Odder Still (Tour Post/Review)

Book Title: Odder Still
Author: D.N. Bryn
Release Date: June 9th, 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, LGTBQ+
My rating: 5/5 Stars

Synopsis:

Rubem of No-Man’s Land was content keeping to his wine, his pets, and his extensive collection of fishnets.

But since a sentient, fuel-producing parasite bonded to his brainstem, every morally-depraved scientist and hardcore rebel for a hundred miles wants to ruthlessly dissect him. The parasite itself is no better, influencing his emotions and sassing him with his own memories as it slowly takes over his body.

The only person offering Rubem help is Tavish K. Findlay, a dashing and manipulative philanthropist whose mother’s fuel company monopolizes their corrupt underwater city with an iron claw. She desperately wants to tear Rubem apart for the parasite before those who oppose her can do the same. Her son is irresistibly charismatic though, and after a lifetime of being kicked out and disavowed, Rubem is desperate to believe in the friendship Tavish offers.

With revolutionary plots and political schemes tangling his every choice, Rubem must soon decide whether or not to trust Tavish in his fight against the parasite’s growing control.

Odder Still is a M/M fantasy novel with a class-crossing slow burn romance, murderous intrigue, and a Marvel’s Venom-style parasite-human friendship in an underwater steampunk city. This book exist in the wider These Treacherous Tides universe, coming chronologically after Once Stolen, but it is the first book in the No-Man’s Lander series and is an easy entry point into the world. Each No-Man’s Lander book has a romantically fulfilling ending and a final HEA, with steamy thoughts and foreplay but no explicit sex. (For more information on reading order, please visit D.N. Bryn’s website.)

Content warnings include alcohol consumption and animal death.

My Review:

Before reading Odder Still, I wasn’t entirely sure what the story was about aside from an MM Romance and a parasite. Let me tell you, that does not even begin to describe what this book is. I had a feeling I would like it, just from the cover and description, but wow was I not prepared to love it as much as I did. The beginning was already pretty interesting and raised several questions, but before I knew it, I’d been consumed, and could not put it down until I’d finished.

Odder Still is a captivating and intricate story with a rich world, so detailed that I could practically envision the different cities and environments in my head. The gorgeous writing style definitely contributes to this. Each description and sentence flowed so smoothly, the meaning was always clear, if layered with emotion. I was blown away by the elaborate world created and was so impressed with the writing style. 

The characters were also fascinating and so interesting to read about. Rubem was especially intriguing because he was by no means perfect. He cared for those close to him, and he would do anything to protect them, but he was also flawed and authentically human. His portrayal of depression was another great addition to the story, and I appreciated how these details were depicted. Rubem’s descriptions of emptiness and numbness caving in on him was so personal and real. 

Additionally, I absolutely loved watching the romance bloom between Rubem and Tavish. They were both so different but also complimented each other so well. They formed a bond early on in the book, but their romance took more time to grow from there. The care and attraction they carried for each other was so obvious from the beginning, but I appreciated how the romance wasn’t jumped into right off the bat. Their friendship developed first, and because we got to see that connection ahead of time, it was even more meaningful when they did get together.

Also! Can we talk about how awesome it is to see blind rep in a fantasy novel? And from one of the main characters, no less! Speaking of which, this book was full of fantastic representation, including BIPOC, trans, gay, bisexual, non-binary, disability, and more! I love to see representation like this in books, especially because it was normalized, but still a part of who they are. I just loved it!

One of my favorite parts of the story was the take on the parasite. I’ve read and seen several books and movies that employ this as a plot point, but I was especially fascinated with how it was explored here. I won’t go into too much detail about it just because it’s such a large part of Rubem’s character development, but I will say that I thought it was well done.

Meanwhile, the plot of Odder Still was gripping and fascinating. There were so many layers and so much nuance to it! Just when I thought I had it all figured out, yet another layer would be revealed, and I’d be back to figuring it all out again. There were several plot points weaved together throughout, and while it wasn’t revealed how they were all connected until the end, it was abundantly clear they were intersecting each other, even if I wasn’t sure how yet. This was such a fun aspect to the story and had me on the edge of my seat and continuing to turn the page (even though I probably should have been asleep!). 

Odder Still was a wild ride of a book, and I highly, highly recommend everyone read it! 

Thank you so much to PrideBookTours on Instagram for providing me with a digital copy of this book!

Purchase it at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-A-Million

Check out my last blog post: Mr. Romance (Cover Reveal & Giveaway)

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