Genre: Historical Vampire Fantasy
Queer Rep: Gay
Warnings: Explicit sexual content, graphic violence, and some gore
[Note: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.]
Andrew is a vampire and an exile. Sent to a tropical island in the 1800s as a punishment, he lives a mostly solitary and unsatisfying existence. A shipwreck changes this, bringing a beautiful new companion and a difficult moral quandary to his shore. But he’s not the only one interested in this gorgeous sailor—the cannibals native to Andrew’s island know fresh blood is among them, and a withered vampire isn’t strong enough to stop them all.
This novella is impressive in a few ways, one of which is how much it can do in so few pages. The prose is lovely, the characters are immediately interesting, and there isn’t a single moment of boredom. I attached to Andrew instantly, and managed to love him even more as the story went on. This vampire story delivers familiar elements without being rote or cliché, and the result is something fun and entirely satisfying.
While short, Escaping Exile still manages to have multiple plot elements churning in the background. Nothing is overcomplicated or heavy, unfolding naturally into something more complex than “will I eat him or not” and “will the Cannibals eat him or not”. I don’t know how else to describe it outside of it felt good to read. And isn’t that what we all want? A good time? I wanted a good time, and Escaping Exile gave it to me.
The ending brings the piece to a fulfilling conclusion, but also tickles the palette with hints of more. Luckily for all of us, this is the first of a trilogy. I’m already down for more adventures with Andrew and co.
It’s not often you get vampires in the tropics. I loved the description and attention to detail involving the climate and Andrew’s way of life. It made me feel like I’d been with him for longer than I had, like I could see him doing this routine whether I was there or not.
Both main characters are great. Period. I loved them both, and they are presented in the same way the setting was—you felt like you understood them even without knowing them. Andrew had my attention from the very first page. His thoughts and attitude toward his exile and vampirism were amusing as hell, and his personality was…
Well, let’s just say he kept me guessing as to how things would pan out. I loved it. Seeing him grow as a character (growth! In such a short piece!) was something I enjoyed greatly. He was not a nice dude before his exile, and I have to warn potential readers that some recounts of his actions are extremely graphic. They are well described, and for that reason they are very uncomfortable.
Novellas are difficult, but Bauer made the process look easy. This was a well told story with real growth and fluid pacing. If you like gay vampires, steamy encounters, and witty narration, this is a piece for you. Also, it’s only 2.99. THREE BUCKS! THREE! It’s more than worth three dollars.
Note: I am an Amazon Associate and I am using affiliate links. These do not affect you or my reviews.
From NineStar Press: