Monday, October 25, 2010

Review- Wings of Equity by Sean Kennedy

Wings of Equity
by Sean Kennedy
July 2, 2010
Steam punk/ gay (m/m)/ lesbian characters
Ebook- Dreamspinner Press

Buy it Amazon (paper) (Kindle), ARe, Dreamspinner

The truth is that those who make a difference usually get martyred. What good are you dead?

Ezra Kneebone is most at home in the skies, piloting his airship with his best friend Jazz, even if it doesn’t quite pay the bills or warm Ezra’s empty bed. Those same skies are also the territory of a man known as Icarus, who uses his metal wings to steal from the rich and feed the poor. Icarus and Ezra could be soul mates but for one thing: Icarus has a bounty on his head, and Ezra is desperate for money.

Against the wishes of Jazz and her partner, the formidable Lady Bart, Ezra is determined to get his man… in more ways than one. But when Icarus saves Ezra’s life, Ezra realizes he would be betraying a hero—and his heart—if he turned Icarus in. Unfortunately, the bounty is tempting more than one hunter, and Ezra will find that loving a fugitive may mean becoming one too.

I know this blog is for reviewing f/f, lesbian or f/f/m ménage, but I thought I’d do a review of Wings of Equity because essentially one character Jazz is almost as prominent as the main character Ezra. Moreover, Jazz’s relationship with her partner Lady Bart also has a lot of page time considering this a m/m love story.

This is also my first steam punk book. I’ve always wanted to read one; it’s just never happened. It’s a sub-genre that I’m very attracted to, a nice mix of historical, fantasy and technology and this didn't disappoint.

I really enjoyed this book. Due to time constraints and reading other books in between, it’s taken me almost 3 weeks to finish, but not because it's boring. On the contrary, I read a little bit every night before sleep and to be honest, I’ve become attached to the characters and story. To the point that I’ll miss the mad adventures of Ezra and Jazz now that it’s come to an end.

Ezra and Jazz own a small ship (flying) that brings in a decent living doing runs for businesses. They’ve created a design of a ship that would be affordable to the average person, but need the funds to start up their business to mass produce it. Jazz’s lover, Lady Bart, is a rich socialite and has offered to give them the start up money, but Ezra is more bent on capturing a local Robin Hood for the bounty on his head to use as the seed money.

Jazz is against this, but goes along with Ezra anyway. In case you’re wondering, they argue and fight with each other throughout the whole book, but it’s a can’t live without you type of love and support for each other. They find Icarus and even capture him briefly but things go wrong---everyone else is trying to capture Icarus as well--- and Ezra and Icarus are stuck together in a fight for their lives. Of course, during this time Ezra and Icarus find a mutual attraction happening, so what will Ezra do?

Icarus is a local country man who’s been robbing trains carrying monies of the government and rich folk, and distributing them to the poor. He’s designed a set of wings that help him fly; easily maneuvering around the skies and ships to evade capture, but his time is running out. While being a local hero, everyone wants him for the reward money. So he lives a life of robbing and hiding, never being able to come out.

What I loved about this story is that even outside of the fact that steam punk is not reality anyway, certain elements in this story were really out there over and above that. Sometimes it’s nice to not be so logical and go with the flow just for the whimsical adventure of it.

Ezra is a likable character. He’s ambitious but is kind of lost in his personal life. He’s gay and can’t seem to find a steady partner, so he goes to Whiskey town to slake his needs with male prostitutes. But he wants something more satisfying. He’s hell bent on finding and capturing Icarus, but after meeting him it’s not so cut and dry. Icarus isn’t the typical bad guy and… he’s totally hot.

Jazz and Lady Bart are a colorful couple. Jazz is a rough and tumble girl who wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress and Lady Bart is one of those proper on the outside, adventurous on the inside type of women. They really enjoy each other and their relationship throughout the book is very entertaining. There’s even a small scene between them in their bedroom, but very mild with hints of how they enjoy each other. Surprising since that’s almost non-existent in m/m love story.

Icarus was the most provocative character of them all. He’s also the most mysterious and hilarious. He finds it amusing that everyone is out to get him and even after being captured, in several situations, he’s got a sense of humor, which makes in very endearing. Out of all the characters, we get the most background on him, and yet, he’s a character I wanted more on. Well, besides Lady Bart who is also captured my imagination.

While the characters are fun, what made this book for me was just the overall way this story was told. It’s absurd and crazy and not very close to reality at all. I mean, the fact that Ezra even thought he could capture Icarus when everyone else was out to get him was ridiculous. Who thinks like that? That’s like the local city folk thinking they could capture Jesse James. Both Ezra and Icarus get shot and are told to take it easy, but they act like Indiana Jones, and do all kinds of insane things without care when normally sepsis would have set in and they’d be dying.

The characters survive all kinds of calamities: the Lilliput being crashed into and fired at, fires on the ship, getting chased, beat up and they manage to escape trouble every time…. all absurdities that the mind wants to question, and yet, I loved it. It was a joy ride for me and nice change from all the reality based contemporaries I read.

I also liked that Jazz is just as important to Ezra as his lovers. She’s his sidekick as well as co-partner and they feed off of each other. It’s nice to read a m/f relationship that is like a marriage, but is about good friends who love each other. And it’s nice to read a female character that goes against the grain.

The only thing that bugged me through this whole story was that “pecker” was used for penis or cock throughout the whole book. I don’t know, that just doesn’t conjure up anything but snickers in me.

I recommend this book for several reasons. It’s a light, entertaining read that you don’t have to think too much on. The characters are enjoyable even if not too deeply characterized. And the relationship and characterizations of Jazz and Lady Bart are as prominent as any f/f or lesbian story.

Heat level: 4- softer graphic m/m sex.

Grade: B+


Anonymous said...

I've been intending to read this one for a long time, but I've put it off because steampunk isn't really my thing. I guess I'll get to it eventually. :)

LVLM(Leah) said...

Yeah, you'd probably have to like steam punk for this. It's a bit out there. heh. But I like that kind of thing so it was fun for me. And I did like Sean Kennedy's way of writing. I'll probably read some more of his books.

Jill Sorenson said...

I really liked Tigers & Devils but this one...hmmm. That cover scares me for some reason. Might be too far out there!

LVLM(Leah) said...

Jill- I heard Tigers and Devils was good, but I think if I read contemporaries it's going to be a f/f. Really, I picked this book up because everyone raved about the lesbian characters in it. That they were written well. And, they were. I think Sean Kennedy could write a gorgeous f/f story.

But I do admit that I like the concept of steam punk and some fantasy and it was a nice change from the usual contemporary that seems to dominate the GLBT genre.