Zumaya Boundless [link to buy]
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 paddles
This book is not usually the sort thing I’d read. The description is gay/horror; the cover is a hand with part of a digit missing, so normally I’d probably give it a miss. I’m so glad I didn’t. The book blurb from Amazon says you have never read a book like fingers breadth, which is the most accurate description of this book I’ve seen. I started reading with trepidation. I’m not into horror and I have a knack for turning the written word into a vibrant image in my mind. My hesitation came from what I might end up visualizing, as I read about the attacks on gay men, who are drugged, and have their finger (or part of it) cut off. I didn’t need to worry, as it turned out having a finger cut off isn’t the most horrifying part of the storyline.
There were many things I loved about this book. The author spares us gruesome details in relation to the attacks, and in some instances the act itself is done in a caring manner. He doesn’t limit his storytelling to a few main characters who tell the story and its impact on those around them. This is a book about a community that’s being terrorized, so there is a community of characters depicted throughout the book. Like many of us who are avid readers, I can usually get to a point in a story where I can predict the ending. Not so with Fingers Breadth. The book turned into something I never expected, a psychological mind twist, an immersion into the human condition and how people react to trauma, whether they are the victim of it or merely a spectator from a community perspective. The truly horrifying aspect of the book was the community response to what was taking place. Totally believable reactions of hatred, fear, violence, and the need to be part of what was going on by copying actions, or self inflicting injuries. The heinous act of mutilation becomes secondary, almost an afterthought, to the popular perceptions missing part of a digit evokes.
What about the BDSM? There’s none really, unless you class cutting part of a digit off as a kinky or a fetish. There is one instance of a character who agrees to be slave of sorts, only because the character sees it as a way to feel safe. One or two references to people being into kinky activity like whips and chains, but it’s not a main component of the book. Still, I wouldn’t let that stop me from reading the book. If you need a lifestyle excuse to read Fingers Breadth then the book fits really well into the mental BDSM category, it’s a total mind fuck. As for the sex it’s M/M but not terribly descriptive like you’d find it in some forms of erotic fiction, you know the characters are having sex, but it’s almost a perfunctory description of the act. It happens, but it’s no big deal and it’s not the most important part of the book.
Because nothing in the world is perfect, there were a few things I found difficult about reading Fingers Breadth. It took me a few chapters to get used to the quick switch between characters, and to figure out what was going on…that is, I’m looking at a community perspective, not just a few points of view. The other thing was the writing style, some parts of the book are written like a chat session, newspaper reports or quotes and constant repetitive thoughts of some characters. In the end it all added to the story, but it’s not your straight out, easy flowing read from beginning to end. However, those things didn’t stop me from reading and enjoying it.
I realize this book is probably not for everyone, but if you enjoy something different, being taken on a psychological trip rather than solely an emotional one, then give it a try. You’ll probably enjoy it like I did.
Reviewed by JannyGee