Raven De Winter: loner, loser, poet with a razor blade, trapped in a tormented relationship for the sake of his young son.
Pegasus Belmont: melancholy dreamer, haunted by the smile of his dead mother, silver wings tattooed on his shoulder blades like a wish.
Both have their own secrets, their own reasons for trying to deny the intensity of their feelings for one another, but how long can this charade really last?
Set amid the smoke-filled bars and rainy back streets of late 90s Melbourne, Trapdoor is a love story whispered to the heart of a lonely night; a contemporary, dark and lyrical new-adult novel featuring queer characters, written by Vixen Phillips.
Sometimes, if you wish hard enough, dreams can come true, even if you should wake to find them gone like shadows in the morning.
Vixen Phillips was born in Ballarat in 1975, but has lived on both the east and west coasts of Australia, as well as having spent some time in Los Angeles during the early part of the 21st century. Mostly she writes fiction, poetry, and computer code, but her interests also include drawing, watching anime, creating music, and playing old-school JRPGS.
You can find her dispersed among the wildwoods and dreamers-junkyards of the internet, either under her real name or as lilli, but the best way to keep track of all her projects is by visiting her on the web at NEFAERIEN.NET
Vixen's stories have been described as dark, poetic, beautiful & depressing. The focus rests on the baring of a character's essence and personal mythos, usually from a very claustrophobic, intimate viewpoint. Above everything else, her writing is all about entering a character's mind and unravelling their madnesses, their dreams, and their passions.
This is one book that is completely intense and it's kept that way throughout the book as you keep reading it. I won't delve into what it's about, because the excerpt provides that for you, but don't be fooled by it. It does NOT tell you the majority of the content or even what you're about to experience once you start at page one, but I sure as hell will tell you about the emotional clusterfawk I experienced while reading it.
The story is so exceptionally written that it even messed with my own frame of mind to the point that I've already read this book last month, but it's taken me till now to even put some words on it into my short review here. I had trouble getting past the events that held nothing positive to uplift the story from a severe landslide down into a hailstorm of trauma, and negativism. and I was in complete conflict on how to rate this one and in a personal breakdown I would admit to a 5 in the written story itself, but 2 for the complete type of content. It's in first person but switches into the point of view of the two main characters Pegasus and Raven. They self-destruct their one life they have with their actions. Very dark void of a read in the mood and the setting.
After each page completed it declined and descended into a very oppressive and depressing read. It'll get to the point that the story will induce depression on an unhealthy scale. You can't help but fall head over heals for both the characters, but your mind and your heart will hurt perhaps even bleed for them.
If you're looking for a HEA ending don't look for it in this story? You won't find it with this one. If you're looking for a light read? Not in this one. If you're looking for one where there's damaged characters, but life will get better for them? Not here either.
BUT If you're looking for a story that will blow your mind with totally complete intensity? You've got it here.
I'll end this review with saying that without a doubt I will read more from this author cause I'm amazed by how she writes and mucho curious after this story, what she would produce next.
Trapdoor is the story of the complicated and intense relationship between Raven and Pegasus; two lost souls that learn to have faith and trust in one another, when the rest of the world has let them down. Set in the 90’s, this dark story is unique and doesn’t follow the typical and predictable plot line that most books do these days. It’s very intriguing and keeps you wanting more, making you care about the main characters and see a bit of yourself in each! I also love the fact that Trapdoor tells the story from both character’s perspectives, giving you the opportunity to see things from both angles. I also feel the writing quality is at a much higher level than that of most modern books and actually, very impressive because the writer really captures the intensity of the story.
All and all, a terrific and unique read! We need more books like this one!
I read this book a while ago but found it difficult to rate. At times it was hard to read because of the themes it deals with and at times I almost wanted to quit but ultimately I just couldn't put it down and it stayed with me for days, which is why I decided to give it 5 stars. It's very fascinating and intriguing, not to mention very well written. I'm definitely going to read it again, to take in the story better. Kudos for the beautiful cover, something that's rare in m/m books. I suggest reading the book while listening to the soundtrack the author made available on her site, because it helps put you in the right mood.
There is something compelling about this book. Besides the ick factor of the violence, there is something that is attention grabbing. BUT (1) it moves too damn slow. I got irritated. And (2) as they show interest in each other, they turn into whiny brats and back off on how they felt in the first place.
I also don't understand plot elements. I have to stop and ask myself "why are they doing this." it doesn't make any sense.
I bought a paranormal romance book at the same time that I got a copy of Trapdoor (in terms of colour scheme only, the books have slightly similar-looking covers).
The pararom book had something to do with the "salvation of the soul." I tried very hard to get through the book, but found most of the dialogue completely vapid, the plot shallow and unremarkable, and I was just left with the feeling that the book completely lacked any substance.
I took a much longer time to read Trapdoor, and I'm so glad to see that there are some people in life who still bother to take the time to DEVELOP THEIR CRAFT (writing craft, in this case). I have recently sampled a lot of popular books (YA paranormal, etc), and a lot of them are kinda formulaic/similar to each other. No offense to any readers who enjoy those genres or types of work, though I always prefer to "spend my time" on good books that impart something of value.
In terms of content, I think Trapdoor's strongest element is its navigation through and coverage of the soulful, spiritual dark aspect with regards to the turbulence of love and tough relationship situations. There's no "insta-love" and any formulaic/cliched love triangles here.
This is a book where I will remember the story and characters. This is a book I'll be happy to return to and re-read in future. I'm happy to have it on my shelf. As for the pararom book (had to vent that out of my system at the start, lol), I can't remember the characters' names, and all I remember (and care to remember) is that it had a judiciously pretty cover.
One of my other favourite aspects of Trapdoor was the self-harm scenes, and suicide theme. The scenes were more evocative than gory or gimmicky, with the emphasis being on expression over cheap sensationalism. I've read bestseller thrillers which glorify violence, mainstream fantasy books that feature scenes of "battle porn" -- the scenes in Trapdoor are a different thing altogether.
I fully support the direction/evolution of Lost Violet Press (the independent publishing project of the author of Trapdoor). It'd be great for readers who enjoy quality, original work to talk about it (online, with their friends, etc), because these authors deserve to be recognized + have their work recognized (instead of the "writers" writing knock-offs of popular franchises hogging the spotlight via the media attention and glory).
Readers are the ones who can shine the light on high-quality work from writers/creative types who are committed to something real and something true, to combat the proliferation of FLUFF that is constantly celebrated (I enjoy fluff from time to time, but not when it overshadows work that's fresh/original/uncompromising). Quality is remembered; popularity is replaceable. It is very clear which category Trapdoor falls into, which is where the rest of the author's books will also fall into, so long as there's always that Dedication/Commitment to Quality.
This was a nice book. I was expecting to like it more, but there was something about it that didn’t allow me to enjoy it that much.
The plot is very interesting and some of the issues they deal with were very realistic. I was very attracted to the interaction with Wendy who is not mention in the summary, but has an important part on the development of the plot. She was as destructive as both main characters and I felt very interested on the motives she had for acting the way she did. She was not a likable character, but she was a very well made one. She always create a reaction in the reader, mostly a negative one, but a reaction nonetheless.
Raven and Pegasus were both very frustrating characters to read. The structure of the book shows both points of view that made easy to understand the way they think and why it was so hard for them to deal with the things life presents them. The constant despair and emptiness they felt was ok for a while, but after reading a big part of the book, it became tiresome. It was frustrating and I don’t think there was too much growth on neither of them. Sure, that made the book a little more realistic, but it’s still fiction, and I was expecting something different for them.
The relationship they shared was very nicely made, I think it was nice to see the struggle they had, none of them was perfect, and that is always something I like to read. What they felt for each other felt real and I, putting aside the frustrations they made me feel so many times, I really loved the happy moments they had together.
The pace is really slow, that make it a bit hard for me to read it and I think it was too long, it was nice to read it, but I felt like the story could have been told, just as good, with fewer words.
In general, it was a nice book. It had some themes that might not be appropriate for all reader, like violence, abuse and self-harm, so beware of it before reading it. I had some issues about it, but I guess other readers can be able to enjoy it.
It took me quite awhile to properly review this book. The problem is that I'm no longer in the targeted audience. If I was still a 19 year old pseudo-goth, I would have absolutely adored this. My copy would have ended up in tatters from being read over & over.
It caused me to be all nostalgic for the 90s, and for the days when I loved Poppy Z. Brite books.
The author has a list of songs that she recommends one listens to while reading. I did listen to them. It helped me understand how the characters thought. It's at: http://trapdoor.lostviolet.com/soundt...
The love between Raven and Pegasus was so achingly bittersweet. It just tortured me. All I wanted was for them to end up together and happy.
The sex scenes were the most erotic I've read in a long time. Even the sex practices that aren't my sort of thing were hot!
The first 2/3 of the book, went quickly and I enjoyed it. The last 1/3 lost me a bit. I felt that it dragged, once Raven, Damien & Pegasus went on the lam.
Some parts and some of the reactions of the characters, I found to be rather over dramatic. A couple times I found myself thinking "Who reacts that way?"
I would have liked a clearer explanation of how Wendy & her father got to be such evil, nasty people. They were such unlikeable characters.
There is a drunken attempted rape scene, that I found to be quite traumatizing. I had to stop & take a mental break in the middle of it. There are a couple self-harming scenes that I winced through.
Very dark and brooding. Also very engrossing. I don't normally read things this dark or intense but I loved this book. The characters were very dysfunctional but quickly endearing. The emotional wounds that Pegasus and Raven have are realistic and well drawn. The beauty of their souls shine through their pain. The only thing I will say about the plot and the ending is this, I cried like a little baby. It was that good.
I don't usually review but this book completely wrecked me emotionally. I couldn't put it down. The prose is hauntingly gorgeous. The characters, so beautifully broken. I dreamed of their dreams. My heart broke through the entire read and I wanted it to break. Just stunning.
It's really, really, really long. I think had I read it ten years ago I'd been in love with the way things went, so I'd say it's great for younger readers, but not too young as it does get graphic and some of those scenes are really delicious while others set my teeth on edge in commiseration. Phillips taps into the vein of post-teen angst well, although I feel that the book could be shortened by a third and move faster. Read it if you want a stunning display of deep love and emotion, but it's not recommended for the instant-gratification crowd. She makes you work for it. Still, I truly look forward to her future works. I liked this book.
At times reading this tale of star-crossed lovers can feel like gorging yourself on dark chocolate truffles, it's intensely sensual and undeniably indulgent, yet still made the bitter by the knowledge that it can’t lead anywhere pretty. If beautiful tormented boys are your thing, this book could become your next guilty pleasure.
Ouch. Ouchouchouch. This was almost too much for me, and I love my angst. The writing is absolutely stunning though, but man, this was painful. I have to sit on this for a bit, but I may be back to say more about this. Right now I'm too busy wiping up the puddle that is what's left of my soul.