the well-written kind...
[ note: like I could resist using this image... ]
My all time favourite books.
You may notice that most of these books are homoerotic in nature.
Hmmm... imagine that... ^_~
Yes, yes -- my opinion. If you don't agree with it... make
your own damn page.
[ note: *ahem* seeing
as how I find summaries so damnably difficult to write, I've *ahem again*
swiped those of others, at times. In the unlikely event that you come
across this page, see your own words staring back at you, and get a mite
upset, just let me know
and I shall remove them,
gay-themed; glossy sex, or none at all
= gay-themed; graphic sex
[ note: a few
books on this list may be labeled incorrectly as it's been a while
since I've read some of these... ]
= not gay-themed *gasp*
books you'd have to pry from my cold, dead fingers...
books that... I really, really like ^_~
books well worth reading
for you to decide
>> jumped up
novellas (aka small pub. books)
run away! run away!
books are listed by the authors' last name
updated: 23 March 08
and Joy -- Jim Grimsley
back cover --> "Ford McKinney is a handsome, successful doctor
raised in a well-to-do Savannah family. His longtime boyfriend, Dan Krell,
is a shy hospital administrator with a painful childhood past. When the
holidays arrive, they decide it's time to go home together. But the depth
of their commitment is tested when Ford's parents cannot reconcile themselves
to their son's choices and long-kept family secret are revealed by a visit
to Dan's mother.
Comfort and Joy is a poetic and finely wrought novel that explores
the difficult journey two men make towards love."
This book was not at all what I expected. I expected the everyday. After
all, it seems a fairly average idea for a gay book. There are those magical
times, though, when you again realize that the sign of a truly good book
is not just what is said, but how. Grimsley's use of the English
language, employed in a totally different way than in Kirith Kirin,
is more poetry that prose, and the effect is truly remarkable. The love
in this book is never easy in its reality, but it is downright beautiful
in its portrayal. [ note: the story of Dan's traumatic childhood,
alluded to in this book, is told in Winter Birds. ]
books you'd have to pry from my cold, dead fingers...
-- Ensan Case [
out-of-print ] / [ historical - ww II ]
back cover --> "Jack Hardigan's Hellcat fighter squadron blew
Japanese Zekes out of the blazing Pacific skies. But a more subtle kind
of hell was brewing in his feelings for rookie pilot Fred Trusteau. As
another wingman watches---and waits for the beautiful woman who
loves Jack---Hardigan and Trusteau cut a fiery swath through the
skies from Wake Island to Tarawa to Truk, there to keep a fateful rendezvous
with love and death in the blood-clouded waters of the Pacific."
I LOVE this book. No, seriously. I have 2 copies of it (just in
case... ). Its subtlety is sublime and its characters so well-rounded
that they're real.
-- Samuel Delaney [
sci fi ]
"What is Dhalgren? Dhalgren is one of the greatest novels of 20th-century
American literature. Dhalgren is one of the all-time bestselling science
fiction novels. Dhalgren may be read with equal validity as SF, magic
realism, or metafiction. Dhalgren is controversial, challenging, and scandalous.
Dhalgren is a brilliant novel about sex, gender, race, class, art, and
A mysterious disaster has stricken
the midwestern American city of Bellona, and its aftereffects are disturbing:
a city block burns down and is intact a week later; clouds cover the sky
for weeks, then part to reveal two moons; a week passes for one person
when only a day passes for another. The catastrophe is confined to Bellona,
and most of the inhabitants have fled. But others are drawn to the devastated
city, among them the Kid, a white/American Indian man who can't remember
his own name. The Kid is emblematic of those who live in the new Bellona,
who are the young, the poor, the mad, the violent, the outcast--the marginalized.
Dhalgren is many things, but
instantly accessible isn't one of them. While most of this big, ambitious,
deeply detailed novel is beautifully pellucid, the opening pages will
be difficult for some: the novel starts with the second half of an incomplete
sentence, in the viewpoint of a man who doesn't know who he is. If you
find the early pages rough going, push on; the story soon becomes clear
and fascinating. But--fair warning--the central nature of the disaster,
of its strange devastations and disruptions, remains a puzzle for many
readers, sometimes after several readings." -- Amazon.com
Carnivorous Lamb --
Augustin Gomez-Arcos [
out-of-print ] / [ incest ] / [ historical - aftermath of the Spanish
civil war ]
"The Carnivorous Lamb unfolds itself like a particularly lovely,
intricate, and satisfying dream. Things that at first appear to be matter-of-fact
reveal themselves to be larger metaphors for politics, philosophy, social
atmospheres, and religion, in prose both decadent and surreal. At heart
this is a love story: love between brothers, literally and figuratively."
-- Amazon.com reviewer
Raised by Wolves, and its sequel,
Matelots: Raised By Wolves, Volume Two (of a proposed
4) -- W. A. Hoffman [historical
back cover--> "1667---Romance
in the west Indies. Wherein, the Viscount of Marsdale, duelist, libertine,
dilettante, and haphazard philanthropist, travels to the colony of Jamaica
to establish a sugar plantation for his estranged father. Once there,
he finds he has much in common with the buccaneers of Port Royal. Thus
he joins them and learns of the strange traditions, tactics, and customs
of the Brethren of the Coast. Falling in love, he partners with Gaston,
the mysterious French madman known as The Ghoul, and discovers another
as noble, disenfranchised,and scarred as himself. Together, they explore
an end to loneliness, and seek to exorcise the demons of their pasts,
in a wilderness torn by war and ambition."
I can literally say no wrong about these books. When I move them from
'new reviews' to their proper place in this list, they will be the first
in over 10 years to head straight to the 'pry from my cold, dead fingers'
category. Not only are they emotionally entangling, but, it turns out,
they are based in such a depth of historical fact that, my god, no wonder
I was so entranced. The rest of the world is hell bent on pirates due
to Johhny Depp and Co. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I have
given into a fascination with pirates, as well, but the cause is, instead,
Raised By Wolves.
George Nader [ out-of-print
] / [ sci fi ]
"A book for all readers, gay or not. It does, without making it's
efforts obvious, bridge the gap between futuristic Sci-fi and the age
old art of boy meets boy, boy falls in love. The mystery of the machine
man, is he or is he not, only adds to the entire enjoyment of the book.
To my enormous relief, this was a really great book, not [merely] a really
great gay book. I read it over 15 years ago and still find it mesmerizing
as I re-read it for the 3rd time." -- Amazon.com reviewer
Mary Renault [ historical
- ww II ]
"The complicated romances of closeted gay men in England at the height
of World War II seems an unlikely subject, but Renault endows The Charioteer
with such depth of perception that virtually any reader will be fascinated
by her story of three young men who strive to reconcile the frequently
opposing forces of sex, love, and personal integrity in their lives and
relationships. Considerably more than just a 'gay love story,'Renault's
novel examines what it means to be completely honest and completely fair
in even the most difficult of relationships at even the most difficult
moments of life.
Written with both on-the-surface
(as in the myth of the Charioteer) and covert (it is no accident that
many of the characters are in some way physically damaged, or that the
story is set during England's darkest hours of the war) symbolism, Renault's
novel encourages the reader to take time over it. Although sometimes demanding,
the book casts a spell; I can honestly say that I did not want it to end,
but I wanted to know more about what the future held for the characters.
It is a book to which readers will return again and again." --
Angus Stewart [ out-of-print
--> your best bet is a library. copies of this novel are upwards of
"Angus Stewart's novel 'Sandel' was first published in 1968. I found
the paperback edition in 1971, in a standard Australian bookshop. Strangely
enough, at that time, I was the same age (19) as David Rogers - one of
the main characters; but it's the protaganist: Anthony Sandel, who's the
real star-player in this extraordinary novel. Mr Stewart's ability to
create such vivid images in the reader's mind is truly astonishing, and
at the book's end, most readers will surely come to think of Anthony and
David as almost real people.
When the book was originally
published, a London newspaper made this comment: 'Mr Stewart has really
succeeded with this young character, and in depicting a love which truly
exists and is not despicable.' How true that statement is. However, Bruce
Lang, one of the minor players in the story, is also an interesting character.
Even though he's a legitimate friend of David Rogers, he finds it impossible
to come to terms with the fact that David could love a 13-year-old choir
Would this book be too controversial
for the repressive '90s? I doubt it; it was a success in the late 1960s
and early '70s. Surely it's time for a reissue, so that this magnificent
novel can be enjoyed by a whole new audience.
Even though 'Sandel' is very
suitable for general audiences, it's a must-read for anyone who understands
the underlying philosophy behind famous English public schools."
-- Amazon.com reviewer
books that... I really, really like ^_~
-- James Barr [
back cover --> "The year is 1946. A brash young
naval officer faces court-martial for standing up to a lazy officer in
the closing days of WW II. In the midst of this turmoil, he meets the
man who will change his life..."
The book intellectualizes homosexuality more than any I've ever read,
while still engaging the characters in more than a platonic relationship.
It has very Ayn Rand-ish overtones, which draw me as much as Ayn Rand
did when I was a teenager, though here we have the added benefit of a
gay love, instead of a het one. The book does not have a happy ending,
but the addition of the author notes (which were not included when
I read this book the first time >_< ) finally allow me to understand
There Be Dragons --
Robert Bentley [ out-of-print
A spy/thriller. Don't read many of these. Mind you, it's not the
obvious kind. I do so hate to be obvious. The FBI approaches a civilian
to become a spy for the duration. His mission? To put himself in a position
to be blackmailed so that he can give false information to the blackmailers
(enemy spies). Am I giving too much away? Hell, you probably won't read
it anyways. Plus, it's out of print. that always helps.
Lola Burford [ out-of-print
] / [ incest ] / [ historical ]
Dismiss Us --
NY Times review --> "This 1967 British novel by Michael Campbell
is set in a teen-age boys' boarding school where Carleton, a bright, Oxford-bound
senior, loves Allen, a younger boy. But Ashley, a teacher, loves Carleton,
and there is also a new headmaster who wants to root out moral corruption.
Our reviewer, J. D. Scott, wrote, 'The scenes between Carleton and Allen,
with their mixture of shyness and greediness for love, are moving and
fine.' But 'the comedy of Lord Dismiss Us makes the strongest impression.
The Head and his wife and teen-age daughter, the masters and the other
boys are extremely funny and (with only a few exceptions) deeply authentic.'
Just as a warning: though the humour in this book is one of its main aspects,
there is a part of the ending that is very jarring. It is not dwelt on---blink
and you will miss it (I did, the 1st time I read it)---but
it is there. It says something about the books overall quality
that this detracts only a small bit from my enjoyment of the book as a
Jo Clayton [ out-of-print
] / [ sci fi ]
Book 1: Skeen's Leap --> and so finally you know where
I got my e-mail addy from! *grin*
Book 2: Skeen's Return
Book 3: Skeen's Search
Skeen is my type of female protagonist. She's striking, but not beautiful.
She's not an emotional wreck. She can have sex without falling in love.
She makes mistakes and gets pissy and can be downright annoying. She has
a lover without the story ever delving into romance. God, how refreshing
is that? I've yet to read another female quite like her.
Storm Constantine [ sci
fi / fantasy ]
Book 1: The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit
Book 2 : The Bewitchments of Love and Hate
Book 3 : The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire
The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure: The First Book of the Wraeththu
The Shades Of Time And Memory: The Second Book of the Wraeththu
The Ghosts of Blood and Innocence: The Third Book of the Wraeththu
Do you not know these books? They're fabulous. kind of an alternate reality/future
type deal where men (and no, I'm not not being pc) have mutated
into another species that combines both male and female. Ms. Constantine
writes with a beauty that makes you wish life could be more like how this
is written instead of how it is, although it just might be much more painful
In the later books, there is a swift dive into melodramaticism that is
soap-opera-ish in dimensions, but, hell, it's still fun and a reprieve
from the emotional overload of the first 3 books is welcome.
Catherine Cooke [ out-of-print
] / [ fantasy ]
Book 1: The Winged Assassin
Book 2 : Realm of the Gods
Book 3 : The Crimson Goddess
Arris is the Crimson Goddess' dream in flesh. He is beautiful, he is strong,
he is powerful... and the last thing he wants is to be used and discarded
by a being who who will consume him utterly. In the darkest times, it
doesn't seem so hideous a prospect, but not after he has so freely, and
so completely, given his heart to another. Sure, life as a goddess' consort
has its perks, but what is a year of ecstasy next to the golden reality
of Arris' boyhood friend, Saresha? Do you even have to ask?
Nightrunner Series --
Lynn Flewelling [ fantasy
Book 1: Luck in the Shadows
Book 2: Stalking Darkness
Book 3: Traitor's Moon
Kirin -- Jim Grimsley
[ fantasy ]
plot-ness: "[This is] a fantasy that could have come right from our
world where power and greed can tempt, and sometimes conquer, even the
most rightist person and where knowing who your friends and enemies are
can be very difficult if not impossible. Yet it is not our world. For
in Kirith Kirin's world magic is real, immortals walk the land, and people
are sometimes the playthings for the dark arts.
The Blue Queen, upon resuming the throne while King Kirith Kirin's eternality
is renewed in the Arthen forest, has partnered with a magician of the
dark arts. No longer does she need to leave the throne to renew her eternal
nature. Swayed by promises of the dark magician, she has claimed the throne
forever and is extending her influence to the far corners of the world.
Malleable grey clouds, sidewinding wind, and intelligent lightning bolts
made the trip across the vast Girdle nearly impossible. Out of nowhere,
the Blue Queen's Patrols made haste to kill the boy and the warrior before
they could safely reach the deep forest of Arthen. Riding upon two magnificent
stallions, one a royal Prince out of Queen Mnemarra, Jessex and his uncle
Sivisal reached Arthen despite a deadly storm that reeked of magic.
Thus begins Jessex's new life as he enters Arthen and moves into the royal
court of Kirith Kirin."
I spent, literally, years avoiding this book due to the fact that
I was under the mistaken apprehension that it was your average, run-of-the-mill
fantasy with your average, run-of-the-mill royalty and their average,
run-of-the-mill (if rampant) magicians. I will be the first to admit,
joyfully even, that I couldn't have been more wrong. This book is like
nothing I've read before. The world Grimsley has created is truly unique,
and his writing style is elegantly simple. He renders its characters slowly
and beautifully. By its completion, I was quite positively both in awe
and in love.
[ warning: the key word here is 'slowly'. this is not a quick moving
Drew Gummerson [
If you're looking for a mystery, which this book is
billed as, this book will indeed disappoint. A who-dun-it, it is not.
To me, mind you, this is a Very Good Thing, seeing as I'm a firm believer
in the theory that mysteries suck. If, however, you're looking
for an engaging protagonist with the best name since forever (Honza *swoon*)
who's blond and trim and has a penchant for walking about his home naked,
this'll be just your cup of tea. When Honza advertises for a lodger due
to recent financial straits, having to wear clothes in the morning is
the least of his worries. Finding someone who's at least semi-compatible
turns out to be surprisingly easy, though only after a few hair-raising
encounters. And Andy seems so normal and unassuming. Not someone to cause
trouble and definitely not someone to, as a gay man, be attracted
to. As time passes, though, it turns out the Trouble is Andy's middle
name and, whaddya know, that guy's pretty cute, after all...
Rose of Night --
Mel Keegan [ historical
- crusades ]
An East Wind Blowing --
Mel Keegan [ historical
-- Ted van Lieshout
back cover -->
"Can you still be a brother when your brother is dead? Luke often
wonders. His brother Marius has died, leaving Luke alone with their parents.
When their mother decides to burn Marius's belongings in a ceremonial
bonfire, Luke saves his brother's diary and makes it his own by writing
in it. And so begins a dialogue between the brothers, the dead and the
living, from which truths emerge, truths of life and death and love."
Despite its scant 155 pages, the emotional impact of this book was enough
to make me cry. Literally.
Different Light --
Elizabeth Lynn [ out-of-print
] / [ sci fi ]
back cover -->
"Adam is a delightful sixteen-year-old who does well in school and
spends his spare time practicing the cello. Or that's what his parents
think. But there is another side to him, which comes to the fore when
he falls for a labourer called Sylvain and realises that friendships have
the potential to be more than platonic.
The results are explosive in this passionate story of illicit romance
and teenage angst over one long hot summer in the French countryside."
I'm a sucker for books wherein the protagonist is someone everyone seems
to fall in love with, in one way or another. Adam does not have
the depth of McDonald's first book, Orange Bitter, Orange Sweet
(see below), but, in its own right, is a very enjoyable read.
-- Kenneth Martin [
back cover--> "It is the beginning of the summer
and Paul has just left school. Estranged from the people around him and
unable to communicate with his parent, he feels lonely and unloved. But
his life suddenly changes when he meets a young medical student whom he
renames Gary. Their relationship develops through the long hot summer,
to reach its climax with the approach of autumn...
First published in 1957 and written when the author was only sixteen years
old, this amazing first novel created a storm of controversy with its
frank revelations about adolescent homosexual feelings and consciousness."
Sounds like any other coming-of-age story, huh. Trust me when I tell you
that it is most certainly not.
Swim, Two Boys -- Jamie O'Neill
[ historical ]
snippet from inside cover --> "Set in Dublin and its near surrounds,
At Swim, Two Boys follows the year to Easter 1916, the time of
Ireland's brave but fractured uprising against British rule. At its core,
it tells the love of two boys, Jim, a naive and reticent scholar, the
younger son of a foolish, aspirant shopkeeper Mr. Mack, and Doyler, the
dark rough diamond son of Mr. Mack's old army pal."
This book... is gorgeous. So good, in fact, that it's taken me over a
year to put up even this pathetic review. Why is it so much easier to
review bad books?? No matter this lifeless summary, this book is
well worth the time and money. I highly recommend it.
[ note: I cannot as highly recommend two of his other books Disturbance
and Kilbrack. If I had read them first, I never would have given
At Swim, Two Boys a chance. They are not bad books, per
se, but having read them one wonders why one bothered to do so. ]
Doris Piserchia [ out-of-print
] / [ sci fi ]
From Heaven --
Mary Renault [ out-of-print
] / [ historical - ancient greece ]
The story of Alexander the Great's childhood. *adoration ensues*
King Must Die --
Mary Renault [ historical
- ancient greece ]
A realistic retelling of the legend of Theseus. This was the first of
Ms. Renault's books that I read, and it astounded me. I've made
no secret of my love of ancient Greece, and this woman brings that far
ago time to life better than any other author I know.
Last of the Wine --
Mary Renault [ historical
- ancient greece ]
The Mask of Apollo --
Mary Renault [ historical
- ancient greece ]
The Nature of Alexander --
Mary Renault [ historical
- ancient greece ]
Non-fiction. I do not read non-fiction. It simply does not happen. I have
no interest in it whatsoever. I do, however, have a great interest in
Alexander, and reading a history of his life as written by someone who
seems to love him as much as I... well, I couldn't pass that up, now could
Persian Boy --
Mary Renault [ historical
- ancient greece ]
editorial review on amazon --> "...Traces the last years of Alexanders
life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy,
Bagoas was sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but found freedom
with Alexander after the Macedon army conquered his homeland. Their relationship
sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of
two foreign wives, a sometimes-mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper.
After Alexanders mysterious death, we are left wondering if this
Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than
back cover -->
"... Colm Tóibín captures the extraordinary mind and
heart of a great writer. Beautiful and profoundly moving, The Master
tells the story of a man [Henry James] born into one of America's first
intellectual families who leaves his country in the late nineteenth century
to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and
In stunningly resonant prose, Tóibín captures the loneliness
and the hope of a master of psychological subtlety whose forays into intimacy
inevitably failed those he tried to love. The emotional intensity of this
portrait is riveting."
-- Vincent Virga
back cover -->
"Robert. With his blond hair, emerald eyes, and porcelain skin, [he]
is almost too beautiful to be alive. He is only 17 when he travels to
Gaywyck to catalog the mansion's vast library, never expecting to be flung
into a terrifying web of danger, love, and lust.
Donough. The master of Gaywyck is the epitome of elegance and sophistication,
and only his brooding good looks hint at the fires that rage beneath the
surface. Though he longs to return Robert's love, he is haunted by the
dark sexual secrets of his past.
Slowly, breathlessly, the passions of Donough and Robert rise to a towering
crescendo. But the lovers are unaware of the hidden evil that is watching...
waiting... determined to destroy them... This is the gothic romance gay
men have yearned for."
My god, but I love this book. It's campy as hell, romantic to the extreme,
and that 'gothic' up above? should really be capitalized, italicized and
underscored. After multiple readings, it's just as much fun now as it
was the first time I picked it up.
Brothers Bishop --
Bart Yates [ incest
Whitney Scott, Copyright © American Library Association -->
"Gay high-school English teacher Nathan Bishop lives in the small
Connecticut town and the house in which he grew up, unlike brother Tommy,
a decidedly urban type who's a real love-'em-and-leave-'em player with
the guys. Imagine quiet Nathan's surprise when Tommy arrives with his
current hunk and a married couple (man-woman, yet) for a vacation of sun
and sand at his brother's place. Teaching summer school to kids, including
attractive and hormonal Simon, 15, doesn't keep Nathan from seeing married-man
Kyle's obvious ambivalence about his sexuality--a smoldering ember waiting
to ignite. Kyle's confused, hurt wife, Camille, winds up drinking too
much of the wine cellar Nathan inherited from dear old, abusive Dad. Add--much
to Tommy's lustful appreciation--Simon to the already volatile mixture
in Nathan's household, and the yearnings and entanglements extend to the
school and the larger community in this smoothly written, well-paced exploration
of issues of fathers and sons, forgiveness and acceptance."
back cover -->"At once both brutally honest and beautifully tender,
The Brothers Bishop is a riveting story about the war we wage on
those we love best, the cost of forgiveness, and the necessary pain of
becoming fully human."
Warning: The ending is inevitably unhappy. You know it's coming (hence
the 'inevitable')(heh...), but it still gets you right in the gut.
Ursula Zilinsky [ out-of-print
] / [ historical - ww II ]
This one was a bit controversial when it came out in 1968, and I suppose
it might still be considered so today. Set during WW II, the protagonist
is a spoiled half-Jewish teen who was raised as non-Jew as you can get
yet still ends up in a work camp (not a concentration camp due
to his Prussian grandfather). There, he meets, and eventually falls in
love with, the commander of the camp---an ex-panzer German officer
who is as much against the war and its consequences as any prisoner of
the camp. Happy ending (no sap, thankfully), cuz I do so hate miserable
endings. Very good writing.
books well worth reading
-- Robin Wayne Bailey [
out-of-print ] / [ fantasy ]
inside cover --> "Innowen met the Witch of Shanalane completely
by accident during a violent storm she had conjured. He'd been crawling
through the mud of the forest floor---a crippled youth desperately
seeking help for his guardian, Drushen, who'd been bitten by a poisonous
The Witch saved Drushen's life and then, to Innowen's amazement, she used
her magic to give him a priceless gift---the ability to walk.
His legs were still useless by day, but between sunset and sunrise he
enjoyed freedom he'd never experienced before. And all he had to do to
maintain it was to dance each night---that much the Witch told
But she never explained what would happen to those who saw him dance.
That horror he discovered on his own."
On the 2nd read, I found parts of this book dragging terribly.
But Innowen (nicknamed Innocent *loves*) is just as fascinating as every
character in the book also finds him, and seemingly everyday events are
connected to others in ways that are, ultimately, profound and very satisfying.
Wilhemina Baird (there
is a male / female / male love triangle that loses a male part
rather early on...)(though there's another male thrown in, by then end)(*rolls
[ sci fi ]
Book 1: Crashcourse
Book 2: Clipjoint
Book 3: Psykosis
-- Andrew Barriger
Being cheated on by your boyfriend sucks. Finding out your boyfriend is
cheating on you by walking in on him in the act is taking suckiness to
an entirely new level, especially when you had been pretty sure that this
was Love. What can a guy do but get away? Leaving the city behind him,
up-and-coming employment lawyer Taylor Connolly retreats to the home of
his best friend, Gen, and decides that maybe small town life would suit
him better, despite the commute. Especially since the town baker has an
arresting smile that Taylor can't help but fall for. Follows: your typical
romance, with the exceptions that Tom (divine baker and soon-to-be teacher)
isn't 'out', the decidedly female neighborhood real estate agent is interested
in Taylor in all the wrong ways, and Neil (a startlingly attractive
friend of a friend) is interested in all the right ones. Will True Love
find a way? Of course it will. Happily enough, there is never a doubt,
but the journey is not less worth the taking for all that. (I told the
guys at work that I didn't read romances, and I don't. it wasn't 'til
i picked up this book again that I realized I'd inadvertently lied. ^_~)
-- Marion Zimmer Bradley [
From the Inside
Flap --> "A magnificent, colorful novel of the circus world of
the 1940s and 1950s, rich in detail, bursting with power and emotion.
Mario Santelli, a member of the famous flying Santelli family, is a great
trapeze artist. Tommy Zane is his protegé. As naturally and gracefully
as they soar through the air, the two flyers find themselves falling in
love. Mario and Tommy share sweet stolen moments of passion, but the real
intensity of their relationship comes from their total devotion to one
another and to their art. As public figures in a conservative era, they
cannot reveal their love. But they will never renounce it. A tremendously
moving tale, a rich family saga, a wise and compassionate portrait of
a special love in a special world."
"Rich family sagas" are not quite my thing, which explains why
I set this book down halfway through and took a breather before I let
myself pick it up again. This in no way, oddly enough, affects my reaction
to the book, which was positive throughout. At many times, this is not
a pleasant story---it is rife with violence, jealousy, and bigotry.
But, as we all know, that's life, and this book captures it very
well (in a slightly mini-series-esque way ^_~).
Bones, and its sequel, Dragon Blood
Briggs [ fantasy ]
book description on amazon --> "Ward of Hurog has tried all his
life to convince people he is just a simple, harmless fool...And it's
worked. But now, to regain his kingdom, he must ride into war-and convince
Poppy Z. Brite
A horror / hacking (as
in computers, not people ^_^) tale. I will not go so far as to say that
Poppy is a particularly good writer---this is the only of
her books that I can stomach---but this work certainly is entertaining.
[ note: now that I've read another of Poppy's books, namely Lost
Souls (which is nothing more than a pointless study in gothic futility),
I can definitively state that, despite how much fun I have with Drawing
Blood, I have no need whatsoever to pick up any more of her
-- screenplay by C. Jay Cox, adapted by T. Fabris
In rl, I do not believe in romance. This is mostly due to the fact that,
in general, I have no faith whatsoever in humanity not to suck.
Undoubtedly this contributes a hell of alot to my being such a sucker
for (m/m) romance in (written) fiction. But still, can you really believe
that two beautiful and disparate people could fall truly and madly in
love in the space of a few short conversations, a smattering of equally
short meetings in a laundry room? Hell no. This does nothing to
dissuade me from swooning mightily by this books end. Aaron and Christian---it's
love at first sight, though neither of them knew it. In the space of 232
pages, they have both not only found each other, but have completely changed
their respective lives in order to be with one another. It's totally unbelievable,
thoroughly implausible, and, yes, totally romantic.
the Epic Tales of the Five series
Diane Duane [ out-of-print
] / [ fantasy ]
The Door Into Fire
The Door Into Shadow
The Door Into Sunset
Space Cops series --
Duane & Peter Morwood [ out-of-print ] / [ sci
Grand literature, they are not. Great fun, they are. Heh... I'm such a
-- Lorna Freeman
[ fantasy ]
I really and truly can't remember when I last enjoyed a book more. Covenants
is utterly brilliant in its simplicity. My favourite books are, I'll be
the 1st to admit, running over with bottomless plots, not to mention various
and sundry forms of ambiguity. They're the kind of books that, when I've
finished with them, leave me positively aching, in one way or another.
This book... is comfortable, it's approachable, and, dang it, it's downright
fun. It has a main character that you like within the 1st page.
It has short chapters that keep the action moving. It has, true, a somewhat
large cast of characters, but never is the number overwhelming enough
that when someone speaks you have to check a list to find out who the
heck he is. There is no angst, though there is tension. Everything is
what it appears to be, except when it's not. And then there's the main
reason why I bought this book -- the absence of a female lead.
I've gone over before how I really do like women, I swear, but in fiction
it is extremely rare that they are anything but romantic, emotional whiners.
*cough* So to find a book with no romantic entanglements whatsoever was
a literal godsend. It also means, that -- yes, yes -- this
book is slash-y in the extreme. *feral grin* By its completion, I was
feeling thankful that I'd found it at all, and even more thankful
that there is a sequel due out soon. As long as they avoid sticking Rabbit
with a tempestuous sprite or a wily noblewoman (*grimace*), I am so
James Alan Gardner
[ sci fi ]
The Fire's Stone --
Tanya Huff [
I didn't read fantasy for years, after having totally overdosed on Dragonlance
in high school. But I get so desperate now that I've slipped back in a
bit. As long as there are no elves or dwarves, I'm pretty much ok. This
one has wizards and princes, not acting like wizards or princes,
tracking down a stolen magical stone that is the only thing standing between
a royal city and (I had to say it) fiery destruction. And the Prince falls
for a man. How the heck could you go wrong?
Quarters series --
Tanya Huff [ fantasy
] / the gay relationships are important, but not the main story
The Fifth Quarter
The Quartered Sea
Wallace Hamilton [ out-of-print
If you've read my 'very',
this was one of my inspirations...
Michael Jensen [ historical
setting - the American frontier - but yet not all that historical... ]
Set in the American frontier, Firelands is decidedly... non-American-frontier-y.
Considering the fact that I care not a whit for American history, that's
a very good thing. What this book does have is a young, good looking
protagonist, a non-stop storyline (that, yes, would and could only work
in a fictional world), and a gorgeous Indian lover of said protagonist.
No, it isn't a brilliant work, but does it really need to be? It's engaging
and pretty (if violent) and well worth the money and time.
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man --
The only book I read
in high school which stuck with me. I actually own 3 copies of it. I will
not go so far as to say that I truly understand Joyce as a writer (Ulysses
still confounds me...), but this book, the most approachable of his works,
remains one which helped shape me as a reader.
-- M. E. Kerr [
young adult ]
erview --> "Lang Penner is a happily adjusted 17-year-old gay
teen who is engaged in a loving relationship with Alex, a 20-year-old
actor. When Lang becomes emotionally involved with Huguette, the French
daughter of a famous deceased rock star, life suddenly becomes more complicated."
You know what I liked best about this book? It was simple. There was no
overwhelming teenage angst, no horrific misunderstandings, no circumstances
that lead to events which will affect the characters adversely for their
entire lives---it's just... life. I found it pleasantly charming
and incredibly refreshing.
A Melodrama of Manners --
A totally unromantic
romance. (There is a sequel, of sorts, to this - entitled The Fall
of the Kings - which did not go over nearly so well with me. While
the characters were engaging, it was too politically slanted for my tastes.
And it ends quite depressingly. *grimace to both*
While England Sleeps --
David Leavitt [ historical
- the spanish civil war ]
A book which I recall as quite well-written and deeply moving, but which
ended so tragically that I haven't been able to read it again. "Air
of doomed romance", indeed...
Dancers of Arun --
Elizabeth Lynn [ out-of-print
] / [ fantasy ] / [ incest ]
The story of Kerris, a boy who lost his arm in a raid when he was a child,
growing up orphaned and virtually unfriended in a hostile, northern keep.
In his 17th year, his long absent brother (Kel) returns for him, taking
him along to his home in the south where he discovers his magical heritage
as well as how to control his own magic. Like others of Lynn's works,
there really is no strong plot line to drive the story along, but the
characters are so likable in an I-can't-really-believe-people-like-this-could-ever-exist
kind of way that it's re-readable anyways. Also out of print. What fun!
Bitter, Orange Sweet --
back cover -->
"... McDonald's haunting debut follows the intertwined relationships
of six young people [ in mid-seventies Seville ]---a potent mix
of nationalities and sexualities. Richly imbued with the scent of orange
blossoms and the sound of classical guitars, this deeply felt romantic
novel explores love, frustration and betrayal."
Year of Ice --
From Publishers Weekly -
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --> "A gay
high school senior struggles to cope with his father's irresponsibility
in Malloy's poignant, quietly effective debut, set in Minneapolis in the
late '70s. From the outside looking in, protagonist Kevin Doyle seems
like a normal, party-happy 17-year-old, but the combination of a troubled
family life and his secret crush on one of his best friends definitely
sets him apart from the pack. The family issues revolve around his dad,
Pat, an ordinary 40-something widower with plenty of romantic prospects
as the book opens. But Kevin is furious when he learns that Pat's infidelity
may have contributed to the car accident that took his mother's life,
and his anger increases exponentially when his father impregnates the
woman he had the affair with, then marries her after a brief dalliance
with another woman. Malloy's coming-of-age narrative can be generic, but
he handles the gay angle nicely as he explores Kevin's difficulty in finding
an outlet for his hormonal urges even as he struggles to maintain a relationship
with a classmate named Allison Minczeski, who falls for him. The author
also displays a razor-sharp comic touch in the verbal sparring between
father and son as Pat tries to bring his instant family together, and
he balances the comedy with some touching scenes after Pat messes up his
latest domestic venture. Malloy shows plenty of talent in his gay spin
on the genre, and this debut bodes well for his literary future."
Barry Malzberg [ out-of-print
] / ref.s to homosexual leanings that may or may not have been based in
amazon editorial review --> "Two astronauts embark upon the first
manned voyage to Venus. Only one returns and writes a journal promising
to explain the true events of the voyage."
a Knight's Tale --
Richard Monaco [ out-of-print
A tale of the authurian knight, "this book makes poetry out of the
muck and blood of everyday life; has three-dimension characters; epic
scope, humor, love and magic and once you're into it you don't put it
down.Up there with the classics of any genre. Unique." - amazon reviewer
Stone Prince --
Fiona Patton [ fantasy
So rote that at times it's downright monotonous, but enjoyable all the
The Sweet Dove
Barbara Pym [ out-of-print
] / has a gay male character, but he is not the main focus
"Novelist Barbara Pym's deft touch with the nuances of personality
and social class in England in the 1970's is enhanced by Sheila Hancock's
skillful reading. Her evocative characterizations bring a rich fullness
to the quiet story of Lenore, a beautiful but aging woman competing for
the affections of James, a man almost half her age. She manages to vanquish
his young girlfriend but has more difficulty with a young American male
lover. She also must cope with James's uncle, who is pursuing her. Hancock
reflects Pym's sympathy for the confusion and loneliness of the characters
but also catches the humor in the author's razor-sharp depictions of their
follies." - amazon editorial review
and Bounds -- Jay Quinn
Description --> "In this unusual coming-of-age novel, author
Jay Quinn surveys the expanding emotional and sexual boundaries of Matt,
an eighteen-year-old surfer in coastal North Carolina. Set against the
broad skies and beaches of North Carolina's Outer Banks, Matt's story
of claiming his place as a surfer and as a gay man in the small and large
worlds of construction sites, fishing piers, and surf breaks, is a triumph
As Matt's dedication to surfing and learning the nuances of the technical
aspects of his job join seamlessly, he also learns of his own capacity
for erotic adventure and need for emotional connection. Matt's many layers
of learning to be a man are the stuff of hard-earned experience and a
textured reading experience that is rare in the coming-of-age genre."
Um. Yeah. 3/4 of the time, I marked this up as one of the most mediocre
books ever written, the other 1/4, bits of brilliance came through. Was
this book worth reading? Yes. And yet, I would really hesitate to call
-- update: enjoyed this book much more on the 2nd reading.
Cry To Heaven --
I've long since outgrown
Ms. Rice, as well as this book, but I remember that it struck me quite
forcibly at first reading. Of course, I was in high school at the time...
Density of Souls
-- Christopher Rice
Back cover -->
"The story of four young friends in New Orleans whose lives are pulled
in drastically different directions when they enter high school. Meredith,
Brandon, Stephen, and Greg, once inseparable, are torn apart by envy,
secret passion, and rage. Soon two violent deaths disrupt the core of
what they once shared. Five years later the friends are reunited, and
, when one of the deaths is discovered to be a murder, secrets unravel
and the casual cruelties of high school develop into acts of violence
that threaten an entire city."
"I love a
good train wreck". The lyric from She Wants Revenge's song could
have been written for this book. It's so over the top that you simply
cannot connect with any of the main characters. This in no way detracts
from being able to enjoy the book, but it's a different sort of enjoyment---like
being addicted to a soap opera, despite yourself. In fact, if an evil
long lost twin had shown up, it would have fit right in with the "murder,
suicide, and madness".
Dark Beyond the Stars --
Frank Robinson [ sci
From Library Journal -->"Aboard the generation ship Astron, bound
on a mission to seek out life amid the stars, an insane captain resolves
to lead his crew into empty space (and almost certain death), while a
crewman struggles to retrieve his lost memories so that the last remnants
of humanity can survive."
-- Paul Russell
back cover -->
"Set against the backdrop of a traditional boys' school in upstate
New York, The Coming Storm is a delicately and brilliantly rendered
tale that reveals the most closely held secrets of the human heart. Russell's
award-winning novel is the story of four interesting lives---Louis
Tremper, the headmaster at the Forge School; his wife, Claire; Tracey
Parker, a twenty-five year old gay man and recently hired teacher at the
Forge School; and Noah Lathrop III, a troubled student---all of
whom struggle with their own inner demons, desires, and conflicted loyalties.
When Tracey and Noah become involved in an illicit relationship, dark
incidents from the school's past begin colliding with the current growing
confusion that all of them must face."
This... was a good book. Too good, really. Russell's depiction of emotion
and reaction were so spot on that there were times that I just had to
put it down---it was all too painful, too close to home. This is
a book I could not finish. It was too full of falling in love with what
we want to be there, and not necessarily what is. If, unlike
myself, you're not an emotional wuss *cough*, I highly recommend it.
Toby's Lie --
Daniel Vilmure [ out-of-print
book description on amazon --> "Toby Sligh has one ambitionto
come out in spectacular fashion by dancing with his boyfriend at his Catholic
high school Prom. Unfortunately, revealing the truth about his sexuality
is the least of his worries. His mother has inexplicably moved out; his
father is drowning his sorrows in beer; his best friend, a crack dealer
pursued by both the law and the mob, has asked him to hide his stash;
and Ian, his boyfriend, is becoming increasingly more aloof. In the midst
of this turmoil, Toby meets Father Scarcross, a mysterious priest suffering
with AIDS who tells him to search for the truth about life, and about
In a world where nothing is what it seems, and everyone has a past to
conceal, Toby makes a dizzying high-speed journey through the playgrounds
and hospitals, bedrooms and classrooms, backseats and back alleys of his
shadow existencecoping with drug deals, blackmail, bomb threats, AIDS,
death, and betrayed love. The stunning finale draws together the tangled
threads of his life in a masterful mix of pathos, irreverent humor, and
Years later, I still haven't been able to work myself up to reading this
book again. It isn't desperately sad, but any happiness you thought there
might have been turns out to have been something quite different at its
conclusion. Mind you, it was really damn good so even though I may never
read it again, it's well worth hanging on to.
Merro Tree --
[ out-of-print ] / [
back cover --> " In the far reaches of our galaxy, the artist
will face the ultimate censorship.
Mikk of Vyzania, the galaxy's greatest performance master, commanded stages
on all the myriad worlds. His sublime, ethereal performances were unforgettable,
drawing on the most treasured traditions of every culture, every people,
throughout inhabited space. His crowning achievement, and his obsession:
the Somalite song dance, an art form that transcends both song and movement
to become something greater and more spectacular . . . almost divine.
When tragic events caused performance of the song dance to be proscribed,
Mikk was devastated . . . until his strong sense of justice forced him
to defy the ban. His trial will be the most sensational in the recent
history of the galaxy; the sentence he faces is death.
Now the greatest performance master must hope to become the greatest escape
artist. Somehow Mikk must break the stranglehold of censorship and change
the law . . . or die trying!"
I put off reading this one for a long time. I seriously can't stand courtroom
dramas, especially when the good guy truly is a Good Guy. And that part
of the book... I really didn't like. This, I was expecting. I also didn't
appreciate how Waitman repeatedly used moments from Mikk's trial to bring
to light significant moments from his past (or vice versa. once or twice,
I could see. by the 5th time, it came off as little more than a ploy).
And the means by which Waitman snatches her main character out of harm's
way is so deus ex machina that it's laughable. *rolls eyes* However, Mikk's
relationship with Thissizz, the male snake-like creature who is Mikk's
soul mate, is astounding and true and beautiful. This---the character
development and growth, in addition to the far-flung setting---is
what made the book worth reading.
Book of the New sun (comprised
of Shadow and Claw and Sword and Citadel)
& The Urth of the New Sun
[ note: The Urth of the New Sun is an afterthought, but
rounds off the story so well that I wouldn't recommend reading The
Book of the New Sun without it. ]
Whoa. Odd fiction. Truly. It's that which drew me in, to be sure, but
it's also that which almost put me off. This is like nothing I've ever
read before. It is truly unique and entirely creative. It's also a bit
confusing, at points, and thoroughly thought provoking. The story of Severian
the Torturer is twisting and complex and, at its completion, full of much
more meaning than you may have though at its beginning. These are not
'easy' works to read, but by the the last pages of The Urth of the
New Sun, you'll have found the journey to have been well worth taking.
for you to decide
God in Flight -- Laura Argiri
inside cover snippet
--> "The God in Flight is the deeply felt and brilliantly
realized story of a dangerous love between a professor and a student at
Yale University in the 1880's."
Never in my entire life of, you must imagine, rather prolific reading
have I come across a book which, by its end, had me wanting it out of
my sight so quickly that I all but threw it in the trash. Jesus H Christ.
On a pogostick. I might have mentioned 4 or 500 times how much I'm a sucker
for characters whom everyone falls in love with. This book takes that
to the opposite extreme. Argiri gives us not one, but two men who
are so obnoxious and emotionally stunted that it's all but unbelievable.
The one character who I did like (very much in fact) and who made the
first third of the book a perfect joy to read, leaves off rather early
on. How his namesake, Simion, having lived through such a horrid and cruel
childhood could grow up into such a vulgar, selfish, worthless prat
is beyond me. And his beloved Professor? All he has going for him is his
amazing artistic talent and his godlike looks. I'm all for beautiful people
(in fiction, at least), but beautiful people with horrendous or downright
absent personalities annoy me as much in the written word as they do in
RL. I had had more than enough of it with about 100 pages to go, but I
made myself finish it---I think I was hoping for closure, at the
very least. In the end I needn't have bothered---if anything, I
dislike the book more now than when I first put it down.
That said, the reviews on Amazon for this book are stellar---a
number of people simply adored it. *boggles* So maybe you'll like it,
-- Terri Becket & Chris Power [
back cover -->
"Kherin is the Goddess' Chosen. Trained as Priest, Warrior and Mage,
he sits at the right hand of King Teiron, ruler of the rich, golden land
of Khassan. Prophecies at Kherin's birth foretold of greatness. He will
have little time to fulfill the prophecies as he must return to the Goddess
before he grows old.
Rythian is a skilled hunter and scout of the fierce horse warrior tribe.
Shi'R'Lean. Content with his wives, hearth, and his place among his people,
he worries about the decadence of the man who leads the Shi'R'Lean.
Both men are at a turning point in their lives, Kherin faces treachery
where he least expects it; Rythian must choose between a family he loves
and his duty to his people.
On their they face a threat to both their people."
If the book had been anything like the blurb, I'm sure this would have
been a much more enjoyable reading experience. As it was, Tribute Trail
inspired a lukewarm reaction, at best, and was only worth reading
for the last half, when the relationship between Kherin and Rythian begins
to grow. I've found books from small publishers are always a gamble. This
one paid off well enough that I've kept it, but... it's definitely missing
and its sequels Revelation and
Carol Berg [ fantasy
back cover --> "Sevonne was not always a slave. Once his people
were the guardians of magic such as the land has never seen, protectors
and defenders. But the Derzhi came, and enslaved them. Now, years of degradation
and misery have blurred Sevonne's memory, and sapped his strength. To
his people, his is already dead. And to him, death is all that is left---until
he finds hope in a most unlikely place...
Sold once again, Sevonne is bought by Aleksander, the heir to the Derzhi
Empire. His new master is cold, and heedlessly cruel. But within Aleksander,
the seeds of greatness wait. All it would take is guidance from one such
as Sevonne once was...
But time is short, for demons have also noticed Aleksander---and
what they cannot control, they will destroy..."
Don't believe the hype! These books are not homoerotic
in any way, shape, or form (they're not even slashable). In fact,
they pissed me the hell off. The main character, Sevonne, gives up everything
but his life for his prince, Aleksander. What he gets in return is little
more than a pat on the back. If you go into these books never expecting
the 2 main characters to grow any closer than prince/trusted subserviant,
and you're comfortable with an ending that's 'happy' for everyone but
Sevonne, then go for it. They are, I will admit, well written and even
engrossing, but... sheyeah... They left me with a very bitter taste in
Richard Pinto [ fantasy-ish
When I first read this book, I had to stop halfway through---it
was just a bit too cruel. I eventually finished it, and am glad I did
so, but on second reading, I found so much of the story that... really
didn't need to be there, and the unrelenting cruelty got on my last good
nerve. Ditto for the sequel (which I couldn't finish).
Judith Tarr (comprised
of The Hall of the Mountain King, The Lady of Han-Gilen,
and A Fall of Princes) (there is a very close relationship
between the prince and his squire, but it's merely heavily platonic)
[ note: you want plot? go read the Amazon reviews. they do a very
good job. this is merely my reaction... ] [ oddly enough... ]
There was a reason I was avoiding Judith Tarr. I knew there was. It was
because she has written a fictional account of Alexander's life in which
he is romantically involved with a female. A female. Not that Alexander
didn't associate with women at all, but... He was not the type to swoon
over a woman. A man, either. He was... too much his own, and even ancient
historians point out that he was unusually disinterested in sex, not to
mention the fact that his closest relationships were with men. And when
the f*ck would he have had time for romance when he was out CONQUERING
THE WORLD? So. An incredibly good reason to avoid Judith Tarr. This trilogy...
I had heard of it long before I bought it. I had had it on my wishlist
at Amazon for over a year, not quite sure if I should take the leap or
not. Eventually I did and, as I began to read, I wondered why I had avoided
this woman at all. She writes pretty dang well, and her characterizations
are lovely. In the first book. In the first book, things are all
well and good, and you get swept along and it's kind of wonderful when
that happens. But the 2nd book opens with a woman. Now, I do not dislike
women. I am one, after all. However, I dislike women as romantic
figures. Every single fictional woman in a romantic situation has
the exact same mindset and the exact same reasoning, and
it pisses me off. Not all women feel or act that way, and even
if the bulk of them do, I do not. Uneasily, I flipped through the last
2 books only to find that it's a romance. Sure the characters happen to
be kings and royalty, but, when it all comes down to it, the story from
then on devolves into the interactions between a man and a woman with,
oh yeah, a few other things going on in the background to make them sufficiently
combative so that they can make up later. She even changes one character
from male to felmale to, what? make him a more acceptable lover? God damn
it. Why??? Am I supposed to see myself in women who think only
with her hearts, who are swayed entirely by emotion, who are whining little
wenches? I dare say 'hell, no'. And so, while I may heartily recommend
the first book in this trilogy (you can find it separately---go
for it), the final 2 books (though I have not read them and will not)
make me shudder.
Angelic Darkness --
Richard Zimler [ out-of-print
jumped up novellas --
Typically from small publishers, these 'books' are usually
(1) short, both in length and on plot and (2) nowhere near worth the money,
unless, perhaps, you want to chance an electronic version (if available)
for some strange reason. If they are at all supernatural or fantastical
in content, they are also typified by a Quick And Violent Final Confrontation,
that is usually quite a let down, if not simply and totally confusing.
Amazon Product Description --> "Belimai Sykes is many things:
a Prodigal, the descendant of ancient demons, a creature of dark temptations
and rare powers. He is also a man with a brutal past and a dangerous addiction.
And Belimai Sykes is the only man Captain William Harper can turn to when
faced with a series of grisly murders. But Mr. Sykes does not work for
free and the price of Belimai's company will cost Captain Harper far more
than his reputation. From the ornate mansions of noblemen, where vivisection
and sorcery are hidden beneath a veneer of gold, to the steaming slums
of Hells Below, Captain Harper must fight for justice and for his life.
His enemies are many and his only ally is a devil he knows too well."
Such an interesting premise, and yet so shoddily executed. I tried this
one due to its reviews (5 stars, even), but couldn't even finish it.
of a Thousand Miles -- Peter Kasting
[ speculative fiction
back cover --> "A
startling vision of America's future... Cities have become poisoned wastelands,
scattering millions. Martial law maintains a precarious balance between
survivors and those who prey on them, while jealously guarded towns struggle
against corporate enclaves for dominance. The forces behind the Collapse
remain a mystery.
For Rafael, fading memories of childhood before the Collapse are little
more that nightmares and fairytales, dreams that torment and beguile.
But new dreams are taking root high in the mountains and have a power
he never imagined. Fate draws him toward a secret, knowledge that cold
either unravel the mystery of the Collapse or destroy the hope of a new
My amazon.com review --> Buying small publisher books is always a gamble,
as is relying on the on-line reviews of "normal" folk. I thought
long and hard about this book before I took the plunge, mostly because
of the price. The first few paragraphs were enough to make me think I'd
made the right choice. The writing was intelligent, the main character
extremely likable (if you're into cute, buff, modest guys, that is.*rowr*)
The setup is interesting, if a bit unbelievable -- from what little I
know of radiation, the sort of attack precipitating this book would have
made any sort of normal life unattainable -- but, hey, it's called 'fiction'
for a reason. Rafael's and Leo's growing relationship is sweet and loving,
in an inevitable way. No complaints whatsoever on these counts. And yet...
Bad Things keep happening. Very Bad Things, from which there is no recovery.
This book takes the adage of 'anything bad that can happen, will happen'
one step too far. The last half of the book is one Bad Thing after another,
with enemies who must be either precogs or psychic, judging by the way
they anticipate every. single. movement. of the good guys. The ending
drops off quite suddenly and very ineffectually. The focus on Rafael's
and Leo's love all but ceases as soon as they get into bed together (something
which is handled quite tastefully -- if you're looking for smut, this
isn't your book). It all devolves from people with pasts and histories
reacting to situations into which they've been thrown, to things happening
to 2-D representations of previously 3-D characters. All in all, it was
worth reading, but I would have much rather borrowed it from a library.
update: attempted to re-read, but was not successful --> too
much violence, too little anything else.
Name of the Game --
Amazon Book Description --> "Seth's a gorgeous hunk of a cop,
but off-limits to his roommate Clay, who's desperately trying to find
a way to stop thinking about a man who's straight. Seth's also dating
Sophie, the bitchy, possessive, girlfriend from hell, so it's a moot point
as far as Clay is concerned. Seth is a good guy, a clean cop and a good
friend. But when it comes to the girlfriend, he's not sure how to get
her out of the picture. When Seth decides to dump Sophie by pretending
to be gay, it's Clay he turns to for help in his game of deception. He's
seen the way Clay looks at him, even though they've never made a big deal
out if it. Surely Clay will help. Clay's been alone a good while, but
with his friend Anthony pushing him into playing the dating game and helping
Seth, Clay's relationship options suddenly go from zero to a full hand.
There's still only one man for Clay, and as Seth begins to discover just
what it's like walking the other side of the line, the two men start to
break all the rules."
This one wasn't bad at all. It was... cute. Nothing brilliant, and nothing
more than even a short story. There was just no depth. I can read
fiction of this caliber on-line for free. Why should I have to
pay (way too much) for it?
M. L. Rhodes
Amazon Book Description
--> "As the leader
of an elite British group that hunts criminals of the magic world, Christian
Wetherly comes to the U. S. undercover, posing as a British cop, to investigate
a series of murders he suspects have been committed by a dark mage. He
never expects, however, to find himself intensely attracted to the American
police detective in charge of the case. Christian has long struggled with
his hidden desires and hasn't admitted them to anyone. But Alec Anderson
stirs something deep within him that's difficult to ignore.
Still...even if he could master his fear of coming out, Christian's dedicated
himself to protecting the world from magic terrors. It's a dangerous life
an ordinary human could never understand or accept. And to complicate
matters, Alec's emotionally vulnerable, still grieving the death of his
previous lover, a fellow cop killed in the line of duty. So Christian's
determined to keep his true occupation and powers hidden from Alec.
Neither man can deny the powerful chemistry that burns between them, and
both realize they're falling hard for one another, yet with so many secrets
and complications, a relationship seems impossible.
When the two men becomes the target of the dark magic, however, and clues
about an ancient legacy come to light that indicate Alec may not be exactly
what he seems, can they find the strength to tear down all the barriers
between them and risk their hearts in order to save each other's lives?"
my Amazon review --> Enjoyable, this book was. 'Outstanding' it was
not. The characters are likeable enough, but have about as much depth
as a kiddy pool. What I'm assuming was supposed to be the 'big mystery'
you figure out about as soon as both of the main characters are introduced.
The villain is Evil -- that, apparently, is all you need to know and all
you're told. When the final confrontation with him comes, it's a bit of
a let down if only because there's no emotional involvement beyond wanting
the cute good guys to win. 'Falling' is a very quick read -- you can burn
through it in a few hours, tops, using the minimum of brain cells. It
is sweet, romantic and hot (although for this sort of book, you rather
expect more sex), and the backdrop is, at least, decidedly different,
but 'Falling' is little more than a novella-length e-book with a hella
Is Watching --
Mark A. Roeder
Amazon Book Description -->
"Someone Is Watching. Someone Knows. It was a nightmare come true
for seventeen-year-old Ethan. It's hard hiding a secret. It's even harder
keeping that secret when someone else knows. Who is the mysterious note-writer,
the secret tormentor? Who is the enemy that hides among Ethan's friends
and teammates? Who holds Ethan's secret over his head, threatening to
destroy his entire world? Someone Is Watching is the story of a young
high school wrestler that must come to grips with being gay. He struggles
first with himself, then with an unknown classmate that hounds his every
step. While struggling to discover the identity of his tormentor, Ethan
must discover his own identity and learn to live his life as his true
self. In the end he is faced with a terrible decision. He must give up
what he wants the most, or face his greatest fear of all."
This books' length makes it more than simply a 'jumped up novella', but
it is a small publisher book and has many of the faults of that category.
I gave this one a go mainly because I was desperate. Mr. Roeder is quite
prolific, and it was a lovely idea that I might have a whole new slew
of books to devour. However, this first choice shot that idea out of the
sky before I'd even gotten halfway through the book. >_< Coming
out stories that are peppered with violence and suicide will never be
my cuppa, especially when the writing is so mediocre.
run away! run away!
of Lightning (Dance of the Rings, Book
-- Jane S. Fancher
[ fantasy / sci-fi ]
I tried. I really did. But I simply could not finish this book. I made
my way about halfway through and... just couldn't make myself read anymore.
Despite the set-up for what could have been a very interesting world,
it was just... fricking boring.
title here) --
Laurell K. Hamilton [
contemporary fantasy ]
Just so you know? This woman can not write. I got 10 pages into
the 1st book of whatever series it is that everyone loves so much and
couldn't make myself go any farther. I understand the popularity of this
womans' books as much as I comprehend string theory. *shudders* *and makes
a hex sign, just to be safe*
Master of Seacliff --
Gothic gay 'romance'
for those with no taste for good fiction. This book had no redeeming
qualities whatsoever. Even the cover sucked. >_<
what I like | the girl
behind the raygun | main