Author: Deja Black
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Rating: 3.00 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/04/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe/Alternate World, Fantasy, Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Dan Tolliver, the adopted son of alpha pack leader Jeremiah Tolliver, has suffered his last moment of abuse by his lover Keith Mulligan and finds himself in the hospital. There he meets dark and sharp-tongued Dr. Aiden Kavanaugh, who believes Dan needs some of his straightforward kind of medicine. Still, there is something different about the doctor.
Aiden is a sandman, a weaver of dreams, and has been on earth far longer than even he knows. He’s at the end of his time, ready to transition, and needs a human mate to keep him connected to the world he’s grown to love. Only he hasn’t found a special person who makes him want to stay. He doesn’t despair, because not every sandman has the chance to choose, but he knows if he doesn’t find a partner, he will soon lose his physical form and exist only in dreams.
When Aiden realizes Keith is a far greater monster than Dan has any idea, they grow and work together using the support of the pack—and Dan’s inner strength—to overcome impossible odds.
This book started out awesome. I mean, totally, heartbreakingly awesome with Dan, survivor of repeated domestic violence, sitting in the ER and waiting to be seen by a doctor. I was drawn in from the word go, I suffered with Dan, I shared his pain and fear. After an intriguing blurb, I rejoiced at the haunting narrative, refined language and promising beginning I expected to enjoy this book.
My problems started precisely at the moment as Dr. Kavanaugh made his first appearance onscene. For one, he was described as wearing slacks. This might seem petty, but it bothered me to no end, because in which universe do ER doctors wear slacks? Just, nope. Then, the way he talked to Dan. Sure, Dan was almost a regular at the ER, and this was a fantasy setting, but still. I just can’t picture any medical professional scoffing at a patient like this. Next, Dan’s Family. His loving, warm, caring (adoptive) family of big badass werewolves who appear four or five strong in the hospital after Dan got beaten half to death by his abusive boyfriend to whisk him away back into the fold, but who apparently let the abuse go on for two years and didn’t care enough to intervene. Also, they had this stilted, old-fashioned manner of speaking which on the other hand they didn’t keep up consistently—the abrupt changes in diction jarred me out of the story more than once.
All of this was a bit confusing, but I still wanted to get to the sandman part (which I found really imaginative and unique) so I ignored my bewilderment and read on.
And was rewarded with a truly fascinating fantasy concept introducing the sandmen, a race of beings I’d never given much thought to before. The idea was brilliant, as far as I’m concerned—ethereal, immortal beings clad in flesh for a limited period of time unless they can find a human keeper, a soul mate, who claims them.
However, as the story continued, the lore was mentioned and considered several times—leaving me more confused with each explanation. Without going into too great detail, there were just too many contradictions for me to wrap my head around.
But my biggest issue was the personality one-eighty both Dan AND Aiden did about halfway into the book with Dan going from perpetual victim and submissive bottom to fierce fighter, to aggressor even and Aiden from condescending, smug all-powerful demigod asshole to vulnerable and almost shy.
Over the course of the story, the plot kept contradicting itself and got more convoluted, prose and dialogue both became more flowery while Aiden and Dan got wrapped up into the same argument over and over, interspersed with (admittedly well-written) sex scenes. Urban fantasy elements intermingled with references to anime, movies and pop culture (complete with one particularly memorable scene that had me laughing out loud because it reminded me so much of a certain Disney/ Pixar movie).
Broken Bones was a promising book that fell somewhat short in terms of execution. There was so much crammed into this story, it felt like trying too hard and consequently failing overall. Might be of interest for fans of the genre.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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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