Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Labyrinth of Stone
Author: T.A. Moore
Heroes: Teller & Kearney
Genre: M/M Fantasy/Post Apocalyptic
Length: 221 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Available at: Torquere Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Ten years ago the Black Rapture transported thousands of people, seemingly at random, from Earth to the strange, inimical world they call the Labyrinth. Will Teller was one of them. Surviving that meant joining an army and becoming better at killing than he’s comfortable with. It’s enough upheaval for anyone’s life. The only problem is, apparently no one told his commanding officer that.
Pride, and heart, stung by abandonment, the icily controlled General Nathan Kearney has decided that Teller can either find the wayward lover, or he can take his place in Nathan’s bed. That’s pretty good motivation for a straight guy, only thing is – Teller’s sexuality seems to have gone a bit Magic-8 Ball on that issue. Suddenly Nathan’s starting to look pretty good, and the only question is whether or not Teller wants to be the consolation prize?
It’s been ten years since hundreds of people were taken to an unknown world. Now, some of them have created a safe place called the Reach, where they can defend against the dangers the world holds. General Kearney is now the sole individual at the heart of keeping the Reach safe since his long time partner disappeared a year ago. Since then he’s been spiraling out of control but when Teller lets Kearney know he needs a change, Kearney gives Teller a choice: find his missing partner or become his lover, willing or unwilling. There’s only one problem – Teller’s not gay.
This was an intriguing story. I loved that it was so harsh and how rough life was. I really loved that Teller was such a comedian and always had something funny to say at the most inappropriate times. As for Kearney, he’s an acquired taste. Not a very likable character, IMO, but I think that’s what is so appealing about him. Teller and Kearney are just friends but once Kearney gets a taste of Teller, he refuses to give him up.
I thought this one had a lot of potential but I felt like its biggest fault is that it’s very confusing. There’s this very intriguing world but not much was given into explaining it to really give it depth. For instance, the Reach was constantly mentioned and it’s complexity and dangerousness in the going beyond the walls and all that but not much effort was given in explaining why it was so dangerous except that they could possibly become Shamblemen. So, I didn’t really understand HOW you’d become a Shambleman but it sounded like a virus? And how did the Reach’s walls close? How did they find out blood is used to close it? On top of that, there were multiple times when someone or something was mentioned but you didn’t find out who that person was or why he (or it) was important until pages later.
In the end, though, I enjoyed the uniqueness of the story. It had a rough and brutal feel to it and I liked that Kearney was a complete asshole while Teller was more of the funny guy. The ending isn’t very great, IMO, because it leaves a lot of questions unanswered but I’m hoping a sequel comes out to really give that ‘complete’ feel to the story. If you’re looking for something that’s outside the norm, definitely give this one a go!
Overall Impression: I liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*
You know, I had almost the exact same reaction to this novel. I liked the grittiness of it, I liked Teller, and I at least understood Kearney’s motivations. The world of the labyrinth was fascinating in its vague little puzzle pieces. Lots of intriguing suggestion but a little frustrating in its paucity. It was also very poorly edited–which is the fault of the publisher, not the writer. It had a lot of unrealized potential, and for all that, it was still very much worth reading. I would definitely read a sequel.