Marc reviews Wayne Mansfield’s ‘Another Dimension’. (The book was published by JMS Books on July 26th, 2014, 58 pgs).
This book was provided free of charge for an honest review by the JMS Books. 😉
Why I read this book: When I saw this book I knew I wanted to read it. I love Sci-Fi and hot men. This cover is one of the best I’ve seen. Just my taste and I had to claim it! I didn’t even read the blurb, I WANTED. Yum!!!
Julian James is a Grade C citizen in a world where the Archons, a reptilian race of aliens, control the planet. Most citizens are permitted one day off per week and it’s one such day that Julian meets Taal, a visitor on reconnaissance from another dimension.
This chance meeting fills Julian with feelings he’s never had before. He takes an instant liking to this handsome visitor and the attraction is mutual. He manages a few more meetings with Taal and the two men plot Julian’s escape to the beauty and freedom of Taal’s dimension.
But things rarely go to plan. Julian’s been smart, but has he been smart enough to outwit the all-seeing, all-powerful Archon overlords and their human puppets? There is no such thing as a small risk. Taal and Julian’s escape plan will either end in spectacular happiness or abysmal disaster. Many citizens wouldn’t even try it. But Julian isn’t just any citizen.
Cover: HOTTEST cover I have seen in a while. The model is gorgeous and while there is naked flesh, the pose and framing is different and sexy. The fence in the background fits perfectly with the story and connects the desolate vision of the main protagnist’s homeworld.
Title: The title is cathy, open, but definitly promises some Sci-Fi aspects to the story. I’m a sucker for differnt worlds. It’s my escape. Different fantasy or sci-fi worlds or romance. The title and cover promise both!
Story: So, did the story deliver, what the cover and title promised? Well, sort off.
First off, you guys should know that my favorite book is 1984, which is an absolute timeless masterpiece. Most books I read and review might be romances, but my heart beats for sci-fi books that challenge me and fantasy books that take me in another word (think – A Song of Ice and Fire). Usually these books are very long, because if done well, they create an entire new world. So, combining creating a brand new world and developing a romance is a difficult feat -though I’ve seen it done exceptionally well. However doing that in roughly 60 pages seems nearly impossible and I don’t think this story completely managed it!
This story has a very similar feel to 1984, especially in the beginning. I got really excited when I realized setting of the story was a dystopian world and the author really pulled me in from the beginning. He added many interesting ideas to create his own world, but I felt that desolation and hopelessness that is created by a government that controls every aspect of its citizens’ lives. I was able to imagine the prison of the world and wanted to know so much more. So many interesting possibilities opened up.
Invaders have taken total control and our main character is seeing no way out of his dull everyday life that is slowly draining him. People are afraid of their every word and he is part of the machinery that makes sure everyone keeps in their lines. His only social contact is the greeting he exchanges with several people he happens to run in with recurringly. There does not seem to be any meaning to his life and the only joy he experiences is his monthly ration of chaocolate.
In this story, a possible salvation comes from the outside and also introduces the M/M element of the story. I find a world like that very intriguing, but the story is not long and I felt we never really had the chance to get to know the main protagonist’s world or his love interest. I like a little mysteries in new worlds and with so few pages an entire history cannot be incorporated. I loved what we learned about the Oppressors and the snippets about how the new world order worked, but there is a lot of potential going to waste by not being able to find out more about the world. I actully found it a lot more interesting than the romance aspect. For me, though their interactions are hot, Julian and Taal lack chemistry. But I don’t fault them, they don’t really know each other. There is instant lust that is so strong, but considering Julian’s lack of experience in anything romantic or sexual and the fact they barely had time to talk to each other, events moved much to fast for me and I couldn’t see the foundation needed for some of the choices that are made.
I really liked the main protagonist and the world (with all the unique twists the author included) and there is a lot of potential, but I think for such a complex story there just needs to be more time to develop every aspect of the story. I think this could have been a story I absolutely looved, but as a short story/ novelette it didn’t really convince me (though I wanted it to).
This is my favorite sub genre and I had high expectations, but even if they are not met by the story it was a fun read with some great ideas and a lot of potential. I love that the author tackled the dystopian genre and combined it with more sci-fi elements. Also, while many aspects needed more development in my opinion, for such a short book itmanaged to paint the desperate dullness of of fully controlled life very well. I might try another book of the author soon.
Wayne’s interest in writing was sparked in high school, though his career as a published writer really began via StarBooks Press, a small US company who published many of his stories. His most recent story with them “Night In Hell”, which appeared in HOMO THUGS, was his last for that company.
Additionally, he has been published by Torquere Press (“Love, Eternal” and “An Island, Lost”), Eternal Press, Damnation Books (“Tracing The Devil” and “The Collection”) Excessiva Press (“Club Paradise”) Bear Bones Books, an imprint of Lethe Press (“Miners”), Bold Strokes Books (“Out of Light and Into the Night”) and Cleis Press (“Taken”).
Over the past two years Wayne has moved away from plain erotica to focus on dark erotica. He has his first collection of dark tales of lust and passion – “The Stroke of Midnight” – out now through Dare Empire.
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