Publishing Date: October 2014
Publisher Description: His father murdered, his mother looking to him for support, Alexi Gallo needs a job and he needs it now. Bribed into working for a corrupt family friend, the only bright light is the easy money and beautiful, vulnerable Traci. But there’s more to this new world than being a bag man and falling in love – far more than just being a kid trying to survive. Alexi is about to find out he’s a pawn in a deadly conflict between warring immortals.
Review: One of the curiously funny reviews I have ever read pertains to this novel. A reviewer stated, “So what’s the problem with portraying people this way?”. (Men portrayed as beasts and obsessed with sex). She goes on to say that this type of writing reinforces rape culture along with sexist micro-aggressive behavior. Micro-aggressive sexist behavior suggests, for example: being touched without permission; condescension; unwanted sexual advances etc. Rape culture is a purely feminist movement idea that gained traction due to some solid theory, yet collapsed under its widespread generalities, blame based approach and the contrary idea that rape is not a “culture” but a conscious choice made by perpetrators.
I guess writers can’t write anything anymore if it offends a persons justified dislike of the subject matter or their sense of “social justice”. Can you hear the jackboots? Well besides one reviewers addled form of projection coupled with irrational statements (defense mechanism), I will add my own less than cogent suspicions to the mix.
Try as I might, I can’t seem to wrest a storyline that is imbued with sexual obsession. Alexi loves a prostitute. No more and no less is implied. He doesn’t have sex with her, but defends her when she is getting beaten by a John. (Here is one reason that I don’t think the reviewer read the whole novel, but anyhoo). Like any young male, Alexi has big hormones made bigger by an injected cocktail of evil intent. His Uncle explains his obsessive malady by stating that young men are normally fixated upon girls but this has magnified his sense of longing. The sexual trade where Traci makes a living is not a place that can be neatly explained away with “micro-aggressive behavior” and men a slave to their hormones. It is an ugly world that is oftentimes violent and delivers the worst of the human condition in all its forms.
This novel is a poetic rendition that combines an era without cell phones, fantasy in the form of mental powers and an otherworld entity that has a manipulative plan coupled with evil intent. Alexi is a solidly built character who grows along with the movement. The story line skips along the fringe of believability which was somewhat riveting yet tended to drag on a bit in places where it lacked pace. The culmination of events is anti-climactic yet is appropriate for the tenure of the novel. The best the novel has to offer is the writing. It is engaging and lacks the idiotic phrasing that so many have come to rely on.