Brilliant! And the best book I've read in a long time...
I'm not going to write a proper review, because there are several of them that are wonderful a...moreBrilliant! And the best book I've read in a long time...
I'm not going to write a proper review, because there are several of them that are wonderful and say everything that I could say. Plus, I felt so connected to this story and these characters that I feel as if this story took me in and spit me out. I'm all turned around, trying to organize my thoughts, but only thinking that this is the best book I've read of Eden's so far, which is saying quite a lot considering they're all wonderful and diverse.
What I will say are two thins that made this story extra special. What I first started reading was a story that I assumed I'd read before. There are no shortages books of the seedy underbelly of the streets and the endless cycle of victims it perpetuates. The pacing and characters swept me along, but somewhere around the last third, I started to see all the threads weaving together, forming a poignant story of redemption, courage and the contrast of goodness and evil and the choices we make to serve them.
Tying into that is the second, the characters. There are four first presented in dichotomous fashion: Jeremy and Noah, and Willie and Trent, but whose later choices blend them into a sort of hazy symmetry of the blindness of young love and the harsh reality of adult consequences. The further I read, the more excited I became watching these characters, learning bits about their past that shed light on who they are now. Noah, the star and narrator (also, the "Angel") holds the spotlight here, but it is Eden's character Willie, the antagonist, though in his own way maybe an anti-hero, who is perhaps most well written. This is most likely because he is seen through Noah's eyes, which is at one moment regretful and the other loving.
I could see the love for the characters and attention to detail so much in this book. Eden Winters has so much talent that I almost can't believe how much she grows from book to book, and this from a book near the beginning of her career... I can barely wait for the book she's yet to write.(less)
I hate to say this, but I keep marking this down every time I think about it. The biggest problems for me, besides what a few other people (mostly Ell...moreI hate to say this, but I keep marking this down every time I think about it. The biggest problems for me, besides what a few other people (mostly Ella Jane and Teddy Pig) have found problems with (like the porn sub-plot, the too-long internal melodrama, and the unreality of the NYC firefighers doing gay for pay and risking their jobs) is really that this needed a more thorough editing (a lot of the narration could be cut -- Dante's J/O scene, so much of Griff's rambling thoughts). I think that the writing in places in beautiful, were real gems (like the 9/11 background) but were then pretty much left out of the story. What really worked here was not what was focused on, which made me a little sad. I would have loved to read more about the story with more focus centered around 9/11. As it stands, it makes me wonder why it was even there in the first place?
Damon is a promising writer, and this being his first m/m romance, I think he can only improve on what is already a great writing career. I just hope that he can find some trusted readers/editors that will, like with any author, show him what he's doing well and what could be left aside.(less)