Dana reviews T.A.D by M.D. Neu (Audiobook released May 18, 2021. Narrated by Steve Connor. 5 hrs and 47 mins in length. Ebook published by NineStar Press September 23, 2019. 213 pages) An audio code was provided for an honest review.
To read Wendy’s ebook review of T.A.D click here.
Doug is a fun-loving drama queen. He’s an amazing drag queen and hairstylist with big dreams, but despite his witty exterior, he has a dark history and is prone to self-destruction.
When Tad pushes the boundaries of his duties too far, his wings are stripped away from him, and he is sent to New York City to live as a human. Lost and alone he ends up meeting Doug, and they start a friendship that shapes them both and may last a lifetime. But nothing is simple when you’re dealing with a former Angel of Death and a Drag Queen. Could these two cause the fabric of our world to collapse or will they manage to keep the future as it should?
I haven’t read or listened to anything by this author before, but one of my fellow reviewers reviewed the ebook and loved it. I didn’t read her review because I wanted to go into this story without anything to influence my thoughts. I’m going to start with the narration because the narrator was new to me as well. I thought Steve Connor did a good job narrating this story. I didn’t feel a lot of personal connection to the story through his performance, but I thought his voice was pleasant and I would listen to him again.
I just have to put it out there that I don’t consider this story a romance at all. Not in the way that I would define a romance, anyway. But it is a story about love. TAD is an angel of death (there are many) whose love for humanity has him saving lives he isn’t supposed to. And while it seems like the little alterations he makes in mass casualty events to lessen the death total won’t make that much of a difference, he is stripped of his wings and made to live on Earth as punishment.
One of the events is 9/11 and it’s near ground zero that TAD meets Doug who gives him his acronym. Doug is a full of life drag queen with some self-esteem issues and a bad influence for a boyfriend. Meeting TAD makes Doug want to help him and so begins a long friendship. At first TAD isn’t wired for anything sexual, so their love is purely platonic. With out giving anything away, events occur that result in TAD becoming fully human, and he does engage in healthy sexual relationships with women and men. He doesn’t seem interested in anything permanent with anyone except the deep friendship he maintains with Doug.
The story is told over a long period of time with large gaps between sections. I understand why this is convenient because certain moments in the 20 year long story are more important than others. The characters grow and change so much but most of it occurs off-page. During the entirety TAD and Doug, of course, remain friends and Doug falls in love with a man we never learn that much about, but he is happy. And from time to time angels make brief appearances to see if TAD is ready to go back to his angelic life. I think this story speaks a lot about the importance of platonic love because TAD is never willing to leave Doug even though they are not in love with each other. Their kind of love is just as important to the duo though.
The story started with a lesson for TAD to realize how his interference does affect the world despite his best intentions. The lesson is kind of a long game and brings about the near collapse of the world like the blurb mentions. I thought the scare and what it takes to stop it made for an interesting story. There is a little twist in regards to TAD’s origins that I enjoyed. I felt that the story ended in a satisfying way, but again not really a romance so no HEA. The story does make you think, though, and I would recommend it as long as you aren’t expecting a romance.
8.5/10 Pots of Gold (85% Recommended) – Compares to 4.25/5 Stars
M.D. Neu is an inclusive international award-winning Gay fiction writer with a love for writing and travel. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley (San Jose, California) and growing up around technology, he’s always been fascinated with what could be. Specifically drawn to sci-fi and paranormal television and novels, M.D. Neu was inspired by the great Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Alfred Hitchcock, Harvey Fierstein, Anne Rice, and Kim Stanley Robinson. An odd combination, but one that has influenced his writing.
Growing up in an accepting family as a gay man, he always wondered why there were never stories reflecting who he was. Constantly surrounded by characters that only reflected heterosexual society, M.D. Neu decided he wanted to change that. So, he took to writing, wanting to tell good stories that reflected our diverse world.
When M.D. Neu isn’t writing, he works for a nonprofit and travels with his biggest supporter and his harshest critic, Eric, his husband of twenty plus years.