4.25 stars My second read from this author, and it consolidates my initial opinion of his writing. JF Smith writes character focused stories and he doe4.25 stars My second read from this author, and it consolidates my initial opinion of his writing. JF Smith writes character focused stories and he does it very well. It's about their choices and the relationships that build between them as human beings, it's about the values that stand behind their actions and shape their personalities. It's a wonderful thing to see different people coming together, establishing strong bonds regardless of their previous experiences and preconceived notions. The supporting characters play one big part in this novel. I liked best Petey aka Colorado, one of the Navy SEALs. He cracked me up every time he opened his mouth to say something about a certain person or subject, the nicknames he comes up with, all the name-callings toward those around him, although offensive or homophobic, are spoken in such a light-hearted manner that you cannot help laughing aloud. The romance between Matt and Travis is well done. It happens late in the story, but I felt to be the right time for it, especially Matt being with someone else when he first meets Travis. This part gave a good insight into Matt's development, seeing him as a man that changes from underestimating himself and doubting his instincts to self-appreciation with the help of his closest friends. I would say friendship is the central theme of this novel. Overall is credible, but at the beginning it felt a little unrealistic. In the span of a few days there were forged some strong emotional bonds between Matt and the SEALs, here including Travis as well. It seemed too easy and too fast. And this is the main reason why I didn't give it 5 stars. A very good story, I truly recommend it! I want other books from this author!...more
Read like 25%, but I can't continue it any longer. How can someone waking up one moment in a strange dimension can be so adapting and happy to be therRead like 25%, but I can't continue it any longer. How can someone waking up one moment in a strange dimension can be so adapting and happy to be there? Of course it doesn't happen almost overnight, but it still feels so unbelievable to me, his actions, and most of all his feelings. And the new world it's hardly explained, some basic elements like language are left in the air. Too bad because I really love the theme of different cultures, and this book sounded very promising....more
4.25 stars This was such a difficult read! An emotional, sad, angsty and depressing, but nonetheless a hopeful story. Shyro, a boy born in slavery, is4.25 stars This was such a difficult read! An emotional, sad, angsty and depressing, but nonetheless a hopeful story. Shyro, a boy born in slavery, is uprooted from everything that is familiar to him, and thrown into the harsh reality of the Roman Empire. It's about his life, or at least the most defining part of it. His hope for a Someday is all that keeps him from not giving up. It's about the survival of a boy who is slowly forced to become a man.
At the end we're left with a few words from the authors that clearly describe best this book's essential message:
Does not the life of one such as he [i.e. Shyro] carry forever a testament to the human spirit? Were not his struggles and his survival, even the depths of his joy in the face of adversity... and his courage... the telling of a larger tale? A tale from a time past that in many ways just keeps repeating and is mirrored in our own world today. Is his story not also our story?
Shyro will not be remembered, but nevertheless, now his story is told, and perhaps, dear reader, during difficult time, you put others before yourself and strive to do what is right, you'll be reminded, for that spirit lives in the heart of all of us. Think then, for a moment, of the past, as tribute to all such as he, for although Shyro may or may not have been real, there were many like him who were.
And perhaps, Someday, somewhere in the great expanse of time before us when those of us here now are nothing but dust, a strangers heart may give thanks for ours. ...more
I would love to read some sequels with these two protagonists! It reminds me a little of Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series, and that should say somI would love to read some sequels with these two protagonists! It reminds me a little of Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series, and that should say something about this book. Adventure, action, fantasy settings, some romance between two opposite men, their constant verbal clashes, in conclusion an entertaining story. Definitely this author should publish more, if she hasn't done it already....more
2.5 stars From my experience when in the first five pages I read something like "he watched the most beautiful man he’d ever seen", nothing good comes2.5 stars From my experience when in the first five pages I read something like "he watched the most beautiful man he’d ever seen", nothing good comes out of it. Insta'love is really not my thing. One good point though, and that's the setting with a parallel universe and the war between supernatural species (fae vs. witches and some vampires and others in the middle)....more
An enjoyable read that brings into focus a mystery case and a romance between a private investigator, Rafe, and a police officer, Jeremy, one a gay maAn enjoyable read that brings into focus a mystery case and a romance between a private investigator, Rafe, and a police officer, Jeremy, one a gay man and the other supposedly straight. It's feels like a gay for you story, but I'm reluctant to name it so. I would call it a coming out to himself due to Jeremy's thoughts about his previous involvements with the opposite gender. Jeremy's insecurities about the new sexual identity are believable, and his feelings for Rafe develop naturally. Their relationship suffers little setbacks that are rapidly resolved. Sometimes I felt the lack of serious conflict regarding their coming together, but overall a satisfying build-up of them as a couple. S. E. Culpepper is definitely a new author to follow....more
Great book with a setting where human beings are reduced to propriety, where slavery is a social institution supported by laws and by a disregard forGreat book with a setting where human beings are reduced to propriety, where slavery is a social institution supported by laws and by a disregard for basic rights. For a slave the values of freedom and free will must be replaced by submission and obedience. On this background comes Cor, a man kidnapped and forced into slavery. We assist at his physical, psychological and emotional struggle for survival, his battle with the new identity, the steps that he must take in order to become a "good slave". It's a difficult process, under the direct influence of his master, a slave owner different than the others, but whose actions are often contradictory. The personal boundaries are tested, and the result is something that neither can ignore.