148 Following

julio-alexi genao

My biggest passion is my passion. It's really big. Also my penis. Really big also. Like my passion.

After Ben: Seattle Stories Series, Book 1

After Ben - Con Riley O Hai, Grief.Imbued with a good-hearted humanity and wisdom that's not easy to find in the genre, this one might kick around in my brain for a while.Riley has a fine sense of pacing and her voice is polished and engaging. She's got a good ear for the flow of language, and a keen eye for amusing and illuminating detail.She's talented, in other words, and it shows.Some characters do border on the too-perfect end of the spectrum, and there are a couple frustrating loose ends that should have—by the platonic ideals of storytelling, anyway—been exploited for dramatic impact. What the fuck happened to Peter? Where did Morgan's ex go? Since when did Theo find out Marco was gay, and why isn't there even a thought in his mind to do anything about it even though he's the spitting image of Ben? What kind of Italian name is Ben, anyway? Okay, that one's silly, but the rest... seriously unexplored dramatic potential. How these oversights eluded an editor is a mystery.Referring to Ben too many times probably weakened the overall feel of the book, but as a device for the purposes of explaining or enriching the context of the situation, it works very nicely indeed. When you lose someone, you really do think of them as often as Theo thinks of Ben. You compare everyone to the one you lost, and everything has everything to do with them.But in fiction, it's sometimes best to be a little bit unfaithful to the literal truth of a thing, to keep the story moving along. Some restraint here and there, with the Ben memories, would have better served the story than the (still, frankly) wonderful and amusing glimpses of the kind of crazy-charming and funny man Ben was.Yet even with those nerdy-writer nitpicks, this book stands as a lovely and nuanced portrait of grief, of bravery, and of deliverance, inhabited by fun and engaging characters and spiked, later on, with the odd hot sex scene for good measure.Well worth a look.