Title: King John
Series: The Lost and Founds #4
Author: Edmond Manning
Genre: Contemporary / Spiritual / Fantasy
Length: Novel (245 pages)
Publisher: Pickwick Ink Publishing (10 Sept 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 (but so close to giving it a 4) Hearts
Blurb: English attorney Alistair Robertson can’t quite believe an astonishing tale of kingship and transformation he hears at Burning Man, the annual counter-culture art festival in the Black Rock desert. Who are the Found Kings? Is “being kinged” as magical as it sounds?
Determined to find the mysterious garage mechanic named Vin who helps men “remember who they were always meant to be,” Alistair catches his quarry amid the extravagant sculptures, fire worshipers, mutant cars, and lavish costumes. After searching for three years, he’ll finally get to ask the question burning inside him: “Will you king me?”
Wandering together through the desert, Vin Vanbly and Alistair explore Burning Man’s gifting culture and exotic traditions, where they meet the best and worst of their fellow burners. Alistair’s overconfidence in Vin’s manipulative power collides with Vin’s obsessive need to save a sixteen-year-old runaway from a nightmarish fate, and the two men spiral into uncontrollable, explosive directions.
In this fourth adventure of The Lost and Founds, beneath the sweltering summer sun and the six billion midnight stars, one truth emerges, searing itself on their hearts: in the desert, everything burns.
Review: The world that Edmond Manning is a complex fantastical one which has to be read to be believed. The world which the series the Lost and Founds is set in is either some grand mythical thing or it is an entirely psychological trip. Either way, King John is a great albeit intense book to read. It is book 4 of the Lost and Found series and honestly I think it would be difficult to grasp without reading at least the first book.
The narrator of King John, like the previous books in the series, is Vin – a mechanic and goes by numerous names. He has the ability to “king” people, which more often than not involves having sex. Now, I’m entirely sure the exact deal – Edmond Manning is great at giving us more questions than answers, it seems – but Vin is something of a godlike figure to many people.
He takes people on a “journey” and “guides” them before he kings them (which happens over a weekend). This whole “kinging” business involves fantastical adventures that are nothing less than psychedelic. It’s the only way I can explain it.
In fact, I sum it up as the psychedelic adventures of a lonely god. It’s not a conventional love story, but involves something along the lines of (to borrow the song title) sexual healing.
The other main player is Alistair. He has been seeking Vin out for a couple of years now. He had heard about Vin and wanted more than anything to be “kinged” by Vin. With the scars of his past forever haunting him, Alistair has quite a mental journey to go on. I wasn’t quite sure about Alistair at first and I don’t think I am even now. He is forceful and just the total opposite to who I could see Vin willingly spending time with and choosing to “king” him.
Now, the reason why I gave this 3.5 hearts instead of 4 and it’s really simply. The first half of the book was long. Not much seemed to happen other than back and forth and the odd argument between Vin and Alistair as they started on Alistair’s journey.
There was a lot of telling, though there was not a lot of explanation (but to be fair the latter is something that I expect from this series anyway).
It’s a long and intense read, but it is enjoyable. If you are looking for pure romance with a HEA, you will not get it. This is a totally physical book.
As I said, the psychedelic adventures of a lonely god. I really want to shut myself off to the world and listen to The Doors now – it’s that type of thing.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *