I admit I’ve taken a couple of weeks to write the review of the final of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, the current favorite naughty books, not because I needed to ponder over what I think, because there’s not much to add. Now I’m happy to be free of Fifty Shades.
For “Fifty Shades Freed,” the sexaholic-wealthy couple Ana and pervert Christian are now happily married newlyweds continuing their BDSM (or whatever it is) lifestyle from the South of France back to the US. There’s a lot of eyes darkening, “Oh my!” (Cured me of that statement unless I reference these books now), and there’s something about Ana forgetting her birth control and her Le Femme Nikita moment at the book’s end. When all is said and done, Ana and new-nice-guy Christian is a happy couple watching their kids and still having over-the-top…never mind.
I think two elements are the main criticisms: 1) The sexual content, especially the methods used 2) The absolutely silly story.
The story, I’m sorry is stupid. But, so what? This is fantasy romance, handsome billionaire, lust at first sight, admitted pervert, what’s not to like? Sigh. Unfortunately, there’s not enough substance to the story to create much opinion either way. It’s just empty. The author throws in some topics at the end that are really “thrown in,” like when Ana realizes rich hubby Christian ships jobs overseas. Gee, “Holy Cow!” So after all of this hanky-panky, the writer is teaching us political talking points?
The plot to me is just to bridge the erotic content. So what’s so bad about that? Erotic books are out there, why is this one considered so offensive to some? I’ll admit I don’t read much (any) erotic novels, so I have nothing to compare. But regarding the sexual content, I’ll make a comparison with the very-R-rated “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin (just the adult stuff, Martin fans), “Fifty Shades” sex is couple, adult, consensual, and married (by the end). As over-the-top as their activities may be, there’s no prostitution, rape (but there is permissive assault), and no underage sex, except Christian’s learning of the BDSM lifestyle from an older woman when he was fifteen. The scenes to me run together, but it clearly works for many readers.
Overall the final rating to me is two stars, being generous. I don’t like giving writers low ratings, but I’m hardly in a small club. For the curious, I still suggest to adults to check this out on your own. And I don’t deny Ms. James: Her work, her books, her success. Good for her.