- File Size: 2444 KB
- Print Length: 192 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Tanya Chris Publishing (October 3, 2017)
- Publication Date: October 3, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B075QKCBVC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,468 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Predestination Unknown Kindle Edition
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Luther is in a mirror maze with some friends on Halloween in Salem and keeps spotting a cute blonde but is bedeviled by all the mirrors until finally he happens upon a portal that lands him in 1692 just prior to the Salem witch trials. An enlightened Black man in the 17th century? Expect some off-putting terminology. Upside is the blonde is there and likes what he sees in Luther so... glass half full?
Luther tells the entire story and parts of it do require some suspension of disbelief including his finding himself in a Puritanical and culturally repressed society without indoor plumbing or electricity 325 years prior to his in stride then not turning over every conceivable pebble to find the portal again. Predestination Unknown addresses many relevant topics to varying degrees and Chris doubled down on the subtext that mirrors the current sociopolitical climate, complete with a Trump clone in Corwin who is a bigot that taps into base fears and is a polarizing voice.
Corwin uses his considerable influence to root out "evil" in Salem, through whatever means necessary, usually by invoking the "will of God" and engendering fear. There were times when the narrative was overtaken by the historical aspects and the subtext got a little heavy handed making it dry at times. On the other hand, I enjoy and believe in the concept that one person can spur change and Luther is nothing if not a change agent.
The romance between he and Ezekiel is chaste through much of the story due in large part to Ezekiel's lack of experience in all things romance/sex related, but also, his faith which has ingrained in him the notion that homosexuality is a sin that automatically precludes him from being "chosen" to enter heaven. His Puritanical ideology being paired with Luther's enlightened 21st century one made this subject matter palatable for me, particularly with regard to Christianity and homosexuality not being mutually exclusive. Luther is tenacious and logical and logic is hard to argue against when presented with confidence. Armed with his newfound knowledge Ezekiel embraces the true meaning of Christianity and he breaks the shackles of predestination that have been so oppressive. Along with Ezekiel's progressive enlightenment their romance gains traction as the story evolves with more heat and an undeniable chemistry, but this story is not especially sexy.
The epilogue is very sweet and overall that is how I would categorize their relationship. I didn't enjoy this as much as I enjoyed Aftercare but Chris brings a certain authenticity to her characters that I appreciate. I especially liked Abigail and the precocious Tom who probably turns out to be the first polyamourous Puritan or maybe libertine is a more apropos descriptor.
Obviously, this will only appeal to some, but I don't regret having read it and would recommend it to those who enjoy a romance read that's outside the lines, so to speak.
A review copy was provided.
I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I agreed to read and review this book, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t what I got (not in a bad way). I think I was expecting this was going to be some light-hearted Halloween time travel short story – cute and quirky. Instead, this was a full-fledged story complete with a comprehensive history lesson about the Salem witch trials and a time when many prejudices existed among people.
Stories that have a heavy historical theme aren’t typically my cup of tea; however, I have to say that I found myself doing a little Wikipedia research right alongside reading this book to try to determine the degree of historical accuracy vs. creative license. I was pleasantly surprised to learn a few things!
One controversial aspect of the book was the bi-racial MCs. I would love to see more of this in M/M books; however, in this context, it felt as though things were almost too smooth given the time period. Yes, there was a degree of angst around a black man showing up out of the blue in 1692 and having uncommon abilities as compared to what most people knew, but it felt like this should have been bigger somehow. Similarly, Ezekiel didn’t seem to require too much heavy convincing to accept Luther’s claim that homosexuality was not wrong at a point in time when it was clearly forbidden.
The ending of the story was definitely a surprise for me. I won’t go into details since half the fun of reading is the discovery of twists and turns, but yeah; I would have bet money on a different outcome. Definitely different!
I think it was the time frame that Luther suddenly found himself in that appealed to me the most. I haven't read a huge number of time-travel stories but those I have read have never sent an African-American back to Salem on the eve of the witch trials. So that alone made this story unigue and a big yes for me. As for Ezekiel, how can you not love his naivity or genuine appreciation for Luther even if he doesn't understand it at first.
Predestination Unknown may not be perfect but I was entertained and hooked from beginning to end which is all I ask when I turn on my Kindle or open the cover. I'm not looking for a history lesson but I do want true to the times when reading a historical and that is what I got. All in all, Tanya Chris has brought a great read with lots of love, passion, drama, and definitely a bit of paranormal with the time-travel. Some might see time-travel as more sci-fi or fantasy than paranormal but however you label it, its certainly worth a look.