Title: Fearful Symmetry
Author: Francis Gideon
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fairy Tales
Length: Novel (145 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (7 Oct 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts
Blurb: When something is perfect, it sets itself up to be destroyed, and for everything gained, something is lost.
Since Dryden was young, his mother taught him about balance. While she weaves jewelry to sell at the marketplace, Dryden learns how every unspoiled gem begs to be damaged, just like the universe corrects every misfortune.
But with age and experience, Dryden begins to see the cracks in his mother’s naïve view of life. If she is wrong about balance, she might be wrong about the supposed beast in the woods. Dryden ventures into the forbidden, where a handsome hunter named Otto saves him from a deranged fox and seduces him. But like so much else, Otto has an unseen side, and if Dryden wants to regain his freedom and break Otto’s spell, he’ll have to answer three riddles in three days.
With the help of his mother’s stories and the fox who once threatened him, Dryden must beat the monster and restore balance to his world. But it will come at a cost.
Review: This is a thoroughly enjoyable book. It isn’t so much as long or intense read but I did find the writing and descriptions a bit of a hindrance at times, though I suspect that is because I got a short attention span.
The story follows Dryden, whose mother has taught him something that is along the lines of “every action has an equal and opposite reaction” – that’s Newton’s Third Law but it generally applies to karma, too, I suppose. Now grown up, Dryden goes on an adventure which starts with him going into a forbidden forest (that’s always a sign of doom). Dryden is very naive when it comes to being saved and later getting to know the mysterious Otto. Sometimes it felt like that Otto wasn’t really the face of evil (which is the kind of role he has in this book) but more that he was experienced, knew what he wanted and more than aware of the harsh realities of life. Then there is the fox shifter, Eammon, I don’t want to go too much into his character because I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but he is the kind of personality that I hoped that Dryden would become. I found him the most relatable character.
One thing I really loved about this was the fairy tale aspect. Francis Gideon has gone to great lengths to deliver a traditionally structured fairy tale and all the elements are there. There are great life lessons, a few morals and moral dilemmas thrown in, as well as the usual good overcoming evil and whatnot.
This is more of a young adult coming to age type of adventure more than a romance but the romance that was there felt so natural with the evolution of the story. Very sweet and sexy. It was also a bit angst-y at times, which is something that I don’t always connect with as a reader.