A homosexual black man who can morph into an alligator? Who has an affair with an eighteen-year-old white boy? In Louisiana? In the 1950s? There was so much potential to this plot set up I couldn’t help but read it.
Sadly, the story fell short of my expectations. The whole alligator shape shifting deal never had a point. Why give a character that ability but then have it play no role in the plot? He did morph a few times, but he could have morphed into a mouse, kitten or puppy and the story would have been the same. I was hoping for some alligator fight scene where he defends the white boy.
The racist thing, never really played much of a part either. Really, this book could have taken place today, rather than the 1950s and people’s reactions to the couple would have been the same. Same for the gay factor, no one really reacted much different than they would have today.
So… what did happen in this book? Nothing. The whole book read like a tease. I rolled my eyes when the “sex magic” was introduced. But again, nothing really came of it either. They would create magic when they’d have sex… and what would they do with that magic? They fixed some brakes on a car that were going bad. No joke.
The writing style read a little rough for me too. I could tell the author was attempting to be creative and detail oriented. But the details were directed at the wrong items. I’m reading an erotic sex scene and getting a graphic description of the color and design of the boxers one of them is wearing. Yeah… you’re just slowing down the story buddy. Or the suspenseful scene where we are getting into the car to go save the mom from some guys who have boxed her car in, and we pause the story to tell me how the character uses his sleeve to open the car door cause the sun has made it so hot. I’m sure you get the idea. Those moments just jerked me from the story and made it difficult to stay in the moment.
So, would I suggest giving the book a read? Well… no… not really. This one wasn’t bad, just not as good as it could have been.
Call and Answer by Val Kovalin