This book was provided to me for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.
This review contains spoilers!
Again a tough one to rate because I’m kind of two minds.
One the one hand I really liked the plot and the story and wanted to read more of it when the story finally got some kind of speed and drove me into it. But on the other hand there were those first chapters when it was really hard for me not to put the book away and the abrupt ending which really left me kind of unsatisfied. I’d had wished it to be more emotional.
Actually the book started really great and thrilling. But then there was this switch and everything went on so slowly… Which is not a bad thing per se. But the way the story is told and how the characters describe their feelings didn’t get me at all. The thing is, both men are actually torn between the fight they have to struggle and fall in love at exactly this unfitting time. And I mean they do state that but it didn’t get or convince me at all. This story isn’t just a romance where two men get to know each other and fall in love, it’s also about a series of rapes, a war between two Chinese gangs and two Americans getting in the middle of this. This sounds like a lot of action and emotional struggles. And I actually hoped getting that when I started reading the book. Don’t get me wrong I’m not the kind of person who is so into the action thing but when I read the plot of a book I have certain ideas where it’ll lead me and well, this one led me to crime scenes but to me they appeared as some kind of side stuff although they were the main topic of the story… I know that sounds confusing but let me explain…
The story starts with this injured girl being in real huge trouble calling her brother for help. But the thing is the girl is in Hong Kong and the brother home in the US. So when he finally arrives in Hong Kong three weeks have passed. And that’s the first point that kind of irritated me. Okay Noah, the brother, states that he didn’t listen to the voicemail message his sister left until one week later because he was angry with her. But when he finally did he immediately felt that she was in real trouble so what the sh… takes him another two weeks following her without even having a plan?
Okay I tried not to question this. So when Noah finally arrives in Hong Kong he decides asking the police for help. That’s where he gets to know Wei and feels immediately attracted to him. And then the whole love story starts… Well kind of… Because now this emotional part starts with the two men falling in love and explaining to each other why they can’t give in to their feelings which didn’t convince me at all. I don’t know why but the emotions didn’t jump onto me.
When I was at about 70% of the story I was still on the second day of the plot and Wei tells himself for the third time that he wouldn’t kiss Noah in his fragile state and Noah does quite the same except that he talks about his bad conscience thinking about sex and feeling attracted to a guy when his sister is still missing and in danger. And I mean I totally get those feelings but I didn’t feel them when they were told in that book.
I can’t even tell the exact things that disturbed me. Maybe it were those many long descriptions of the different places the characters were which really took a lot of speed from the action. Or maybe it were all the statements of the gang-members about Wei wanting Noah and having sex with him and Noah still didn’t believe it without really explaining his doubts. Maybe it was the fact that I had already read 70% of the book, was still on the second day and nothing really flashing had happened so far, except some talking and a burglary. Or maybe it was all of this that didn’t tear me into the story. But that changed when I reached that 70%. Suddenly the story gained momentum.
It comes to a fight and eventually the two guys confess their love to each other. I liked those 30% pretty much although the author once mixed the names of the two main characters which got me a little confused but wasn’t really disturbing.
One thing I really didn’t quite get through the whole story was how Noah could understand so much of the different conversations which weren’t exactly addressed to him. Maybe I should first explain that the story is told from different point of views but always in the third person. So the narrator is not an omniscient one, he is just telling the thoughts of one person per chapter. Although you or better I sometimes got the feeling that he has a hard time doing so because he sometimes describes thoughts of a person that can’t be known by the character who is in the spotlight at that moment. It’s really hard to retrace why Noah understands most of the things people talk when he is around. I mean I totally get that his friends would talk in English to him or even to each other whenever he is around but seriously two Asian gang-bosses wouldn’t fight in English just that he could follow their discussions, would they?
To summarise my opinion, all in all the idea for this story is a quite good one. But for my taste it’s developing far too slowly. And I don’t know why but I didn’t get the feelings and suffering from the two main characters which really made me kind of annoyed at the beginning. Then there was a short part when I really got attached to the two men and I thought they finally have touched me and I totally get them but then at the end there is Noah’s statement that he was somehow relieved that his sister has already been dead when he arrived at Hong Kong. He’d have tortured himself forever if she had been still alive when he came to Hong Kong and he couldn’t have saved her then. But seriously??? Why not still having this bad conscience about taking three weeks to finally come to Hong Kong???
And then there is this ending. The two men totally lost me there again because it came far too quick and there was a real lack of emotions for my taste.
But besides all these points the plot was quite interesting and I think I’ll read the next book of this series not least because I liked the two-side character Winston and Steel and the unspoken thing that goes on between them.