Author: Anyta Sunday and Andrew Q Gordon
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Caroline Wimmer
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/17/2012
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Fantasy, Gay Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Jay Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.
When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life.
When Andrew Gordon approached me about possibly featuring his co-authored first novel (Un)masked on Retro Reads, I didn’t hesitate for a second. I also never offered the title to the rest of my team, which if you know me at all you know is very rare indeed. My team gets first dibs on (almost) all reviews. However, I have been looking for a reason to read (Un)Masked for ages.
If you read this blog with any regularity, you know of my love for Andrew Q Gordon’s Champion of the Gods series. Also likely know of my love for Antya Sunday’s recent release, rock. Seriously, folks, these books need to be high on your to-read list, but I digress. So I was quite interested to see how this pair worked together.
(Un)Masked is somewhat of a departure from other books I have read from Sunday, but I know that Gordon has a beautiful mind for the fantastic. Their partnership, however young, was flawless. Sometimes when I read co-authored works, especially those co-authored fairly early in a writer’s career, I can pick out who wrote which parts and whose mind conjured which characters. I could not with this novel.
Our story is told entirely from Jay’s point of view. (Un)Masked is a charming story of love, life, friendship, jealousy, revenge, grief, and of course magic. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that Jay takes on a harrowing journey to find the meaning true love and soul mates. Lethe introduces Jay to the world he never knew existed. He also manages to bring out some qualities in both Jay and his best friend Gristle that they may rather have left buried.
Throughout Jay’s journey, you get to see the many facets of love. We get to see that one kind of love isn’t more important or real than another. We get laugh with Jay et al. We get to cry with them as well. Sunday and Gordon certainly take us through the spectrum of emotion on Jay’s journey.
Lethe and Gristle for their parts represent two types of home for Jay. They represent his past and his future. They also represent a number of life-altering choices that Jay has before him. I love both these character for different reasons. However, I also want to cuddle both and make the world better for them. This conundrum mirrors Jay’s dilemma, to be honest.
This story is not a menage. It is not a love triangle. It is about fitting two sides of your world together to make a whole. It is about moving on and growing up. It is about love and loss. It is about finding home. It is all told with a dash of magic, a curse, a vindictive elf, and the brilliant words of two masterful wordsmiths.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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