Book Review: Shadowlands by Charlie David

Shadowlands by Charlie DavidTitle: Shadowlands
Author: Charlie David
Genre: Fiction, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Mild
Source: review copy provided by author
Published: October 27, 2010 by Dreamspinner Press

Shadowlands is a collection of heartfelt and sometimes heartbreaking short stories from well-known actor and entrepreneur Charlie David that explore the passion and pain of gay sexuality. Ancient myths are re-imagined with an exciting queer twist, masterfully depicting the charged, fragile relationships of urban life today.

Story genres in this collection include romance, science fiction, fantasy/paranormal, horror, mystery/suspense, and poetry.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: This is no romance novel but instead a book of short stories revolving around love, sex and death. It’s a dark but oddly compelling read.

Why I Read this Book: The author is active in the arts scene and reads the audio books of an author I really like, Cardeno C., so I took a chance to read his book.

What I Liked: This is a novel of dark short stories with themes of love, sex, and death. I really enjoyed the short story October 13th as it captures the hopeful, sensual change in the relationship of two college-age roommates. The language in this book is dense and descriptive. For instance, in the afore mentioned short story the author writes, “And so they sit side by side. Two grown men who are still boys. One wants to touch the other. That’s his secret. The other longs to be touched. That’s his secret.” I loved this precision use of language, even in the short stories with themes of death and child abuse that are difficult to read.

Some of the stories intersect with mythology, such as Narcissus but with a modern and gay spin. This is perfectly exemplified in Harvest where a man is tricked by a sexual orgy into giving up his freedom. The stories are very unique such as the last one which is told as a screenplay and clearly come from a creative mind.

What I Didn’t Like: I’m an unabashed romance reader and this isn’t the book for a romance reader. The stories aren’t hopeful with a few exceptions like the one I mentioned about the roommates. The themes are very dark with suicide, lost love and even ghostly threesomes.

IMO: If you’re a HEA fan like me this isn’t the read for you. But if you want a gothic anthology with dark themes and lush writing this will fit the bill.

J9’s Rating:
3 Frogs


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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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