Brandon Witt is an author whose name I see a good bit within my online circle of m/m romance and gay fiction writers. But this is the first book of his that I’ve read, and on the strength of my enjoyment of the first “Men of Myth” series, I’ve bought the next two.
Since I’m new to AAR, I should also warn readers that I very rarely give anything over a B+. Even an A- has to be an exceptional book in every way, from writing to plot to characters to sense of place. So a B+ from me is an accolade.
That said, this fairly new series intrigued me and caught me up in its fantasy right away. The simple story is that Brett Wright, a San Diego lifeguard, has been living with his friend Sonia for years, since being kicked out of his grandparents’ home for being gay. Unusually tall, blond and beautiful, Brett is oblivious to the possible implications of his remarkable metabolism and his affinity with the ocean and its creatures. In fairly short order, he survives a horrible date, only to be confronted with a previously hidden world of paranormal creatures worthy of his darkest dreams.
Enter Finn de Morisco, beautiful Chicano pastry chef and beloved member of a large, noisy Encinitas family who are more than meets the eye. Finn rescues Brett from a close brush with a violent death, inadvertently plunging his entire family into a supernatural mystery that threatens everything he loves – including Brett.
Witt offers us vivid characters in Brett and Finn, and indeed with all of Finn’s family, who take on distinctive shape in our minds and hearts. The two young men’s relationship seems to be evolving in tried-and-true romance fashion; but given the fact that this is the first of a series, we all know from the start that there will be no simple happy ending or easy solutions to the problems faced by the two protagonists.
I am not a great fan of the cliff-hanger, but I have to accept that it is necessary and can be more than acceptable if handled well. Witt ends the book with a somber epilogue that opens a very tantalizing window to the next book, while simultaneously satisfying, at least in part, the reader’s own curiosity about Brett’s true nature. Rather than leaving me feeling bereft and blind-sided, Witt’s ending gave this first chapter in the Brett-and-Finn saga a poignant sense of completion. One door closes, and another opens.
I’ll let you know what I find behind the next two doors.