Friday, January 25, 2008

Boys in the Band: Opening Act by B.A. Tortuga

TITLE: Boys in the Band: Opening Act
AUTHOR: B.A. Tortuga
PUBLISHER: Torquere Press
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 10k)
GENRE: Gay erotic romance
COST: $2.49

As the new lead singer of the band, Caidon only has eyes for the too-energetic Spud, the guitar player who sees to everybody’s needs. All of them. Including hand jobs to relieve the stress. Spud welcomes the attention, but Caidon isn’t so sure about sharing anymore…

There was an urgency in the excerpt I read on this short story that made me stop and think, “Huh. That might be fun.” It was actually Caidon’s perspective, and turns out it was the opening of the story. Not very much, especially considering this is only 10k. That energy multiplied by ten as soon as it switched to Spud’s POV. It’s very easy to get swept along with Spud’s adrenaline, and for once, I’m glad the story is this short. Something tells me I’d be exhausted if I had to read a longer work from this character’s perspective. At the very least, I’d probably have a headache.

Spud is charming enough in his own Eager Beaver way. But the more I read about him, the more I wondered about underlying issues. The band treats him like a pet, using him as their gopher, their sex toy, their comic relief whenever the fancy takes them. They even use his bunk as storage, forcing the guy to crash on whoever will let him. Not healthy, no doubt about it, but Spud never questions it. In fact, he seems grateful for the attention, enough so that I start getting uncomfortable by the end of the story. Caidon mitigates that to a small degree, but not nearly enough. And not nearly enough to give me a sigh of relief when the story is over.

It’s very obvious by the end that this is merely a first chapter in an ongoing saga. At least, it seems obvious to me. I sincerely hope that there’s better resolution to Spud and Caidon’s relationship with additional stories, and that the author isn’t using this as a springboard for exploring the other characters instead. Spud deserves better.


7/10 – The frenetic pacing of Spud’s voice is very addictive, though not so much with Caidon.

Hero #1

5/10 – I don’t know much about him, except he’s a big guy with big appetites.

Hero #2

7/10 – Entertaining, though so needy that I wonder about underlying issues.

Entertainment value

6/10 – Mildly diverting, but not anything I think I’ll follow through with reading subsequent books.

World building

4/10 – Other than knowing these guys are musicians playing in the Midwest, I know nothing, I see nothing…




gaia19 said...

This is a great site! I've been lurking and reading your reviews for a few days now. A very unique process you have going on :)

Not a fan of this author, or her stories to be honest. Plus the characters name "Spud" makes me cringe. However thanks for the insight, it doesn't seem as bad as I first assumed.

Book Utopia Mom said...

This is only the 2nd thing I've read by this author, and I've not tried a standalone. I have mixed feelings about her in general.

And no, I've read far worse. At least I don't feel like I wasted my money, lol.