Friday, December 3, 2010

Review of Evangeline Anderson, Broken Boundaries

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My reaction to the book depends on what part of it I'm considering. There were things about it I adored, and things about it that were very far fetched and demanded a pretty significant suspension of disbelief.

What I loved:
The sexual tension between the two heroes was crazy hot and tantalizingly delicious. The two heroes were physically appealing, likable, complex, and experienced effective character development. The one hero's slow evolving recognition of his own sexuality was such a good tease and upped the sexual tension wonderfully. The author made you absolutely pant for the heroes to finally DO IT! On this alone, I enthusiastically recommend the book. [One caveat: There is a rape scene between the two heroes I absolutely could have done without.]

But. Here's what was a little harder for me:
The worldbuilding, which in many ways I liked and found effective, also required a pretty significant suspension of disbelief, and sometimes in ways that really stretched the bounds of what I could buy. Here's my problem: the future military that Anderson describes remains solidly homophobic, to the extent that there are characters who constantly gay-bash other characters in the story and Don't Ask/Don't Tell still exists. Within this world, she constructs a military that 1) builds a ship that requires two naked men to lay touching together to operate, and a ship that can only be fully effectively operated if the two men are physically connected (i.e., having sex), and 2) given the ship's parameters, the military specifically recruits gay men to be their elite-among-the-elite pilot/gunner force. If you think on it at all, it just isn't logical that this would be true. And I don't think this is just a matter of run-of-the-mill-fantasy-book-asking-for-you-to-suspend-your-disbelief, as so many fantasies and scifis do. It's just illogical to think that a homophobic military would ever be okay with creating such a ship or such an elite force.

HOWEVER, that said, when I looked beyond that issue and let the book take me for a ride (!), it was a good, fun, hot read that I really enjoyed, with characters that have stuck with me. (I've actually already re-read it--well, certain scenes, at least ;-] ) Overall recommend.

Thanks for reading,


Kittie Howard said...

What a strange plot! I just can't imagine that happening, even by a far stretch. It's so odd I also can't help but wonder how such a book came to be published. I mean, I've read excerpts from bloggers that were far, far better.

Why would I want to read a rape scene? Just too much, too much.

But I do thank you for an honest review and a fair rating. You're very professional and why I enjoy coming here (plus you have a beautiful writing voice.)

Laura Kaye said...

Your comments made me laugh! Well, I agree it was odd. But it was also oddly intriguing! On the rape scene, the author *tried* to set it up so that it was something that the guy wanted even though he was hesitant and saying no, but it just didn't work. I don't see why we should be any more tolerant of that idea for men than we are for women. No means no.

And, your comment on my writing voice is my highlight of the day. Thank you!!!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Having internal consistency is SO important. Especially if you have complicated future histories where the ramifications of the changes are not always obvious (although this one seems pretty obvious). Thanks for the reminder of that!! :)