- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1411 KB
- Print Length: 372 pages
- Publisher: Entangled: Teen (2 Oct. 2017)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B075JK2D24
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #351,115 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£15.98|
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The Uncrossing Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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Crossing is to curse so uncrossing is to uncurse. Luke has a gift just like his sister. They are opposites. Luke can Uncross almost any curse. Jeremy is the one puzzle he can't work out.
Two powerful families control the magic in New York. Jeremy belongs to the Kovrov family. They are known to protect their own and be ruthless. Luke is aware of the dangers when he starts working with the family, but the opportunity is too good to turn down. He works alongside Jeremy and can't help but be interested in the puzzle which has taken over his life.
Jeremy has always had a thing for Luke. He thinks he is the answer to his prayers. Everyone can see the crush Jeremy has. Everyone expects Luke.
Uncrossed is a gay romance novel with a complex fantasy storyline. The story is creative and I found it really interesting.
4.5 Stars out of 5. It's different and I haven't read anything similar.
*ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Warning Potential spoilers
I am giving this a 3 or a 3.5 out of 5 stars
I absolutely loved this book, the magic, the love and friendship between the two main characters and a curse. Three of the best things in a fantasy book.
I loved the writing style, it had me keeping going when it was getting tough for me to make it through. This debut author is a truly spectacular writer.
Her characters are amazing, Luke and Jeremy, are way to adorable. The love they clearly share and the fact that they try to deny it for so long had me routing for them and wanting to finish the book faster so that I could find out if they ended up together.
I particularly loved the relationship between Jeremy and his older brothers Alexei and Sergei - the brotherly love was very clear and adorable even though they aren't true brothers. The relaxed and familiar feel had you feeling like they were definitely meant to be family.
However the reason it lost a couple of stars for me is because of the magic side of things. I love magic - every kind - but it was very confusing for me. I wasn't able to follow the magic as clearly as I would have liked to and it definitely lost me a little in the middle.
Yet I would definitely recommend this to magic fantasy lovers and I even have already!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It's clear from the beginning that the universe where this story takes place is a complex one, with many interwoven strands - the different brands of magic, the mafia-like families that control it, the curses and obligations and histories that tie all the characters together. The author does an excellent job of slowly unraveling it all, giving the reader just enough of a hint about what's going on to satisfy the need for information but also keep the mystery alive for much of the novel. There is a reveal about 1/5th of the way through that had me jumping and shouting about how cool this book is; I was so delighted to have what felt like a major question answered but also very aware that I was only 70 pages in and that there would be much more to come.
This is a fairy tale set in the modern-day, giving a refreshing and timely twist to some of those traditional fairy tale elements (what does "true love's first kiss" really mean?) and allowing for an examination of topics that are very relevant in society today - LGBTQ relationships, gender identity, and racial and ethnic diversity. I was pleased with how organically these elements were woven into the story; it's not at all heavy-handed, but the conversation is there, giving some respectful representation to this genre and medium.
The ending was masterfully constructed. The last line in particular had me grinning with an intense feeling of satisfaction. I also immediately wanted to go back and re-read the story. Having devoured the book in one weekend, I was sure I missed little details here and there, foreshadowing pieces of information that will be exciting to pick up on now that I know how it all works out. I'm still looking forward to my re-read, and can't wait for Melissa Eastlake's next book!
Full of magic and mayhem and mystery, The Uncrossing also has a sweet romance brewing in its pages. Luke and Jeremy have known each other since they were children, as their families have an uneasy working relationship. It's not until recently, though, that things between them start to shift, thanks to some meddling by Jeremy's brother- meddling that I still can't figure out if it was for Jeremy's benefit or for Alex's, his brother. But no matter what, it was just the push both Luke and Jeremy needed to set things in motion.
Not all is what it seems when it comes to Jeremy, though, and Luke discovers secrets that he wasn't meant to know. This leads to some drama and confusion and discord between the families. But as the mystery and secrets are revealed, Luke plays a major part in helping to resolve at least some of it, and that helps to put the families back on even ground. And Jeremy and Luke are finally able to just be 2 teen boys who care about each other...
I really enjoyed everything about this book...except that ending, I need more! I don't know if Ms. Eastlake has plans for a follow-up, but I really hope there is one. I don't want to say good-bye just yet to Luke and Jeremy.
It’s been 24 hours since I finished reading The Uncrossing, and I’m still starry-eyed over the wondrousness of this story. Usually it’s romance that makes or breaks a book for me, but in the case of Eastlake’s debut it was the world building and the tangled web of magic, secrets, curses, and complex family relationships that really swept me away.
The Uncrossing is set in an alternate-universe New York City where magic is an accepted part of everyday life. Protection spells, hex bags, magical herb farming, and the like are commonplace, and the most powerful families have carved out territories for themselves in a sort of sorcerous turf war. These families operate like magical mafias, exercising tremendous authority in their neighborhoods and vying with their rivals for control. The leaders specialize in different brands of magic and are celebrities in their own right, with the Zhangs running Manhattan, the Malcolms controlling New Jersey, and the Kovrovs holding court in Brooklyn and the boroughs.
“It was hard to name what the Kovrovs did – protection, cooperation, extortion – connecting magical suppliers and consumers across New York.”
Luke Melnyk, one of the book’s two protagonists, knows what it means to be under the thumb of such magical mafiosos. His family has been indebted to the Kovrovs for decades, and Luke himself is recruited at 17 to serve as the Kovrovs’ curse breaker. He goes into the job under strict instructions from his family to keep his head down and his mouth shut, but this directive becomes harder and harder to follow as he realizes there’s something not right with Jeremy, the Kovrovs’ cursed young protégé.
I want SO BADLY to gush about the brilliantly inventive curse at the center of Luke and Jeremy’s relationship, but I’d have to tiptoe around a minefield of spoilers in order to do so. Suffice it to say that the curse is a doozy, with fascinating repercussions both at a practical level and a relationship level. Complicating matters is a snarled mess of secrets, bindings, feuds, and blood magic, which Luke and Jeremy must attempt to unravel.
While I can’t talk about the plot itself, I can and will spend some time singing the praises of Melissa Eastlake’s character building. I was endlessly mesmerized by the Kovrovs, who are the definition of “morally gray.” While Jeremy loves them and sees them as protectors, Luke views them as self-serving monsters. It’s fascinating to see how adroitly Eastlake presents evidence in support of both of these views.
“Alexei’s bindings wove a web, and he, in the center, felt every twinge the way a spider feels her web catching flies. That was a bad metaphor, because it made it sound like an evil, stalking thing, and it wasn’t – it only meant that he knew what was happening, when his people were in trouble or pain. It took a lot out of him, too. His mind stretched in a hundred directions all the time, and the people he’d bound to him haunted his dreams. Alexei always said the Kovrovs worked hard for their people, and so they asked for very reasonable things in return: loyalty, compensation, occasional favors. He said the people they helped – he called it helping – were grateful.”
This is especially true when it comes to Jeremy’s interactions with Alexei and Sergei, the heads of the Kovrov family. Eastlake does a marvelous job of showing tenderness and affection side by side with gruffness and callousness, shouting matches and hurtful comments next to fond gestures and brotherly protectiveness. The relationship among the three main Kovrov men is a work of art, the family dynamic fantastically complicated and muddied by obligation and guilt and love.
“When you’re the Kovrovs’ people, they make it feel like a family. Except, you miss a payment? You make a mistake? You’ll find out real quick who their family is.”
There are so many other great elements of this book as well, too many to name; they include the painfully insightful explorations of identity, personal limitations, and what it means to call someone family. There are moments of wonderful humor, too, as shown in the quotes below:
“‘Hostage-taking is a valuable tool and a fine tradition.’ Alexei sat on the couch and turned on the TV. ‘I personally have been taken hostage three times. The night I spent as Linh Zhang’s prisoner remains one of my fondest memories.’”
“‘We have had adventures today. Apparently I am so evil that performing a routine cleansing on my place caused our witch doctor to swoon.’ He sounded terribly pleased with himself.”
If I had to list one complaint about The Uncrossing, it’s that I spent a decent chunk of the beginning of the book ranging from mildly to severely confused. I was completely lost at first and wasn’t able to figure out what the “rules” of the world were, nor could I immediately get a good handle on who/what the Kovrovs were and how I was supposed to view them. Everything eventually came together, but it took me a while to get a good "grip" on everything.
I also struggled with understanding the basic meaning of some of the sentences. For some reason the way certain passages were worded really confused me. I’m usually a fast reader, but I had to take my time with this novel to make sure I wasn’t misconstruing anything important. For example, Luke’s two best friends are both named Wesley, so he differentiates between them by jokingly referring to them as Straight Wesley and Short Wesley. Because this wasn’t explained until midway through the book, though, I initially assumed they were brothers with the last name Wesley, and “Short” and “Straight” were their (admittedly strange) first names. I realize that probably makes me sound incredibly stupid, but something about the way this book was presented left me really confused at times.
The ending threw me for a bit of a loop as well, and I can’t say that I fully understand what happened, why it happened, and what the significance was. (Anyone else who reads this book, please hit me up and let’s chat about it, okay? I want to hear your thoughts.) All the same, this book had me under its spell from beginning to end, and I will be eagerly awaiting more novels from Melissa Eastlake in the future.