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November reviews round-up

Amy Leibowitz

It's almost the end of the month. I hope you all have held up under the pressures of NaNoWriMo. More importantly, I hope you all have carved out some time to read!

Our two November releases have earned some solid reviews, which means at least a few people have settled into their reading nooks. In case you're looking to reward yourself in December for a hard month of editing, here's a summary.

What Everyone Deserves, by Dan Ackerman

In this 1950s period drama, Junius is a New York City fertility demon with a crush. Ever since falling from heaven he's been alone. Except for the mothers and children he watches over.

James Kelly Rosenburg, a black soldier with snowflakes in his hair, walks right into his life with a big problem. James Kelly, turned vampire during the war, is new to New York and its prohibition against vampire killing in city limits.

Junius offers to teach him to overcome his bloodthirsty instincts and live a proper Manhattan life. Their growing friendship leaves them both conflicted as they explore a city both welcoming and alienated by their kind.

Great historically accurate work of modern fantasy. This book establishes a rich world with empathetic characters that I look forward to reading more about. This work as the potential to fit nicely into a wider universe as it only gives you a taste of the world at a specific moment in time. Definitely worth the read. Looking forward to seeing more! -John Perrier

The attention to detail within the historical element was perfect. Not too overpowering, not incorrect or exaggerated, as often happens. It was like taking a snippet of 1950's life and making it real. Only, adding demons, vampires and supernatural creatures, obviously. -Elaine White

I liked Ackerman’s writing though – this is my first experience with him. I liked the Manhattan atmosphere that he created, alongside the paranormal creatures that roam the street. I liked that he wrote characters I could emotionally care for. -Ami

Walking by Faith, by A.M. Leibowitz

Following a brutal attack that left him nearly dead, Becket “Cat” Rowland is a mess inside and out. To cope with the trauma and with his view of himself that he’s nothing but an empty shell, he’s taken three vows: simplicity, chastity, and silence. His once colorful, trendy, and often feminine wardrobe has been replaced with jeans and t-shirts, and he’s sworn off men. He locks himself away from the world, using the memorized prayers of his childhood as his only speech.

Cat is lost to himself and everyone around him until another hospitalization introduces him to nurse David Simms. David takes Cat’s silence in stride, caring for him without pushing and slowly building Cat’s trust. As their love grows, Cat begins to let go of his vows one by one, only holding onto the silence.

Despite how far he’s come, the severity of Cat’s panic attacks threaten to undo everything David has built with him. Cat’s only hope is to break the final vow and tell the truth about the night of his attack. When David fails to keep a promise he made to be there for him, Cat has to stand on his own and prove to himself he’s strong enough to survive.

Walking by Faith is not an easy read. It deals with some difficult issues, specifically: the consequences of a violent attack, the challenges of handling long-term medical conditions and the effect these both have not only on the individual, but on their family and friends, their relationships - their life. Yet, for all of that heavy stuff, there's humour, love and intimacy, and plenty of good times. -Debbie McGowan

There were times when I wanted to hug [Cat] fiercely, and there were times when I wanted to slap the stupid right out of him. I formed an emotional connection to the character, and wanted him to get the help he needed. -Sandra

Cat is an amazing character. I wanted to carefully wrap him up in my arms to keep him safe, but also loved how his fiery attitude would come back, showing everyone around him that he is still capable and needs to heal on his own terms. -Carra

Happy reading, and see you next time!

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