1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Gripping and emotionally intense,
This review is from: Danny 1.0 - Hope House (The DANNY Quadrilogy) (Paperback)
Danny 1.0, ironically titled Hope House, is the first part of the Danny Quadrilogy, one of the most original, daring and exquisitely plotted stories I've ever read. The author takes the time and space to develop her characters to the point that they feel so real you forget they are fictional. The writing is elegant in a sparse, smooth way. Danny is an addictive and intensely emotional read. But what I loved most was that it is utterly unpredictable throughout. As others may have already pointed out, this novel dives deep into the dark corners of the human mind and heart and so isn't for the squeamish. This book contains a huge amount of graphic, mostly m/m sex scenes, depicting in detail any kind of sex act you can possibly imagine. There is a lot of rape, physical violence, blood and gore; worse, there's child abuse in all its forms--sexual, physical, verbal, emotional. There are incestuous relationships of the heartbreaking kind. And yet, none of it amounts to gratuitous pornography. Still, if you have trouble with any of the above, this book may not be for you.
The Danny Quadrilogy chronicles the story of the Jackson Moores, who own a farm in rural England. Set in the Eighties, but reaching both backward and forward in time, it depicts ultimate child abuse and family disfunction before the terms became popular. In the relative isolation of their farm life, the Jackson Moore boys have survived their toxic childhood by developing socially unacceptable and often dangerous behaviors. John, the oldest brother, elicits opposing emotions from the reader. Driven by unvoiced needs and intense jealousy, he is physically imposing, even threatening. He holds such rage, and his temper is as quick as it is violent, but there's a gentler side to him, which we only get to see in bits and pieces in this first volume.
Ian, the middle brother, is described as physically repulsive. He uses his superior intelligence to manipulate and turn family members against each other. Sneaking and eavesdropping, he seems to be the keeper of the accumulated dark family secrets.
Danny is the youngest son, and the most fascinating. Otherworldly beautiful and seductive, he uses the lure of his body as a fits-all tool to deal with trouble of any kind. In volume 1 we find Danny on the cusp of adulthood. Soon it becomes apparent that Danny's irresistible appeal has all family members locked in a tense and often violent power struggle to claim exclusive ownership of him. And underneath all this lurks the central question: what does Danny want--and can he still feel love?
From the beginning of the story we sense that something isn't right with this family. Why is Danny so spacey and irritable at times? Why are there things he can't remember, and where do his violent nightmares come from? Is John merely unpleasant or downright psychotic? Is Ian really as rotten as he looks? The characters prove too complex for easy answers. Wrapped in a fast-paced plot of increasing violence, murders, deceit and betrayal, the reader must pay close attention to scenes and dialogue between the brothers to slowly unravel the reasons for Danny's often erratic and baffling behavior, which is no easy task, as the characters often lie or warp the truth to fit their own agendas.
At the dramatic end of this epic first volume, readers may feel that they are left with more questions than answers, but they can rest assured that the subsequent volumes will provide further clues to the Jackson Moores' tightly kept family secrets.
Danny 1.0 is only the beginning.