Monday, April 21, 2008

ManLove Monday - Master of Obsidian by Jamie Craig part deux

WAIT! Lisabea and I are doing a dueling review today. And the party is so big and fun that it cannot be contained on only one blog. No, no, we are spreading our tentacles of MLM across both our blogs. If you haven't already read part one, you gotta head over to lisabea's blog for the beginning....found here. Done reading part one? Ok, now you can begin. :)

...

whew. No one ever said that this book was hearts and flowers. Gideon reminds me just a little bit of an ethically challenged super hero. Super-hero because like Batman et al, he has “sworn to protect the city” and lurks in the shadows fighting the evil bad things that go bump in the night. Ethically challenged because, let’s face it, the guy is in many ways amoral. He’s not a cuddly vampire. Hell, his idea of a first date is taking Jesse to a vampire bar and screwing his brains out in front of an audience. With audience participation. *fans self* Did I mention that this amorality is in fact part of what makes him so goddammed attractive and irresistible? Uh huh. A bad boy who really is bad.

So. wait. Goddamnit. The plot? I always stray from the POINT! OK, well basically the drug Obsidian heightens a vampires desire. Frees them of their restraint. And they kill.

Someone is trying to hook the vamp population on Obsidian and then incite them to do evil things. You might even call this drug lord the MASTER of Obsidian (sorry, had to say it). Between bouts of hot manly manlove, our heros must track down the Obsidian pushers and end their nefarious plans. JUST SAY NO to drugs, kids! Actually, it is nice to see Jesse and Gideon work together in tandem as a partnership outside of the bedroom as well as in it. For all the rough and edgy sexxoring, both of these guys have a sense of humor. The banter between them and the way they are so clearly in tune with one another just adds another layer to the story and the nature of their friendship contrasts with the way they interact in the sexual realm. It's fascinating to see the duality in each of their characters. Gideon likes his partners to beg but he also respects the hell out of Jesse for his strength and intelligence. Jesse is smart, clean cut and something of a brainiac but he craves submission.

"What about what I want?" he countered. "You're the best friend and partner I've ever had. Doesn't that count for anything?"
"What makes you think I'd stop being those things, Gideon? I'm still your friend. I still know you better than anybody, and the only way I'd ever stop being your partner is if you fired me. And we both know you'd never do that, because you don't like to research."
"Because sex is messy, Jess. Especially the kind of sex..." He braced himself for being honest. "...I'd want."
"That's why we shower afterward," Jess joked, but it fell flat. "Gideon, the kind of sex you want is the kind of sex I want. You haven't frightened me, or horrified me, or maimed me, or damaged me. We're both consenting adults, and I'm not so naïve I don't know what I'm consenting to."

The glue that holds this the festival of fluids and buddy love together is the underlying theme of trust. Soooo many layers of trust going on in this book. The obvious...clearly any two characters involved in a BDSM relationship have got to have a foundation of trust to build upon. Although our heros have a strong friendship, they both make a leap of faith in risking that relationship. Gideon must learn to trust that Jesse can make his own choices. However, the erotic thrill ride within this little novel is the gripping fear that Gideon may accidentally kill Jesse by going a step too far. And it's not Jesse who possesses the will power to say no. His trust is implicit. The will to stop lies solely within the tattered moral compass of that reformed killer of humans for sport and pleasure, Gideon. It's one DARK fucking adventure. And I mean that most literally.

"And what was her great sin, Gideon?" Anger rippled through his every word. It was the reaction Gideon had feared.

"She killed a man, remember? She did more than kill him. You read the coroner's report. He was still alive when she tore into his gut."

Jesse yanked at his collar, revealing the bites on his neck. Even the one that was over a week old still looked deep and red. "I never stopped you because I trusted that you wouldn't leave me an empty husk. Even later that night, when you practically turned me into your chew toy. I would bet money that Toby trusted her the same way, and I believe she never meant to get high on obsidian when she was with him. Henry infected her, Gideon. I don't know why, but I think she's telling the truth. She didn't intend to hurt him."
Gideon wanted to point out that there was a distinct difference between Tricia and himself, but realized as the words poised on his tongue that maybe the difference wasn't as great as he thought. Tricia had tried to hold back because Toby was important to her. It was the exact same reason he'd given himself for protecting Jess.

S'riously. I'm not an expert in the ways of writing good BDSM, but I have to say that I think one key for me as a reader is that balance between the threat of violence and the foundation of trust. Love, desire, and fear all wrapped up in one heckuva erotic cocktail. You have to believe that the characters could be in actual danger even as you believe that everything is gonna be alright. Gideon and Jesse? All I can say is, it worked for me. Me too. Yowza.

I have to hand it to Pepper and Vivien. Sula and I worked for hours trying to figure out how to do this properly, what the hell we were going to say and how to divy up the work load. And, well ok, I need to admit that I didn't finish reading until 5 on Sunday (suck AND blow as a partner). I wondered how the pair could possibly write one paragraph at a time, back and forth, and maintain that voice...but it does happen through the shared process. We opted to color coordinate our writing cuz we is very proud of ourselves....


Pepper and Vivien both will be around the blogs today to answer any questions. There are quite a few books in this series (5) and this here book was on the Debabahahlrl. Jamie Craig will be posting a serial over at Bam's big ole website (woot to free lit-ticher!) soon.

32 comments:

lisabea said...

Sula, I'm cracking up at 3 freaking thirty am est cuz we never finished the plot whatsit. heh. Way to team review!
woot!

Tumperkin said...

Great review and love the format. More please!

sula said...

Is it morning already? Ugh, time to go to work. But I gotta say, if I'm going to stay up till all hours of the night slaving over 'homework', I'd rather it be m/m than freaking finance (see below). lb, wtg team! lol.

T, glad you liked it and do nag lisabea so that i can convince her to do it again in the future. heh. Just mebbe a little earlier in the evening. *g*

Katie(babs) said...

Where did you get the Batman and Robin kissing picture?!?! I went to Comic Con this weekend and didn't see any hot male superheroes kissing each other :(
Great review Sula and great team work. Go take a nap now.

lisabea said...

I found it cuz I am teh queen of teh intertubes!!!

Carolyn Jean said...

Oh, what a fine review! This is a winning format, and I also enjoyed your insights on why this BDSM story worked. This was really good reading.

Carolyn Jean said...

I think I need to read this book.

lisabea said...

Hm. So MFC was a bit of an eye opener for you? Gulp. Sula...what do you say to our sweet CJ?

The blood play thing, though, that reminds me of Sookie but on a much grander scale. I think it's messy, but it's realistic in this setting.

sula said...

What do I think? hrm. Well, the blood play didn't actually register with me as a potential problem. Dude is a vampire. I expect mad sexxoring with a vamp to include some blood. What may be worth a warning is the group stuff in the bar. heh.

lisabea said...

Oh, I think CJ's cool with the vamps sucking blood...I remember that there were some comments about the My Fair Captain being a real eye opener. This is deep end, no floaties, life guard off duty. Good times. What did Teddypig call it? Juicy. heh.

Carolyn Jean said...

That was overstated. I shouldn't have said eye opener, but just, I never read erotica before, seriously, so MFC was my first, and then what with all Nate's talk in that Adrian hiding scene, I was like, whaaat? My eye opener, as I said in my blog, was on the psychology of fisting.

Carolyn Jean said...

And sort of the whole boy master thing too.

Vivien Dean said...

I swear, you and lisabea have some of the best pretty I've seen on blogs lately. It makes it very hard to sound coherent when I keep staring!

Thank you so much for the review! Especially your comments about Gideon. We got sick and tired of reading fluffy vampires and knew we could go darker here and keep it making sense. Jesse's influence smooths some of Gideon's rougher tendencies, but there's a reason not a lot of people in Chicago like him, lol.

You're right, there are currently 5 novels out and a prequel novella about Gideon and Mary. Book 6 comes out in June, and there will be 9 books total. If we can bear to walk away from these guys. We do love them a lot.

And now I'm off to wait for a bed delivery, but I'll be back later to add to anything that comes up. Pepper will be on, too. She'll have lots to say. :)

Carolyn Jean said...

I know you all are thinking I am a naive Midwesterner. I am!

Carolyn Jean said...

Vivien,
You are right, there are a lot of fluffy vampires out there.

lisabea said...

I love the term psychology of fisting. Sounds like a blog post I will never write. And the boy/master thing is here, but I found it to be different than Adian/Nate.

So CJ, you should read this. You love those vampires and this is one vampire you might want to get to know. Dark.

Carolyn Jean said...

I should delete all my comments now. I didn't mean psychology of fisting, but more, the whole idea behind it.

Okay, No, I do want to read this one though. What I like about it is it sounds like the characters are really well done, esp in that their erotic life bleeds into the rest of their lives in a rich and interesting way. Like, they add up. It sounds like they add up, but in an unexpected way.

Katie(babs) said...

If anyone can write a psychology of fisting blog, it is you Lisa.

lisabea said...

O.M.G.

JenB said...

Niiiice. I think I'll have to read this. It's not every day you find a book with blood, spit, AND drugs.

Great review, fun format. :)

Pepper Espinoza said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pepper Espinoza said...

We also have a MySpace for Jesse, which is really just an excuse for me to spend more time playing in Jesse's mind, because I lurve him. My last day of school is Weds. I plan to update more once that albatross is not around my neck...

sula said...

oh lordy, i go away for a few hours and come back to the psychology of fisting. *giggle* No but really, it makes you think. The book does. And that's what I liked about it.

Gideon is a real vamp; he's dark and he's not safe. For some reason I was thinking of the phrase from the Narnia books "he's not a TAME lion". (will i get struck down for comparing a jesus figure from a children's book to a m/m vamp character? hrm).

Oh and Jesse. Let's talk about Jesse! I really dig him and his beta-ness. He may be a sub but he's a fully adult, rational and capable man. No wimpy pushover is Jesse. The contrasts between him taking charge during parts of the investigation and being taken charge OF in the bedroom...soooo fascinating. I'm so digging the dynamic between these two guys.

Anonymous said...

Oh hell. OK, I give up. I'll buy the damn book. :) You had me with the emphasis on their friendship, their banter, sense of humor, their being so in tune and the deep trust they have. If anything can make me swallow the BDSM pill, that would be it. You and Lisa do one hell of a sap job on my determination NOT to buy new books when I have over a 100 at home I haven't read yet. Problem is, I almost only want to read M/M these days. Sigh. Loved the dual format thing by the way. And the slash Batman and Robin cartoon is great.

Mary M.

Carolyn Jean said...

I'm back reading the rest of the comments.

Gosh, this sounds like such a fun book!

sula said...

mary, I know what you mean. I was at Borders this evening with a coupon, trying to figure out what book to buy but none of them looked all that interesting. I just wanted more m/m. Oh and isn't lisabea teh awesome for finding superhero slash? heh.

CJ, if you do decide to read it, I would be very curious to hear/read your feedback.

I'm happy to know that there are more books in this series because at the end of this one, I wanted to keep hanging out with Jesse and Gideon. so hooray for further stories. woot!

Katie(babs) said...

I still can't get over the Batman and Robin kissing picture. Didn't see any of that at the convention though.

Sarai said...

Huh Well I think I will stick with Josh and then try my hand at MFC if I can get through that without too much blushing I will try this later. Sadly enough I am the small town midwesterner that recently hopped on the bandwagon.
It does sound interesting though...

lisabea said...

Sarai~Pro'lly a good idea. And his new book is really sweet and action packed and making it look too easy, again. :)

Sula~Everytime I stop by I see Batman slipping Robin some tongue and I just LAUGH. Hm...perhaps Spaceghost shall be ousted by m/m slash....

Ally Blue said...

Space Ghost and Brak are SO doing it O_O

Ally Blue said...

OH and BTW, y'all, this review ROCKS, for real! I love the back and forth, and the insight into the book :)

lisabea said...

Ally~mwahahahhaha. I've switched my wee icon, though. S'got that slash thing going on. And thanks for the nice-nice.