Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: Of Suits and Swords by Andra Sashner

Reviewed by Fehu
Of Suits and Swords (London arc) by Andra Sashner
Less Than Three Press
Novella: 70pgs
3 Pants Off

In the high stakes world of business, every meeting is a war, every conversation a battle, every word a two-edged sword. Alexis Grayson has been fighting these battles all his life, honed for them since childhood by his ruthless father. His only reprieve comes from his occasional visits to exclusive Host Clubs, stolen hours of company and conversation free of any edge.

Then, on a whim he visits a new club, Trademark's, and there meets the mysterious, enthralling Gage. Soon, Alexis finds himself locked in a battle for which he was never prepared, fighting for something he never expected to have.

The book started really promising a witty exchange between a host and a client. Alexis and Gage seemed to have quite the chemistry between them and actually, the whole intrigue in the business world was interesting. Supporting characters, that is Basil and Ian sounded good too, so I was looking forward to how this story would unfold further.

Alexis is the son of a very influential businessman and works for his father’s cooperation. His relationship with his father is rather tense and I did not understand why his father is behaving the way he is, why would someone spy on his son? Secondly, there is Alexis's mistrust of most people, whom he suspects to be spies for his father or other businesses, so he is quite paranoid about new acquaintances. To the point that he only meets hosts, which makes for interesting relationships and left me wondering if he had any normal relationships. Also I'm wondering why he works for his father or why he grew up to be that distrustful and dysfunctional.

Alexis's behaviour, his suspicious nature and inability to interact in a normal, human way did start to annoy me by the second half of the book. Gage turned out not to be who he said he was, but he honestly liked Alexis, and Alexis could not process this emotion.

I'm all for slow development in a relationship but here things were going hot/cold and it was frustrating. Alexis wanted Gage but did not trust him, was not comfortable with emotions and uncontrolled situations, and that was just frustrating to watch and I honestly could not understand him. Which also meant that I could not connect to him and that made for a very difficult read.

The first part really had potential but the second half of the book failed to deliver on this promise. What looked like reserve and some business related suspicion was taken to it's high in the second half of the story.

3 Pants Off

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