on 15 July 2010
In Wicked Gentlemen, author Ginn Hale takes us to an alterate world where angels who fell from Heaven in Lucifer's war have asked God for salvation and redemption and returned to the human realm. Their children, called Prodigals, now live alongside humans, though tend to be shunned and forced to live in a ghetto called Hells Below.
The main story follows the connection forged between one such Prodigal, Belimai Sykes, and Captain William Harper, an officer in a police force which is more like a priestly order. Technically, it's two books, one told from each of the characters' points-of-view, but it achieves an overall story arch.
This is so much more than a gay romance. Anyone looking for something new should read Wicked Gentlemen. The relationship between Belimai and Harper is so real, despite the supernatural overtones, and the world is one we can probably recognise from our own. Civil rights (in this case for Prodigals), class divisions, family drama, romantic dilemmas, these are all portrayed in an enjoyable and engaging manner for the reader. The villains are also deliciously malicious and we do fear for the characters' safety.
I can't really say how much I enjoyed this book, with the only downside being it was way too short.
on 11 November 2011
I wanted more of this book!
I felt it was just a bit too truncated and not fleshed out enough. I'm usually happy to go with the flow and not have everything spelled out but in the case of WG, the rich setting could have done with more explanation. I love the alternate-reality take on Christianity and would have liked to explore the story of the Prodigals leaving hell and the structure of the inquisition-policed society a bit more.
That said, Ginn Hale keeps the pace up and manages to successfully split the story into two parts with different styles of narrative - an interesting move. I really enjoyed her writing style and the fact the decent little plot manages to hold it's own and not just become a vehicle for the slashiness.
If I'd been told it was a book about a flying junkie demon I'd probably not have bothered, but the author manages to carry off the more outré fantasy elements with aplomb.
The characters of Belimai and Harper are engaging and I liked how their relationship was emerging by the end of the book. (I admit I found Belimai a bit whiny at times but that's probably just me). The lack of explicit sex wasn't a disappointment for me, although I would be happy to discover any fanfic that expands on Harper and Belimai's relationship!
I'm looking forward to more from Ginn Hale.
on 6 November 2014
I simply loved this short fantasy story from the very beginning. I was captivated by the characters and the dark, engrossing world Ginn Hale has weaved. It's a sort of Victoriana-steampunk and demonology mix that is beautifully put together. The story contains some fairly heavy M/M themes, so may not be everyone's cup of tea. I really would have liked there to be more for these characters, maybe a sequel or a longer series.
on 8 March 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this title.
The characters were likeable and not overly complicated, yet they expressed a believable depth, which I tend to find lacking in similar stories.
The plot was unique, I've never read anything to compare it to, and it retained my interest.
I strongly recommend this book if you're looking for a gay fantasy/murder mystery.