Tag Archives: Gay

#Book #Review @OlgaNM7 ‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka’ by Hans Hirschi

Book Title: The Fallen Angels of Karnatakafallen-angels-hans-hirschi-olga-nunez-miret

Author: Hans M. Hirschi

Print Length: 264 pages

Publisher: Yaree AB (September 15, 2014)

Language: English

ASIN: B00MRXVK84

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is a novel that reminded me of a variety of genres. It’s a bildungsroman. Haakon, the protagonist, is a young man from a small Norwegian farm, naïve and not knowledgeable in the ways of life. The book shows us the process of his sexual awakening, how he discovers he is gay, his first experiences, his first rejection and heartbreak, his first love, and his first loss.

At a time when he’s lost everything and he’s been given what he thinks is a death sentence, an Englishman steps in, Charles, and makes him an offer that seems too good to be true. (Yes, we know all about it, but…) Haakon has always dreamt of travelling, and Charles offers him a dream contract to be his travelling companion, acting as a fairy godmother (or godfather) of sorts. He solves all the problems (including finding him medication for his newly diagnosed HIV infection) and does not seem to want anything back other than company and organisational skills. Of course, things aren’t quite as they seem, and the fairy tale turns much seedier and darker later in the book.

We follow Haakon and Charles in their travels, and the book could have become a travelogue. But although the novel provides beautiful vignettes and interesting observations and reflections about the places visited, their travel is described more in terms of an emotional and spiritual experience than a guide book. The journey our hero embarks on allows the readers to follow how the character grows, loses his —at times terribly annoying, at least to me— naïveté and manages to find not only a partner (gorgeous, good and who has suffered too, one of the fallen angels of the title), but also a worthy mission.

Hans Hirschi tackles a difficult subject in this book. One of the most difficult subjects. Paedophilia. The fallen angels of the book title are not really fallen, but rather dragged down by adults who either aid and abate others or are themselves abusers. The author shines a light on some of the least tasteful aspects of an already difficult to deal with topic, by highlighting the plight of children who are abused because they are seen as dispensable. We’ve all heard of sexual tourism and this is an extreme example of it. Although the topic is distasteful and something that plenty of readers would much rather not read about, the author manages to build credible characters that do not completely lose their humanity, even though some of their behaviours might be abhorrent. Haakon acts, in a way, as a foil and reflects the attitude of most readers, who would find it difficult to reconcile how somebody who seems so kind, educated, sophisticated and helpful could also abuse children. It is also a cautionary tale that reminds us appearances can be very deceptive.

The ending is positive, in keeping with the fairy-tale aspect of it, and although not perfect, the hero’s journey shares on universal themes and shows character development and a well-constructed plot and structure. We can’t help but hope that in real life all these kids will find a place and there will be no more fallen angels.

The book is beautifully written and the omniscient narrator allows us to see and understand things from different characters’ point of view (mainly Haakon’s but not exclusively). That helps up share in his experiences but at times puts us in a very uncomfortable position, being party to thoughts or desires and impulses of deeply flawed characters.

I would recommend this book to readers who dare to explore darker subjects. It will be quite a ride but the rewards will be plenty. I don’t know if the writer has thought about revisiting any of the characters again, but I for one would love to hear more of Mahender’s story (hard as it would be). And I will put other works by the author in my list of future reads.

 

Ratings:fallen-angels-hans-hirschi
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  Amazon.
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $14.39
Kindle: $6.66

 

Olga Núñez Miret

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@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

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#Book #Review by @RobertHughes05 of “Fireworks” by @boyzbooks

 

fireworks-aimer-boyz-hugh-roberts-reviewTitle: Fireworks
Author: Aimer Boyz 
ASIN: B00MTZ7732
Published: 5 August 2014 by Lulu Publishing Services
Pages: 352
Genre: Gay Adult Fiction, Erotica
Format: Kindle Edition
Price: £2.38 includes VAT and free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
File Size: 542KB
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Sold By: Amazon UK  Amazon US

A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

Daniel had been in a relationship for eight years but it ended with his partner, Aiden, leaving him for another man.  He’s hurt by the spilt and has no interest in meeting a new partner.  He does what every other self-respectable guy does when getting dumped.  He hits the bars, credit card in hand, gets plastered and tries hooking up with any guy that moves, because that’s how he thinks he can obliterate the memory of Aiden.  Steven has just moved to the house opposite one of Daniel’s sisters and she invites Steven to the Canada Day celebrations she and her husband throw every year for Daniel and the rest of the family.  Little does Daniel know that his whole family have plotted for the two men to meet with the hope that maybe love will blossom between the pair.  However, soon after meeting, in walks Stephanie into their lives, who proudly announces she is Steven’s Ex.

Daniel and Steven are two of the most lovable characters I have ever encountered in a book.  From the beginning I fell in love with both, not only because of the descriptions the author built up of them, but because of the way both seemed so naïve that love would be something they would ever experience again.  Like most relationships it’s lust which makes both men want to get to know each other far better but, as time goes on, love also starts to play its part in the developing friendship between the two men.

All of Daniel’s family do whatever they can to get Daniel and Steven together. Daniel’s father offers to help Steven assemble some new furniture, while Daniel’s mother invites Steven around for the meal the whole family have together on a Friday evening.  Daniel’s two sisters, Karen and Sandy, and their husbands also want to play a part in helping Daniel find true love again after the heartache Daniel encountered when his relationship with Aiden ended.  Little else seems to matter to the whole family other than Daniel’s future love life.

Boyz writes the book like she is part of the family the book is centred around which is just how it should be.  She carried the story along very nicely and ensures that each member of the family plays their part in ensuring that Daniel finds true love.  On the other hand, she barely mentions Steven’s family which I found quite odd even if they do live the other side of the country.  She has a very interesting way in the way she writes in getting the reader to really like every character in the book.  I even found myself  liking Aiden, Daniel’s Ex partner, who had brought so much heartbreak and sadness to Daniel, and who is the bad guy in the book.

There is a lot of Gay erotica in the book and, at first, I wondered just how she would cope with writing such material.  She must have done a lot of research on the subject as she knew exactly what she was writing about and I could not fault any of the erotica scenes she wrote.  In fact, some of the scenes rather took me down the memory lane of my younger days, which of course I won’t be divulging about.  Some of the scenes seemed they were never going to end and although there are lots of them, never once did I think that Boyz was duplicating earlier scenes from the book.

Although the main characters in the book are part of the same family, the other characters she introduced played just as important a part and she cleverly connected each of these characters to Steven, Daniel or Daniel’s family.  While reading the book I felt as if I were watching the whole story unfold on TV as I could very clearly picture everything that was happening in my head.  To me, that is a very talented way to write as it makes the story seem even more real and true to life.

My only criticism of the book, other than there was little mentioned about Steven’s family, was that the chapters were far too long.  They could very easily have been made into smaller chapters, especially where the story changed completely to a different scene with different characters or where there was a time break.

Fireworks is a typical love story with its ups and downs for the characters involved and will pull you deeply into a family who want nothing but happiness for one of its family members.  It is an easy read and won’t have you turning back pages because of misunderstandings about its plot.  You will either fall in love with, or wish you had two friends like, Daniel and Stephen because having them around would bring happiness and joy into anyone’s life.  I do hope there’s a sequel because this story certainly deserves to have one.  If not, then Fireworks would make a perfect screenplay.

Ratingshugh roberts review

Realistic Characterisation: 5/5

Made Me Think: 3.5/5

Overall Enjoyment: 4.5/5

Readability: 5/5

Recommended: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Review by:

Hugh Roberts

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@RobertHughes05 (https://twitter.com/RobertHughes05)

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Book Review by @RobertHughes05 of “Game On: A Love’s Landscape Story” by Olley White

Game On A Love's Landscape Review by Hugh Roberts

Title: Game On: A Love’s Landscape Story
Author: Olley White http://olleywhite.blogspot.co.uk
Format: Kindle Edition
Price: £0.00 Free
File Size: 468 KB
Print Length: 124 pages
Genre: Gay, Romance, Fantasy
Simultaneous Device usage: Unlimited
Publisher: L.Powell
Published: 8 Sept 2014
Language: English
ASIN: B00NFUONFU
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Sold by: Amazon UK Amazon US

Max thinks he is about to meet Stephanie on a blind date.  The two have only ever communicated via an online gaming site.  Stephanie turns out to be Stefan, but they enjoy their day out at the Zoo anyway and, as the day goes on, they become the best of friends.  As time goes on, both start to get feelings more than of just friendship for each other and, gradually, they fall in love.  ‘Game On’ is a book about two men falling in love with each other, but it’s not as easy as just falling in love.  No, there are feelings to consider and Max, after all, is straight, having had several girlfriends in the past.

I found this book to be a roller-coaster of a ride.  It was rather difficult to get into, but I stuck with it and was somewhat glad I did.  Then, it began to sink again and I seriously thought about putting the book down for good, but I persevered and finished it.  Being a gay man, I found it hard to relate to the characters.  To me, they did not seem real and did not seem to be living the life of a gay person as I know it.  Yes, we all live different lives, but having been gay all my life and having many gay friends, I found it hard to relate to most of what was happening to Max and Stefan.

White certainly wrote this love story well but, in the real world as I know it, the time it took for the relationship to develop into something physical, was way too long.  There were times when Max and Stefan both knew they wanted to take their relationship further, but White always put obstacles in their way.  OK, I suppose that is part of the story, and for Max I can understand this with him coming to terms with the fact that he may be bisexual or gay, but for Stefan, I found the obstacles to be rather silly and raised my eyebrows wondering if such obstacles would really ever exist.  Even after meeting each other many times and becoming the best of friends, and Max giving Stefan signs that he wanted to take their relationship further, White choose for Stefan to ignore all the signs which I am sure a gay man would not do.

‘Game On’ is a very easy read but it did not generate any emotions for me.  Usually when I read a book I will feel some kind of an emotion such as happiness, sadness, anger, feeling frightened, etc, but ‘Game On’ failed to raise any emotions in me what so ever.  Stefan would very much play the clown in the book, but the humour failed to come through the pages and make me laugh or smile.  There were parts of the book which reminded me of times when a new boyfriend would introduce me to his straight friends, but it was never as easy as White made it out to be.

If you are looking for a simple straight forward love story with a slight difference, then ‘Game On’ could be the very book to read, but don’t expect to come out of it with the feeling that you must read it again.  For me it was not a book that I would talk to friends about because I would not really have an awful lot of interesting things to say about it.

Although the book was not the best of reads, I did like the author’s style of writing.  It was simple to follow and the story flowed along nicely.  Some of the descriptions were very well written and never, at any stage, did I have to really think about what was really going on in the story.  I’m not a huge fan of books where I’m not really certain what is going on, ending up having to reread whole chapters and maybe putting the book down for good, so well done to White for keeping me reading.  I’ll certainly read other books written by Olley White, but I won’t be thinking about ‘Game On’ while I am reading them.

Ratings
Realistic Characterisation: 2/5
Made Me Think: 2/5
Overall Enjoyment: 2.5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 2.5/5
Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Review by:
Hugh Roberts

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