October 4, 2016
Stasis, by Kim Fielding
Praesidium is the most prosperous city-state in the world, due not only to its location at the mouth of a great bay, but also to its strict laws, stringently enforced. Ordinary criminals become bond-slaves, but the Wizard places traitors in Stasis, a dreamless frozen state. Ennek is the Chief’s younger son. He has grown up without much of a purpose, a man who cannot fulfill his true desires and who skates on the edge of the law. But he is also haunted by the plight of one man, a prisoner for whom Stasis appears to be a truly horrible fate. If Ennek is to save that prisoner, he must explore Praesidium’s deepest secrets as well as his own.
I saw this book on NetGalley and decided to give it a whirl. The description doesn’t identify this story as an M/M light romance, and the M/M romance made me uncomfortable. I’ve often said that a story should evoke a response of some kind from the reader, and ‘uncomfortable’ fits the bill nicely. If I had been prepared for this to be an M/M romance, I think I wouldn’t’ve been as uncomfortable. The romance part of it just jumped out at me.
That being said, the story and the writing is fantastic. The M/M element is there, but it isn’t in your face, and there aren’t many sex scenes or other tropes I’ve come to expect with M/M stories.
Themes of a totalitarian oligarchy and the issues of being a ‘deviant’ and the younger son of the ‘king’ trapped in living up to his potential while beseeched on all sides by well-wishers and those who would usurp the throne make this a high-intensity adventure read.
I liked the story, despite my comfort level disturbance, and this is a four-star read.
Kim Fielding lives in California and travels as often as she can manage. A professor by day, at night she rushes into a phonebooth to change into her author costume (which involves comfy clothes instead of Spandex and is, sadly, lacking a cape). Her superpowers include the ability to write nearly anywhere, often while simultaneously doling out homework assistance to her children. Her favorite word to describe herself is “eclectic” and she finally got that third tattoo. All royalties from her novels Stasis, Flux and Equipoise are donated to Doctors Without Borders.