elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Masked Destiny by Mark A. Roeder

Mark A. Roeder is in my reading list since a very long time; I actually bought this novel, Masked Destiny, more than 2 years ago, but I haven’t read it yet for a very simple reason: I was afraid. Aside for two novel set in the ’50 (Outfield Menace and Snow Angel), all these novels turn around a group of gay guys in Verona, a small town in rural America, between the ’80 and the first years of the XXI century; the first two of these boys, Mark Bailey and Taylor Potter from The Soccer Field Is Empty, met a tragic fate in their own story, and I was really afraid all the following stories had the same path. I was wrong, plenty wrong, and in a way, Masked Destiny was a good choice since I had another point of view also on Mark and Taylor’s story, story that maybe I will finally have the courage to read sooner or later.

The writing style of the novel is something I believe is common to this author: each chapter is a first point of view from one of the two narrative voices, Oliver and Skye. The most interesting aspect of this writing style choice is that Oliver and Skye are not together, and so basically they are telling us their parallel lives, giving each of them a different insight, and details the other cannot know. While Oliver is a nice character, a nerdy 14 years old with a big heart, the most interesting character is for sure Skye: he is vain, conceited, but nevertheless a good boy. Skye is overly worried about his body, he is well aware that is a stupid thing, not really important, but nevertheless he worries. The main comparison parameter in Skye’s search for a boyfriend is the other guy’s look, and he was even willing to make exception on morality, if the look was good enough. Lucky for his own good, he doesn’t arrive to the limit, but almost.

The novel is pretty complex and indeed, for a small country town, there are a lot of crimes happening in Verona, not all of them related to the gay factor; but that is probably the main expedient of the author to build his plots: most of the supporting characters arrive from previous stories, like same-sex married couple (? I need to read this story…) Ethan and Nathan, or football coach Brendan Brewer and his boyfriend, or teenager couple Nick (Ethan and Nathan’s son) and Sean. The paranormal element that was non-existent I suppose in the first novels, it’s now one of the main themes and for the reader who followed the series it will be not a surprise like it was for me; but the author managed to intertwined it in the story, making it almost “likely”.

I’m not regretting my choice to start the series more or less in the middle, to me it worked since it enticed me to go back to the stories of the supporting character I liked the best, but for sure it generated some spoilers the more traditional reader maybe would like to avoid: to me it was good since I’m that reader who read the last pages of a book to be sure, but I know that is not the same for others.

Amazon: Masked Destiny
Amazon Kindle: Masked Destiny
Paperback: 346 pages
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (August 19, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0595329586
ISBN-13: 978-0595329588

Series: Gay Youth Chronicles
1) Outfield Menace
2) Snow Angel
3) The Soccer Field Is Empty
4) Someone Is Watching
5) A Better Place: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1389827.html
6) The Summer of My Discontent
7) Disastrous Dates & Dream Boys
8) Just Making Out by
9) Someone Is Killing the Gay Boys of Verona
10) Keeper of Secrets
11) Masked Destiny

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

Tags: author: mark a. roeder, genre: contemporary, genre: paranormal, length: novel, review, theme: coming of age, theme: ghosts

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