Friday, June 17, 2016

Snare Book Blitz

When Elliot Iverson, a municipal employee responsible for paperwork pertaining to New York City's vampire population, knocks on the door of the Gramercy warren, he wants only to resolve a clerical error. But a sudden snowstorm, a new friendship, and an ill-advised threesome force Elliot to make some big choices about his own life and death.

When Matthew pulls open the door, a blast of wind and snow swirls in. The snow is piled up on the stoop, and as they watch some of it crumbles onto the carpet of the foyer. The street is drifted with white and all Eli can see is billowing white globes of snow around each of the streetlamps.

“Okay, there’s no way you’re leaving,” Matthew declares, pushing the door shut again and cutting off the frigid stream of air. Eli’s glasses fog up again, but only briefly, and once they’re clear he sees Matthew turn to regard him thoughtfully. “Even if the subway’s still open it’s going to take you forever to get home. Do you want to stay for dinner?”

As he asks, he leans forward and puts his hand over Eli’s where he’s gripping the strap of his bag.

All at once, Eli realizes that he is in a house with Dead people and vampires; that if the trains are down he has effectively no way to get home; and that he’s being propositioned.

“Oh my god,” he says. This is entirely the thing his mom had fretted about, at length, when he announced his intention to move to New York. Because con-artists, homosexuals, anarchists, and vampires. It’s her worst nightmare. Maybe there are drug dealers here too.

Matthew tips his head curiously.

“Oh my god,” Eli says, more frantically. “Oh my god. I can’t get home.”

“Yeah?” Matthew asks, nonplussed.

“Horror stories start like this!”

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My Review:
2 stars

I was very conflicted over this story. The blurb sounded amazing and I’ve read other books by these authors, so I had high hopes for it. Unfortunately, it didn’t come through. To start, I didn’t really like any of the characters in this book. Eli acted too much like a whiny brat (though I can understand where he’s coming from), Matthew seemed like an abused partner, and Richard was an overall dick. I spent most of the book not liking Richard. He did crappy/horrible things without absolutely no explanation about why he did so, so I kept questioning why he was doing this and allowed to get away with it. I still don’t know what Matthew and Eli see in him. This felt more like a study in Stockholm Syndrome then a romance.

(Potential spoiler warnings in this paragraph)
A large part of this I feel is due to the fact that a lot of stuff was either hinted at or talked about, but never actually shown. So I never got the chance to really know, care about, or like the characters. For example, Matthew kept saying Richard was a nice guy, but we didn’t really get examples of this until the end of the book (which was set 11 months after the start of the book). So Eli spent over 6 months afraid/disliking Richard, and only started getting along with him because he was desperate to be accepted into the warren. Then after over 10 months of not really liking Richard, there’s going to be a romance? Yeah, no. That’s called Stockholm Syndrome.
(End of spoilers)

The most interesting part and saving grace of the story was the worldbuilding. While there were elements of traditional vampires, these vamps were unique and interesting as well. I found myself wanting to know more and more about this world, which was both good and bad. It was good in that it helped draw me in to the story and keep me reading until the end; however, it was bad because I felt like the worldbuilding was missing information. I was left with questions, such as how had things stayed this way for so long? If vamps were so influential in building New York City, then why are they locked away on an island still? Are these the only vampires in the whole world? Why haven’t they outgrown the space they’ve been allotted for decades? Because of this, aspects of the world didn’t seem to be totally thought out or make sense. Plus, there were other parts of this world hinted at but not fully explored, making me wonder if this is supposed to be the start of a series.

Overall, I’m not a huge fan of the book. If there was a sequel, I would potentially read it in order to learn more about this world and to hopefully see my issues in this novella addressed. I like these authors, but this story was just not for me.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

About the Authors:
Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese write the LGBTQ Hollywood romance series Love in Los Angeles (Torquere Press) and the theater-based Love’s Labours series (Dreamspinner Press). Their work has also been published with Cleis Press and Supposed Crimes.

Erin is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto, and a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University where she studied the role of social media in the Arab Spring.

Racheline’s fiction, non-fiction and poetry has appeared in numerous outlets. She is also a producer and writer on Serial Box Publishing’s Tremontaine (available in print from Simon & Schuster’s Saga Press).

Together, they write stories and scripts about the intersection of private lives, fame, and desire.

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