Coyote’s Creed (Broken Mirrors Book 1) by Vaughn R. Demont ~ Book Review by Lirtle

Coyotes-Creed-cover-1Title: Coyote’s Creed (Broken Mirrors Book 1)

Author: Vaughn R. Demont

Publisher: Samhain

Cover Artist: Angela Waters

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 10/11/2011

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Alternate Universe/Alternate World, Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Trans*, Urban Fantasy

Blurb:

Always have an ace up your sleeve.

Broken Mirrors, Book 1

If con games were taught in high school, Spencer Crain would be on the honor roll. As it is, he’ll be riding the edge of failure to graduation next month. Then Spence gets the news that his long-gone father is not only dead, but was a Coyote, one of three clans of tricksters in the City.

With a near-catatonic mother on his hands, Spence couldn’t care less about the Coyotes’ ongoing feud with the Phouka and the Kitsune—until it lands on his doorstep. Suddenly he’s thrown headfirst into a dangerous world he knows next-to-nothing about. His only guide is Rourke, dashing King of the Phouka, plus a growing pack of half-siblings, a god, and Fate herself.

As Spence embarks on a journey to learn the Coyote’s creed, the truth about his heritage, and how to handle his growing attraction to Rourke, he wonders when his life turned from TV sitcom to real-life danger zone. And what price must he pay to survive the next roll of the dice…

Product Warnings
Contains PG-13 rated violence, R-rated language and X-rated hotel scenes. Meta-humor, pop-culture humor, utter disregard for the 4th wall abound.

Reviews & Awards:

“Coyote’s Creed” has won the Rainbow Award for Best Gay Paranormal/Horror Novel for 2012

My View:

Let me spell out the challenge this book presents in terms of review: by chapter three, I knew it was going to be quite a feat to somehow give you a sense of what this story is all about and avoid spoilers at the same time. The way this whole ride begins, the set-up, caused my jaw to drop while a grin formed, and this happened I don’t know how many times. Sparkling storytelling and wondrously wily writing are the solid rails upon which this train keeps a rollin’ along, adjusting speed and always moving forward.

The voice is muffled through the door, but I’m very aware of where I am now. The door opens, dim light eking into the room at a merciful pace.

Magical word mixology, yo. I just wanted to give you a wee bitty taste. You don’t yet know the hundredth of it. 😉

The world building is colorful, surefooted, every nook and cranny filled in, all of it resulting in a place that feels lived in, used, saddled with centuries-old customs and yet holds promise for refreshingly unexpected change and possibility, good or bad.

The same is true for the characters, this mix of creature/shifter/human/I-don’t-even-know-what-you-are types that coexist and collide, sometimes in secret, sometimes not so much. Their attitudes, their roles in creating the changing atmospheres and scenery, with every personality unmistakable, and there are quite a few of them. Cheeky, clever, funny, poignant, dastardly, downright evil, blinded by greed or the belief in destined rewards, some see the forest and some can’t even navigate around a tree without being stymied. Lawdy, this was fun. 😀

This is also one of the best examples of first person point of view storytelling. The partnership between the author and our man (sometimes man-child) Spence hooked me, drew me right in, and kept me, close, for the entire time. Spencer is observant, energetic, horny, intelligent, empathetic, skeptical, and sometimes surprised by the things he finds out about himself. He makes it possible to see beyond his own view of the myriad events, relationships, lies, surprises, and plans throughout this story.

I love the mix of modern City living with what feels like old world governed rules and hierarchies built into the history of this world, supernatural and regular folk alike. The recognizable touchstones of the modern make me feel like a part of the supernatural which, yeah, uh huh, FUN.

… thanks to the conversation with Shiko, my brain is overfocused on favorite lines from “The Princess Bride”. Damn it, why did that have to be such a quotable movie?

Poor Spence often finds himself quoting TV shows and other cultural references. Sometimes they save him, sometimes, well, he ends up having to wing it. I like a guy who can wing it, or at least tries.

The chemistry and humor, the lust and caring, and the excitement and gentleness twixt Spencer and Rourke make for an interesting examination of an unexpected connection. Or is it? Unexpected, I mean. 😉 Their relationship goes through organic ups and downs, most of the time due to everything I’ve already described here. Needless to say, ‘boring’ is not ever a word I would suggest in describing them.

I don’t read a lot of stories with leads who are 18, as our man Spencer is, as many of them forget the adult side of the equation of someone at that age. Yep, they often struggle for control over their new adult lives but they sometimes manage to do it, and that is on full display here. Don’t get me wrong, Spence often flails back and forth across the line between childhood and adulthood, but he tries and sometimes succeeds, his journey nonstop – yep, you guessed it – FUN. Which isn’t to say that this story is without darker moments, loss, difficult change and even more difficult choices, because they play their roles, too.

The twists, they keep a’comin’! All the way to the very end. Heh!

There are a few instances, some scenes, where I was like whoa Nelly, what just happened? The details were coming fast and furious without helpful context, history, or immediate follow-up. This is consistent with the approach in this storytelling which made me feel fully involved, except for these rare moments when I had to stop and let the dust settle.

But never mind that because, really, none of those lessened my utter satiation from experiencing this story through Spencer’s heart and mind and, dare I say it, soul.

One of my favorite lines:

”Oh God, this is how the zombie apocalypse starts.” Damn it, I should’ve paid more attention to Romero.

This is one of hundreds of examples of why this is a timeless story. Seriously. The references are endless and always warranted, their origins from all decades. More fun for me. Shocker, I know. 😀

This is a complex world with untold (or told, really, by many, many people) centuries-long feuds, clans with connections and relationships that would make any family tree maker tremble in fear, and an 18-yr old who seems to have been forced into the middle of it all, like a newly discovered planet, so bright and full of potential and danger and energy. I was the embodiment of ceaseless curiosity while reading. See how that works? Brilliant.

Links

Coyote’s Creed (Broken Mirrors Book 1) on Goodreads
Samhain
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
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