Rating: 2.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Christopher is a broken man. Raised by an abusive mother and married to an abusive wife, Christopher’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth have been destroyed with deliberation and malicious calculation. He uses self harm to help fight his feelings of helplessness. It’s a reclaiming of his body, even as it eats away at his sanity. Adding to all of this, Christopher’s grappling with internalized homophobia, fear, a need to please, and deep anxiety and loneliness. He’s dying, second by second, heartbeat by heartbeat. The only bright moment in his life is when he’s working with the dogs at the shelter.

When someone brings in what they think is a dog, a giant black mass of flesh and blood that struggles to maintain any shape, but is obviously in pain, Christopher simply accepts it as … well, a dog. He knows dogs. Dogs make sense. And so, fighting the panic attack as the world around him warps and shifts, Christopher helps the dog. When the dog vanishes,Christopher sinks back into himself, refusing to look back at what just happened, rewriting it into something that makes a form of sense.

Then he meets Gyth, the dog’s owner. Gyth, with an easy smile and a childlike wonder about everything. Gyth who likes Christopher, and likes pineapple on pizza, who speaks strangely and acts strangely, and yet who feels safe. Who makes the world around Christopher feel safe. When Gyth finally reveals the truth that he isn’t human — a truth Christopher had half-guessed — for some reason it makes Christopher feel even safer.

It’s dangerous to be gay. It’s frightening to think about being with another man. But Gyth isn’t a man, so being with him isn’t the same kind of wrong, isn’t the same kind of frightening. If only Christopher’s demons could be so easily defeated, but love can only go so far.

This book is mostly erotica with a decided focus on the sex between Christopher and the entity that is Gyth. There are tentacles, muscle fibers, various liquids, sucking on eyeballs — and there are a lot of eyeballs — and muscles, organs, and limbs used for sex in a variety of ways. There is even a literal mind-fuck. Fortunately, Gyth isn’t human or that could have been uncomfortable. However, I found this book to be … well, quite un-erotic. In fact, I didn’t feel much of anything while reading it, neither shock, discomfort, or even enjoyment. In the end, I was left unmoved.

Part of this is the writing style; told in third person present tense, there is a heavy reliance on over explaining everything. You will never wonder what a character meant with a smile, shrug, or comment, because the story tells you exactly why they did it. Normally, this isn’t my favorite thing, but considering the primary character is Christopher, someone so divorced from his own body and his world, with a secondary focus on Gyth, who is alien to our reality, let alone humanity, it almost works. But it did leave me feeling deliberately distanced, as though I am merely meant to sit in the audience, invited to watch, but not needed to fully immerse myself in the story.

The fragments of story around the copious, inhuman sex are oddly placed. Christopher has a difficult time dealing with his mother, currently dying of cancer, and his lack of emotional connection to a woman who hurt him as a child. However, there’s no examination, no resolution, and no closure. It’s a few scenes and then gone. Likewise, there is Christopher’s life with his ex-wife who raped him, controlled him, emotionally and physically abused him, and then used his erectile dysfunction and sexuality against him to ensure she would have control of his daughter. It’s brought up, then we’re onto another sex scene.

To be honest, I can’t really see that there’s a story here beyond Christopher finds an otherworldly being, falls in love and lust, and has lots of sex. While there’s a lot of imagination in the sex scenes, they did nothing for me. I had no emotional reaction to anything in this book, which left me focusing on the lack of story, the style of writing, and how many pages there were to the end. There will be people who read this book and have a fine time with it, I’m just not one of them. That’s not to say I think it’s bad, I just think it’s … not much of anything. Though it does have amazing cover art!