Ori is finally coming back home, but unfortunately his childhood friend, and unrequited love, Kalani, is not waiting for him, or at least, not in a way Ori is happy to acknowledge. Kalani is in coma, according to the doctors it’s irreversible, and Kalani’s foster mother is asking Ori’s consent to detach the machines maintaining his body alive. When Kalani was attacked, Ori tried to come back home as soon as possible, but instead he ended up doing 1 year of prison for attacking his superior officer. Now one year later, Kalani’s situation didn’t change, and basically they are waiting only for Ori to have the chance to say goodbye. But the same night, Kalani’s spirit appears to Ori, and he is very much alive. Both Kalani than Ori know Kalani’s body is dying, and basically Kalani is asking Ori to let it go, but Ori thinks that, if he will be able to solve a mystery in Kalani’s past, that will allow his spirit to find peace. But finding peace will mean that Kalani will really go forever, in a place where Ori and him will not have the chance to be finally together, unless Ori doesn’t follow him there too.
Hawaiian’s tradition are quite complex, and they are a mix of religion and myth. What I always find in these novels is the feeling that the admixture between them is so strong that paranormal becomes almost ordinary, seeing spirits is exceptional but not extraordinaire, and to someone like Ori, after the first surprise, is natural to accept Kalani is real and in need of his help. Ori and Kalani’s relationship, before and after Kalani’s accident, is bittersweet, already marked by tragedy, even before they were born.
This is not an easy novel, the plot is complex, made even more that by the different flashback not in chronological order, and at one point we even go back before Ori and Kalani were born, to a totally different pair who perhaps share the same forbidden love. More than paranormal, Hawaiian Gothic is spiritual, new age, mystic; if you like all these you will love it.
Amazon Kindle: Hawaiian Gothic
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (June 12, 2012)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott
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