Updated: Jun 18
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Take a ride on the wild side and surrender to Brooklynn Dean’s seduction.
Being a musician is what drew me to this fantastic novel by Brooklynn Dean. And with a stylish cover and title like that, how could it not? Then, as I realised there were supernatural elements at play within these pages, the electricity intensified. This really set me up for the ride I was about to take.
We're introduced to Max, the frontman of a band with a steadily growing audience, and straight away, the author's devotion to music as an art is evident. Dean captures the essence of what it means to be a musician dedicated to the service of your calling like only someone weaving true passion can.
Max lives for his music, and the author's ability to convey this shines as we get to know our unique protagonist in a time guided by 'sin'. Max knows he's not like everyone else, and his compelling journey leads through innumerable questions of his faith, himself and the distracted, oft-superficial world we inhabit.
But let me be clear, you do not need to be religious to enjoy this exceptional adventure.
Oh, no. Max’s quandaries are rooted in the existential, of materialism and spirituality, of action and inaction, and, most importantly, of meaning and connection.
Dean displays artful skill in developing her characters, and this novel’s greatest strengths show in their interactions. You’re drawn into Max’s journey and feel connections developing as more of the accompanying cast are explored and this elegantly conceived story unfolds. By the end, I was so thoroughly hooked by each character and desperate to learn even more about each in that very “No, I don’t want this to end yet!” kind of way.
The story flowed impeccably and was fused with some truly memorable lines of description and dialogue; there were some vivid scenes so immersive I felt utterly stolen from reality - make sure you’re sitting comfortably!
The crux of Max’s journey revolves around a tour with his band. A tour not easily forgotten. A tour with two mysterious and enchanting (for very different reasons) repeat visitors. I had a strong feeling of who these brilliantly portrayed characters were (I usually suss these things out quickly!), though the author shows terrific skill and restraint in maintaining their mystique as the story progresses.
The ending… is perfect.
I honestly could not imagine any other ending fitting better and was SO satisfied how this was handled. There’s so much I could say about how much feeling I developed for these characters, how real they felt in a way Anne Rice would be proud of, or the gracefully touched on supernatural elements and artistic descriptions and scenes which took my mind to Neil Gaiman’s works at times.
This is getting long now, though, so I’ll leave it with this;
This book is not what you expect. It’s better. Dean will get under your skin with her delicious descriptions, charismatic characters and magical realism. Her writing never loses sight of its purpose and knows all the moves to seduce you. Read this book, you won’t regret it!