Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cruce de Caminos by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane

Cruce de Caminos by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane
Riptide Publishing
Short Story: 50pgs
Rating: 4.5/5

Addiction and desperation drive Sean O'Hara to a critical crossroads. Will he make the right decision, or will the floodwaters bound for New Orleans sweep him away?

Street kid Sean O’Hara has never had it easy, but New Orleans has driven him to his knees. His girlfriend’s broken up with him for a sugar daddy, a gun-toting pimp has robbed him of everything but the clothes on his back, and he’s down to his last two Oxycontin. Sean’s no seasoned streetwalker, but he’s not above it either, not when he’s already itching for his next fix.

A familiar-seeming stranger named Ángel may be his ticket to some quick cash, but only if Sean’s willing to help him indulge a high-class john’s weird fetish for the night. As Ángel tells him, in this city and this business, you have to get a little weird to survive.

When night falls on the French Quarter, Sean realizes Ángel and the john want more from him than he was expecting to give. What once seemed merely strange soon crosses the line into supernatural and sinister. And Ángel, the man Sean had viewed as a partner and protector, might also be his otherworldly judge and executioner.

(Publisher's note: This title contains dubious consent, drug use, and a non-explicit rape.)

There is nothing pretty, romantic, or happily ever after about this story. There is no falling in love and being rescued from the harsh life of hustling on the streets. What the story is, is moving, haunting, and hits you in the face with a nice amount of realism that you can’t walk away unaffected.

We are introduced to Sean, he’s young and an addict, and is completely devoted to his girlfriend. An altercation leads him to lose all his possessions and he faces a very clear truth. He’s gonna have to become a prostitute if only for a while. It’s the point in Sean’s life where his choices will lead him down a path of good, or the one that will lead to his end aka his destruction.

There is a mist of supernatural in the story, emphasized by the backdrop of New Orleans. I think if the setting were anything other than New Orleans, it wouldn’t have worked as well ‘shit just seems more believable when it goes down in NOLA’. It’s the playground for Vodou and the supernatural so it just made sense.

My feelings on Sean are still open, because he comes off as a flake but he’s a honourably flake. His devotion to his girlfriend is admirably, and his wanting love makes him endearing. He’s young so he has a lifetime to grow, and the book gives us a little to gather some hope in your heart that he’s going to be just fine. Though he’s stubborn and wilful, he wants to believe.

The writing is freaking genius and it comes as no surprise. Heidi and Violetta always leave me pondering, feeling, and making a connection when I read their story. I kept thinking that I could be Sean! Life leading me down a not so good path, and I have to make heavy choices which leads me to my crossroads. Though I hope my crossroads never has to with the supernatural, it kinda scares my pants away.

There is a lot in the story that worked for me, though it’s totally subjective to the reader. I will probably think about this one for a long time, like I find myself thinking about The Saturnalia Effect. These women know what they’re writing and you can see the care and thought that goes into their work. I really appreciate stories like this and it stands outside the norm, love it or hate it, you really just have to appreciate it.

~ I am all kinds of excited for The Druid Stone! It’s coming out my birthday month, so it’ll be like receiving a really good present.~ 

4 1/2 Pants Off

1 comment:

  1. This sounds really good. So does the Druid Stone. I've always liked stories that take place in New Orleans.


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