Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Illumination by Rowan Speedwell


by Rowan Speedwell

Adam Craig is burned out. Lead singer of the hard rock band Black Varen, he's tired of the empty life of groupies, paparazzi, and hotel rooms. Worse, a life in the closet. After the final concert of their latest tour, he flees the after-party in pursuit of memories of lost summers and carefree days, until he passes out on the patio of a shuttered lake resort.

Miles Caldwell is a brilliant artist, tied by agoraphobia and social anxiety to his family's lodge. Alone but for his parrot, he spends his days illuminating manuscripts and hiding from the complexities of life. When he discovers Adam asleep in a deck chair, he's furious but intrigued. Adam soon charms his way into Miles' bed, and they lose themselves in a summer idyll, safe from the compromises and claims of reality.

But Adam's life, with all its demands, is waiting for him. And Miles, uncertain of Adam's true feelings, is battling demons of his own. Somehow, the man who's never home and the man who never leaves it must find the strength to fight for a future together.
I received a free copy of Illumination from the publisher via Netgalley.
I requested this book because the characters intrigued me.  An agoraphobic artist, a burnt-out rocker, an animal character...all the things that should have made this the perfect book for me. But there was something about it that just left me disappointed me.  I'm not sure what I was looking for, only that I wanted something more.  The characters were interesting at first, and then it was like they never developed much after the first few chapters.  It left me feeling as if there wasn't much there, to be honest.  Even their relationship was shallow and cold. 
A scenario like the one presented in this book should have been full of drama, clashing personalities, and a lot more character depth.  And while the book did have its moments, I thought it was somewhat boring and unbelievable.  The dialogue was clunky and there were places when I could sense the author's presence loud and clear as she used it to steer the situation around.   
There were certain parts that I really enjoyed, especially toward the end of the book.  But for the most part, I was just left feeling disappointed. 
2.5/5 stars

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