There are some authors, and books, that I’m sure I will like even before reading them. And by the way, they are even more dear to me since the first time I read them, I wasn’t expecting to love them so much. Kyell Gold is one of those authors and his novels on the Forester Universe are always a treat for me, that I eagerly await year after year. Truth be told, Kyell Gold is more famous for the Argaea Stories, that being him an anthropomorphic author, are more on the line of what you could expect: who doesn’t remember the Disney movie Robin Hood, with all the characters represented by a specific animal? Or if you want to go even back in history, and literature, you can arrive to Esopo and Fedro. These fantasy stories are “far” from our ordinary reality, and so I think they are more “acceptable” for a wider target, after all, they are not real, aren’t they? But if you take these animals and put them in a modern contest, as the Forester Universe, then they become stories for a niche, for the fans of the furry fiction. I sincerely don’t agree with this perspective: when I started to read Kyell Gold, I’m true, I was expecting for the “kinky” factor; but I didn’t find it. Waterways was more or less a coming of age story with almost no sex at all, and the main theme was the coming out of a young otter with an extremely religious mother. At the second story, Out of Position, maybe used to the little trick of reading of anthropomorphic animals, I almost didn’t realize I was reading about animals, and I arrived to a conclusion: Kyell Gold was using the different animals to give deepness to his characters. When an author introduces a character, he has to spend a bit of time, and words, to describe him, to give him all the details to allow the reader to understand who this character is and what will be his impact on the story. With animals it’s easier, usually feline are proud, canines are smart, big animals are notorious for their strength, little animals for their cleverness… The author has more time to spend for the story, and in a way it’s even more difficult, since, I don’t, it seems like everything is more difficult since he has more rules to respect.
Isolation Play is the sequel to Out of Position, and picks up where the other novel ended, when Dev, the big tiger and football player, came out during an official press conference. Lee, his fox lover, is attending the press conference and his crying, since Dev is, in a way, declaring his love for him to the world. Of course that was a perfect happy end for Out of Position, but was it an Happily Ever After? Dev is the first football player coming out as gay, he has a lot of challenges in front of him, first of all his team and his family. And while the team is surprisingly quite supporting, the family apparently is not the same. Most of the story will follow Dev and Lee trying to rebuild the balance in Dev’s family, with his mother that would be willing to accept Lee, and instead Dev’s father who seems unable to accept that his son is homosexual, because a big and strong Tiger cannot be gay. On the other hand Lee, who had mostly given up to his own family, spurned by Dev’s experience, will try to reconcile with at least one of his parents.
If you loved Out of Position, and I know a lot of you did, you have to read Isolation Play, it’s the logic consequence and a wonderful run along two young males trying to find their own place in the world.