"He cupped my jaw and ran his thumb over my cheekbone and said, "I can't stop thinking about you, and all I want to do is be with you. Even if it's like walking through a minefield."
Ever since Heidi Cullinan's "Carry the Ocean", I have a soft spot for MCs on the autistic spectrum. So not only did the POV switch from Daniel to Elijah totally take me by surprise, but I was ECSTATIC when I started the first chapter.
And whereas I already liked Elijah in the first book, I absolutely LOVED him in this one.
The way he accepted being gay just like that, how he handled it and how he dealt with life in general and his feelings towards Daniel - everything about him just felt so real and was so touching and fascinating that I didn't want this book to end.
And though the blossoming relationship between Elijah and Daniel is still in its early stage, their chemistry was undeniably palpable, both in and out of the bedroom.
From the author's note:
"It was important for me to really do justice to Elijah and ensure he wasn’t a parody. It was also crucial to make sure he had an actual personality and wasn’t merely a bundle of textbook traits. I think things like his doggedness, his unflinching and methodical observances and his high opinion of his own intellect give him some nice abrasive texture. If all we saw of him were his challenges and sufferings, he’d be a wimpy and unlikeable character. I also wanted to make sure he had lots of room to grow."
I'd say mission accomplished, Ms. Price!
"I like you, and I think you like me."
What a great kick-off for a trilogy. Though there were too many technical details and too little romance and steam for my taste (there was just a tiny little hand job at the end, blink and you'll miss it), I can't help but admire Jordan Castillo Price's compelling and fantastic writing and how she constantly delivers well-developed and believable characters, refreshing new concepts and ideas and an imaginative world-building.
I can't wait to see what happens next.
PS: I just LOVED the character of goofy, but loyal Larry. Everyone should have a friend like Larry.
"So why aren't the two of you gay together anymore?"
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
*** THIS IS NOT A DRILL! ***
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
Ok, NOW we're fucking talking!
While I stand by my (very correct) opinion on "Evenfall" (too long, too repetitive, too many unnecessary details/events/chapters), you'll just have to trust me on this:
"Afterimage" surpasses its predecessor in every way!
Part of my struggle with this series is that just when I had decided that maybe it might not be for me, it had to go and give me one of the most emotional reads in months that left me completely satisfied. But on the other hand? I'M AN EMOTIONAL MESS RIGHT NOW.
The writing was noticeably tighter and faster-paced than in the first book, and it managed to convince me that this series really is as good as everyone claims it is.
The reason why “Afterimage” was so incredible is that it gave me all the angst, emotions and ugly tears while also remaining to give me a totally fascinating view into not just one (deeply damaged) character's head, but two.
I was so frustrated at times with Boyd and Sin's actions and behavior that I screamed. I SCREAMED.
That idiotic thing with Ann, Sin? And your reasons for it? That was some rude ‘tude, dude. Especially when I'm pretty sure that you very well KNOW the definition of cheating since you talked about it in "Evenfall", you stupid fucking idiot. (But also, farewell for now until the next book, you mega-dreamboat. #TeamSin)
That idiotic thing with Kassian, Boyd? It was definitely HAWT, I'll give you that. But also, what a hell of a way to deeply hurt Sin, you asshat.
The secondary characters remain a pleasure to behold. Ryan, Kassian (I don’t know about you, but I DEFINITELY ship these two), Carhart and also all of the Level 10 trainees.
And let's not forget about Emilio. I lolled so hard whenever he opened his shameless and unfiltered mouth. His addition to this series is a gift, a treasure, and I had to put down my Kindle at the end of the book and smile out the window for a minute, he just made me that happy.
Guys, what a great and emotional series this is turning out to be. “Afterimage” was exactly the addictive and mind-blowing book that I've been waiting for. It not only rectified all my complaints from "Evenfall", but paid off with compelling plot lines, captivating suspense and fascinating characterizations.
I just can’t quit you, ICoS!