Book Review: Night Creatures by Jeremy Jordan King

It’s 1981, and Bryant thinks his move to New York will be the beginning of a new life. But the men he meets are being threatened by a mysterious illness. Could transforming into a Night Creature save him and his loved ones from certain death? Book Two of The Immortal Testimonies travels back in time to the gay community’s darkest days.

 

Since I finished the first book in this series, In Stone, I have been dying to get my hands on the sequel/prequel, especially when I found out the main character was going to be Bryant, my favorite side character in the first book.

In this book, readers meet Bryant before he’s been turned into a vampire. The time is the 1980s, right at the start of the AIDs crisis, and Bryant has just moved to New York City. He enjoys his life, but when an encounter with a mysterious man in a bath house leaves him sick, he freaks out. First he thinks it’s the flu, and then, when his lover and other friends start dying, he realizes it’s much worse.

Except, he’s not affected.

In comes Jonathan, the man from the bath house. One of the Immortals. What follows is an adventure as Bryant learns to adjust to his new life as he erases his old identity and tries desperately to stop AIDs from taking more lives.

This book was amazing. I mean, seriously. It really packs a hard punch, especially with the descriptions of the beginning of the AIDs crisis when doctors didn’t know what they were dealing with. Told from Bryant, it was so realistic I felt like I was living through it with him. What made it more chilling was the way the author didn’t just immediately say what was happening. Because no one did know at the time. We know now, and reading it, knowing what’s happening and what’s going to happen to everyone who gets sick… well, it was heartbreaking. I think this book is incredibly important for young adults because so many don’t understand the AIDs crisis and what it really meant to everyone. It’s been so many years that most – if not all – of those first impacted have died, and these young adults are seeing a world where AIDs may not have a cure yet, but has treatments, and being told you have it is not an immediate death sentence like it was in the 80s.

I cannot wait for the next book in the series. You do not need to read In Stone first in order to enjoy this book, but I would anyway.

This book is available for purchase from Bold Strokes Books.

Rainbow Book Fair

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Rainbow Book Fair in NYC. Though I didn’t have a chance to read, I did hang out at the Bold Strokes Books table and met some amazing readers and other authors! I was thrilled to FINALLY meet Jeremy Jordan King, whose book, In Stone I loved. I also met YA author Nora Olsen whose novel Swans & Klons comes out next month.

I was thrilled to sell a copy of Andy Squared to one woman in particular. She is older and her grandson is in the sixth grade. This is my favorite story from the even, and possibly my favorite reader ever. She purchased a copy of my book after deciding she would buy it, and give it to her grandson as her way of coming out to him. She said she had waited too long to do it, and he should know.

I am so honored that she is using my book to do this. I wanted to sit behind the table and cry afterwards. I did not catch her name, as she wanted to personalize the book to him herself, but I wish her the best of luck and if I could meet her grandson, I’d tell him what an amazing grandmother he has.

Stay tuned later this week for a guest post by author Madison Parker whose new books, Play Me, I’m Yours has just come out through Harmony Ink Press!

Book Review: In Stone: A Grotesque Faerie Tale by Jeremy Jordan King

I’ve always loved Faerie Tales (Fairy Tales, however you want to spell it) whether they were the original Grimm stories are watered down Disney versions. I’ve also been on a kick recently with buying retellings of fairy tales for my classroom, as there seems to be a surgence in popularity with them. There is one particular series of books that features amazing stories that takes tales like Sleeping Beauty or The Frog Prince and twists them into other stories.

In Stone: A Grotesque Faerie Tale is not a retelling. It is the authors own story, and he has done a marvelous job. Throughout the novel, readers are given two stories – that of Jeremy, the narrator, from his perspective, and that of Garth from the beginning of his existence, told as if he is telling it to Jeremy.

I will admit, the first time I read the synopsis I was intrigued but upset at the same time. My reason? The narrator’s name is the same as the author’s name. To me it spoke of self-insertion and reminded me of my fanfic days and reading Mary Sue and Gary Stu stories. However, before everyone bristles, let me tell you this: it WORKS. Especially when you read to the end. Like me, you may end up wanting to harass the author to find out if this is true, and he has really experienced all of these things because… well it’s that well written.

From the Bold Strokes Books website:

Jeremy is stuck, like most young New Yorkers, in a world between adolescence and adulthood. Just when he thought that he was an average, blend-in-with-the-crowd gay kid, he becomes the victim of a terrible act of homophobia. Thankfully, a mysterious something comes to his aid. Garth is a gargoyle, trapped in stone and cursed to live an immortal life. Human and monster must become friends and confront the mysterious and magical events of the past that have brought them together.

I loved the story. Jeremy’s tale is a unique one that blends the modern world with that of faerie tales and makes them feel real, as if they are happening around us. It also speaks of a love that traverses time and multiple forms of existence. Each character brings something fantastic to the story. Jeremy is very much your modern young adult living in New York with the same fears about job security as the rest of us. Then you have Garth, who takes his job very seriously and is willing to sacrifice it all for those he cares the most about. And Bryant. I want more of him. I was torn throughout the story between wanting Jeremy to end up with Garth or Bryant, and then when Robbie mentions loving multiple people, I was like yes! That! Awesome!

I really hope that this is not the last story by author Jeremy Jordan King set in this world of his. I want to know more. What happens to Garth, Jeremy and Bryant? What other Immortals are around, and what are their stories? Is the evil cousin truly gone?

This book can be purchased from Bold Strokes Books in their Soliloquy line, or ordered from Amazon.