My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: ARC via Netgalley
Publication Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Point of View: Third Person (Cavalo( James))
Genres & Themes: MM Romance, Post—Apocalyptic
In a world ravaged by fire and descending into madness, Cavalo has been given an ultimatum by the dark man known as Patrick: return Lucas to him and the cannibalistic Dead Rabbits, or the town of Cottonwood and its inhabitants will be destroyed.
But Lucas has a secret embedded into his skin that promises to forever alter the shape of things to come—a secret that Cavalo must decide if it’s worth dying over, even as he wrestles with his own growing attraction to the muted psychopath.
Cavalo has twenty-one days to prepare for war. Twenty-one days to hold what is left of his shredded sanity together. Twenty-one days to convince the people of Cottonwood to rise up and fight back. Twenty-one days to unravel the meaning behind the marks that cover Lucas.
A meaning that leads to a single word and a place of unimaginable power: Dworshak.
I don’t believe TJ Klune could ever not write a romance book.
Even in his darkest, in his most gruesome, in his truest savage, he writes romance. You might say/think—how is death, torture, war, cannibals love? How could there ever be romance in it?
The thing is—the thing that truly drives every and all of TJ Klune books is the characters. And that’s where the romance is; in the hope and wishes of the main character, in the coming together of the secondary characters. For Cavalo finds love in not only Lucas, but in SIRS, in Bad Dog, even in the people from Cottonwood—Hank, Aubrey, Richie, Alma, all of them.
Crisped + Sere is not gentle, it takes and it takes and it takes, and by the end you’re left emotionally fraught, and stifled with so many emotions that you’re wondering where it’s all coming from. It’s harsh and unforgiving, completely unrepentant.
TJ Klune writes in an entrancing style; poetic and with a rhythm that keeps you suspended. But Crisped + Sere is fluid, and I find that about the best part in this savage song. It’s graphic and it hurts, but there’s such an impact by every word, by every scene that you keep reading because there’s no way you won’t, there’s no way to look away.
And…and there is something romantic, even if Cavalo would swear there isn’t. Especially with our Dead Rabbit Lucas. You know the saying that they understand each other even without words? Well, it’s truer with this two. I absolutely loved those two and their unshared words. I love the devotion and the trust that came. I loved it all. I love those sex scenes because more, but just perfect.
And. And. And SIRS and Bad Dog. SIRS and Bad Dog, and Lucas, and Cavalo. Their home. Their loyalty, Their devotion. Their family.
TJ Klune writes emotions, and hope even in the darkest of times. And Crisped + Sere is an amazing installation; one that shouldn’t make you afraid to try because does it surprise you. Does it twists you in ways that you didn’t possible. He just knows what he’s doing.
That ending? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?