection. There was a lack of depth on Chief’s part that left this story less fulfilling that it could have been.
I personally couldn’t deal with all the waxing poetic about the whale-salt-smell and penis majesty, but I’m not into shifters or cetaceans, so I didn’t expect to be. I did appreciate and revel in the absolute batshit crazysauce that was slathered all over this baby, though.
Now, I was bummed to see that there’s a sequel to this book The Orca King II where Chief falls for a dude named Devon because aren’t Chief and Marian soul mates? I just read about salty orca penises because you told me they were soul mates! In fairness I haven’t read The Orca King II so maybe it’s explained.
But I will not read The Orca King II because the summary on Amazon includes a warning about “Orca whale and sea serpent sex play.” No thanks. I draw the line at time-travel-penis.