Aleksandr Voinov's Reviews > Basilisk

Basilisk by Kate Cotoner
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May 12, 2010

bookshelves: own, genre-mm
Read on October 12, 2010

Finished this today on the commute (that's where I read these days). The story itself tries to be two things - erotic horror, and then m/m romance. Set-up and development point towards horror, but then it switches over and turns into almost romantic comedy with Greek Gods/Monsters. Or maybe it's just Clayton who doesn't cooperate (hey, he has that rebellious streak) and refuses to be a victim like in the horror film. Here's a guy who'd take "Saw" or "Hostel", cracking a joke.

And that's fine. It's a noticeable rift in the story, as if it had just changed direction and turned into something completely different, but stories do that. Neil Gaiman does that all the time - swinging back and forth from very light and funny to absolutely gruesome. And, again, that's OK. Fundamentally, I have to trust an author to give me a good time (I guess there's a parallel to other "entertaining" professions) - and as long as they deliver a satisfying story, they can take me just about anywhere.

Kate Cotoner is such an evocative, strong writer, who observes brilliant details (I worked very close to the area that she describes at the beginning, and that area of London is like that) - that kind of writing can take me just about anywhere and I'm not complaining. I would have preferred for it to remain darker, but I can see that how and where the story went out of control and turned into something else. They do have the right to do that, and especially in a genre that still very much demands that happy-ever-after ("or it won't sell", as several publishers told me), there are many pressures on the author and the story (speculating here... it would be a fascinating question over a tea/coffee to ask a writer).

So, even as the story is pulling in two directions at once, there's so much more great stuff in here than in most m/m I read (or, honestly, browse - I don't buy most of the stuff I read teasers of) that this still works for me.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Aleksandr (new) - added it

Aleksandr Voinov I do not understand the low rating for this one. It's sensuous, well-written, full of stuff you can discover if you know your mythology. I'm halfway through and can't see where Kate could go wrong.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Good review Aleks. I'll admit the disconnect threw me and I couldn't get back into the story. But neither can I see how she could have pursued her original course and made it come out an HFN/HEA in the end, so your interpretation is probably the correct one.

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