Author: Deirdre O’Dare
Genre: Contemporary / The Arts
Length: Novella (61 pages)
Publisher: Amber Allure, Amber Quill Press (April 22nd, 2013)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2.5~3 Hearts
Blurb: Jest has been on his own since his mid-teens and still blesses the chance that allowed him to realize his dream of playing percussion in a band, one that has become his substitute family. Although he misses the close sharing, he doesn’t expect to find a partner, and certainly not one as clearly out of his element as the man, looking totally lost and friendless, who one night wanders into the club where Jest’s band plays.
Greene has struggled to build himself a life far from the undisciplined communal community in which he grew to his mid-teens. He’s lonely, though, and not sure how to remedy that, so he keeps working as a game programmer in Silicon Valley until he makes a faux pas at a party. Traveling aimlessly, he meets Jest and the other members of Taken By Storm, and is intrigued but terrified of slipping back into a disorderly world like the one of his childhood.
Opposites do attract, but can a rebel percussionist and a totally uptight game programmer find common ground for a partnership?
Review: Now this story is a peculiar one. It might seem like its main character and the focus behind the plot is the drummer as the title suggests, but in my opinion, it was the game programmer.
We have Jest, a special brand of drummer. He’s the hippy look-alike, with rainbow Mohawk, tight skin jeans, and rainbow suspenders. Doesn’t strike like the peculiar kind right? Now put him in a country band that wears western clothes and same kind of crowd. Heh, that’s right. Jest is the kind of guy raised by conservative parent who threw him out of the house once they found out he was gay. He made his way toward a life that he always dreamed of and his band is his family. What he misses is a soul mate.
Greene is an oddity too. He is the exact opposite of Jest. He grew up in a New Age/Hippy community. His parents mostly stoned and his siblings and other children left to fend for themselves. So, he did. He finished high school young, got his scholarships, cut himself from his family, and made it to a big gaming cooperation as a programmer. He has nearly the life he always wanted. What he misses is a soul mate.
After a drunken proposition to one of his co-workers and a public humiliation, Greene takes his car and drives. He reaches Las Vegas and hit the first Bar & Grill he finds to get some food in him and that’s when he sees a sight he simply can’t take his eyes from.
So this is how this story starts with Jest and Greene falling in love with first sight, even if they don’t know it yet. The pair seems interesting enough, easy-going Jest inviting Greene to crash with him for the night and Greene following as if in a dream. It did seem way too easy though, so much, so that I had a voice in my head screaming come on, that just don’t happen all the time. Jest had this intuition thing going and probing Greene all the time for some reaction. When they had their first intercourse together, I just didn’t feel it. It was as if the author simply skipped the scene and just let us know that it was mind-blowing. I felt a bit cheated, you know. I’d have liked reading the mind-blowing part myself.
Furthermore, the dialogues between the two was a bit off-putting. Even in the end, they held a bit of formality that just didn’t fit with the intimacy that they were supposed to share. It somehow made me feel quite detached from the characters and viewing the story dispassionately.
As for Greene’s backstory and how the plot around it evolved, I don’t know what to make out of it. Besides being quite sad, that too was skipped and simply told later on with a clinical narration. We didn’t get to witness it and experience the emotions first hand, resulting to the whole intensity slipping right out and never reaching us. Some lost potential there. I kept expecting some “getting back” to Mickey, but boy was I wrong in that account?
So all in all it was not bad, bad it simply didn’t make me say “yeah, this is a great story,” and it’s a shame because it had some good stuff in there. Plus it kind of lost the whole “The Arts” genre with the focus staying mainly on Greene and his issues. Result? Good story, no more, no less.