I finished Seven Nights recently. I really enjoyed it!
While the core of the story may be your standard fare for this genre, I think that's pretty forgivable given the insight into human relations. For example, Jonas is certainly rather Tomassi-like from the outside, but the author makes it clear why he is the way he is. Even when he goes Full Retard and sends Sidonie away, you see him clearly NOT wanting to do that. Neither he nor Sidonie do things just because they're stupid or evil - they do things for clearly explicated reasons, hurts, past events, or whatever.
You could say that, well, actions are what matter... Or results are the only thing that counts. In a sense that's true, but then it kind of ignores the fact that very often it's the process of achieving certain results - or deciding upon this action or that - which is the core of the learning experience. Emotions and the stupid things they 'make' us do are nowhere near so cut and dried.
Sure, I found it kind of disheartening that Jonas was a retard until the very last minute. He was certainly saved by Sidonie. Again, this is kind of cliché... But then such things have been known to happen in real life!
Besides, Jonas' stubborn nature and obsession with himself is IMO one of the core issues most of us face: How to put ourselves aside and think about someone else? Is it safe to do that? Can we really trust when every other time we did, we felt crushed under life's boot??
Plus, Sidonie faced a similar dilemma but from a different angle. She handled the whole thing with a bit more grace and fairness, I think. Nevertheless, she also did silly things - that are also totally understandable from the background given.
As for the sex, it didn't bother me at all. In fact, I found it to be even instructive in certain ways. Given that:
1. Relations between any 2 people are usually highly specific to those 2 particular individuals
2. Most people have deep wounds related to sexy stuff
3. Many people don’t usually want to talk about it
Then, well... It sure can be interesting to contemplate these stories and think (or re-think) our own lives and past/current loves. So, I don't think those numerous scenes took anything away from the story - they enhanced it.
Ultimately, Jonas and Sidonie don't get together (oh my god, I spoiled it!
) because the bedroom antics rocked their world, but rather because who they are - with faults and all - rocked each other's world.
Finally, reading this book made me think about all the screwed up stuff in society today... like the pick-up artist crowd and MGTOW and feminists and all that. Sure, you can do all that stuff. You can "increase your sexual market value" and get it on with hordes of people... But where does that leave you without a real emotional, hard-won connection?
At the same time, I think many people tend to try to create that emotional connection, but then totally poo-poo the physical stuff because they're "so above all that" (or horribly wounded). I'm kind of just guessing here, but it seems to me that most people need both. Let's face it: We're in 3d still. Ideas of sparkly love/light/knowledge rays flowing effortlessly between the Quartz to the 4th Power crystal in my hand and the one held by my beloved may sound nice, but... I dunno...
Learn the lessons of 3d in order to graduate? Simple and karmic understandings?
Life on Earth is what it is. We may be STS, but we can learn to align with more STO principles by interacting with and participating in this 3d reality we inhabit. And we can choose how to do that.
Seems to me like these books cut right to the heart of a number of especially relevant matters - and especially at this particular point in time. We don't even need a romantic relationship to work on bettering ourselves, getting rid of old worn out thought patterns, negative thought loops, etc. And those old patterns almost always revolve around emotional connection with other people. Naturally, that includes romantic connections - but any will do, each offering us an opportunity to learn different lessons.
Well, that's just some of the stuff reading this book got me thinking about... I'm on the Sons of Sin Book 2, and then I'll read probably 2 more series at least, so I may have more (or different) things to say later!