The Sorority

You know you've done it. Don't lie. You go into a videostore. You have no idea what you want, you just wonder around the isles, and you see a movie. You look casually from left to right, snag the box, and flip it over quickly and scan the back. You want to get it, but you can't bring yourself to take it up to the counter. You didn't go into the, um, backroom, so you don't have one of those videos, but this video is still tacky enough to embarrass. So you go up to the cashier with copies of On Golden Pond, The Godfather Part II, and Sorority Slaughterhouse VII.

Tamara Thorne wrote The Sorority trilogy as the literary equivalent of a teen exploitation horror movie. It has dozens of girls in a sorority house, an evil sorority president, sex, ghosts, oral sex, dead football players, group sex, human sacrifice, and chipmunk sex. Reading a book like this makes me cry. In college I couldn't get laid to save my life.

Eve, Marilynn, and Samantha spent a summer of their childhoods together at Applehead Lake Cheerleading Camp "eight years ago." One night, the sneaked off to the boathouse and the rowed out to the island in the middle of the lake. Everybody knew that the town of Applehead sits at the bottom of the lake, and sometimes you could see the ghost of Holly Gayle walking about. A strange sound, a howling, drew the little explorers from the beach inland, to the mouth of the cave, and...

Eight years later, the girls find themselves reunited at nearby Greenbriar University, all pledging the Gamma Eta Pi sorority--for different reasons. Eve wants to join Gamma for its fabulous cheerleading squad. Marilynn is attracted to the sorority's history of ghosts and death. Samantha, the journalist, knows that something evil is brewing here, and she plans on breaking the story.

And what is the story? Malory Thomas, president of the exclusive Gamma Eta Pi, is also president of the sinister Fata Morgana, the sorority within the sorority. The Fata Morgana need to offer a sacrifice to the Forrest Knight by Halloween, and Eve would certainly make a worthy lamb.

The Sorority trilogy consists of the books Eve, Marilynn, and Samantha. Each book, of course, tells its story from the title character's point of view. The books follow each other chronologically, each book picking up the story from where the previous book leaves off. The reader must read all three books in order, as they certainly do not stand alone.

It thrills me that Tamara Thorne wrote the story deliberately as a guilty pleasure. She intentionally broke many rules of good storytelling to give the movie a B-movie flavor. Eve, the "hero" of the fist book, is a wimp, which is usually a no-no. The sex in the book, and there is a lot of it, is completely gratuitous and silly and funny and fun. And, I mean, come on, a sorority of evil college students performing human sacrifice in the middle of the woods!?! I loved it.

But the books commit two deadly sins that ultimately makes this a "thumbs down" review. The books build, and build, and build up to the climax, a big fight scene between the evil Malory and one of the girls, the scene we've been waiting for. DON'T GET SCARED! And then Thorne completely wimps out at the finale. I don't know if she got bored, or afraid that she couldn't pull of an exciting ending, or if some other conflict raged within her, but the story just peters out at the end, ruining the story as a whole.

The other problem has to do with padding the books. This is not really a trilogy. In fact, if I had money to bet on it, I'd wager that the book was finished as one book, and then split into a trilogy by the publishers. This should have been one novel, The Sorority, divided into "Book I: Eve," "Book II: Marilynn," and "Book III: Samantha". Chapters that ended on right hand pages had blank pages following them to make the following chapters begin on a right had page. This format stretched the books significantly, making them seem longer than the 190-200 pages they actually are. Instead of printing one book at 550 pages and selling it for $7.99, the reader must purchase three books at $5.99 each. For that I have to reject the book on principle, and say "Shame on you".

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

The Sorority, a trilogy by Tamara Thorne
Published by: Pinnacle Books
Genre: Horror
Author's Webpage: www.tamarathorne.com

Eve
Published on: June 2003
ISBN: 078601539X
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Marilynn
Published on: July 2003
ISBN: 0786015403
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Samantha
Published on: August 2003
ISBN: 0786015411
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About Joe Murphy

Joe Murphy succumbed to leiomyosarcoma on April 1, 2007. The irony of this is not lost on any who knew him and laughed with him. He was the first “official” book reviewer for The Dragon Page Radio Talk Show, and after moving to Arizona, he became a frequent contributor to Cover to Cover, Wingin’ It, Slice of SciFi and co-host of Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas.

He will be missed.

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