Early Review: A Matter of Disagreement by E.E. Ottoman

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: A Matter of Disagreement
Author: E.E. Ottoman
Heroes: Andrea & Gregory
Genre: M/M Trans* Historical Fantasy
Length: 23,000 words
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: March 26, 2014
Available at: Less Than Three Press
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: The rise of mechanical animation, and its popularity at court, is threatening to end Andrea’s scholarly pursuits of spell craft and literature—and force him to let go of his assistants, who depend on him to support their families. In retaliation against the field that is ruining his life, Andrea begins to campaign against it. The efforts gain him notoriety, but do not solve his financial dilemmas.

When he is dragged to a party by his brother, he comes face to face with the man who pioneered mechanical animation: Leon Gregory de la Marche VI, Marquis de la Marche. And he is not at all what Andrea expected.

blogger_bee_transReview:

I rather liked this little short. It’s an interesting mix between historical, steampunk and fantasy where the setting is very ‘noble’ while the subject matter deals with magic, machines, and acceptance of not only same-sex couples but marriage between them as well. It’s about Andrea, who’s pushed by his brother to attend a few parties so that he won’t be labeled a hermit to proper society. Unknowingly at first, the interesting man he meets at the party is none other than the very person he is fighting with in the media regarding his research. What takes place next is a few heated arguments, a few apologies but also a few heated glances.

As I said, I really liked this story. The fact that Andrea and Gregory are enemies when it comes to their stances on mechanical animations made for some good disputes where both their feathers are ruffled. Where Andrea is short with some meat on his bones, Gregory is tall and thin, the epitome of a good-looking gentleman. Andrea is stubborn, quick to pick a fight while Gregory mostly finds Andrea amusing when he’s in a fit. At the same time, some of what Andrea does hurts Gregory when he thinks he’s just being used and I found that really sad 😦

The story is about the back and forth brief journey between Andrea and Gregory while they bond over shared passions and interests but argue over those same passions. Also, this story has a few surprises such as how Gregory is transgender (FtM) and that society accepts that. It really was an interesting story just because of the fact that while it was obviously historical, society accepted way beyond what, at that time, was considered unconventional and taboo. Even to the point that laws were created specifically for individuals like Gregory to enter back into society.

At the same time, the fact that this story was so short hindered the world that was so great. I wanted to learn more about why society was so accepting, what the ‘experiments’ Gregory went through to become the person he really was inside. It’s intriguing but, at the same time, largely unfinished and a bit vague. That was my only complaint, that the world was so underdeveloped. I loved the characters and their little spats but I also wanted to learn more about the world the author created.

In the end, this was a good little short. The characters are amusing and the brief courtship was sweet and cute. It ends way before things feel finished but I still really enjoyed the story. I hope the author will consider writing a sequel to develop things further. If you enjoy historical fantasies and you enjoy stories with trans* characters, give this one a try because you might enjoy it like I did.

Overall Impression: I liked it!

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*

Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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