Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: The Path to Forever

The Path to ForeverThe Path to Forever by Etienne

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was enticed by the blurb to read this book by a new-to-me author, but sadly, I ended up unable to really get into the story for a number of reasons.

For one, the writing style was quite unusual. Although it is told in Dani’s and Marco’s alternating first person POV, we don’t get much of the actual narrator’s thoughts or feelings since almost everything is handled through conversation. Emotions, plans, descriptions, history – everything is speech, except for the occasionally thrown – in austere report on locations or actions, and then it’s speech again.
It took me a while to realize why this bothered me so. Aside from the missing internal view – which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself – it was mostly the fact that those guys don’t talk to each other, they are holding stage-worthy dialogues. The overall effect to me was like attending a show or a play with my eyes closed, with someone describing the stage scenery to me. The writing style made it hard for me to take to the characters.

However, the mostly – dialogue writing style makes for a fast-paced reading. Others may love this book just for that.

For another thing, the story flowed along like a calm river despite all the obstacles the two heroes had to master. Marco’s mother gets kidnapped? There’s an almost impossible treaty to negotiate? There was an attempt on Marco’s and Dani’s life? For the most part, those problems are solved like, well that’s what lawyers/private investigators/investment bankers are for. When there’s no handy contractor available, the Duca’s money takes care of next to anything. Well, this is fantasy, after all, but after a while, it felt as if things just fell into Marco’s and Dani’s lap and they didn’t have to work for anything, including their relationship.

There is no on-page sex in this book, at least not between the main characters (although there is a description of Marco getting a hand-job from another gay man they become acquainted with in Aragoni). There are lots of hints at Marco and Dani having sex, but those scenes are not even fade to black, but waved aside with half sentences. It makes sense, in a way, since Marco and Dani have been together for ten years. On the other hand, the lack of physical nearness between the main characters added to my inability to connect with them. Although other characters in the book often refer to noticing Marco’s and Dani’s deep love, I couldn’t. Again, though, this is just me, and my opinion is but one. Others may very well be able to understand their relationship just from the words.

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