Zach is the character that has more deepness, probably since he is the one the author gives a clear glimpse in his past; orphaned by mother, with an alcoholic father, Zach has not had an easy childhood. He managed to build a life for himself, poor and lonely, but at least he managed to have something to eat, as often didn’t happen when he was a boy. But the economic downfall is again playing with his life and the loneliness is even more hard to face bringing Zach to search casual encounter with strangers… a careless moves that has him chained in a basement with another man.
Of Mal we have some info here and there, a college kid, a little older than other kids since he was in trouble when he was a freshman and he is now attending college on a scholarship since his parents don’t want to help him no more. He gives me the idea of a friendly guy, an all American boy type, easy to approach, easy to be friend to. Zach in comparison is more edgy, moody, always waiting for the next blow to strike.
While Zach unwillingly admit almost immediately he is gay, he confessed he was with their captive for a night of no strings attached sex, Mal is more a mystery on that side. In the end I don’t know if he was already gay, or if he falls in love with Zach in the two days they are chained together in that basement. As I said, even if there is a romance between Zach and Mal, and sex, the romance is not really the main element of this story. What takes the lion share of the story is the fragile equilibrium Zach and Mal are reaching together, an equilibrium they have to find to arrive both alive at the end of the story.
It’s not the first time Theda Black surprised me with her complex characters.
Amazon Kindle: Beneath the Neon Moon
Publisher: TKB Books (July 12, 2010)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott