Lovesick Gods 2017 by Amanda Meuwissen

By day, Danny Grant is a detective with the Olympic City Police Department. By night, he is the superhero Zeus using his lightning powers to protect the streets of Olympic City. But suffering trauma after the death of his mother at the hands of the villain Thanatos, Danny finds himself in a hole even his loving family and friends can’t pull him from.

Malcolm Cho is Prometheus, and leader of the band of thieves called the Titans. His fights with Zeus always had an element of flirtation to them.  When Danny seeks Mal out for what he plans to be revenge, the two men begin a romance that soon develops into far more. But a new supervillain seeks revenge for Thanatos’s death, and has the power to see Danny and Mal’s most intimate moments.

This is my first review of a book I bought Convergence. (Trust me, more are coming.) The author was at a panel on Queer Fiction, and I had a wonderful time chatting with her at the convention.  

Read the two novels in a row. Lovesick Gods ends on a note that you need to read Lovesick Titans. I have no doubt as to where the inspiration for these novels came from. A thief that can control cold who doesn’t try to actually hurt anyone, a superhero who cares more about people than stuff and works for the police department….. yes, this totally started with shipping. But while it is clear that is where it started, the world and characters are unique enough to be an engaging story on its own.

As the relationship between Danny and Mal deepens, we see more of Mal’s dark past and his actions to protect his neighborhood.  I love their relationship. One of the sex scenes did leave me thinking “HHmm, didn’t know two men could do that…” but there is still plenty of exploration of male emotional needs and intimacy. Something which our culture usually neglects.  As a depressed man trying to figure his way out of mental illness Danny is entirely believable.

The supporting characters are engaging. I enjoyed the romances that develop and the supporting relationships drive the story.  Mal’s sister Lucy who has the handle Gaia is my favorite.

One drawback is he first chapter includes jumps between the present and flashback. I admit this might be a personal pet peeve, but I found that disorienting. I think if the first chapter had stayed in the present and the flashback had been later it would be a tighter story. But get through it, and the book improves.

The sections in the villains point of view are easily the worst part of the book. They mostly consist of mustache twirling internal monologue. “They foiled me this time, but I have a cunning plan! Because I am the villain, and I am evil. Evil I tell you! EVIL! BWAHAHAH!”  They also don’t advance the plot, with two exceptions. Most of the time you could piece together what the villain did with other scenes, and it would have left a little more mystery if we didn’t get those scenes.

Mercifully the villain monologues are short enough I was able to breeze past them. For worldbuilding in general, there are pluses and minuses.  There is only the barest explanation of how people get their powers and how they work in this world. It is probably enough, and by not dwelling on it I wasn’t pulled out of the story and finding holes. However, I like to see explanations of how things work, so I wish to learn more about the world.

Overall, this is a good story. Queer superheroes and a whole lot of fun for fans. I fully recommend this to comic geeks.

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