Carl's Reviews > Subcutanean

Subcutanean by Aaron A. Reed
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really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, interactive-fiction, scifi
Read 2 times. Last read October 7, 2019 to October 8, 2019.

I know what you're thinking, and you are probably wrong... this novel is not a gimmick, nor is it one of those CYOA books (which is what most people think of when they hear about interactive fiction.) It is also not an angst-filled, post-YA, same-sex romance designed to capitalize on the latest in millennial trends.

I received an ARC with many of the same expectations of what this book would be, but I was wrong. Ignoring the obvious pun, everything in this novel is deeper than it first appears.

- Orion seems like a typical college student until I saw the struggles he faced were deeper than those of a typical adult but not unrealistic.

- Orion's relationships seemed both simple and complex, given his sexual identity and conservative upbringing that colored every meaningful exchange. I haven't faced his challenges in my life, but Aaron smoothly portrayed Orion's push-pull relationship with Niko in universal terms we've all faced with revelations that caused me to re-examine their relationship many times.

- The converted apartment house seemed recognizable for those of us who've had roommates, with odd room layouts and furnishings that clashed. When the character discovered new rooms and hallways that shouldn't exist, the house remained both cosy and yet expansive as they descended deeper.

- Even the plot even seemed deeper to me. I kept asking myself, 'Is this a mystery? a horror? fantasy? science fiction?' As events progressed, I found my perspective shifted from one genre to another as if the story were branching as I read it.

This is a feature, not a bug!

This realization marked when I felt like I understood what Aaron was trying to do -- just knowing other readers will read a slightly different version of events means what is on my page is but one interpretation of a larger story.

Perhaps your interpretation will be different, but isn't that the point?
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 7, 2019 – Started Reading
October 8, 2019 – Finished Reading
October 29, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
October 29, 2019 – Shelved
October 29, 2019 – Shelved as: fantasy
October 29, 2019 – Shelved as: interactive-fiction
October 29, 2019 – Shelved as: scifi

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