Aspen Mountain Press, $5.99, ISBN 978-1-60168-007-5
Sci-fi Erotica, 2006
This review originally appeared on The Naughty Bits, which is sadly no longer around. It’s now here with Teddypig’s permission.
JM Snyder’s story Trin is set in a post apocalyptic world where Devlars (dragon-like creatures) attack from the sky. Only the wild and warrior like gunners protect the people who populate the string of towns known as outposts. Trin, a mechanic, lives in what seems to be the local truck stop with his older brother Blain and Blain’s girlfriend Alissa. Blain used to be a gunner who ran with a man known as Gerrick whom Trin has a well known long time crush on.
Then one day Gerrick rides in.
He pushes past her as he races down the hall. The image burns in his mind-he closes his eyes and still sees the gunner’s slack cheeks and open mouth, his eyelids half-shut in lust. A hand stroked Gerrick’s thigh, another curved around his flat ass, a man knelt before him with the gunner’s fingers plunged deep into his thick hair.
The hard length suckled between red lips, Garrick in him, fucking the bounder’s hot pink mouth as the shower poured down between them. The bounder, Trin recognized his eyes when he turned to see why it was all of a sudden cold behind him.
Gerrick’s eyes widen slightly and the gunner sighed his name, “Trin.”
No explanations, no hurried excuses-he didn’t even push the bounder away, just kept thrusting into the softness between his lips and uttered his name. Trin. For the first time he was getting off he said Trin’s name, and it wasn’t even on him.
Behind him Gerrick calls out but Trin’s beyond hearing. He runs down the hall, head tucked between shaking shoulders, chin pressed to his chest. He tells himself he won’t cry, even as the first hot tears cut through the sweat on his cheeks.
OK, Has everybody figured out yet this is not your traditional HEA-style romance?
It is hard to call Trin a gay romance at all this is just too dark in fact the whole setup from the beginning is foreboding. It still follows all the romantic requirements. You have two men, a young inexperienced guy who not so secretly has a crush on the older roguish warrior. They do get around to having sex fulfilling the young Trin’s dream of bedding the rogue Gerrick and there damn well is conflict that tears them apart when the whole reality of what would typically happen happens. Well, if you read the excerpt above then you know it is betrayal, yeah the rogue fucked around, surprise! and eventually this betrayal will happen on both sides. They get a type of HEA in the end but… Oh my…
The real stomach punch for me came at the end. It is not so much an HEA as a coming to terms and accepting responsibility for your actions with what you have left after the illusions shatter. I know that sounds fucking dark but just read this thing yourself. I consider it very an emotionally stunning bit of writing.
This book will never rest easily on my favorite romance shelf, the really powerful ones never do. This one will sit in the back and be brought out to show someone just how effective a dark little eBook story can be. I myself recall being this incredibly stupid and young, of walking in and finding a sexy man I thought I loved in bed with someone else. I still remember the chaos of that moment with almost perfect clarity as if it happened just yesterday. These characters and their reactions in the story ring true till the very end.
For anything to have real worth in life it must come at a high price.
Can we just call this a gay romantic coming-of-age scifi?
This is not an escapist fairy tale and there is no Prince Charming around here, nor is there any fair damsels in distress. Not really, neither character can be seen as blameless or honestly very smart. As Morpheus told us, “Welcome to the Desert of the Real.” And you know what, if the writing is this good I can handle the occasional real more often. There is nothing wrong with a learning experience or the pain of the lesson learned. Just do not buy this eBook looking for lighthearted.
Grade A writing, Grade A storytelling, for a book that contains some very dark and very jagged bitter pills.