Kassa's Reviews > On Reflection

On Reflection by Stevie Woods
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's review
Aug 15, 2009

really liked it

In the aptly named “On Reflection”, Nicolo has finally decided to end his life, having lost his purpose for far too long. As he travels to his homeland to say goodbye to the places that held meaning for him, he reflects on his life and the men who he’s encountered. However once he arrives in the city, Nicolo meets a young man who makes him question his plan and offers Nicolo a choice he’s only contemplated once before.

In this beautifully written story with a lyrical prose that adds its own layer of romance to the story and characters, Nicolo’s life and memories are engaging and fascinating even among painful mistakes. From his meeting with his soon to be murderer/creator Andreas to his first tentative steps of love with Paolo, Nicolo has an unwitting charm that attracts even in the face of immature and rash actions. His ultimate choices are not as easy and clear cut as it would seem. The choice between living forever as an abomination with your lover or living a shortened lifetime but able to walk in the sun is one Nicolo struggles with not once, but twice in his existence.

The story is told mostly from Nicolo’s point of view with brief forays into the mind of men in Nicolo’s life and as such offers the most insight into Nicolo’s character. He is a rash young man prone to mistakes and harsh remarks when he is turned into a nightwalker and unfortunately he takes centuries to mature from that selfish and insular man. His relationship to Andreas is selfish for both men and toxic as they use each other without much more than a passing care. While both men claim greater emotions theirs is a relationship of convenience at best and later, vengeance and hatred.

Conversely Nicolo’s relationships with Paolo, Dante and finally Maxim show a progression of his own emotions and maturity. His ability to truly love another person grows as much as his recognition of what his first love, Paolo, was always trying to help him see and live. While not always easy or romantic, Nicolo’s life is provocative and set in a timeless and rich backdrop of European culture. The author’s attention to details added depth to the story and a warmth to the younger men that stood in stark contrast to the bleakness evident in Andreas and to an extent, Nicolo.

Woods offers a beautifully crafted tale with well-developed characters and a stirring ease to the story, allowing it to move seamlessly along through Nicolo’s life and memories. While some inconsistencies exist, they in no way detract from the story. Anyone looking for a wonderful romance filled with the wide and varying range of human emotions and desires extending to human and non-human creatures alike with all their flaws and charm will love this remarkable and moving story.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Misty (new)

Misty Is it historical or contemporary !? :)

Kassa It's contemporary but since the main character is 200 years old he reflects on his memories, some of which are historical. But mostly contemporary.

message 3: by Misty (new)

Misty Kassa wrote: "It's contemporary but since the main character is 200 years old he reflects on his memories, some of which are historical. But mostly contemporary."

Thanks :)

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