Emily Moore's Reviews > The Curtis Reincarnation

The Curtis Reincarnation by Zathyn Priest
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's review
May 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: gay, ebook, rainbow-reviews, print
I own a copy

Twenty-eight year old Jordan Braxton lives a quiet life, sharing a house with his sister Rebecca and fat orange cat Furball. He is relatively content, though he yearns to find that one person to complete his heart. Jordan has some very specific ideas of what his partner will be like and has yet to meet the person who meets all the requirements.

The one thing he does know is that Tyler Curtis is the exact opposite of what he is looking for. Curtis is a twenty year old Australian bad boy goth rocker, infamous for his bad attitude and escapades with a different girl every night. No one can deny the talent Curtis possesses, not even Jordan who sees the performer as “the epitome of blazing talent housed within an arrogant, surly, and unlikable persona.”

When Bec drags her brother kicking and screaming to a concert after winning free tickets, Jordan’s life take an unexpected turn. Jordan gets a chance to see Alec Tyler, the man behind the rock sensation, who couldn’t be more different from his onstage persona. The men bond immediately and their whirlwind romance is threatened at every turn by those who want to profit off of the Tyler Curtis phenomenon.

The Curtis Reincarnation is a fascinating story about determination, trust, hope, healing, and most of all love. It is a heart-warming romance, with wonderfully engaging characters and a strongly developed story. Jordan and Alec meet very early on in the book, and the majority of the story is dedicated to the struggle to release Alec from the Tyler Curtis creation he has been stuck portraying for the past few years. It is by no means an easy road, but the journey is one that is touching and inspiring. This novel is an exploration of the contrast between a pubic image and the real person that is often forgotten. “The world saw the indomitable Curtis phenomenon. Jordan saw his agonized burnout.”

This novel tells of the romance between Alec and Jordan, but at the core this is Alec’s story. He is the character that shines brighter than all others in every scene. Priest has poured his heart and soul into this character and it shows from beginning to end. Over the course of the novel we learn about Alec’s past while accompanying him through numerous emotional and physical challenges. At only twenty, he has had to endure more than most suffer throughout an entire lifetime. The fact that he has survived at all is a testament to his spirit and watching the transformation that occurs with the appearance of Jordan in his life is captivating.

I especially enjoyed the dichotomy of Alec Tyler and Tyler Curtis. The changes that come over Alec when he steps onstage are enthralling and show the depth of his character. It is a role that Alec is playing, an entity that is distinctly separate from the one he lives in his normal life.

“Out of character, Alec would never be this brash, nor would he be heard endorsing his looks the way he did on stage or in front of press. Put him on stage as Tyler Curtis and suddenly all his shy, low self-confidence washed to the wayside.”

The part of this novel that struck me the hardest of all is the epilepsy that Alec Tyler battles. He has been dealing with the disorder since childhood, but due to many reasons it is far from being under control. His greatest fear is having a seizure in view of the public. Priest provides achingly realistic descriptions of the seizures that Alec must endure, both on a physical and emotional level. By being inside Alec’s head, the reader is exposed to a taste of what it is like to live life not knowing when a seizure could strike. The experiences are gut wrenching and powerful and add an element to Alec that is often missing in “rock star” characters. Epilepsy is not commonly addressed, especially in GLBT fiction, and Priest’s use is enlightening and deeply moving.

Jordan is not as deeply developed as Alec, but he pays his crucial role in the story quite well. His confidence and belief in love are always visible, and he has a wealth of strength that is a gift for Alec. I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Bec, and she brings humor and joy in every scene she is a part of. As a character, she is the face of the hundreds of thousands of rabid Tyler Curtis fans who idolize the singer. Bec is obsessed with the popular singer, and when he becomes a part of her life through Jordan it isn’t necessarily easy to reconcile the temperamental singer she so adores with the real person. The reporter Taylor Mason and driver Isaac Welsh round out the people in Alec’s life that care about the singer and balance out the vileness that is Alec’s manager Frank Brooks. Frank is truly wicked in his manipulation of Alec and makes it easy to understand how Alec has become so run down and unhappy.

The only criticism I have is that there are numerous mistakes that I would think should be caught in the editorial process. Thankfully these errors did not detract in any way from my overall enjoyment of the novel. Some might balk a bit at how quickly the two main characters fall in love, but honestly you really want to move right past that part and get to the real meat of the story after the two have already met. Overall The Curtis Reincarnation is a captivating and enjoyable book that I couldn’t put down!
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