Love for the Cold-Blooded: Or: The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero
by Alex Gabriel
This is such an amazingly delightful and hilarious book! I highly recommend it! It had me chortling to myself. It also had so many scenes that I would have expected to hit my second-hand-embarrassment squick but instead sailed right past it with a derogatory look of: don’t expect these characters to be embarrassed by anything they do or allow anyone else to be embarrassed on their behalf. They are just fine with rolling with the situations.
And as a warning to Anna: it does have graphic sex scenes, that are not only graphic but also involve significant character development and plot progression so they can’t just be skipped.
This is the world of superheroes at it’s best: the superhero world of Saturday morning cartoons where the good guys win but the bad guys get away and no one is ever permanently harmed. The drama is high, the philosophy is pointed, and the aesthetics are amazing.
It also reminds me a bit of The Rest of Us Just Live Here since Pat, our main character who does the occasional part-time duty as a minion to whatever supervillain is currently making a bid for world domination, is mostly a college student who loves his major and has a pretty decent part-time job. He’s just so irrepressible and he loves his mom and dad and his sisters and his studies to be an urban developer and even being a minion is often annoying but sometimes fun and just part of life.
And Nicholas Andersen is the Tony Stark / Bruce Wayne of this world: the billionaire philanthropist tech-genius with awkward social skills who starts out thinking that Pat is the prostitute he requested sent up. (And Pat isn’t about to say “no” to sex with a hot guy who apparently wants to have sex with him.) And then life happens and it is all so ludicrously delightful and I love it!
by Alex Gabriel
As soon as I finished “Love for the Cold Blooded” I went to check out the author’s page for more. Sadly, there’s not much else and nothing in the last three years, but this novella is still really good.
It packs a fascinating amount of world-building around a very character-driven fantasy plot. Anyone who has read a lot of urban fantasy knows that it comes in a wide range of styles: from dark/gritty/game-of-thrones-esque to light/fluffy/romcom-esque. Are werewolves vicious slavering creatures going on murderous rampages or are they people who turn into puppies? In this story, they are both! Because the background premise is that there are rips that will occasionally allow people from one world to pass into a different world.
Drakjan, going by Julian, is one such individual. The world he’s from is a dark and dangerous fantasy world in which vicious creatures fight and kill and the world he’s now in is a softer fantasy world in which those same fantasy creatures share borders and have council meetings and are shocked when one of their own is murdered!
One of the great things about this book is Drakjan’s perspective because the whole world is so foreign to him even after he’s settled in to the periphery of life in the new world, giving up the joy of killing for the pleasure of peace. But he’s still very much an outsider looking in, not quite understanding how (or even why) to fit in with the rest of the society.
The plot happens when someone else comes through another rip. (Two someones actually: a love-interest and a plot-point.) The plot is extremely straight forward but the characters and the world building are amazing and it’s just as well that the plot doesn’t get in the way of that. I would love to read more but it’s also self-contained as is.
Oh, lord, it’s a good thing that Rebecca reviewed this first, because I would not have made it through the first sex scene! It is extremely graphic and awkward, but Rebecca’s also right that the rest of the book is an utter delight! It really takes you behind the scenes of what daily life would be like in a Gotham or a Metropolis, with superhero and villains interrupting on a regular basis, and everyone else just going about their daily basis.
The best thing is that it’s this world that is almost always presented in stories in black-and-white, which heroes who can’t do wrong and villains who can’t do good, and gives it more messy realness, where sometimes the heroes are close-minded and the villains are compassionate, and both heroes and villains in this messy world really struggle with that.
I am currently 2/3rds the way through Love for the Cold-Blooded and I completely agree with both of you on all counts. It has been the perfect thing to read at the beach.
Oh, man, such a good beach read! I actually maybe enjoyed “Still Waters” equally, though it perhaps has a little Shape-of-Water stuff going on.