Book Review – To Bring Him Home and Other Tales by Warren Rochelle

Publisher: JMS Books
Pages: 257
Characters: Various
POV: 3rd, 1st
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Anthology

Blurb:
Home, a place where we belong and are safe and loved. Home, the house in which we grew up, a neighborhood, a culture, even a country. Home is a state of mind, it is a place of the heart, and in the heart.

Finding home, coming home, and bringing home the one we love is a journey, a journey that can be a dangerous adventure. For the lovers in these stories, adventures can include quests and fighting dragons and demons, past and present, physical as well as mental and emotional. Rocket launchers need to be dodged, the Wild Hunt needs to be outrun. For some of the lovers here, home has been lost, or they have been forced to leave, as is too common for LGBT+ youth.

In this collection queer positive speculative fiction stories, explore the idea of what and where home is in the lives of these lovers. Will they survive their quests, defeat their monsters? Will they find a place to call home?

Buy Link

Review

I enjoyed all of these stories, which are a mix of novellas, short and flash fiction. I’m impressed with how the author writes well in all these story lengths and across the sub genres of speculative fiction. I particularly loved the literary references throughout the stories, and the strong sense of character and place.

Although I enjoyed all the stories, which are all 5 star reads, a couple of the longer ones stood out so I’m going to review those in more detail. I was impressed with how much story and emotion is in the flash fiction, and how with all the stories, the author explored different worlds, characters, and cultures.

To Bring Him Home
I loved Fletcher and his love of all things fantasy, and how the stories he loses himself in don’t quite equate with the real thing. I thought the idea that drives the story is very clever, and the worldbuilding is fabulous. These fairies aren’t like those in the stories. I liked Fletcher’s strength of character and how he will do anything to save Sam. Their relationship and friendship is sweet, and I liked how they both had to be strong to commit to their future together.

Blue Ghosts
This science fiction novella paints an interesting future after an alien invasion. I loved Quentin and John-Caleb’s relationship, and that Quentin struggles to put his past behind him. I liked that Quentin works in library and literary salvage and recovery, and how that feeds into the story’s conclusion. I also liked the social commentary which has echoes of disturbing forces in today’s world. The world building is interesting, and I loved the different societies they meet.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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