At some point during the year I thought it would be hard to name my three favourite M/M books of the year, but in the end it turned out to be a piece of cake, because these three are in a league of their own. (I’m including my Goodreads reviews for ease of reference.)
No.3 is the deep, dark and lyrical Angels of the Deep by Kirby Crow. This one will stay with me for a long time. So. Much. Pain. I couldn’t breathe when I finished it, it was so heavy. The darkness is not without hope or redemption, but even the comparatively positive ending has an elegiac quality to it. I felt every ounce of the weight of the world that Beck carries on his shoulders.
So why read it? Because all that gravitas is cloaked in an opheliac beauty reminiscent of Rimbaud. Lush, vivid, richly detailed descriptions that engage all the senses. I too rarely come across a modern author who dares and is able to use the whole stunning palette of the English language with such lyrical perfection. (I suspect I would start to read the Income Tax Act if Kirby Crow wrote it.)
Playlist: Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads, Bruckner’s 8th Symphony and Björk’s Dancer in the Dark (and if that doesn’t tell you what to expect, nothing will)
No.2 is Dark Soul: The Complete Collection by Aleksander Voinov, who I’m lucky enough to call a friend, and who’s easily my all time favourite M/M author.
Dark Soul is an intense, hot, beautifully crafted ride. I’m glad I waited for the whole collection, because I found this utterly unputdownable.
And, for the record, I’ll never, ever get over the knife/gun play at the beginning. I think my book falls open on page 16. That, incidentally, is also my choice of hottest sex scene 2012.
No.1, Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander, was a dark horse for me, a complete surprise. And it blew me away. The sensuality of it, the irreverence, the edge-of-seat plot, the voice, the dialogues, the emotions that are all the more powerful for their understatement. And I don’t even like first person narrators. Absolute stunner. Go, read it.
If the selection in 2013 is even half as good as those three, we’re in for a brilliant reading year.