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Review: Prosperity by Alexis Hall

I want to eat Alexis Hall’s brain with a nice Chianti. Admittedly, some of this sentiment is born of jealousy, possibly alcoholism. But mostly it’s respect. Total respect.

For starters, I’m going to boldly state that I rate Alexis Hall’s work on a different scale than other books. In fact, he makes me want to go back to my Goodreads lists and start handing out demerits to other stuff I’ve rated because he sets the bar so fucking high. He makes me want to reread books I thought I enjoyed just so I can throw my Kindle across the room this time around. So, where I rated his follow-up work to ProsperityThere Will Be Phlogiston, a four, that does not mean it is on par with other four-star books. It is hell and gone from other four-star books. Other five-star books, even. Basically, I couldn’t give it the same 5 stars I gave Glitterland, or Sand and Ruin and Gold. Or this. Goddamn, this book right here.

Alexis Hall is a genius and has thoroughly screwed my book-rating system.

Anyway, the book:

Hall pits heaven (Ruben, the ex-preacher) against hell (Milord, the uber-slimy-underground-mob-boss-type-guy), only they’re rather perversely sexually enslaved to each other (wait, could that be love?). And then he gives us the classic hooker with a heart of gold (mebbe) in our narrator, Piccadilly (who Piccadillied his own name–how damn cute is he?). He’s a conniving sewer rat who needs saving, but ends up doing a fair amount of rescuing of others as he risks life and fin on more than one occasion for the crew of the good ship Shadowless. They become the closest thing he’s had to family, and, surprisingly, something worth dying for if need be. Said crew includes the star-crossed lovers mentioned, the addle-brained-yet-cool-as-a-cucumber crackhead navigator, Miss Grey, and then there’s the captain. Oh captain, my captain. For me, Byron Kae was the show-stealer. God, did I want them and Dil to get together for a bit of the whatnot.

Who am I kidding? The world building, Hall’s exquisite voice, every damn character, the delish voyeuristic sex scene, the creeptastic clockwork parts, the space kraken—the whole damn thing was the show-stealer.

And with this, Alexis Hall moves into my top MM author slot. The honor includes such perks as being subjected to cyberstalking and embarrassing fangirling, and having your characters accents bastardized as I read your books aloud to my cat, possibly while he humps his favorite fuzzy pink blanket because he does that a lot. Check and mate. I’m sorry, KJ, but we’ll always have England.

5 Shooters

5 shooters

 

-Kimber


Review: “Seven” by Adrienne Wilder

4 1/2 Shooters

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A past that won’t let go…

After losing his job, Chase Sarim finds himself living in a shit hole apartment. His new neighbor calls himself Seven, wears aluminum hats and carries around a ceramic rooster. He also seems to know what Chase is going to do or say before it happens, and talks about people named, Nine, Three, and Four.

Chase knows better than to get involved with someone like that.

But some men are just too hot to resist.

A future of fear…

Seven has been running for his life ever since he escaped Sub-Floor. In order to elude those hunting him he can never have a home, never have friends…and love? It’s nothing but a weakness that can be used against him.

Hiding had become a way of life. Until Chase.

Greed, power, and corruption…

Dr. David Stone knows Seven has a secret. Why else would his colleague, Dr. Radcliff, help Seven escape Sub-Floor?

It wasn’t the loss of a defective precog that bothered Stone, it was the fact Radcliff was willing to die to keep Stone from knowing why he did it. Or better yet, how.

Two men, one love, brought together by a series of impossible circumstances and destined by fate for an entangled future.

But maybe fate has nothing to do with it.

—————-

Generally speaking, I adored this book. I love me some sci-fi and superhero yarns, so this checked off both boxes nicely. The MCs were likable and good together. The side characters were superb and absolutely my favorite part of the book. There were loads of them, all rich, and 3-D, and different from one another. Well done, Ms. Wilder (THE Joan Wilder?–I keep wanting to do that).

Seven’s crazy at the beginning is endearing and pulls you right in. Loved it. The pacing was fast and the plot action-packed.

The fact that I finished this read is testament to how fun it was. I used to leave no book unfinished. No longer. The rise of tripe out there has made me a love ’em or leave ’em kind of girl. I barely have time to read good books, let alone garbage. So why not the full 5 shooters, you ask? Just a couple little things.

I’d say my least favorite parts of “Seven” were the sex scenes. I know in MM they are par for the course and I’m not saying I don’t like a hot suck-fest as much as the next dirty girl—believe me, I do!— it just seemed they got in the way of a great story at times. Of course, the romance would not be as well-illustrated without them, but for me one or two of them detracted from the perfection of the book.

I was satisfied with the BJ scene at the beginning–totally hot, with this sort of needful abandon of reason that I enjoyed. The second sex scene was fine (yes, Seven had just almost bit it, but that didn’t bother me. One could even argue it was a reaffirmation of life if you wanted to get all deep and philosophical). By the time the third one rolled along I was unfortunately rolling my eyes. I think because Seven saw that Chase was going to die in the future and instead of warning him or coming up with a plan (turns out he only has to change the future to stop it, which has a whole set of ramifications) they end up in a hotel and screw. I don’t know—just didn’t work for me.

My other little niggle was the word “petted” or “pet.” The MCs are constantly petting each other. The first time I saw it I was like, “Oh, that’s a cute little twist on the word stroke.” But by the seventeenth time or so I was thinking, “Just fucking stroke him already!” But that is me. I have a hard time with word repetition, especially if it’s one that caught my eye in the first place. Petted did it.

So, other than these few peccadilloes, I loved this book. It was superbly written and well-edited—not easy to find in the self-published pool, let me tell ya. The plotting was fine-tuned, and the characters all popped, including the villain.

I will absolutely be reading the next book. Bring it on, Ms. Wilder.

-Kimber


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