December 28th, 2011

andrew potter

Seeker (The Garden: Book One of Four) by Andy Frankham-Allen

It’s not easy to like this paranormal novel, mostly since it’s not your usual happily ever after where the heroes are perfect men and the villains are easily identifiable and targetable as the one to dislike. It’s not easy also since it forces you to “change” your idea in the course of it, changing who you want to be a couple, who you hope will find their soul mates, who will be the ones to kiss in the end and the ones who will walk alone in search of something else, someone else.

At the beginning the author put a lot of effort in making you feel for Willem and his best friend since forever Jake. It’s clear that Willem is in love with Jake, but it’s also clear that Jake has a cloth in front of his eyes. Jake is juggling/fighting with his straight relationship with Amy, but at the same time is unconsciously preventing Willem to find a mate; every man Willem met was wrong, and Jake was always there, being the epitome of what Willem wanted, but being also unreachable. And now Willem once again is risking his happiness, choosing to meet face to face with Charlie, a man who he met online. Jake is not happy, but Willem is stubborn… and when he disappears, Jake has the confirmation he was right, but also the epiphany that he is in love with his friend and that he will do everything to find him.

At this point the storyline split in two, following Willem and his nightmare in the paranormal world, and Jake and his mission to find Willem. Probably for the first time since forever, they are far from each other, and while this is heartbreaking, it allows to Jake to comprehend his feelings, not only towards Willem but also on himself and his desires.

I felt a lot for Willem, and as I said, at first I hoped he would be lucky, that he had finally the chance at happiness he was searching since forever. But that is the skill of the author, to move the reader’s expectation, to yes, let you with a bittersweet aftertaste for Willem, but to give you also a glimpse on a better, and happily, future for Jake. And why not, maybe the “new” Willem will have his chance in the following three books of this 4 books series. He is no more the same Willem we knew in the first book, not at all (and I will stop here to not ruin your reading experience) but he is someone else the reader could care for.

More than a paranormal feeling, this novel reminded me a bit of a gothic genre. Maybe it was the setting, Southend and London, rainy England, always with a dark and heavy feeling, given but the clouds, the muted light, the wet cobbled streets where you expect each moment a coach to come out from the next corner. In this setting it seems more “ordinary” for paranormal events to happen.

http://www.untreedreads.com/?p=2560

Amazon: Seeker (The Garden)
Amazon Kindle: Seeker (The Garden)
Publisher: Untreed Reads (March 16, 2011)

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

Gay Romance Challenge: 2011 Result

Last January I started my Gay Romance Challenge. It was an almost impossible task, and indeed I didn't manage to read all the books that appeared in the last twelve months in the Bestsellers List for Gay Romance on Amazon (here is the link to the list: Bestsellers in Gay Romance) but I read many of them. 67 out of 100 books! not bad, isn't it?

This is the 2011 result, and to determine the 100 books I simply considered all books that appeared at least once in the Bestsellers list and gave them a rate equal to their position; of course if a book appeared more than once they received a bonus point for each time they made the list and their position is the average position plus the bonus. So this is the final list (in bold the books I read with link to the review):

1) Something Like Summer by Jay Bell
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004I6DKPY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Review: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1233202.html
2) Hot Head by Damon Suede
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00564ACK8/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Review: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1327655.html
3) The Locker Room by Amy Lane
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004XNNEKS/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Review: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1285667.html
4) Where He Ends and I Begin (Home Series) by Cardeno C.
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0054RACL6/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Review: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1379306.html
5) Breaking Cover (Life Lessons) by Kaje Harper
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/160820409X/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Review: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1439020.html

6) What's Done in The Dark (Volume II) by Solae Dehvine
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004VS728U/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Review:
7) Without Reservations: With or Without, Book 1 by J. L. Langley
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WCWVSA/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Review: Read Before LJ
8) Duck! by Kim Dare
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0040GJDGC/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Review: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1202226.html
9) Shying Away by Kate Sherwood
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004W4ME7W/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Review: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/1289553.html

10) Mark's Not Gay [Brac Pack 11] by Lynn Hagen
Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0053HEMZY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Review:

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